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  1. #1

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    Sad Idlewild and SoakZone to replace Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride

    Note: *sigh* I never thought i'd live to see this day. This was an article posted on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette's website at 11:28 this morning.

    The Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride at Idlewild and SoakZone has ended its run and will be revamped for 2015 with the new theme of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” PBS’s successor program to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

    The old Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride, which opened in 1989 and featured animatronic versions of King Friday XIII, X the Owl, the Platypus family and Daniel Striped Tiger, concluded its 25-year run at the end of the 2013 season.


    For 2014, a costumed version of the Daniel Tiger character will appear at Idlewild daily, noon-7 p.m., in the area of the old ride.


    In conjunction with the South Side-based Fred Rogers Company, Idlewild plans a new “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”-themed attraction for 2015 in the same location along with a live-action show featuring Daniel and other characters from the PBS Kids series.


    Jeff Croushore, Idlewild public relations manager, said the common thread between the late Fred Rogers’ show and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is the trolley. So the new attraction will retain the trolley ride while changing the rest of the existing attraction to represent the new series.


    “The Fred Rogers Company has moved forward with the new series and kids really identify with the new series,” Mr. Croushore said. “Of course everyone in the region loves ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ but we wanted to reach out to the kids of today. They know and they love Daniel and we wanted to make an update and move forward with Daniel.”


    Some consideration was given to keeping the old ride open during the transition year.


    “We thought maybe we could include Daniel this year and still have the old ride,” Mr. Croushore said, “but it was a mutual decision between the Fred Rogers Company and Idlewild that we didn’t want to mix the brands when making the switch. So we ultimately decided to move forward with Daniel.”


    The move at Idlewild mirrors the fate of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on PBS where it was downgraded from daily airings to weekends in 2009 with some stations not carrying the show at all.


    Meanwhile, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” an animated series featuring the children of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe characters, has become a popular PBS Kids program that already has spawned books, toys and music albums.


    Idlewild and SoakZone opens May 22 for its 137th season.
    Any contributions: concept art, images, Behind-the-Scenes construction videos, ANY new information about the ride that comes forth over the next year would be greatly appreciated.

    NOTE:
    If you are seeing this article by November of 2015, you may request that it be closed.


    EDIT 3/13/14: I should have done this before. For those of you who no idea what I'm saying, this should help you: http://neighborhoodarchive.com/misc/other/idlewild/
    Last edited by PhonyKingOfEngland; 03-13-2014 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Make cause to not close THE THREAD yet more distinct.

    "You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to."

    Robin Williams
    July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

  2. #2

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    Re: Idlewild and SoakZone to replace Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride

    Although this saddens me, it does not surprise me or anger me. I have a 5-year-old and would love to take him through the old ride I remember before it closes, but I know in my heart that he wouldn't enjoy it much because he wouldn't be able to relate to it. He knows the new animated Daniel Tiger, so that would be the thing he would understand. All we can hope is that the new ride has something near as much charm and magic for the new generation as the original had for us when we were small.

    “That's the way a lot of things happen... You think one person did something
    but he was just the one to put the color on it." – Ken Anderson
    ​I'm blogging here again!

  3. #3

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    Re: Idlewild and SoakZone to replace Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride

    From what I understand, the animatronics are the originals, and over the last 25 years have deteriorated to a point where every time I rode in recent memory, some thing did not happen correctly. Perhaps they figured it was time to put them out of their misery.

    My one question is, what will this mean for the days when Chuck, Maggie, and Mr. McFeely come to sign autographs?

    Also, I plan to potentially work on a script and general outline to submit to Idlewild, if they haven't already started on the conversion. Any ideas should be posted on my profile, and would greatly appreciated.

    There was one time in 2011 when it was a very, very hot day. Raccoon Lagoon was nearly deserted, as everyone had just gone to SoakZone and gone home. Because of this, something remarkably awesome occurred. We walked through the completely deserted line, boarded the trolley, and guess what? Nobody else got on. We (myself, my mother, and my sister) had an entire ride all to ourselves. It was awesome.
    ll
    Last edited by PhonyKingOfEngland; 04-08-2014 at 04:01 AM.

    "You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to."

    Robin Williams
    July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

  4. #4

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    Re: Idlewild and SoakZone to replace Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride

    Oh wow I didn't know this existed! I loved Mr. Rodgers'Neighborhood as a kid. I grew up before the days of massive product tie-ins and I would have given anything for a miniature set of the land of Make Believe buildings. This sounded like such a cute ride.

  5. #5

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    Re: Idlewild and SoakZone to replace Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride

    Quote Originally Posted by dazyhill View Post
    Oh wow I didn't know this existed! I loved Mr. Rodgers'Neighborhood as a kid. I grew up before the days of massive product tie-ins and I would have given anything for a miniature set of the land of Make Believe buildings. This sounded like such a cute ride.
    This was probably my favorite ride in the park. It will be missed.

    Here's a video in two parts of the ride: Part 1: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hKQRJvw0XEs
    Part 2: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BOYTJz9rOPY

    "You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to."

    Robin Williams
    July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

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