kids encyclopedia robot

Kennywood facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Kennywood logo.svg
Slogan “Welcome to the Family”, "Kennywood, The Way to Unforgettable Fun", "Make a New Memory at Kennywood Park", "Around the Corner and out of This World", "America's Finest Traditional Amusement Park", "The World's Finest Traditional Amusement Park", "Kennywood's Open"
Location 4800 Kennywood Boulevard, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, United States
Owner Parques Reunidos
(Palace Entertainment)
(Candover Investments)
Opened May 30, 1899
Operating season April/May to December
Area 80 acres (32.4 ha)
Total 45
Roller coasters 8
Water rides 2
Status Operating

Kennywood is an amusement park located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania just southeast of Pittsburgh. The park first opened on May 30, 1899, as a trolley park attraction at the end of the Mellon family's Monongahela Street Railway. It was purchased in 1906 by F. W. Henninger and Andrew McSwigan, both of whom later formed the family-owned Kennywood Entertainment Company. The company later sold Kennywood, along with four other parks, in 2007 to Parques Reunidos, an international entertainment operator based in Spain. The amusement park features various structures and rides dating back to the early 1900s. Along with Rye Playland Park, it is one of only two amusement parks designated as a National Historic Landmark. Kennywood is also one of only thirteen trolley parks in the United States that remains in operation.


Kennywood is approximately 8 miles (13 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. The park is along Pennsylvania Route 837 (Green Belt), known as Kennywood Boulevard as it passes through the borough. The closest Interstate connection is Exit 77 (Edgewood/Swissvale) on Interstate 376. The Mon–Fayette Expressway will eventually go past Kennywood, which will prompt an expansion of the park when it is built.

Historically, the park is on the location of the July 9, 1755 Battle of the Monongahela, where British general Edward Braddock was mortally wounded, ending his expedition to capture the French Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. George Washington was a colonel to Braddock, and fought at the battle before they retreated. Later the land on the bluff above the Monongahela River was part of a farm owned by Anthony Kenny. Starting around the time of the American Civil War, the site was a popular picnic grove for locals, known as "Kenny's Grove".


Andrew S. McSwigan
Andrew S. McSwigan.

A tree-filled portion of a farm owned by Anthony Kenny, known as "Kenny's Grove" overlooking the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was a popular picnic spot for local residents since the American Civil War. In 1898, the Monongahela Street Railways Company, partially owned by prominent banker Andrew Mellon, seeking to increase fare profits on the weekends, leased the land from the Kenny family in order to create a trolley park at the end of their line. The company's chief engineer, George S. Davidson, designed the original layout of the park and served as its first manager. A carousel, casino hall, and dance pavilion were added in 1899. A bandstand was constructed in 1900, while the Old Mill was constructed in 1901, and the park's first roller coaster, the Figure Eight Toboggan, was added in 1902. After less than a decade, the trolley company no longer wanted to manage the park. The standing manager, Andrew S. McSwigan, along with partners Frederick W. Henninger and A. F. Meghan, leased and operated the park as Kennywood Park Limited beginning in 1906.

Kennywood Park - 4a13525u
Wonderland building, c. 1906

From its origin as a working-class picnic entertainment destination, the park grew in the first half of the twentieth century into a popular attraction that combined thrill rides with recreation venues such as swimming pools and dance halls.

Kennywood ceased to be served by streetcar when Mon Street Railways successor Pittsburgh Railways Company converted the route serving it, the lengthy #68 Duquesne-McKeesport line, to bus on September 15, 1958.

Today, the park features a nostalgic atmosphere and is supported by a loyal fan base. As of December 2007, Kennywood Entertainment also ran Sandcastle Waterpark [1], which opened in 1989; Idlewild Park [2] near Ligonier; Story Land [3], a children's theme park in Glen, New Hampshire; and Lake Compounce [4], New England's family theme park in Bristol, Connecticut, which is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America.

On December 12, 2007, Kennywood Entertainment announced that it would be selling Kennywood Park, along with Sandcastle Waterpark and four other amusement parks in the Northeastern United States, to Parques Reunidos, a company based in Madrid, Spain.

Kennywood now uses the slogans “Welcome to the Family”, "America's Finest Traditional Amusement Park", and "Make a New Memory", although from the 1960s through the early 1990s the slogan was "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World" (a title which is now being used by Cedar Point). The property features three old wooden roller coasters still in working order, along with three newer steel coasters, the Phantom's Revenge (2001) and the Sky Rocket (2010), The Steel Curtain (2019), and one indoor coaster, the Exterminator (1999).

Through the years, the phrase "Kennywood's open!" has gained an alternate meaning and is often used in the Pittsburgh region to alert another person that the zipper on his/her pants is open.

Park timeline


For the past several years, Kennywood has been rated the "Favorite 'Dark Attraction Park'" by the Darkride And Funhouse Enthusiasts, or DAFE.

It ranked second to Cedar Point in the category of "Favorite Park" in Theme Park Magazine's 2004 Reader's Choice Awards.

The park was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987.


Main gates to Kennywood

Themed areas

  • Kiddieland was one of the first children's ride areas in the world, featuring all the rides in the park's diverse array of young child-specific rides in a compact area between the Auto Race and the Aero 360. Rides include miniature versions of the Turtle, Wave Swinger, Phantom's Revenge, Cosmic Chaos, Whip, and Merry-Go-Round. It is located next to the edge of the cliff on the river-view side of the park. It was originally located next to the Jack Rabbit before moving to its current location in 1927.
  • Lost Kennywood, which was added to the park in 1995, was built on the old sunlite pool/pay parking lot area. The area references Kennywood's long history, including its short-lived rival Luna Park (1905–1909), and also the illusion of yesteryear's dangerous rides. The area includes the Pittsburg Plunge, the Whip, the Bavarian Wave Swinger, the Exterminator, the Black Widow, and the Swing Shot. Older rides which have been removed from Lost Kennywood since its opening include the Phantom Phlyers, Roll-O-Plane, the Pitt Fall 251-foot (77 m)-drop tower ride and WipeOut. The gateway to Lost Kennywood is a one-third scale replica of Luna Park's main entrance which spells Pittsburgh with no 'H', because in 1905–1909, the name of Pittsburgh was commonly spelled that way.
  • Thomas Town based around Thomas the Tank Engine opened as an extension of Kiddieland on July 27, 2018, containing 4 new rides and a rethemed Kennywood Railroad.
  • Steelers Country is themed around the Pittsburgh Steelers and includes a new roller coaster called Steel Curtain, which has the tallest inversion in the world and the most inversions in the United States. The area also includes a Steelers themed restaurant called the End Zone Cafe, and the Steelers Experience. Steel Curtain opened on July 13, 2019 and replaced the Log Jammer, a flume ride which closed on September 17, 2017.


