Insider's Guide to Kennywood

Insider's Guide to Kennywood

Kennywood is the Pittsburgh place for family-friendly fun. But navigating a visit can become stressful if you're unfamiliar with the park. Save money and time with these tips!

There's no reason you should pay full price for a ticket at Kennywood's gate. (Which by the way is $44.99 for an adult one day admission). Kennywood has a Coupons, Discounts, and Deals page to help you save. You can save $12 on a ticket when you purchase from participating Giant Eagles. BOGO days are occasionally offered throughout the season where you can get two all day passes for the price of one. The park is constantly adding deals so check their website before visiting.

Kennywood's rides don't start running until 11:00 am. But you could be first in line for your favorite by getting to the park a little early. Kennywood starts letting guests into the park around 10:30 each day. Once through the turnstiles, try starting at the back of the park. Most guests pick the rides right at the front of the park like the Sky Rocket. Head to Lost Kennywood and get on as many rides as possible before crowds make their way there.

If you have kids with you, stop by the Service Center near Noah's Ark or the Height Check at the Front Gate. At both of these locations, kids are measured and stamped with their "official" height. When entering a ride the child simply shows the ride operator their hand rather than being stopped and measured each time. Save a little time, and the headache of guessing if your child is tall enough for a ride.

A trip to the park isn't complete without the famous Potato Patch Fries. But with the fries popularity usually comes a long line. Beat the wait and get the same fries from one of two other stands in the park. Small Fry in Lost Kennywood and The Star near the Log Jammer, both serve Potato Patch Fries. That's right: the same exact fries with a shorter line. 

After indulging in Potato Patch you'll need something to wash it down. Good thing cups of water are free at the park. All major food stands in the park will provide a cup of ice water free of charge. Fill your cup back up in the Parkside Cafe at their water dispenser. On hot summer days, the lines can get pretty long. The VIP Coaster Tour is a great option to skip the line, but can be a little pricey for some. Try buying a single ride for either the Sky Rocket, Thunderbolt or Black Widow. For just $7 per person, you can head right to the front of one of those rides.

If you want to try to avoid lines all together, plan your visit based around crowds. Weekends in June and July are especially busy. Fall Fantasy days in August can attract large crowds depending on the bands marching that night. If you can, try visiting the park early in May, weekdays during the summer or on a rainy day.

Many visitors will avoid a day calling for rain, which means these days tend to be less busy. Many of the rides still run if the weather isn't too bad. If the weather takes a turn for the worse causing the park to close early, rain checks are issued for guests that present their ticket stubs. This means you can get some riding in when it isn't busy, and come back another day if the park does close! Kennywood's website is the biggest tool in planning your visit. Preview the rides, food options, special events and more before heading to the park. Taking some research of your own along with these tips will ensure a great next visit to Kennywood!