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Season Pass is back with Roly Garcia, Student at Carnegie Mellon University, discussing the reimagining of the classic dark ride The Old Mill, originally from Kennywood Amusement Park. The ride is opening and operating at the CMU Campus Carnival on April 12-14, 2019. Check out the Press Release printed below the Links. Enjoy.
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Students Reimagine “The Old Mill” Ride for CMU Campus Carnival
PITTSBURGH, PA, Dec. 30, 2018 – A group of students at Carnegie Mellon University
announced their development of a modern take on the beloved Kennywood ride, The Old Mill.
The ride will be open on their campus from April 12-14, 2019 for CMU’s annual Spring Carnival
with free admission. The Old Mill is a new spin on the classic ride, taking guests on a journey
through a CMU building that has been transformed into “a museum of steel worker history that
was erected in a 20th-century steel mill”. Guests will board tour vehicles with a guide that will
walk them through the ins and outs of steel production. Along the way, guests will have exciting
encounters with blast furnaces, industrial machinery, and other relics of Pittsburgh’s past!
Kennywood’s Oldest Ride
The Old MIll opened at Pittsburgh’s Kennywood Park in 1901. It was a slow, “tunnel-of-love”
boat ride through spooky scenes. Eventually, The Old Mill was rethemed into Garfield’s
Nightmare, based on the eponymous orange cat in the comics, to mixed reception from guests.
The ride still remains Kennywood’s oldest ride, but its conversion into Garfield’s Nightmare
spawned several petitions for restoration to its original theme, garnering tens of thousands of
signatures. To this day, The Old Mill is beloved by Piitsburghers who remember its campy brand
Carnegie Mellon’s “Fungineers”
Carnegie Mellon University is known for its academic prowess and emphasis on interdisciplinary
education. Roly Garcia, a junior in Information Systems and long-time Disney fanatic, had
dreamt of building a real ride his whole life. He soon discovered that one of his team members
had begun the Theme Park Engineering Group club, full of students also looking to achieve their
dreams in the theme park industry. The two groups merged their manpower to make Garcia’s
idea a possibility.
With their newfound members, the team began brainstorming ideas for their ride, which would
be the first fully-functional ride built by students in the entire world. Garcia and his “fungineering”
group searched left and right for their inspiration, which eventually came from their local
amusement park, Kennywood. To show their love for the rich history and culture of Pittsburgh,
the team chose the classic boat ride as the frame for their story. They would add a rich story to
The Old Mill by bringing guests into the fictional Garfield Steel Works Museum, which told the
story of the people who worked the (also fictional) Garfield Steel Works during its golden age.
The museum intends to begin its grand opening with a new, automated guided tour system.
However, the system seems to be acting haywire when guests decide to board, sending them
on an exhilarating journey through the old mill. Once they had their concept, Garcia (now the
official director of the project) went to work acquiring approvals and funding. Within several
weeks, Garcia went from having a team of five to having full funding, university approval, and
even an official state ride inspector!
Be sure to visit The Old Mill when it is open, April 12-14, 2019!