  • Volcano Valley was established in 2003 for the addition of a new ride that year, King Kahuna. The Enterprise was rethemed as the Volcano during the transformation of this section of the park. The section then featured the King Kahuna, Pirate, Volcano, and cement volcanoes that are capable of spewing smoke. King Kahuna was replaced with Kenny's Kabanas after the 2009 season. Volcano Valley was disestablished as a themed area in 2020 after the removal of Volcano with Pirate and Kenny's Kabanas becoming independent from a themed area.

Roller coasters

Kennywood has made use of the hilly Pittsburgh terrain to create coasters that wouldn't be feasible in some amusement parks. The Thunderbolt and the Jack Rabbit, both wooden coasters, place the lift chain in the middle of the ride, not at the beginning. In both cases, the car leaves the station and drops into a valley for its first hill. Phantom's Revenge uses the same valley as the Thunderbolt, where the Phantom's second drop passes through the supports of the Thunderbolt's first drop, making the second drop the longest and steepest drop in the ride.

Name Image Opening year Type Description
Jack Rabbit Kennywood Jack Rabbit DSCN2775.JPG 1920 Wooden A wooden out-and-back roller coaster, which is one of the oldest operating coasters in the world. The Jack Rabbit is famous for its double dip element, which is a drop that levels out midway before dropping again. It is also a rare roller coaster still in operation that restrains passengers with only a seatbelt.
Racer Racer-handslap.jpg 1927 Wooden A wooden racing roller coaster built by the legendary John A. Miller. The track is a Möbius loop layout, in which there is one continuous track shared by both trains. After returning to the station, each train has traveled half the track and ends on the opposite side from which it began.
Thunderbolt Kennywood Thunderbolt DSCN2744.JPG 1968 Wooden A wooden roller coaster that originally opened as Pippin in 1924. Following a major renovation, it reopened as Thunderbolt in 1968. It was ranked as the "Ultimate Roller Coaster" and "King of Coasters" by the New York Times in 1974. A unique characteristic involves its lift hill, which, instead of being located near the beginning of the ride, occurs near the middle.
Lil' Phantom None 1996 Kiddie The park's kiddie coaster. Added in 1996, this is a modern coaster in the style of classic coasters manufactured by Allan Herschell. The ride was rehabbed, overhauled, and rebuilt for the 2007 season.
Exterminator Exterminator Sign.jpg 1999 Steel A spinning Wild Mouse roller coaster that also features dark ride elements and heavily-themed scenery.
Phantom's Revenge Kennywood Park.JPG 2001 Steel A steel Hyper Coaster model originally named Steel Phantom and manufactured by Arrow Dynamics. It was later renovated by D. H. Morgan Manufacturing transforming the ride into Phantom's Revenge. The ride, which makes heavy use of the surrounding terrain, has an unusual characteristic where the second drop exceeds the length of the first.
Sky Rocket Sky rocket.jpg 2010 Steel An LSM launch roller coaster that propels riders from 0 to 50 mph (0 to 80 km/h) in three seconds. It was the first coaster at the park since 1991's Steel Phantom to feature inversions.
Steel Curtain Kennywood - Steel Curtain.jpg 2019 Steel A record-breaking roller coaster themed to the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL football team built in the former location of Log Jammer, a flume ride that closed in 2017. The 220-foot-tall ride (67 m) reaches a maximum speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and features nine inversions – third most on any coaster in the Western Hemisphere. It also holds a world record for having the highest inversion at 197 feet (60 m).

Flat rides

Ride/Year Opened Manufacturer/Designer Model Description
Aero 360 (2000)
Aero 360.jpg
Zamperla Hawk 48 This ride is a modern, open-air version of the park's old Ranger ride and features the Kennywood arrows on the rotating arms. Seated on inverted seats with legs freely dangling, riders swing back and forth – higher and higher with each pendulum motion. As momentum builds, the ride culminates by spinning riders the full 360 degrees.
Auto Race (1930) Kennywood Auto Race DSCN2817.JPG Traver Engineering Auto Train Also known by several veterans as the Auto Ride, this ride is the last of its kind and was designed by Harry Traver of the Traver Engineering Company. Electric cars run through a trough-like wooden track that twists and turns. When the ride opened in 1930, it had several small hills placed in the track, but these were soon removed to avoid rear-end collisions that were caused when cars could not get up and over them on rainy days. Again to avoid rear-end collisions, the ride was fully computer automated and the cars slowed down for the 2014 season.
Black Widow (2012) Black Widow at Kennywood 2.jpg Zamperla Giant Discovery The ride seats 40 people and swings riders back and forth like a pendulum, reaching speeds up to 68 mph. The ride structure stands at 90 ft and at the peak of the pendulum's swing height riders will hang 146 ft off the ground. The ride replaced the Pittfall drop tower ride.
Cosmic Chaos (2007)
Cosmic Chaos.jpg
Zamperla Mega Disk'O The ride seats 24 people on a giant disk. Riders sit upon motorcycle-like pedestal seats with back restraints. Arms and legs are free from restraint and the passenger faces outward. To a top height of 50 ft, the disk begins its untamed flight along the 120 ft concave track while its passengers spin around in a circle.
Gran Prix (1973) Gran Prix.jpg Reverchon Bumper Cars The ride was added as a replacement for the Skooter bumper car ride and eliminated the need for a center divider and one way traffic. It runs 40 two-passenger cars, one of which, #31, is painted black and gold in honor of Mike Logan of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, who mentioned the park after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. It is one of four rides at Kennywood with a ride start/stop bell and its bell was actually salvaged from the Scooters building. Riders steer their cars in any direction across the metal rectangular floor bumping other cars out of their way.
Merry Go Round (1927) Kennywood Carousel DSCN2827.JPG William H. Dentzel Carousel Referred to simply as the carousel by many, the Merry Go Round is a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmark and is Kennywood's third and largest carousel. Originally commissioned by the U.S. Government for the 1926 Philadelphia Sesqui-Centennial Exposition, it was not completed in time and was purchased by Kennywood. It is also the last carousel that was ever built by William Dentzel. There are 50 jumping and 14 stationary horses. The only two non-horse animals featured on the ride are the tiger and the lion. It is one of four rides at Kennywood with a ride start/stop bell that dates back to the origin of the ride and features over 1500 lights.

