Extreme Makeover Park Edition: Kennywood announces multi-million dollar improvement project

Regional News

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ)– Even though Kennywood’s 125th ‘season of fun’ would be in 2023, the amusement park wants to kick off the celebration early in 2022.

On Thursday, the amusement park announced a multi-million dollar improvement project along with a lineup of special events unlike anything seen since being founded in 1898.

Park leadership unveiled a two-year celebration with major changes coming in 2022 that plans to enhance guest experience, refresh landmarks and hope to provide reasons for guests to attend the park from Opening Day April 23 to the final night of Holiday Lights.

The park’s entrance plaza and main gate along with the Old Mill and Jack Rabbit queue line are just a few of many areas set to receive a makeover. Food and beverage operations will get major enhancements including redesigning the Beer Garden.

Beloved classic coasters Jack Rabbit and Racer will be repainted as they finish up Phantom’s Revenge and Thunderbolt roller coasters. The Kangaroo’s all-new look and LED lighting package was also revealed.

“The restoration of the iconic Kangaroo and launch of our smashingly successful Bites and Pints Food & Drink Festival is just the beginning,” said Kennywood and Sandcastle General Manager Mark Pauls. “In 2022, we look to build off those big wins with eye-catching updates all over the park while retaining what makes Kennywood, Kennywood. Add in a bigger and better than ever events lineup, and we expect to make next season our best yet.”

Also new for the 2022 year is a special lineup of events, as the park wants to give individuals more reasons to visit other than just the rides:

  • April 23 – May 22: The 2022 Season begins with a locally inspired springtime food and music festival that will run Saturdays and Sundays through May 22.
  • May 26 – June 26: May 26 marks the start of Kennywood’s daily operating schedule and the beginning of the second annual Bites and Pints Food & Drink Festival. Menus featuring some of 2021’s most popular offerings with new lineups inspired by different ethnic cuisines. Bites and Pints will also expand from three days a week to four, running from Thursday – Sunday with live entertainment daily.
  • July 1 – 4: Longtime favorite Celebrate America explodes onto the scene with the return of nightly fireworks, the Weiner 100 dachshund races, and more patriotic performances.
  • July 5 – 31: An all-new summertime event will provide extra activities for kids and families, plus showcase the unique magic of Kennywood Park after dark with special evening entertainment and high-energy music under the lights.
  • August 6 – 21: The 72nd annual Fall Fantasy Parades march back into Kennywood, with nearly 200 high school and college bands performing each night.
  • September 23 – October 30: Phantom Fall Fest returns for a second season, with the ability to Play All Day, Fright All Night more than ever before.
  • November 18 – January 1: More than one million lights sparkle and shine at Holiday LightsPittsburgh’s Home for the Holidays – with expanded hours and entertainment on the way.

Guests have the opportunity to actually play a role in the renovations through a series of online votes on style and theming for parts of the park. Visitors can vote once per day at until Christmas Eve.

In order to bring all the updates and additions together, Gold Season Passes have been discounted to $125 for a limited time and will include Passes include free admission for the remaining nights of Holiday Lights.

For more information on Kennywood’s 125th celebration, visit their website.

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