Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Abbreviation: KW)
Park News - (11/20/20) In a move that may be a long time coming, Kennywood has announced that starting in Spring 2021 the park will put a new “Chaperone Policy” into effect that will ensure that an adult will be present to accompany all minors at the park. According to the official policy, all guests under age 17 in the park after 4pm will now be required to have an official chaperone with them who is at least 21 years old. The chaperones must have ID to prove their age and be present with the minors at all times within the park.
This new rule will also extend to special seasonal events like Phantom Fright Nights and Holiday Lights, which will require the chaperone to be present for the entire visit during these events. While underage guests attempting entry after 4pm will be denied entry to the park, the official rule page does not describe what the course of action will be to minors found in the park after 4pm without a chaperone. The assumption is that they may be asked to leave, or at least wait at a park exit for a ride home or for their chaperone’s to arrive if they wish to stay.
(11/4/20) Kennywood shocked their fans a few hours ago with the announcement that the park was removing four of the park’s flat rides over the winter. The rides leaving include the Kangaroo, Paratrooper, Bayern Curve and Volcano. The park’s Kangaroo has been a longtime favorite running since 1964 and is said to be the last ride of its kind in the world. The Paratrooper has been running since 1976, The Volcano started out as Enterprise back in 1978 and Bayern Kurve has been running since 1994.
A petition to save the Kangaroo and Paratrooper has already gone live at Change.org.
(8/21/20) Kennywood has updated their schedule for the remainder of 2020 and unfortunately they have decided that the 2020 season will come to an end at the end of the Labor Day holiday weekend on Sept. 7, 2020. The park has also confirmed that they will not be hosting the Holiday Lights winter event this year as well.
For now they are focused on making preparations for Kennywood to open in 2021 along with the return on the Phantom Fright Nights halloween events as well as the “full completion of Steelers Country”.
(8/16/20) According to several reports Kennywood has named a new General Manager who has taken control of the park this year. Mark Pauls is now calling the shots and started at the park in late June, coming in with a long park career history that spent some extensive time at the SeaWorld parks since the mid-90s. (Park Pres. SeaWorld Orlando, Corp. VP of Operations, VP of Water Country USA, Dir. of Operations Busch Gardens Williamsburg, etc). With that kind of resume, Kennywood should be in very good hands.
(8/6/20) A post from ACE to those planning to attend the KennyKon event mentions that while Steel Curtain hasn’t opened to riders all summer, it also still isn’t expected to be up and running for the event on August 15th. The ERT session planned for Steel Curtain will be changed to an ERT on Thunderbolt instead, along with Jack Rabbit.
(8/2/20) According to local news several fights broke out at Kennywood on Friday evening. The police were called out to help handle the situation, which resulted in 7 arrests and 150 other people asked to leave the park who were escorted out.
(7/26/20) Kennywood has now confirmed a change to the park’s schedule. According to a tweet from the park, for the rest of this year’s schedule, the park is now planning on staying closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except for the Labor Day holiday (Monday, Sept. 7) when they will be open. Reservations are not required to visit.
It is also worth mentioning that last year’s big new coaster, Steel Curtain, is currently not running. From what I’ve been able to gather something broke, and the park has been waiting on the replacement part(s) from S&S ever since.
(7/3/20) Bad news came from Kennywood last night. According to a post on Facebook, Allegheny County has issued a new “stay-at-home request” due to rising COVID-19 case numbers. As such, Kennywood has confirmed that they will do their part and postpone their previously planned dates to reopen the park.
(6/23/20) While Kennywood is set to reopen on July 7 (passholders only at first) It has been pointed out that the park’s official calendar page has now confirmed that the park will not be hosting Happy Hauntings and Phantom Fright Nights events in 2020. To make up for the park having such a late opening this year, the plan is to open the park from 5pm to 9pm on Fridays and from 11am to 8pm on Saturday and Sundays from October 2 through November 1, 2020.
(6/10/20) Kennywood has confirmed on their website that the park will open once again starting on July 11 to the public. Prior to this they will have a ‘Friends & Family’ day on July 6 and Season Passholder only days on July 7-10, 2020. All guests must pre-register online before visiting the park in order to limit capacity for the day, and the online reservation system is slated to begin on June 17. Face masks are required as well as a temperature scan before entry into the park.
