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Can you say Neighbor, I knew you could! Idlewild news

Patripman Patripman Profile

Posted:
3/12/14 at
12:34:20 PM

Boy I am glad I got to experience this ride 12 years ago.

By Rob Owen / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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.

Re: Can you say Neighbor, I knew you could! Idlewild news by ray_p ray_p Profile at 3/12/14 3:04:44 PM
I've got a lot of mixed feelings about this.

I guess in the end, it's "best for business" to bring in an attraction with characters kids know more about than the originals. I also have to say that the Neighborhood had definitely seen better days when Jeff M and I were there last season. I guess I'm glad we did take several rides through the Neighborhood in 2013 as I had no idea those would be our last.

Oh well. I'll always have the memories and my video, and of course, the awesome quote of "Come along, come along to the Castle Hug and Song". :)

Re: Can you say Neighbor, I knew you could! Idlewild news by Coaster316 at 3/12/14 4:44:19 PM
Yeah, this ruined my day.

It is always tough when an attraction you enjoy closes but this one was extra special to me. I am so glad we got there last year, Ray, and marathoned on it. It was such a great day.

I'm glad that the legacy will live on in the form of Daniel Tiger and as I've mentioned privately, I hope that the new attraction does justice to the Mr. Rogers name in the same way that the new show has.

I am so sad right now.

Re: Can you say Neighbor, I knew you could! Idlewild news by drachen drachen Profile at 3/12/14 6:24:40 PM
ray_p said:

I also have to say that the Neighborhood had definitely seen better days when Jeff M and I were there last season.

I'm sure this played a big part in the decision. I rode it in 2011, and I thought the same thing. Many of the 'stunts' just weren't working.

Like you, I'm on the fence, honestly. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood was created to pay homage Mr. Rogers and to the characters in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

This seems like a fitting successor to the aging, malfunctioning ride. Kids and families will love the new attraction. Considering all of those things, this is a good move.

But, the trip down memory for us adults is gone, as is a super-neat and unique attraction. That is sad.

Could you re-post your video, Ray?

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Can you say Neighbor, I knew you could! Idlewild news by ray_p ray_p Profile at 3/12/14 9:04:12 PM
Drachen, the link is below. The trip through the Neighborhood starts around the 3:30 mark.

Enjoy!

Idlewild 2013 video

Re: Can you say Neighbor, I knew you could! Idlewild news by drachen drachen Profile at 3/12/14 10:52:47 PM
ray_p said:

Drachen, the link is below. The trip through the Neighborhood starts around the 3:30 mark.


Enjoy!

Thanks Ray! I always do.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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