Kennywood and Idlewild were on the plan for the 13th, and I was very excited about both of them.
I woke up around 6:30 so I could get an early start on my drive to Pittsburgh. I had the free continental breakfast again, showered, and was checked out of the hotel by about 7:30. I was going to meet my friend Kim at her house in Pittsburgh, then we were gonna drive to Idlewild together. I'd gotten door-to-door directions to her house from Mapquest, and do you believe that they were absolutely perfect, right down to the last 1/10th of a mile! I've never had this perfect of directions before from Mapquest! She was ready to go when I got there around 9:30, and we started the drive to Idlewild.
It was actually farther out from the city than I'd assumed, but it wasn't terribly far. We pulled up at about 11:00 or a little after, and saw that the person in the parking booth is a combo parking attendant and front gate ticket taker. I'd never seen a drive up ticket counter before!
Shhh...don't tell Idlewild I stood on a park bench to get this photo!
Our first stop was Rollo Coaster, which was the first coaster I'd ever ridden with a fixed position lap bar. I was wondering if I'd feel safe with the restraint so far away from me, but the coaster wasn't very wild, so it was fine. It was a really fun coaster...not the biggest or the longest, but it was great fun, and seemed very well cared for.
The Idle-Wild Mouse, weaving through the trees
The Wild Mouse was our next stop, and it was so much fun! It weaves in and out of the trees, and had a couple of great headchoppers where you just know a branch is gonna take off your head! The cars are cute too...the only ones I've ever seen that actually look like little gray mice.
Next was the one attraction that I'd honestly been looking forward to more than anything else on the entire trip...
...the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe trolley ride! I absolutely loved Mr. Rogers as a kid, then started watching him again in college, and got a whole new respect for his show. I don't think I have ever been so sad to hear about a celebrity's death as when Mr. Rogers died. So needless to say, this was an E-Ticket attraction to me!
We boarded our Neighborhood Trolley (SO ADORABLE!!!!) and the ride takes you up to the castle first where you meet King Friday!
He tells you that he is having a Hug-N-Song party and that he needs you to invite all his friends in the Neighborhood of Make Believe! The characters actually use Mr. Rogers' real voice, which made me feel like I was 5 years old again and watching the show!
First you see Cornflake S. Pecially in his Rock-it factory, so you invite him to the Hug-N-Song. The guide has everyone say "Come along, come along, to the castle Hug-N-Song." How cute is that?!?!
Next you pass X and Henrietta in the treehouse and invite both of them also.
You see Lady Elaine Fairchild in the Museum-Go-Round next, and she demonstrates some how she can play instruments hands-free with her Boomerang Toomerang Zoomerang.
Once you invite her, you meet the Platypuses and invite them as well.
Next is Daniel Tiger who lives in the clock. He was always my favorite character, and his animatronic was absolutely adorable!!
After you invite him, you find Prince Tuesday and Anna Platypus playing together, so you invite them also.
The Hug-N-Song is the final scene, where King Friday and Queen Sara lead all the other characters in singing the "It's such a good feeling to know you're alive" song. All the characters turn to each other and appear to hug, then all the people in the trolley are asked to hug each other. Seriously...I was such a fan when I was a kid that as soon as the ride was over, I knew that nothing else on the trip would top it! It was truly the highlight of my trip! Forget Top Thrill Dragster! Give me the Hug-N-Song!