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By Shamus
on Monday May 22, 2006
Filed under:


Statement of the obvious: Google Earth is fun. It lets you see areas that you just can’t get to under normal circumstances. For example, I’ve always wondered what lay beyond the fences of the amusement park. The maps they provide suggest that just over the eight-food fence is pristine wilderness…

Kennywood Map

…which is obviously hogwash because I didn’t see anything like that on the way in, and because I know better.

But what is over the fence? An industrial complex? Meat packing plant? A strip mine? Sewege treatment? Mass graves? Genova’s blast crater? What is it? What’s the big secret?

It’s always hard to see. They place the fences and buildings carefully to block out the outside world and make the park its own self-contained reality. The only time you can get a good look is when you’re at the top of a coaster, and that’s a boring thing to be looking at during such a thrilling moment.

But Google Earth reveals all:

Kennywood Map

Highways and housing plans. And look at that: On the north edge of the park (note I’m facing south, north is “down”) it really does have a buffer of trees.

So now I know.

Now, Let’s see what they have in Area 51…

Comments (3)

  1. Ryan says:

    I always wondered the same thing. Thanks for letting us all know. Now if I could only get back to Pennsylvania to see it with my own eyes.

  2. I spent 4 summers working at Kennywood (’02 to ’05). Behind the scenes where you can’t see? It’s just like Pennsylvania highways: always messy, dirty, and looks like a perpetual construction site.

    They can’t really clean some of those places up much more because, for example, dirt gets shipped right in every day in filthy trucks. Those stuffed animals you can win in the game stands come in giant plastic bags that are covered in black grit that just coats those storage areas (and anyone moving those bags around the park). However, I imagine many amusement parks and similar establishments are also like this.

    As a side note, if you went to the park during one of those summers mentioned above, there was a good chance I saw you once (in the crowds) as, like all the other employees (or “team members”), I was there 6 days a week, starting before the park opens and leaving after the park closes. This was great for making money back in those college days because I worked 60 hours a week and then had no time to spend any of it, forcing me to save all of it for the rest of the year (I pinch pennies so hard Lincoln cries, so I didn’t need to be forced anyway). I worked in those game booths, so if you liked to throw your money away maybe we even interacted once.

    Yes, I realize I am over two years late here responding. I found your blog through the Nethack website and have been exhaustively reading it backwards (chronologically). I was delighted to find a fellow western Pennsylvanian.

  3. Shamus says:

    Hey Chris. Yes, I read all the comments, even ones on old posts. You’ve made me all nostalgic for the park.

    Thanks for stopping by. :)

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