Idlewild Kicks Off Season of Family Fun May 18 with Thrilling Events and Park Enhancements

LIGONIER, PA: May 14, 2024 – Idlewild and SoakZone, the Best Kids Park in the World, opens its gates for the 2024 season on Saturday, May 18. Story Book Forest upgrades, thrilling special events, new and improved dining options, an expanded operating calendar plus several parkwide enhancements will provide a full summer of new adventures and enjoyment for all ages.

“This will be Idlewild’s most exciting and unforgettable season yet with the improvements and returning scenes to Story Book Forest, new additions to our beloved special events and multiple park upgrades that will enhance the guest experience,” said General Manager Tim Heger. “We take great pride in being Pittsburgh’s Best Amusement Park for Kids and Families and strive to elevate the fun and playfulness every year with even more reasons to visit.”

Guests are in store for an enhanced Idlewild experience this season with upgrades throughout the entire park, including:

  • Story Book Forest will delight guests with beloved returning scenes like Rub-a-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub and Jack and the Beanstalk, as well as several other improvements along the whimsical walk;
  • More paved pathways will create better accessibility for strollers and wheelchairs, improving the overall guest experience;
  • The Carousel now includes 27 newly restored horses that are ready to take riders on the timeless classic;
  • Skooters will operate with 12 new bumper cars that will more than double the ride’s capacity; and
  • SoakZone Gift Shop will give shoppers an enhanced experience after undergoing a transformation this off-season.

In addition to the parkwide improvements, Idlewild unveiled new and improved dining options for families to refuel and recharge during their visit. The park’s culinary offerings will cater to a variety of tastes from beloved returning specialties like the Cyclone Cone and fresh-squeezed lemonade to delicious summertime favorites such as BBQ Pit’s all-new BBQ rib sandwich, Snack Shack’s new grilled chicken sandwich and much more. Plus, new self-serve soda machines will now complement eateries in Olde Idlewild and SoakZone for quick and convenient refills.

SoakZone Water Park will open for the season on Saturday, May 25 for the unofficial start to summer. Plus, an exciting event lineup is set with new concepts all season for the entire family to experience together, including:

  • Kids Fest – Saturdays & Sundays in June – kicks off summer with four themed weekends full of kid-friendly fun including Duke’s Birthday Celebration, new character meet and greets with Marvel’s Spider-man, engaging entertainment, foam parties and more;
  • Celebrate America over Independence Day Weekend will feature special entertainment and fireworks on the 4th of July;
  • Neighbor Days returns in July honoring the legacy of everyone’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers, featuring character meet and greets, special entertainment, themed scavenger hunts, and fun dance parties;
  • HALLOWBOO! will be back and starting earlier than ever before on September 14, with its signature silly, spooky fun this fall.

The best way to enjoy Idlewild & SoakZone’s unique collection of attractions and events all season long is with a Season Pass. Passholder Perk Weekends offer early access to attractions, bonus activities plus in-park discounts. Season Passes start at just $89.99 or guests can enjoy all-year admission to Idlewild, Kennywood and Sandcastle with a Platinum Pass for one price.

Idlewild is celebrating now with its annual Opening Sale. Save up to 45% on Tickets and Passes now, for a limited time only. For more information on the upcoming season, to purchase tickets or passes and to view the park operating calendar, visit

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