What’s Different at Kennywood This Summer? A Lot Compared To Last Year

The park will kick off festivities this weekend, and there are plans to reopen many rides, restaurants and festivals that were closed last year due to the pandemic.
Kennywood Park Entrance Phantoms Revenge Kurt Miller


Kennywood opens this weekend, and it’s ready for summer. 

For the amusement park’s 123rd season, festivities begin on Saturday, May 8, with a ceremonial first ride on the Jack Rabbit. 

Jackrabbit Jun16

The iconic ride celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, but the pandemic halted a proper fete. Winners of last year’s 100 Years, 100 Memories contest, where entrants were asked to submit their favorite Jack Rabbit memory, will be the first to experience that double dip this season. 

“We can’t wait to begin a new year that brings us closer to the typical Kennywood experience,” says Kennywood General Manager Mark Pauls in a press release. “The 2021 season offers a lot to be excited about, and we’ll keep the safety of our guests and team members as top priority as we welcome everyone back to the park.”

Rides will be back online, community and heritage days will return, and you can expect the traditional Celebrate America and Fall Fantasy Parades as well — as well as the new Bites and Pints Food Festival in June

Per state regulations, Kennywood attendance will be limited to 75 percent capacity to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Guests are required to wear facial coverings, and signs will remind people of social distancing. 

Kennywood’s three indoor restaurants, End Zone Café, Johnny Rockets and Parkside Café, will reopen with limited capacity, following local and state restaurant guidelines.

Racer Jason North

The park will have an optional reservation system for those considering a visit on weekends and other busy dates. Season passholders and guests with date-specific tickets (such as those visiting with a school or company outing) do not need to RSVP.

The park will be open May 8-9, then Friday through Sunday (plus Memorial Day) the rest of May. Hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Beginning Saturday, May 29, the park will stay open until 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

The park will open Wednesday through Sunday beginning on June 3 and add Mondays beginning June 21 through Aug. 22. From then on, the park will be open on weekends only (plus Labor Day). 

Kennywood Director of Corporate Communications Nick Paradise says the park schedule may expand as the season progresses. The park was able to open on Mondays in June “based off the great response we saw to last week’s announcement that we’re now paying $13/hour for seasonal roles requiring an adult,” he says. 

“We’re optimistic based on how things appear to be trending in our collective comeback from last year’s struggles that we can continue expanding the schedule.”

Categories: The 412, Things To Do