WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) — After months of construction and anticipation, Kennywood’s newest roller coaster, The Steel Curtain, has taken flight. And it’s a touchdown with fans.

On Friday morning, some members of the media and national contest winners were the first to take the two-minute thrill ride on the record-breaking roller coaster.

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WATCH: The Steel Curtain’s first rides!

Hundreds of people showed up in their black and gold to take the inaugural rides, strapped into the football-shaped seats. The football laces are the headrest, and the track itself is black and gold. Some Steelers’ players also showed up to christen the highly-anticipated coaster.

Lucky contest winners from Texas, Virginia and countless other states put on their best face paint and gear.

“First ride of the coaster. We’ve been following it since they announced the contest winners and we’re finally here!” said contest winner Jeramy Koval.

Roller coaster enthusiast Justin Doede came all the way from Detroit for a ride after winning a contest.

“I was following their contest that they had last July, and I figured what the heck? If I don’t enter, I cant win, so I took a shot and I got really lucky,” he said.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA Intern Maria DeBone)


The roller coaster towers over the park’s new Steelers Country attraction.

The Steel Curtain sets a world record for the highest inversion at 197 feet, and a record in North America for the most inversions – there’s nine of them.

“I mean that lift, you’re at a 50-degree angle, so you feel like you’re almost vertical and your climbing and climbing and climbing,” said Kennywood spokesperson Nick Paradise.

WATCH: KDKA at The Steel Curtain opening

It’s also the tallest roller coaster in the state, and tops out at speeds of 75 miles an hour.

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The coaster opens to the public on Saturday.