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Kennywood is opening for the season today. Here's what you need to know about new food, rides, and park safety

Kennywood opens for its 126th season
Kennywood opens for its 126th season 01:59

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (KDKA) -- Kennywood is opening today for its 126th season today and before you head to the park, here's a list of things you need to know. 

Updates to rides in the park

Highlights include the new Potato Smash bumper cars, a new bar, a new restaurant and a restored Turtle ride. 

The park's classic bumper car ride got a fun upgrade for the new, with 20 new cars modeled after the beloved Potato Patch fries.

After a guest vote, the ride has been renamed Potato Smash.  

The Turtle closed early last season for a little TLC, but when the park reopens, the ride will be back in business. At nearly a century old, the Turtle is the last operating ride of its kind in the world, the park says. 

Turtle Test Runs 2024

Onward and upward to Turtle test runs! 🐢 With the center foundation completely rebuilt, turtles refurbished and new electrical installed, the world's last tumble bug is ready to roll! Hop on board this weekend.

Posted by Kennywood on Thursday, April 18, 2024

The park rebuilt the ride's foundation and gave these metal reptiles a new glow.

Other updates to rides include a fresh coat of paint on the Aero 360 seats along with an updated control system and a reimagined Wacky Wheel carousel in Kiddieland.   

New food and drinks at the park

Guests will have a few new food options this season. The park is partnering with Penn Brewery for Jeeter's Pub, a hometown bar themed around Kennywood's mascot from the 1970s. There will be eight draft beers from Penn Brewery along with charcuterie boards, wings and other pub snacks. 

It’s 5:00 somewhere – and that somewhere is the all-new Jeeters’ Pub! 🍻 Our latest spot to grab a refreshing adult...

Posted by Kennywood on Wednesday, April 10, 2024

If you're more interested in food rather than drinks, you may want to check out Carousel Burger Co., the all-new American restaurant in the park's historic Merry-Go-Round pavilion. This eatery features Angus beef burgers and wild and crazy Carousel Shakes.

Kennywood's bag policy

The park says that guests are allowed to bring one bag that is 15" x 15" x 15" in size or a soft cooler that is 12" x 12" x 12" size.

All food and beverages must fit inside the bag and no glass containers or alcohol will be allowed in the park. 

Safety and security

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala visited and toured the park this week and said that he's confident the park is more than prepared to keep everyone safe.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala visited and toured Kennywood Park this week to ensure the park's safety and security ahead of their opening for the year. Lauren Linder

He said the Kennywood Police chief told him they have 100 officers when they're fully staffed and another 40 security guards who are licensed to carry weapons.

The park also beefed up additional security measures it took in 2023 in the wake of a shooting during the Phantom Fall Fest in the fall of 2022.

Between the two years, the park improved fencing, implemented a chaperone policy, and increased police presence. It also installed new cameras with AI technology.  

Steel Curtain to be closed all year

The ride, which was closed on and off again last season, will be down for "an extensive modification project" the park says. 

Assistant general manager Ricky Spicuzza said that the park's ultimate goal is to ensure that the Steel Curtain is part of everyone's Kennywood experience once the ride reopens.

Special events this year

Kennywood also has a lot of entertainment and events planned for this year. 

The fan-favorite Bites and Pints Food & Drink Festival returns on Memorial Day weekend and runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout June. 

Then in July, the all-new Celebrate Pittsburgh event will take place every Saturday and Sunday, and Kennywood's first-ever drone show will accrue on July 20.  

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