Music is provided by a 1916 Wurlitzer style #153 Military Band Organ, which is the oldest of its kind in existence, and possibly the first of more than 140 style #153 organs built between 1916 and 1936.

During Phantom Fright Nights, the carousel is filled with fog and various figures are placed on the outer row of animals. During Holiday Lights, the carousel is decorated in wreaths and garland, with red and green lights, and Christmas music playing on the band organ.

Musik Express (1987) Musik Express.jpg Mack Rides Music Express Musik Express is a quick circular ride that travels clockwise around an undulating track. It has a white/red loading/running lighting theme, respectively. The ride has a 1960s/1970s rock theme to it with yellow and green being the theme colors of the ride. During Phantom Fright Nights, Halloween themed music is played.
Pirate (1982)
Pirate Kennywood.JPG
Huss Pirate Boat This is a large pirate-themed boat suspended from a giant "A" frame structure mounted to a trailer. The trailer is hidden behind a retaining wall surrounded by landscaping. The boat swings back and forth until it achieves a height of 60 feet (18 m) and is at a 75-degree angle with its initial resting position, giving riders the sensation of weightlessness. Originally the "helm" of the ship was facing the road, but after Kennywood renovated the ride under Huss's supervision, the direction of the boat was flipped so that the "helm' now faces Noah's Ark.
Swing Shot (2006) Swing Shot.JPG S&S Worldwide Air-Launched Screamin' Swing One of the first 32-passenger models of the S&S Screamin' Swing to debut. It is a giant swing that swings riders back and forth, reaching a height of 90 feet (27 m) at a 120 degree angle and reaching speeds of 50 mph (80 km/h). This ride stands where the WipeOut once stood. Initially the ride was plagued with downtime due to the plastic air chambers leaking. Since installing the redesigned steel air tanks, the ride has been more reliable.
Turtle (1927) Kennywood Turtle DSCN2732.JPG Traver Engineering Company Tumble Bug This is a bumpy-track or undulating ride with six cars that travel counter-clockwise on a circular track over a series of three hills and dips. Originally called the Tumble Bug, the ride featured bug-themed cars until it received new turtle-like exteriors. The Turtle is one of only two operating rides of its kind and the only known Turtle variant of the Tumble Bug left in existence.
Wave Swinger (1984) Bavarian Wave Swinger.jpg Zierer Wave Swinger 48 This ride is a trailer-mounted wicker swing ride with the trailer placed in a pit to make the ride flush to the ground and ADA accessible, unlike the usual trailer setup. It has a white/red loading/running lighting theme, respectively, and features a painting in the center of a decorative molding on each exterior panel. The swing chairs were replaced in 2019.
Whip (1926) The Whip.jpg W.F. Mangels 16 Car Whip It is the oldest flat ride in the park and the last operating 16 car whip. Replacing a 1919 12-car model, the current ride's 16 cars travel along an oblong track and "whip" as they go around the bend at either end. Originally near the Thunderbolt, the ride along with its pavilion was relocated near the then Pony Track when the Pippin was extended into the Thunderbolt in 1968. The Whip was relocated from that pavilion near the Log Jammer to Lost Kennywood in 1995 and is one of four rides in Kennywood with a ride start/stop bell that dates back to the origin of the ride.

Upcharge attractions

Ride/Year Opened Manufacturer/Designer Model Description
Skycoaster (1994) Sky Fun 1 Skycoaster A 180 feet (55 m) tall giant swing, allowing one to three riders at a time to free-fall approximately 75 mph (121 km/h) above the park's lagoon. This is the first Skycoaster model to be permanently installed in an amusement park. When the Skycoaster opened, it was the world's tallest version of this ride. This ride requires an extra fee.
Paddle Boats (1981) Pedal Boats The park's only remaining human-powered attraction. Riders paddle through the park's lagoon in any path they choose. This ride requires an extra fee.

Dark rides

Ride/Year Opened Manufacturer/Designer Model Description
Ghostwood Estate (2008)
Ghostwood Estate.jpg
Halloween Productions/ETF Ride Systems Trackless Interactive Dark ride Riders begin by standing in a "library/study" room when Lord Kenneth Ghostwood (the owner of the estate) literally forces himself out of a picture frame. He informs riders of the spirits and how you will be able to drive them from his home so that he may regain his solitude. Each rider then walks up a flight of stairs and approaches the trackless "Ghost Buggies". Each guest is provided with a "Ghost Blaster" to help them eliminate the ghosts. The ride features animatronics, props, elaborate sets, and computer-generated animation. Guests compete with each other by shooting laser blasters at targets which activate different props. Each prop activated adds to your score, shown on a display in each car.
4-D Theater (2015) SimEx Iwerks 4-D Theater A traditional 4-D Theater housed in what was once the park's Playdium Arcade building. During the regular season it features " Thomas & Friends 4-D: Bubbling Boilers". During Phantom Fright Nights the movie is changed to a compilation of Friday the 13th films. For Christmas, an abbreviated version of "The Polar Express" is shown. There is an air conditioned waiting room, and a gift shop attached.
Noah's Ark (1936) Kennywood Noah's Ark.JPG Herbert Paul Schmeck of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company Noah's Ark A walk-through "dark" attraction. Patrons walk through an ark recreating Noah's attempt at bringing animals aboard. This ride, the last operating of its kind in the world, was remodeled in 1996. During the remodeling, the Ark was entirely rebuilt due to structural problems with the original "boat." Instead of entering through a whale's mouth, patrons boarded an old industrial service elevator that provided the effect of rising, then crashing to the ground. Part of the re-theming of the ride included props meant to appear like ancient artifacts that were found below the Ark. One popular classic gag, the shaker boards, still remains. In the winter of 2015–16, the Ark was entirely remodeled to be more like its pre-1996 state, including the famed whale's mouth entrance. Older gags that were removed in the 1996 renovation of the Ark that were re-added include air jets that were previously used to blow air up women's skirts, but now are simply used to catch guests off-guard.
Old Mill (1901) Kennywood Park/The ScareHouse Old Mill This is the oldest ride at Kennywood, originally constructed in 1901 though it has gone through numerous major theme and structural changes throughout its existence. The scenes inside this vintage dark attraction have featured "gorgeous grottos" from around the world including Hawaii and Australia. This attraction featured scenery of a mine haunted by ghosts, ghouls, and skeletons, as well as three outdoor scenes. Various names have accompanied the different themes over the years, including the "Panama Canal", "Hardheaded Harold's Horrendously Humorous Haunted Hideaway", and "Garfield's Nightmare".

