Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood at Idlewild Park

I'm so happy to announce that Schell Games has completed work on the Daniel Tiger ride at Idlewild! I got to ride the finished version today and it is super fun! The whole thing was a wonderful joint effort between Idlewild Park, the Fred Rogers Company, Schell Games, LifeFormations, and the Weber Group. Working from the basis of the Mister Rogers Neighborhood ride, which opened in 1989, we were able to keep many aspects that were so charming and wonderful about the original, and bring it up to date, and make it even more fun. The biggest change was from animatronic puppets to "paper doll" animatronics that could represent the animated characters. Kudos to Mike Sanchez who helped us work out how to best bring the characters to life! Other big changes include the sound system which now sounds crystal clear, a great new script (courtesy of the Fred Rogers Company), and the addition of "imaginary daniel", who rides along with you, and chats with the different neighbors you meet. But I think my favorite part is that now the ride is a sing-a-long! While the trolley travels from stop to stop, Imaginary Daniel leads the riders in the "won't you ride along with me" song from the show, making this the world's first sing-a-long ride! Anyway, it was a pleasure to work on, and we never could have done it without the help of Anisha Deshmane, who led the effort from the Schell Games side, coordinating the design and all the different craftspeople that made it all look so great. Everyone at Idlewild was so great to work with, I hope we can do another ride there someday. Here's to many more years of this charming attraction! You should totally go and check it out! See fun video coverage of the ride (via Dave Crawley) here.

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