Kennywood Park to launch Thomas and Friends area this summer

Kennywood Park, located near Pittsburgh, PA, is set to launch a new area themed on Thomas and Friends, the train-based children’s television characters.

Dubbed Thomas Town, the new area within Kennywood Park will feature five rides and a stage show as well as themed play and entertainment areas. It will be one of the largest single-year additions in the park’s 120-year history.

The new area will be located around the park’s existing train ride, which has operated under various themes at Kennywood since 1945. The train will be transformed into Journey with Thomas, allowing guests to ride around the park on Thomas the Tank Engine.

Among the other rides is Cranky’s Drop Tower, which will lift guests high above Thomas Town in a crane before dropping them back down. Harold’s Helicopter Tour will let children control their own Harold Helicopter, while Flynn’s Fire Training is in interactive ride that includes shooting water to extinguish flames. Diesel Drivers lets children board Diesel, Iron Bert and others for a ride.

The area will include a retail centre, soft-play area, birthday centre and the entertainment show featuring the Percy, James, Emily and Gordon characters. Guests will also be able to visit destinations from the series such as Tidmouth Sheds and Knapford Station.

Jerome Gibas, general manager of Kennywood, said: “Thomas Town presents a huge addition that expands our family offerings while introducing the park to Thomas and Friends fans from around the globe. We couldn’t ask for a better gift for Kennywood and our guests to help celebrate our 120th anniversary season in 2018.”

Kennywood is owned and operated by Palace Entertainment. It has licensed the Thomas and Friends intellectual property from Mattel. Thomas Town will be the second-largest permanent Thomas and Friends attraction in North America and is due to open in the summer.