Water rides

Ride/Year Opened Manufacturer/Designer Model Description
Pittsburg Plunge (1995) Lost Kennywood.jpg Hopkins Rides Shoot the Chute The centerpiece attraction in Lost Kennywood, this is a Shoot-the-Chute ride named for the brief period in the 1890s when Pittsburgh dropped the "h" from its name. It runs with two 20-passenger boats at a time that are designed to look like the shoot-the-chutes boats of old amusement parks. This ride can soak both the passengers and nearby onlookers with water.
Raging Rapids (1985) Raging Rapids.jpg Intamin River Rapids Ride This ride was opened in 1985 and simulates a white-water rafting trip through canyons and beneath waterfalls. Three pumps are constantly filling the cement trough with 93,000 gallons of water each minute. During the first season, the first holding pool had an operating wave machine. Since 1986, wooden guide rails have sent rafts continuously through the former wave pool without stoppage. The gates at the exit of the pool are constantly held open and the wave machine is still visible, but deactivated. Also, shortly before the lift at the end of the ride there used to be a figure of a man aiming a water gun at passengers. This effect is no longer part of the ride.

Transportation rides

Ride/Year Opened Manufacturer/Designer Type Description
Journey With Thomas (1945) Olde Kennywood Railroad.jpg Miniature Train A 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge train ride along the top of the cliff at the rear of the park with various displays and a recording that tells about park history (prior to the 2009 season, it also told Western Pennsylvania history). The locomotives are from the 1939 New York World's Fair, have a gasoline-powered engine, and were installed in the park in 1945. The crossing sign, tunnel, and Raging Rapids Overlook were removed in 2012. The rocking train, originally featured on the roof of the station, was rebuilt in 2013. The ride was originally "The Olde Kennywood Railroad" before being re-themed to Thomas The Tank Engine in 2018 as part of the Thomas Town area.


Ride/Year Opened Manufacturer/Designer Description
Crazy Trolley (2001) Zamperla Added in 2001, this ride kicked off a rehabilitation and expansion project for Kiddieland. Placed on a new midway that replaced the Safety City truck ride, this is a miniature version of the park's former Flying Carpet ride. It is themed to the Kennywood trolley that leads the Fall Fantasy parades and roams the streets of Pittsburgh (a new bus in different colors was purchased in 2008). Adults may ride.
Dizzy Dynamo (1970) San Antonio Roller Works A unique ride, in which riders sit in one of eight cars mounted to a circular platform. As the platform begins to spin, so does each individual car, in alternating directions. Finally, the whole ride tilts over. This ride has an umbrella over top of it as well, and adults are allowed to ride. Originally named the Mini Bouncer.
Elephant Parade (1987) Zamperla A ride reminiscent of Disney's iconic Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which allows children to fly an elephant using a lever to control the height. Elephant Parade spins in the clockwise direction.
Kenny's Karousel (1924) W.F. Mangels It is one of Kiddieland's original rides. This miniature merry-go-round actually pre-dates the park's full sized version. It was refurbished for the 2009 season.
Red Baron (1979) Chance A common kiddie ride, loosely based on the iconic real-life story of World War I pilot Manfred von Richthofen. On this ride, children pilot a plane in a circle, using a lever to control the height. Red Baron spins in the counter-clockwise direction.
S. S. Kenny (2007) Zamperla The most recent addition to Kiddieland, added in 2007. This ride is a miniature version of the Cosmic Chaos, which was added to the park the same year. As the colorful boat vehicle goes back and forth on a U-shaped ramp, the boat spins. This ride replaced the Kiddieland Magic Show after one season of operation, which itself replaced the Kiddie Cadillac ride. A statue of Kenny Kangaroo, the park's mascot, wearing a sailor suit stands in front of the ride. Adults can ride.
Steel City Choppers (1974) San Antonio Roller Works This ride lets children ride around in a circle on miniature Honda motorcycles. A large umbrella covers the ride.
Turtle Chase (1950) R. E. Chambers A kiddie version of the Turtle ride. While Kennywood's Turtle is one of only two in operation, there are many examples of the kiddie version to be found throughout the United States. Until Kiddieland's expansion, this ride was located next to the Dizzy Dynamo. Adults are allowed to ride.
Wacky Wheel (1924) W.F. Magnels One of the first four kiddie rides installed, this miniature ferris wheel ride has had its cars replaced, but the ride is much like it has been since its opening. Originally named simply the Kiddie Ferris Wheel.
Whippersnapper (1985) W.F. Magnels A kiddie version of the park's Whip ride. A kiddie whip has been in place in Kiddieland for many years, although this one was purchased in 1985 from a park in Oregon to replace the original ride lost in a 1975 fire.
Whirlwind (1984) Zamperla A kiddie version of the Wave Swinger, although this ride does not lift or undulate. Originally named Kiddie Swings.

