After 16 seasons of operation, Kennywood's corny Garfield's Nightmare boat ride has been restored to a theme reflective of its past! The much-anticipated ride hits all the right notes for a darkride, and it feels a million more times like a classic darkride than Garfield's Nightmare ever did. This is my review of the newly rethemed attraction. (If you're unfamiliar with the story of the Old Mill and the ride theme it replaced, I wrote a post back in March about it.)
My first impression of the entrance was that it had been opened up and is now free of the souvenir and food stands that cluttered it during the Garfield years.
It's a shame that they didn't bring back a version of the old 1920s-style Old Mill front, but I'm not going to complain because having a century-old ride at all is so much better than not, and updating any vintage ride to an old-school theme is just the most awesome thing to do.
It was only in March that the retheme was announced, and despite a months-long shutdown at the park, the people that designed the new theme (the designers of a famous Pittsburgh haunted house) were able to work together at home and online, so by the time the park opened in July, the "new Old Mill" was ready to go!
The name of the main skeleton in all of the scenes is Harold, which is a shoutout to a former name of the Old Mill, Hardheaded Harold's Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway. (longest ride name ever?)
Going through, I couldn't help but think that despite having a brand new theme, this actually feels like the oldest of Kennywood's three darkrides.
The Old Mill is not elaborate and may seem crude to many, but that's exactly the vibe that most classic darkrides give off and is a huge part of what makes them charming. Those going in expecting to be wowed or terrified will be disappointed, but if you temper your expectations to expect a simple boat ride through the dark (thankfully without neon colors on every surface), then you will surely enjoy it.This is the Old Mill that I knew we needed all along, and I'm sure that it was an inexpensive move for Kennywood that has gained them lots of publicity.
Here's the scene in the pre-Garfield ride that this tableau is a tribute to:
Overall, the Old Mill is a great addition to Kennywood's storied darkride legacy!