Founded in 1878 as a simple picnic ground along the Ligonier Valley Railroad, Idlewild & SoakZone is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and third oldest in the United States. Named by "Amusement Today" as the second best kid's park in the world, Idlewild features seven theme areas of fun, including the Soak Zone Waterpark, Story Book Forest and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
Idlewild & Soak Zone is open May 23–24*; May 25–27; June 1–2; June 7 - August 18; August 19–21*; August 24–25* and August 31 - Sept. 2, 2013*. Park gates and Story Book Forest open at Idlewild open at 10:30 a.m.; most other attractions and areas open at 11:30 a.m. Closing times may vary based on crowd and weather conditions, but generally Story Book Forest closes at 5:00 p.m. and SoakZone at 6:00 p.m. (weather permitting). Other attractions and rides are open until at least 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m.
* Limited Operation - some rides, attractions, small food stands and games may be closed.
ADMISSION & TICKETS:
Idlewild's FunDay Pass is $29.99 for guests ages 3 to 59 and $25.99 for guests ages 60 and older. Children two and under are free. Season passes, which include discounts on selected park games and food, can be purchased at Idlewild, online, or at area Giant Eagle locations for $61.99. The Idlewild season pass includes unlimited visits to Idlewild throughout the season (including HALLOWBOO!) and discounted admission to Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Dutch Wonderland. A Premium Season Pass, available for $74.00, also includes special "Bring-a-Buddy" days and other discounts. The V.I.P. Season Pass adds on even more for $79.99, including V.I.P. access to Soak Zone, and discount vouchers.
LOCATION / DIRECTIONS:
Located about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, Idlewild Amusement Park is located on Route 30 in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. From Pittsburgh, take I376 (Parkway East) to the PA Turnpike to the Irwin Exit (#67). Then east on Route 30 to Ligonier.
RIDES & GAMES:
Popular with families because it rolls amusement park and waterpark into one, Idlewild is broken into several different themed areas.
- Olde Idlewild holds most of the traditional amusement rides, including two roller coasters and an antique merry-go-round.
- Story Book Forest brings favorite story book characters to life in a shady walk-through format.
- Based on the popular children's show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe features a trolley ride through the famous neighborhood.
- Soak Zone features 14 wet, wild water slides and a fun water activity area with tipping cones, hydro soakers, and a large Tipping Bucket that dumps out hundreds of gallons of water. There's a swimming pool, plus a water activity for the little ones too. Captain Kidd's Adventure Galley, features six water slides, crawl tunnels, net climbs, bridges, a giant tipping bucket and plenty of water spray features. ALL NEW FOR 2013, Float Away Bay offers a classic way to chill in the sun aboard a tube while floating down a lazy river.
Hootin' Holler emulates a turn-of-the-century mining town, complete with the Loyalhanna Limited Railroad, the Paul Bunyan's Loggin' Toboggan water ride, and the Mine Shaft Kitchen with a variety of food choices.
- Geared toward children, Jumpin' Jungle is a giant shady play area full of ropes, ladders, nets, slides and a ball pit. Nearby Raccoon Lagoon is filled with rides and children's shows designed for children.
There are a lot of daily shows to enjoy at Idlewild, including music, theater and puppet shows. Regular shows include Nashville Forever, Camp Rockmore Talent Show, and Premiere! The Music of the Silver Screen. Shows generally run from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at various stages throughout Idlewild Park.
BEST TIMES TO VISIT:
Like most area amusement parks, mid-week days are the least busy times to visit Idlewild & Soak Zone. Overcast and rainy days are also less crowded, but be aware that Idlewild does not offer rain checks or refunds. There is a lot to do in the park, however, and our family has managed to have plenty of fun at Idlewild even when it's raining.
Save money on admission. Idlewild & Soak Zone offers special BOGO Days June 17–21 and June 24–28, 2013 (present a coupon from participating Giant Eagle locations for Buy One Regular FunDay Pass, get one free admission). You can also save with FunDay admission discounts during Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Days July 8–12, 2013 (pick up your $6.00 discount coupons at participating Eat N' Park locations). During Princesses in the Park (July 15–19, 2013) and Meet the Marvel Comic Super Heroes (July 22–26, 2013), bring any canned item and receive $6.00 of the regular $36.99 + tax admission. In August (August 12–16 and 19–21, 2013), Giant Eagle sponsors a Family Carload Sale, which admits up to 8 people in the same car for a sweet discount.
Discounted Idlewild Tickets are on sale at participating Giant Eagle locations late April through mid August. Tickets purchased at Giant Eagle may be used without surcharge any operating day.
Twice the Fun. Idlewild & Soak Zone offers a next-day pass for just $18.99. Check with Guest Services for details.
Be Prepared. Can you bring food into the park? How tall does my child need to be to ride the rides? Idlewild has a lot of great information on their website to help you prepare for your visit. Don't miss the Information page with details on what you can and can't bring with you into the park, and the Height Requirements page, with ride-by-ride restrictions.