Thomas Town opened in 2018 to complement Kiddieland and contains Cranky's Drop Tower, Harold's Helicopter, Firefighting Flynn, and Diesel Drivers. The Olde Kennywood Railroad has also become part of this area, re-themed as Journey With Thomas.

Former attractions

Ride Years in Operation Manufacturer/Designer Type/Model Description
13 Spook Street 1937-1940 Walkthrough dark ride
Bayern Kurve 1971-1986

1994-2004 2009-2020

Anton Schwarzkopf Riders sat in one of the sixteen cars that travel at a high-speed around a circular, single-hilled track. Riders start in an upright position and as the cars pick up speed, they tilt inward toward the center of the ride. This ride was also known for its loud air horn which, along with the sound of the moving vehicles, was reminiscent of a diesel train. A popular ride since 1971, this was the third Bayern Kurve that the park has installed, being in the park since 1994 and removed for refurbishment from 2005-2008. Kennywood announced the removal of the Bayern Kurve on 3 November 2020.
Caterpillar #1 1923-1945 Traver Engineering Company Built by Harry G. Traver of Beaver Falls, PA, the ride's cars rode on an undulating track, equipped with a large fan under the track. The most significant feature of the attraction was a green, striped tarp that would roll out over the patron-filled cars once the ride reached maximum speed.
Caterpillar #2 1969-1982 Traver Engineering Built by Harry B. Traver of Beaver Falls, PA, the ride's cars rode on an undulating track, equipped with a large fan under the track. The most significant feature of the attraction was a green, striped tarp that would roll out over the patron-filled cars once the ride reached maximum speed. The ride was taken to Idlewild after its removal and used as parts on their 1947 model.
Le Cachot 1972-1998 Amusement Display Associates, re-designed by Bill Tracy Dark Ride (Pretzel) When Le Cachot was re-designed from Safari, they added 10 feet to the rear of the building and reconfigured the track. Le Cachot, french for "The Dungeon" featured skeletons in a 70's motif. The warrior from the Safari ride was replaced with two skeletons: one was riding a motorcycle, one was playing a guitar. After the 1998 season, Kennywood closed the doors on Le Cachot. A common misconception is that the ride was removed due to a fire. The stunts were sold off and the Pretzel cars went to Bushkill Park in Easton, PA, where they now carry riders through that park's very old Haunted Pretzel ride. During the tear down of the ride, the building did catch fire.
Daffy Klub 1941-1955 Walkthrough dark ride
Dipper 1948-1984 Andy Vettel
Dodgem 1922-1929 Dodgem Kennywood's first bumper car ride
Flying Carpet 1988–2006 Zierer Flying Carpet Formerly located where the Cosmic Chaos is now, this was a high-speed ride that begins by rocking back and forth until the momentum rotates it right over the top. After a stop at the top, riders would be sent in the opposite direction. It was removed at the end of the 2006 season after a failed overhaul to increase reliability and decrease maintenance. It was donated to a non-profit amusement park in Costa Rica.
Gee Whizz Dip the Dips 1900-1921 Frederick Ingersoll Side friction figure eight wooden coaster.
Ghost Ship 1967–1975 Dark Ride Bill Tracy The Ghost Ship was the final theme of the dark ride located in 1899 Dance Pavilion building. In the early part of the 1975 season, The Ghost Ship burned to the ground due to faulty wiring. Fire departments from Munhall and West Mifflin pumped the water from the Kennywood lagoon to extinguish the fire. The Ghost Ship stood next to the Kiddieland entrance.
Gold Rusher 1981–2007 Maurice Ayers Dark Ride Originally designed with a spiral lift taking the cars from the station on the ground level to the show scenes on the second floor, the station was rebuilt above the midway where it could be reached by stairs next to the Raging Rapids. This was done to eliminate the problems experienced with the lift. It was removed during the 2007 season to make way for Ghostwood Estate. Props from the Gold Rusher have been used as part of Death Valley during Phantom Fright Nights as well as during Idlewild Park's Hallowboo! before being placed in the 2020 revision of the Old Mill. The ride system was originally intended to be donated to the same park as the Flying Carpet, but the offer was turned down and it was eventually sold on eBay.
Kangaroo 1962-2020 John Norman Bartlett Flying Coaster Was the last ride of its kind; purchased in 1962. During the ride, eight cars travel a circular track with a single steep hill. After "bouncing" off the top of the hill, the cars then make a slow descent in midair back down to the track, giving each guest the sensation of flying. Its resemblance of a Kangaroo's leap is what inspired its name. Kennywood announced on 3 November 2020 the removal of the Kangaroo, along with three other flat rides.
Kenny's Parkway 1996-2020 CTEC Inc. Chairlift
Laff-in-the-Dark 1930-1965 Dark ride
King Kahuna 2003–2009 Huss Top Spin The ride consists of a gondola attached to two arms. The arms rotate in a circle while the platform flips riders upside down. The ride was built with jets of water that originally sprayed the riders as it spun, but after guest complaints and mold problems resulting in the replacement of the seat padding, the use of the spraying effect was discontinued leaving the fountain strictly ornamental. The ride was sold to the same non-profit park in Costa Rica to which the Flying Carpet was donated.
Log Jammer 1975–2017 Arrow Dynamics Log Flume A fiberglass log flume water ride and a water roller coaster, which runs through the wooded area in the back of the park. It was the park's first multimillion-dollar project, built in 1975 and consisting of two lifts, a spillway that is 27 feet (8.2 m) high, and a 53-foot (16 m) high chute. The Log Jammer's final day of operation was September 17, 2017.[5]
Laser Loop 1980-1990 Anton Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop coaster
Monongahela Monster 1979-1989 Eyerly Aircraft Company Monster ride
Orbiter 1982–2020 Zamperla Mini Enterprise On this ride, children ride around in a circle in either a helicopter or a Transformer-esque robot. The ride lifts and tilts as it operates. Originally went by the manufacturer's name of "Mini Enterprise."
Paratrooper 1976-2020 Frank Hrubetz Also called the Skydiver, this was the third Paratrooper ride the park has installed and has ten umbrella-covered cars that rotate counter-clockwise on a long arm. During the ride, the hydraulic-powered arm the cars are mounted to raises to a 45 degree angle. Kennywood announced the removal of the Paratrooper on 3 November 2020.
Pippin 1924-1967 Andy Vettel Kennywood decided to change the name to the Thunderbolt in 1968.
Pounce Bounce 2002–2020 Zamperla Frog Hopper Kiddieland's expansion was continued with the addition of this ride, a miniature of the Pitt Fall located in the center of the area where ornamental structures once stood. As its name suggests, the car gently bounces up and down the tower. The tower is themed to look like cheese, and mice appear on the sides. Originally it had a Garfield statue mounted at the top, but that has since been removed. Adults could ride.
Pitt Fall 1997–2011 Intamin 2nd Generation Freefall A 251 ft (76 m) drop tower that was the world's tallest drop tower upon opening. This ride was sold to an undisclosed new owner outside of the United States and replaced by the Black Widow.
Ranger 1983 Huss
Roll-O-Plane 1950-2003 Eyerly Aircraft Company Roll-O-Plane
Rotor 1955-1958

