Kennywood's Holiday Lights

Perhaps I'm incompetent at searching or no one really cared about this event, but I couldn't find any posts about how Kennywood's Holiday Lights turned out.

With so many fans of KI's Winterfest on forums, I figured Kennywood's event was a nice little test to see if these events could be viable in the seasonal northern parks.

So, did anyone go? I read an article somewhere that they opened up more rides than advertised, like Auto Race. I also saw pictures, and it appeared nicely put together and fun; I wish I had time to visit.

I went with my wife, two and a half year old son, and my In-laws, and everybody had a good time. It was really crowded, but as mentioned above they opened extra rides. It was a really good event for kids, but there was not much open for the thrill seeker. Lost Kennywood and the area by Phantom's Revenge and Thunderbolt were completely closed off. They were also selling Potato Patch Fries and holiday themed merchandise. I'm from the Toledo area and the lights were better than what we have at the Toledo Zoo.

Thanks for the replies guys. Judging by everything I've seen, it appears Kennywood's holiday event was a success with reports of strong crowds. I just found another report as well:

Maybe they'll expand it for 2012. How cool would it be if they could manage to open Noah's Ark, Ghostwood Estates, or Exterminator? If they managed just one of these, I'd be there for sure. I can't help but smile thinking of children shrieking to skeletons in Santa hats on Ghostwood.

But, wow...better than the Toledo Zoo? That's impressive. The Toledo Zoo has been a much-loved holiday tradition for me every year, so Kennywood must have been really great.

Its more on the lines of "it sure is nice to see Kennywood Park" in the winter. The park is an institution, and people always want to see what it looks like in the off season. Don't confuse a good time with Disney's Hollywood Studios or even Busch Gardens Virginia with established light shows and live entertainment.

You have to go there, just people went to Sea World Orlando this year, and strayed late to see their new lights and shows after 6pm. If you have an open mind, Christmas at amusement parks can be a nice diversion.

Kennywood shined with free parking, good food selection, some nice indoor activites, and they adjusted to crowds for the second weekend by opening up more rides and food outlets. They made adjustments that some parks may not have.

Anyway, I am sure it will grow into a solid event, like Phantom Fright Nights.

Here are some pictures from the day I went:

It was a really nice event. We liked it as much as Hershey's event, although much smaller. It looked like they had done it for many years, it was really well done.

I look forward to next year if they expand it... Hopefully to include the Phantom/Whip/Thunderbolt midways. As far as rides go, they had a nice collection open! Almost every ride in the sections that were open to the public, minus the coasters. Nice crowds the day we went. We will for sure go back next year!

Jeph said:

But, wow...better than the Toledo Zoo? That's impressive. The Toledo Zoo has been a much-loved holiday tradition for me every year, so Kennywood must have been really great.

As much as I love the zoo lights, Toledo doesn't even have the best zoo lights in Ohio these days. That title easily falls to the Columbus Zoo.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Steve, thanks for the excellent pictures! That's exactly what I was looking for. I'm sold. I had no idea Kennywood was going to put that much effort in, changing out all the bulbs on the rides to red, white, and green, etc. And the price was right, just $12.99. Looking at those pics, I didn't think Kennywood would get half the attendance they did for their first year. I guess the mild winter helped though. Also, that was a very smart play by Kennywood to push season pass sales at the event, giving free admission with purchase.

And thanks Chris, I'll have to check out the Columbus Zoo lights; I've heard what a great zoo that is in general. Though Toledo has that childhood charm for me that will be hard to beat for Christmas. It was cool that the Toledo Zoo got recognition this year as having one of the top 5 Christmas trees in the nation.

Last edited by Jeph,

I was going to go to Kennywood, but I know how "special" events are at this park.

Kennywood can not handle crowds well at all. Phantom nights use to be AWESOME until the word got out about them, and then it's SOOoooo many people jammed into a small place.

Kennywood REALLY REALLY needs to speed up the plans on expansion.

Yes. Columbus Zoo is HANDS down the best Christmas Experience only second to Walt Disney World. You will have to arrive VERY early for Columbus Zoo though too..It too is now starting to gain national attention. This past Christmas saw CRAZY numbers there!!


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