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.

2017 Off-Season Updates

Thanks to Kennywood Public Relations director Nick Paradise, we were once again able to visit the park last week to see what’s new and improved for the 2017 season!

The most noticeable project upon entering the park are changes occurring at Kennywood’s newest coaster, Sky Rocket. Painters are hard at work giving the ride a fresh coat of paint, so it will be shining like new on Opening Day! In addition, a dedicated VIP line has been added at Sky Rocket, eliminating the need for VIP Coaster Tour pass holders to make the long walk up the exit ramp. The VIP line merges into the regular line just before it enters the station. Another change is a new room which was built to add on to the operator area of Sky Rocket’s station. What will this room be used for? Well, we have a pretty good idea and there are rumors floating around, but the park has not yet officially announced anything so we’ll keep quiet on that for right now! Be sure to check out the Photo Album below for pictures of all of the changes at Sky Rocket!

Here are some additional changes we learned about at ACE Western Pennsylvania‘s CoasterBash event held last month and during our visit to the park:

  • The 4D Theater will no longer be showing Ice Age 4D. The theater will now feature The Lego Movie 4D!
  • Racer will be celebrating its 90th birthday and has received some TLC! The park may hold a special birthday event for the coaster.
  • All season passes now follow the calendar year and automatically include half-price Phantom Fright Nights admission and free Holiday Lights admission on select dates.
  • Season pass processing is being held on April 22nd and 23rd. The first 100 guests will receive lanyards and a $15 buddy ticket! We highly recommend getting your season pass processed on these dates if you plan to visit the park on Opening Day!
  • For the first time in many years, Kennywood will open in April… but just for season pass holders! The park will be holding a season pass holder preview weekend on April 29th and 30th with extra entertainment, meet & greets, photo ops, giveaways, and more! If you plan to attend, you must RSVP by clicking here!
  • Phantom’s Revenge is receiving a completely new PLC (computer brain that runs the coaster) and control panels! To follow this project, check out Irvine Ondrey Engineering’s page on Facebook! We had the privilege of meeting Brian Ondrey, a Kennywood fan his self, and briefly discuss the project with him. He’s a great guy and Phantom is in good hands!
  • The facade of Musik Express has received the LED lighting treatment this year!
  • The current plan for 2017 Holiday Lights is to be open from the day after Thanksgiving through December 30th!
  • Events:
    • Kenny’s Comicon – June 18th
    • Brews in the Park – September 23rd
    • Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival – September 24th
    • Much more… click here for the list!
  • Food changes:
    • Pedro’s (nachos and tacos) has moved from next to Pirate and is now located in the former Pizza Pavilion location in Lost Kennywood. Pedro’s will have an expanded menu this year and is said to be more “Chipotle-like”.
    • Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is a new addition and will  find its home in Pedro’s former location behind the Pirate
    • Small Fry (located in Lost Kennywood near Swing Shot) will now be an entirely gluten-free stand, including gluten-free chicken tenders.
    • Snack-A-Saurus (located in Kiddieland) will have a brand new menu including vegetarian/vegan and organic items. They will also serve coffee, something we’ve been hearing from fans for a while they wish the park had! There will also be tea and other hot drink options available.
    • Kennywood will now offer an all-season dining pass for existing season pass holders for $79.99! The dining pass will be loaded onto your existing season pass card, so there won’t be a need to carry an additional card around at the park. The pass will get you lunch and dinner plus one popcorn or cotton candy per visit (summer season only). For more details, check out page 4 of this document.

To view our 2017 off-season photo album, click here!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to keep an eye on the countdown timer to Opening Day in this post!

Kennywood Connection’s 2016 Off-Season Tour!

As per tradition, we return with our 2016 iteration of our off-season photo tour! This year, we take a look at the Noah’s Ark project, the Potato Patch remodel, the new Volcano, and other things around the park. Click the link to jump to our Facebook page and check it out. Special thanks to Nick Paradise for making this visit possible!

Click here to join the discussion on our forums!


Johnny Rockets Construction & 2014 Off-Season Tour

Last week, KPConnection was given a special look at some of the projects Kennywood has in store for 2014. The biggest news is the construction of Johnny Rockets, but our in-depth tour has a few other interesting things as well!

Click here to check out the full album on our Facebook page. Be sure to read the photo captions, as they contain information we’ve learned about the new Johnny Rockets and other things going on in the park. Also, be sure to join in on the discussion on our forums.

Special thanks to Kennywood’s Public Relations director Jeff Filicko for providing us with this opportunity!