I took at trip to Idlewild Amusement Park in Ligonier PA this weekend. It's a really cool old park (one of the USA's oldest.)
One of the most interesting rides is the Mister Roger's Neighborhood of Make Believe.
Outside the ride, a sign shows pictures of the set construction and information regarding Fred Rogers and his input on the attraction:
If you would like to read the sign click here.
The ride starts aboard a full size "trolley"
You go through the tunnel into the Neighborhood of Make Believe. On the walls of the tunnel you can see "hello" written in many languages (similar to It's a Small World.)
Our first stop is at the castle where we are greeted by King Friday the XIII. Friday and the other characters are animatronic, but not exactly state of the art.
The King greets the Trolley, us and our guide. She interacts with him timing her voice to the playback of Fred Rogers' recorded voice.
King Friday invites us to a "Hug and Song" party where we will sing and hug.
He then instructs us to invite everyone else.
Our next stop is Cornflake S. Pecially's shop.
He shows us a chair he made and says he will come to the "Hug and Song."
Next we visit Dr. Bill Platypus and Elsie Jean Platypus.
They agree to come to the party.
So we move on to Lady Elaine Fairchilde at the Museum Go Round.
She says she might be "too busy" to come.
Another stop takes us to X the Owl and Henrietta *****cat. Sorry, but I could not get a picture before they went back inside their doors.
Daniel Striped Tiger is next:
He is so cute that he garnered an "awww" from the guests after almost each line he said.
Daniel is glad to be invited and says he will take "a shortcut" and meet us there. The shortcut line is clever, because as a kid I remembered other rides where characters appeared twice with no explanation as to how they PASSED our vehicle without us seeing them. Great touch.
The final stop before we get to the party is the castle's playground. Here Prince Tuesday is hanging out with Ana Platypus.
They are both excited about the party.
Finally, we get to the party. Everyone is here...
Oh no! Lady Elaine never showed!
No wait! She is there, she was just late. King Friday announces that we can hug "whomever we want to hug" as we sing "It's such a good feeling."
We end by going back into the tunnel again where the word "goodbye" is written in many languages.
The ride was really well done. The animatronics weren't too impressive, but this was not a ride designed to "wow" you.
It was definitely a healthy dose of nostalgia.
Afterwards I headed into the gift shop where they had more Mister Rogers stuff than I have ever seen for sale anywhere.