By: KDKA-TV’s Bryant Reed and Falicia Woody
WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) — Although we don’t have the best weather, that shouldn’t stop you from having fun at Kennywood.
The park is officially open for season passholders and officially opens for everyone else tomorrow.
It is Kennywood’s 125th season, and they finally have a chance to showcase all the multi-million dollar improvements they’ve been making.
Here’s just a sneak peek of what you can expect: vibrant colors to revitalize the park, new festivals like Swing into Spring that will happen on weekends with live music and extra planned activities and improvements to rides like the Old Mill and Phantom’s Revenge.
And the Kangaroo returns too.
“With the first day of the season underway for season passholders, we’ll have the rides and attractions going,” Nick Paradise, Director of Communications at Kennywood said. “But there’s also going to be extra entertainment. We’ve got some visits from the Easter bunny in the early part of the afternoon today and tomorrow. There’s going to be live bands each evening during our new Swing into Spring event. So … part of what we’re doing this year [is trying] more entertainment that’s not as ride-heavy.”
Of course, during unfavorable weather conditions, the park is ready to switch the rides off if necessary and has precautions in place.
“So we have a weather system in our operations office,” Paradise said. “They can track very closely the precipitation, the wind, lightning strikes, how close or far they are from the park, and each ride is categorized in terms of the risk that may be presented when you have with inclement weather. So you can see sometimes really nice days, but storms could be across the river … or close enough that they could move conceivably quickly maybe faster than we could unload an attraction.”
WATCH FALICIA WOODY’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH NICK PARADISE
Paradise added that they will close rides proactively if they know the weather could impact the park’s ability to operate safely.
“When it comes to rain, most of the attractions can continue to run. And we’re even doing with some [attractions] — like the Thunderbolt installing new braking system this year — should enable it to run a lot more often when you have wet conditions,” he said. “Obviously, lightning is a different story.”
He recommends ticketholders check out the Penny Arcade, grab a snack at cafe or their restaurants, go on the merry go-round, or visit the gift shops.