Steel Curtain Closed For the 2024 Season

Kennywood released a video on Facebook today to address the most commonly asked question this off-season: When will Steel Curtain open?

Unfortunately, the answer is not for the 2024 season. Kennywood has “worked with third party engineers and the ride’s manufacturer to come up with a long-term solution to increase [Steel Curtain’s] reliability and longevity.” Steel Curtain will be undergoing an extensive modification project throughout this year.

We think this is ultimately good news, since it shows the park’s commitment to finding a permanent fix for coaster’s issues and bringing its fans a reliable attraction.

For information on what’s new at Kennywood this season, check out our previous news post Updates for the 2024 Season!

Updates for the 2024 Season!

The off-season is always a busy time behind the scenes at Kennywood, and 2024 is no exception! On April 3rd, Kennywood Connection was invited to Kennywood’s Media Day to learn all about this year’s additions, enhancements, and changes.

This year’s highlight is the rethemed bumper car attraction (formerly the Gran Prix) now known as Potato Smash! The reimagined ride, whose name was chosen by fan votes, will feature 20 brand new cars themed to the ever-popular Potato Patch fries! The cars themselves will look like a red and white striped French Fry boat, with fries and cheese on the hood. A “fork” will complete the cars, doubling as the power pickup from the ceiling. The back wall of the ride also features new potato-themed murals.

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Moving on from the new, one of Kennywood’s oldest attractions, the Turtle, received some TLC! Turtle’s center foundation which supports the ride while it’s on the track was completely removed and rebuilt. In addition, the ride received a fantastic fresh coat of paint and new seat cushions. The cushion color changed from blue to brown, a more fitting color for the turtle theme. The ride is going to look great this summer, and we truly appreciate the park’s effort to maintain this classic ride which is the last of its kind operating in the world!

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Getting back to the topic of new things and food, Kennywood will be partnering with Penn Brewery to open a hometown bar themed to Kennywood’s mascot from the 70’s… Jeeters! Jeeters’ Pub is a new location near the Kennyville Stage featuring twelve draft beers (eight of which are from Penn Brewery), charcuterie boards, wings, and other snacks. Inside, you’ll find various artwork with nods to Kennywood’s history.

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Sticking with the food theme, the former Johnny Rockets location will now be a new all-American restaurant called Carousel Burger Co. Carousel Burger Co. will serve fries, burgers, chicken sandwiches/tenders, and (our personal favorite) milkshakes! Milkshake options will include classic vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and cookies & cream shakes in addition to Signature Carousel Shake options of Whimsical Strawberry Swirl and Whirling Oreo Delight! Carousel Burger Co. will be a quick-serve location with ordering kiosks. Guests will be able to eat inside or take their food anywhere they’d like in the park.

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Other improvements and projects around the park include:

  • Aero 360 has been refurbished and will return this season with “vibrantly painted seats” and a new updated control system
  • Kiddieland’s mini Ferris Wheel, Wacky Wheel, has been completely reimagined
  • A new candy shop will replace the Lost Kennywood Bear Factory. The other side of that building which houses the Lost Kennywood gift shop has also been completely remodeled. The Bear Factory will be relocated to the Pastime building between Jack Rabbit and Racer.
  • We’re excited about this one… the Thunderbolt sign has been redone and repainted, and the white border outlining the letter has returned!! It looks fantastic!
  • Noah’s Ark received a brand new whale tongue
  • Exterminator’s queue line pre-show video will return

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Kennywood’s traditional summer events return, with a couple exciting new additions!

  • Bites & Pints Food & Drink Festival will start Memorial Day weekend (May 24th) and run through June 30th
  • Celebrate Pittsburgh will be held Saturdays and Sundays in July and “celebrate everything that makes the Steel City a special place to live and play by putting Pittsburgh on display, from arts and culture to sports and beer. Plus, the entire family can join in a high-energy dance party around the Lagoon with a live DJ every night of the event.”
  • Celebrate America will be July 4th and 5th and we can certainly expect to see fireworks one or both of those nights
  • Drone Show! Kennywood will have their first ever drone show on July 20th! Based on shows we have seen at other parks, we’re very excited to see Kennywood’s version!
  • Fall Fantasy Parades run daily August 3rd through 18th

Kennywood opens for the season on Saturday, April 20th and we can’t wait to visit and see how everything has come together! Thank you to Kennywood Park for inviting us to this event and allowing us to share what’s new for the season.

Steel Curtain to Open on July 13th!!

Kennywood Park just announced a Saturday, July 13th opening date for their highly anticipated Steel Curtain roller coaster!

Steel Curtain will break three records, including the tallest coaster in Pennsylvania, most inversions in North America, and tallest inversion in the world.

Want to be one of the first riders? We suggest arriving very early on the 13th!

Steel Curtain and Steelers Country Construction Tour!

KPConnection was part of a tour hosted by Kennywood and the Western PA region of the American Coaster Enthusiasts this past Sunday, April 7, where we got to see progress on the park’s new coaster and expansion firsthand!

Roughly 100 people took advantage of this opportunity, and as photos from the event start to trickle their way onto the web, we decided to get our own shots to you as soon as we could. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

Let’s start with our first impressions as we entered the park, where Steel Curtain immediately makes its presence known!

From the moment you emerge from the tunnel, Steel Curtain is visible all the way down at the end of the main midway.
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Of course, Steel Curtain is only one piece of the expansion that is Steelers Country, so a large portion of the tour was spent looking around the new area in progress.

The entrance to Steelers Country will have the coaster towering on either side...quite an impression for first-timers!
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Perhaps the most striking parts of Steel Curtain exit Steelers Country and feed their way into the existing park, so we next got to examine the portion of the ride over the Lagoon.

The zero-g stall is sure to become one of the ride's signature elements.
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Last, but not least, here’s a few other miscellaneous developments we thought you might find interesting…

As mentioned at Coasterbash, a new pavilion is under construction in the Kiddieland picnic groves to help make up for those lost for Steelers Country. Currently, there are plans for two more to be built in main picnic groves in the coming years.
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Once again, we’d like to extend a hearty thank you to Kennywood and ACE Western PA for making this event possible. Don’t forget to discuss Steelers Country on our forums, on our Discord server, or on any of our social media. Of course, we’ll continue to keep you all updated as construction progresses, and with less than a month until opening day, be sure to expect more updates then!

Phantom Fright Nights 2018 Starts Sept. 28th!

Kennywood’s extremely popular Phantom Fright Nights event returns this weekend for its 17th year! The event runs from 6:00 pm to Midnight September 28th through October 28th on Friday and Saturday nights plus Sunday, October 7th and Sunday, October 28th. Phantom Fright Nights was voted 5th best Theme Park Halloween Event in the country in the 2017 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards! For current pricing and tickets, see the PFN page at

Feeling hungry? Sign up for the Phantom Fright Nights Pre-Scare Dinner buffet! Offered on October 13, 20, 27, and 28, a ticket will get you an all-you-can-eat buffet, PFN admission, and a pass to skip the line at your favorite haunt!

Finally, don’t forget the little ones! Happy Hauntings is the perfect event for kids 10 and under who aren’t quite ready for the scares of Phantom Fright Nights. Kids can enjoy Kiddieland, Thomas Town, and a few other attractions such as the Merry-Go-Round in addition to hay rides, pumpkin decorating, and more fun activities! Happy Hauntings takes place on Saturdays and Sundays October 6th through the 28th from Noon to 4:00 pm. For current pricing and tickets, see the Happy Hauntings page at