(5/10/20) Kennywood has announced that they will now extend ALL 2020 season passes to also cover the 2021 season as well.
(5/9/20) According to this news report the “Stay-at-Home” order in Pennsylvania for counties listed as being in the “RED” phase will be extended through June 4th. The good news is that 13 more counties will switch from RED to YELLOW status next week. These 13 new counties are said to be in the states south-western area, and will include many of those around the Pittsburgh area.
And yes… this includes Kennywood which is located in Allegheny County. Please note that this does not mean Kennywood is cleared to reopen, but it does put them in the right direction to a change to the Green status in the county when the park will be allowed to reopen.
(3/7/20) Palace Entertainment announced that they will be setting up a ‘company-wide support facility’ in the greater Pittsburgh area this month that will keep some corporate staff on-hand to support the company’s numerous attractions in the region which include Kennywood, Sandcastle, Idlewild, Lake Compounce, Splish Splash, Dutch Wonderland and the new Cartoon Network Hotel. This new facility will staff about 25 people, in addition to Palace’s existing HQ in California. In addition another facility is planned to be built on Kennywood property within the near future.
2020 - Old Mill Returns and Other Park Improvements - (7/12/20) Scarehouse has posted their own video of the new 2020 Old Mill ride at Kennywood with a better low-light camera allowing you to see some of the new scenery in much better detail than in the previous video posted.
According to Scott Simmons, Creative Director of ScareHouse, “The Old Mill was - literally - the very first dark ride I ever encountered so it was a tremendous thrill and honor to be invited to design and produce this latest version. The Old Mill at Kennywood was first built in 1901 and remains one of the country's oldest operating dark rides. The ScareHouse team was invited to design and produce a new version of this old family favorite, bringing back western-themed scenes and gags from previous versions of the ride. The 2020 version of the Old Mill is truly packed with recreations and references to Kennywood's past, present, and future.”
“We very much tried to keep it very Old School - it's meant to feel like a vintage, analog experience.”
This new ride features Harold, a skeleton bandit, as a reference to the name and theme Kennywood used for the Old Mill from 1974 to 1993, “Hardheaded Harold’s Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway”.
(7/11/20) Kennywood is open again and one of our readers sent a link to a video they shot showing off the brand new Old Mill ride that has replaced Garfield’s Nightmare. Take a POV on the new ‘Old Mill’ in the video below and see if you can catch some easter egg references to some other previous park attractions such as Gold Rusher, La Cachot and versions of The Old Mill from years past.
According to a local news report on it (see the second video), Scott Simmons of ScareHouse worked with the park to bring this latest version of the ride to life.
(4/18/20) Kennywood has released the logo for the new version of the returning Old Mill ride on their Twitter this week. Clearly it seems that the ride will return to it’s previous haunted old west themed roots.
(3/10/20) A quick update on the status of the Old Mill / Garfield’s Nightmare from Kennywood. The park has confirmed that the former Garfield’s Nightmare ride will reopen this season as the Old Mill once again. Kennywood has confirmed that the attraction will be returned to the previous “western” theme it previously had, but updated to include “new twists” for a new generation of fans to enjoy.
Fantastic news! Watch the video below from the park that shows off a bit of great history about how the attraction evolved over the years at the park (including burning down to the ground once) and ends with the confirmation of it’s new future.
For those wondering, you can see a full POV of the Garfield’s Nightmare version that has been running for the past 15 years in the second video clip below.
(3/9/20) The local news confirms some new changes are on the way to Kennywood this season. This includes the retirement of Garfield’s Nightmare before the park opens for the season, which has been the cartoon cat themed overlay put on the park’s Old Mill flume ride for the past 15 years. Kennywood has not confirmed exactly what they will do it, or what the new name may be, but I think an update to the classic Old Mill name and theme may be the most appropriate for the classic attraction.
Elsewhere in the park you will see the park’s old Floral Clock return this season, but in a new location near the entrance to Lost Kennywood. There will be a celebration of the Jack Rabbit’s 100th Birthday, the opening of The Steelers Experience building in Steelers Country, along with other improvements on the way to the park, restrooms, pathways and parking lot. For those with family members with special needs, a new quiet room will be added in the place of the former Phantom’s Revenge gift shop. Also two rides have been removed from Kiddieland: the Pounce Bounce and Orbiter.