Founded in 1898 as a small trolley park near Pittsburgh, Kennywood Amusement Park is now considered to be one of America's "finest traditional amusement parks." Its collection of old wooden coasters and newer, faster steel coasters also makes it a favorite with roller coaster connoisseurs. Although it features many state-of-the-art rides, Kennywood still retains a nostalgic atmosphere and is a designated national historic landmark.
Kennywood Operating Days and Hours
The entrance gates at Kennywood open daily at 10:30 a.m. (rides begin to open at 11:00 a.m.) from late May through the third week of August. Closing times vary depending upon weather and crowd conditions, but closing time is generally around 10:00 p.m.
The park is open Saturday and Sunday only in the earlier weekends in May and the first three weekends of September, when they may have limited operation.
Exceptions to Regular Operating Hours: There are two Education Days in mid-May with earlier opening and closing times.
Phantom Fright Nights: Phantom Fright Nights usually begin the last Friday of September and run Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. through the last weekend of October, with a couple of Sundays as well.
Holiday Lights: During the months of November and December, Kennywood features Holiday Lights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 23 - December 23, plus nightly from Dec. 26 - 30. Hours are 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Kennywood Admission and Tickets
Admission to Kennywood is via a one-price FunDay pass. The basic cost of the FunDay (ride-all-day) pass was $54.99 in 2018. Those 55 and older pay just $26.99 for a Senior FunDay pass. Children 2 and younger can enter and ride for free at any time. General admission without rides is not available. A FunDay 4 Pack is available for a price that discounts the regular daily admission by over $10. You can buy passes online or at the gate.
Current Kennywood Ticket Offers: See their site for 2019 Season Pass information and special offers. New, is The PA Pass which includes unlimited admission to Kennywood, Idlewild and SoakZone, Sandcastle, and Dutch Wonderland.
Military Discounts: Active duty, retired military and veterans and their family members can purchase discounted tickets at the admission booth, with military or veteran photo identification.
Night Rider Evening Price: Admission after 5:00 p.m. significantly discounted, but available only at the gate. It is about 2/3 the price of a regular ticket for each age group.
Kennywood Season Passes: Kennywood Park offers a great deal with their Season Passes, which come in three levels. All of the passes include unlimited summer admission, half price on select Phantom Fright Nights, free Holiday Lights, Bring-a-Buddy Days discounts, and discounts on food and retail. The Silver Pass is available for just over $100 and renewals are $10 off. The Senior Pass is discounted even more.
The Ride & Slide Pass adds Sandcastle park unlimited admission and more Sandcastle park perks. The Premium Pass adds parking vouchers, free Phantom Fright Nights, VIP Coaster tour, Paddle Boat passes, Sky Coaster discounts, and Idlewild & Soak Zone Buddy Day exchange, but no Sandcastle benefits.
Kennywood Location and Directions
Kennywood amusement park is located in West Mifflin, just 12 miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh on PA 837 along the Monongahela River. From Interstate 376 (which runs from downtown Pittsburgh to Monroeville) you'll get off at the Swissvale Exit (No. 7). Then, just follow the well-marked arrow signs to Kennywood. Preferred parking is $5 per vehicle; the rest of the parking lots are free. PAT bus 61C also stops in the Kennywood parking lot when the park is open.
Kennywood Rides and Games
Kennywood amusement park features dozens of major rides, including Black Widow, Sky Rocket, Ghostwood Estate, Cosmic Chaos, SwingShot, Skycoaster, Phantom's Revenge steel coaster, three classic wood coasters, and the Exterminator indoor coaster. Three water rides, traditional amusement rides, and Kiddieland with 14 "just for kids" rides continue the fun. Kennywood also has plenty of games, arcades, and gift shops.
Kennywood features live shows like Step Right Up and 88Keys: Dueling Through the Decades which features cirque-style variety acts and dueling pianos, And, later in the summer, kids can enjoy a live train-themed show in the all-new Thomas Town.
Special events include Community Days with picnics celebrating different communities and Heritage Days with picnics celebrating different ethnic traditions. The Celebrate America Festival provides old-fashioned fun during the first week of July, with crafts, parade, and fireworks. The Fall Fantasy Parades wind through the park each evening from mid-August through Labor Day weekend.
Phantom Fright Nights are open Fridays and Saturdays through October. Holiday Lights with over 1.5 million lights and the state's tallest Christmas tree is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from the end of November through Dec. 23.
Best Times to Visit
According to the folks at Kennywood, the lightest crowds tend to be on Sundays in May or June, and most weekdays throughout the summer. Memorial Day and the 4th of July are also, surprisingly, not very busy. If you don't mind a few raindrops, then try the park on days when the weather forecast calls for some rain. If the majority of the rides end up having to close for weather for a continuous two hours, Kennywood will offer a free return visit ticket (you'll have to ask at Guest Relations).
Shorten your time in line. Arrive early and head directly to the back of the park, working your way to the front. You'll spend less time standing in lines that way. As expected, water ride lines tend to be shorter early in the morning and late in the evening.
Check out the Kennywood height restrictions before you visit and prepare your child in advance with what to expect.
Save money on admission.
- Even the Premium Kennywood Season Pass pays for itself in less than three visits!
- Buy a season pass for the next year at the end of the season and enjoy its benefits through the rest of the current season.
- Look for ticket discounts from participating Giant Eagle locations for events.
Double the fun. Can't decide if you want roller coasters or waterslides? Start your day at Sandcastle and then buy a Kennywood Night Rider ticket at Sandcastle Guest Relations, good for admission to Kennywood after 5:00 p.m.
Save time at the gate. FunDay tickets can be purchased and printed online. When you get to Kennywood, just head straight to the e-ticket entrance and you're good to go!