1965-1973 1988-1994

Row Boats 1899-1980 Paddle Boats
Safari 1961-1971 Amusement Display Associates, re-designed by Bill Tracy Dark Ride (Pretzel) Safari was the former Zoomerang, which was re-designed to include man-eating pygmies, wild animals, and a 16 foot high warrior greeting riders at the front of the ride. After ten years, the ride was re-designed and rebranded once again as Le Cachot (french for "The Dungeon") in 1972.
Scenic Railway 1905-1910 Frederick Ingersoll and John A. Miller Side friction coaster
Speed-O-Plane 1911-1923 Frederick Ingersoll, Designed by John A. Miller Side friction coaster
Steeplechase 1903-1904 Steel coaster with wooden horses instead of trains.
Steel Phantom 1991–2000 Arrow Dynamics Looping Hyper Coaster A 160 feet (49 m) tall coaster which was the world's fastest coaster when it opened. It closed in 2000 to be remade into The Phantom's Revenge.
Swing Around 1984


Huss Swing Around
Teddy Bear 1935-1947 Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters Junior Wooden Roller Coaster
Tornado 1963-1966 Dark ride Relocated from Freedomland U.S.A.
Tri-Star 1992 Huss
Turnpike 1966–2009 Arrow Dynamics/ Morgan Electric Cars An antique car ride formerly located right at the front of the park. This attraction originally debuted with gasoline powered cars and was sponsored by Gulf Oil. However, in 1987 these cars were removed and replaced with electric cars manufactured by Morgan. When it was created, it was a major investment for the park because the tracks could not be removed and the park owners did not yet own the land the park was built on. The price of gas at the Turnpike's gas station was read as "FUN", no matter what grade of fuel. It was removed in 2009, though the park stated in an official announcement that plans are underway to bring back the Turnpike within the next few seasons. The Sky Rocket is in its place.
Twin Ferris Wheel 1959-1969 Eli Bridge Company
Volcano 1978-2020 Huss Enterprise This ride was originally called the Enterprise until the addition of the Volcano Valley themed area. As the Enterprise, the loading platform was surrounded by a blue railing and was raised by a retaining wall that was surrounded by shrubbery. As the Volcano, the shrubbery has been replaced with a mountain landscape that covers the original retaining wall and railing. It has 20 swinging gondolas, which travel in a circular clockwise motion on a large wheel. Once it achieves a fast enough speed, the wheel raises riders to a 90-degree angle and spins the riders upside down. In the past, this ride featured eruption-themed special effects including sound, fog, and lighting. Only the fog effect is still operational and is almost exclusively used during Phantom Fright Nights. The ride structure excluding the cars was replaced with an identical 1986 model from one of Kennywood's sister parks, Lake Compounce, in 2016. Kennywood announced the removal of the Volcano on 3 November 2020.
WipeOut 1993–2008 Chance WipeOut In 1993, it temporarily replaced the Enterprise (now Volcano) while it was being rehabbed. In 1994, it was a similar placeholder for the Wave Swinger which was being rehabbed for its move to Lost Kennywood and ultimately replaced by the Kennyville Stage. Then in 1996, the ride found its first permanent home by the entrance to Lost Kennywood, between the Musik Express and Wave Swinger. In 2005, the Wipeout was transplanted one final time to the current location of the Bayern Kurve to make way for the installation of the Swingshot. Originally the Kurve was to be rehabbed over the winter, but due to issues with obtaining parts, the WipeOut was installed at its location and the Kurve was removed. 2008 would be the last season for the WipeOut since the Bayern Kurve was finally done with its lengthy overhaul and reinstalled at its former location for the 2009 season. The WipeOut was moved to Lake Compounce where it is operated until 2020 on the location of the park's former Music Express.
Wonder Wheel 1986-1999 Ferris wheel
Zoomerang 1954-1960 Pretzel Amusement Ride Company, designed by Bill Cassidy Dark Ride (Pretzel) A cross-promotion with a local television show allows viewers to suggest a name for the ride. A group known as "Ida Mae & Happy" suggested the name of Zoomerang, more than likely because of the curves and the spinning. Ironically, the ride only spun for one season before maintenance workers bolted the spinning mechanism.

This ride was later rebranded as the Safari in 1961.


