North America Quick Takes: Kennywood’s ‘Old Mill’ Gets Creepy New Look; Denver Zoo Displays Lego Sculptures of Animals and Plants
Kennywood’s ‘Old Mill’ Gets Creepy New Look from ScareHouse in Pennsylvania
One of the oldest dark rides in North America, the “Old Mill” at Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, reopened in mid-July for the 2020 season showcasing a brand-new look. The ride’s attention-grabbing new design and story were developed and constructed by the creative team at ScareHouse, the renowned Pittsburgh attraction that routinely ranks as one of the top haunts in the United States.
After opening in 1901 as the “Old Mill,” the boat ride operated under many names over the years, most recently known as “Garfield’s Nightmare.” But to haunt enthusiasts, the ride’s most popular theme was “Hard Headed Harold’s Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway” from 1974 to 1991. In 2020, the chute-style, water-based ride welcomed back Hard Headed Harold himself, a blue-eyed skeleton from the Wild West who likes to cause trouble.
ScareHouse uses a series of black-lit spell-binding scenes, including the return of a gag train scene from a now-defunct Kennywood dark ride, “Gold Rusher.” The “Old Mill” takes riders on a slow-moving five-minute journey showcasing Harold’s life as a mischievous outlaw as he plans and carries out a robbery. True to their past, Harold and friends characters don’t speak during the ride. Therefore, guests figure out the story by following clues and reading cue cards.
Denver Zoo Displays Lego Sculptures of Animals and Plants
Denver Zoo, home to almost 3,000 animals representing 450 species, is currently presenting nature-inspired Lego creations by artist Sean Kenney. “Nature Connects, Art with Lego Bricks” tours zoos, botanical gardens, and arboretums around the world. The Denver Zoo exhibit showcases more than 15 life-size and larger-than-life animal and plant sculptures placed throughout the zoo.
Kenney and his staff needed months and nearly 1 million Lego bricks to create the sculptures featuring several vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species, including a snow leopard, monarch butterfly, jeweled chameleon, African lion, and black rhino. There’s also a polar bear with her three cubs. Kenney first started using Lego bricks in 2012 to construct sculptures for exhibitions that have toured North America, Asia, and Europe.