Object Description
The Lagoon This is a stunning water feature in the heart of the park featuring the paddle boats (formerly rowboats) and the Skycoaster. Several carnival games and food stands are adjacent to the Lagoon, as well as the Log Jammer, Aero 360, Jack Rabbit, and Racer. For decades there were twice daily circus acts performed in the middle of the Lagoon on the Lagoon Stage, however the shows came to an end when the stage was converted to a loading platform for the Skycoaster for the 1994 season. In 2010 for the first time in 16 years, the Lagoon became host of a new show to close every night with when the Kennywood Laser Spectacular was added. For this nighttime finale a new screen was installed on the Pastime Building and lasers, fog machines, and fire effects were placed in and around the Lagoon. Beginning in 2019 the parks newest coaster “Steel Curtain”, will contain a dive loop segment over the lagoon.
The Victorian Windmill
Kennywood Windmill.jpg
There is a large decorative scaled-down windmill structure that stands in the front of the park. At night, the four spinning blades are illuminated by hundreds of lights. The windmill is a wooden structure built on a stone foundation and is one of the oldest structures in the park. Formerly located in the middle of the lagoon, it was moved to the front of the park to make room for the Traver circle swing, better known as the Rocketships.
Dancing Waters
Dancing Waters.jpg
This is the water fountain located between the Grand Prix and the Windmill, in what is probably the most beautiful and serene part of the park. Formerly located in front of the Wonder Wheel at the location of the Aero 360, It was created as a scaled-down replica of the fountain at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and was choreographed to lights and music. The show features have since been abandoned leaving it as just a static fountain with spinning spray nozzles in the middle.
The Lost Kennywood Fountain
Lost Kennywood.JPG
There is a spectacular fountain located in front of the Pittsburg Plunge that features a light show in the evenings. One part of the fountain is designed to replicate the one that existed in almost exactly the same place in the former swimming pool.
The Mushroom Fountain
Mushroom Fountain.jpg
It is a vintage drinking fountain shaped like a giant mushroom featuring four spigots, each at different heights for guests of all sizes. It is located between the Merry-Go-Round and Parkside Cafe.
The Lion Fountain
Lion Fountain.jpg
It is a drinking fountain shaped like a Lion. It is located near the Kiddieland Bathrooms. When children take a drink from it, it looks as if the lion is going to bite their head off making it a humorous photo opportunity.
The Clown-Headed Garbage Cans
Garbage Clown.jpg
They are a collection garbage cans usually located within Kiddieland that are topped with a colorfully costumed fiberglass clown head cap. Each clown has a hole in its wide open mouth through which guests deposit their garbage.
Leo, The Paper Eating Lion
Leo, the Paper Eating Lion.jpg
He is a most unusual garbage can. The device is shaped like a circus trailer and has a lion's head sculpted on the front. The lion's face has a large hole in the mouth where a vacuum aids in the disposal of paper products such as napkins, tissues, cigarette boxes, and cups. There is also a continuously looping audio track that is played in which Leo talks and roars. Leo is located in the heart of Kiddieland right across from the Turtle Chase.
The Kiddieland Fountain
Kiddieland Fountain.jpg
This fountain marks the side entrance to Kiddieland. Built on part of the site of the park's former Ghost Ship darkride, it is the centerpiece of a relaxing, shaded plaza where many guests sit to enjoy their food from the nearby refreshment stands.
Laffin' Sal
Laughin' Sal.jpg
She is a mechanical laughing woman sculpted from paper mache who greets guests with her cheerful gap-toothed smile and haunting laugh. She has been a Kennywood tradition since the opening of Laff in the Dark in 1931, created during the Great Depression to boost visitors' spirits. She is currently located in the arcade building. Before she moved to the arcade she was located in a window at the Olde Kennywood Railroad train station, being moved to accommodate the rethemeing of the train to Thomas the Tank Engine. Prior to that she was located at the entrance of the park's old Le Cachot dark ride. While her location and outfits change occasionally, she herself has retained the same looks as well as her original cackling laughter soundtrack. During Phantom Fright Nights, she is dressed as a witch and an even creepier and evil-sounding laugh soundtrack is played. Many people believe her to be the scariest attraction at Kennywood.
Cowboy Joe
Cowboy Joe.jpg
He is a famous Kennywood "visitor" who has been occupying his special bench in the park for decades. There is a sign behind him that reads "Swappin' yarns with Cowboy Joe at Kennywood." and park goers have been getting a picture taken with him since he first stepped foot in the park. In reality, this classic icon is but a fiberglass statue of a cowboy with glass eyes (replaced with paint-on-fiberglass eyes in 2009), mounted to a wooden bench. He used to hold a cigarette in his right hand, but quit smoking cold turkey after being stripped of his paint, patched, and repainted during 2008. His costume consists of a brown hat, boots, and vest; red button down shirt; and blue jeans. Also, he has gray hair and brown eyes. While his location within the park has changed, he himself remains very much the same.


  • Entertainment is a focal point of Kennywood. Strolling musicians, live shows, and costumed characters are part of Kennywood's history. For the park's 100th anniversary in 1998, the park had side shows, magicians, and other events in their "centennial midway." During the 2008 season, the Kennyville Stage offered an act by Jason Pipatone – Master Entertainer as well as all day viewing of "Kenny TV", a closed circuit TV network displaying various videos and trivia. "Kenny TV" was at one time viewed at many other locations throughout the park, but the project was later abandoned and eventually removed. The Scheer's Lumberjack Show had a one-year run in 2008 replacing the "Pirates of Kenny Cove" high-dive show. In 2009, this location featured a show called Maximum Velocity, a BMX stunt show based on audience participation. The park also has strolling musicians and roaming mascots including the park's mascot, Kenny Kangaroo, who debuted in 1974. From 2001 up through the end of 2008, the comic characters Garfield and Odie also could be found at the park.

Nationality days

  • Nationality Days are several annual events, each spotlighting a different local culture. These include, but are not limited to, Irish Day, Greek Day, Serbian Day, Croatian Day, Polish Day, Slovak Day, Hungarian Day, and Italian Day. On these days some of the park's many picnic pavilions will be in use for entertainers of the particular day's nationality, including ethnic dancers.

Phantom Fright Nights

Phantom Fright Nights is a Halloween event held at Kennywood on Friday and Saturday nights during the month of October. The park traditionally opened at seven in the evening and closes at one in the morning. In 2015 the hours were changed to six until midnight. The event began in 2002, though the concept of theming an amusement park for Halloween is not new. "Phantom Fright Nights" received third place in the Golden Ticket Awards for best Halloween event in 2007.

Labor Day traditionally marked the end of the season and the park would shut down until the spring. In 2002, Kennywood decided to break the long-standing tradition and turn almost half of the park into a giant Halloween extravaganza. The park's initial trial of Phantom Fright Nights in 2002 consisted of four traditional haunted houses, with only a few rides and roller coasters in operation. Despite the relatively limited scope of the opening year, the experiment proved to be a success, and new areas of the park and rides are opened for the festivities every year. In 2004 Kennywood debuted Gory Park, a haunted zone in Lost Kennywood. The following year, 2005, the park managed to have 3/4 of the rides and attractions operable due to high demand and record-breaking crowds. The park has reported attendance greater for one Fright Night than they have on a good normal operating day.

In the spirit of Halloween season, the park itself is given a complete make-over, with costumed actors roaming the paths, spooky music filling the air, and fog blanketing the park and every light bulb in the park is changed to a different color—even the restroom windows are covered in colored films. The merry-go-round horse normally found in the fountain by the entrance is replaced by a giant Phantom-like figure with glowing red eyes hovering over bubbling red blood (dyed water). In some places sheets are hung up and classic horror movies are played, such as the original "House on Haunted Hill". Several areas of the park, including Kiddieland and Lost Kennywood, are turned into open-air haunted attractions. Other buildings, such as the Penny Arcade and the Parkside Terrace Cafe, are converted into more traditional haunted houses. Some rides are given entirely new lighting and fog effects including strobes and blacklights, or in the Exterminator's case, an absolute absence of light. In the case of the Carousel and Müsik-Express, Halloween-themed music is all that is played. Even the entrance tunnel is affected; a great amount of fog is pumped into the passageway and chainsaw-wielding characters stalk unsuspecting guests as they enter. These ghouls are also found throughout the park when least expected.

Kennywood discourages children under the age of thirteen from attending the park during Phantom Fright Nights as the atmosphere may be too intense for some younger children, but letting children attend is solely at the discretion of parents or guardians. Many children go to Fright Nights anyway, even with the suggestion since Kennywood will admit attendees of any age.

Haunted attractions

Indoor Haunts

  • Villa of the Vampire in the Penny Arcade
  • Mortem Manor in the Parkside Cafe
  • The Haunted Ark in Noah's Ark
  • Shady Grove Memorial Hospital in Kiddieland pavilion 17

Outdoor Haunts

  • Kennyville Cemetery in the grassy Dancing Waters/Gazebo area
  • Dark Shadows in the back of Kiddieland
  • Voodoo Bayou in the Raging Rapids trough

Haunted Midways

  • Gory Park in Lost Kennywood home of the GPB (Gory Park Boys featuring Sledge, Slash, Scuzz and Blackout)
  • Death Valley Haunted Ghost Town in front of and leading up to Ghostwood Estate
  • Fear Festival surrounding the area usually occupied by the George Washington statue

Past/Changed Haunts

  • Creeper's Crypt in the Penny Arcade
  • Fort Despair behind the Star Refreshment stand
  • Terror Visions in 3-D in the former Whip Pavilion (Pavilion 23)
  • Fear Festival was part of Gory Park for its first year.
  • Dark Shadows once was located near Pavilion 5.
  • Captain Skully's Curse In 3D in the former Whip Pavilion (Pavilion 23)
  • BIOFEAR in the former Whip Pavilion (Pavilion 23)
  • Captain Skully’s Haunted Ark in Noah’s Ark

Kennywood in the media

Is Kennywood Open sign
A sign reading "Is Kennywood Open?" in a restroom at Eat'n Park near Pittsburgh Mills.

Kennywood's world-renowned reputation and nationwide popularity has led to its mention and appearance in many forms of media, including TV shows, movies, books, records, and has even warranted a reason to film a documentary about the park's history.


  • Kennywood was mentioned in an episode of ' entitled "Turn of the Screws", which dealt with a Las Vegas roller coaster derailment. CSI Supervisor Gil Grissom, who is a roller coaster enthusiast, tells the park engineer that he holds the marathon riding record on the Steel Phantom in Kennywood Park, Pennsylvania.
  • Kennywood was also mentioned on an episode of Without a Trace. They showed the park, but the name of it was not the same. It had the famous Steel Phantom in the park also.
  • After the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XL in 2006, Steelers safety Mike Logan, a native of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, near Kennywood, made a humorous riff on the "I'm going to Disney World!" advertising campaign usually associated with the Super Bowl, saying, "Forget Disney World, I want them to open up Kennywood!"
  • Singer/Actor Micky Dolenz, former drummer for The Monkees, often fondly tells audiences at his live shows that Kennywood was the location of his first ever public appearance. He appeared at Kennywood with his elephant in the 1950s when he was known as Circus Boy. The television series featured Micky as Corky, a boy who grows up on the road in a circus.
  • A scene of Kennywood can be seen in the Nickelodeon TV program Zoey 101 (ep. 62: "Roller Coaster") with a sign reading "Spine Twister" on the lift hill of the Phantom's Revenge.


  • In the 1993 film Striking Distance, a poster for Kennywood's Fraternal Order of Police picnic day is visible inside a Pittsburgh Police station.
  • Footage of Kennywood's Musik Express was shown in the beginning of the 1994 film Only You. The Wonder Wheel was also featured in this movie.
  • The 2009 film Adventureland was filmed at Kennywood.


  • Kennywood also served as the inspiration for "Joyland Park" in LJ Smith's teen horror novel The Forbidden Game: The Kill.

Kennywood served as the main inspiration for Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer's novel Wild Ride. The writers acknowledged the park by stating "Kennywood for giving us a place to start thinking about Dreamland"


  • In 1899, Kennywood commissioned the "Kennywood Park Waltz" and it was popular around the turn on the century. Kennywood would sell the sheet music in the park. It was composed by Margaretha Scandroll. It has only been professionally recorded once for the 2007 documentary "Welcome Back Riders". It was performed by the Bulgarian Tosheff Piano Duo.
  • In 1987, Rock 'n roll singer Freddy Cannon recorded a slightly remade version of his 1962 hit "Palisades Park" called "Kennywood Park", featuring attractions at Kennywood. The song was released on a limited-edition 45 vinyl pressing and sold as a $1.99 fundraising item for Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital through the now-defunct National Record Mart. The record is considered by some to be a collector's item today.


  • On September 28, 1988, the local PBS station, WQED, first aired Kennywood Memories, a one-hour documentary about Kennywood. Rick Sebak narrated. Though twenty years later, many of the rides talked about are gone, the historic information about the park is still quite relevant.
Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
kids search engine
Kennywood Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.