Kentucky Kingdom opened its gates for the 2015 season on April 25th , the second since the huge reopening last year. While the weather was far from ideal, that didn’t stop flocks of people ready to get their first ride of the season on the parks huge line up of attractions, while getting a glimpse at some of the eight new attractions will be rolling out for 2015. The park is lining up 2015 to be the biggest season yet, and if the opening day is any indication, then guests are in for a ton of fun at Kentucky Kingdom.
This year the park had announced a total of 8 new attractions, some of which had existed at the park previously but have undergone some major refurbishments and enhancements. Opening mid-May will be the T3 coaster (previously T2). T3 will be sporting some brand new trains from Kumbak, which should drastically enhance the rider experience. The coaster was also repainted with a vibrant bright red paint job which is a nice nod to its original color. This ride was installed at the park in 1995 and was the first Vekoma SLC in the US.
Two exciting new thrill rides opening soon are ‘Skycatcher’ and ‘Cyclos’. Skycatcher opened at the park on May 2nd, but the rest of the attractions will come online later in the month.
Skycatcher is a 130ft ARM swing ride that will provide a thrilling view of the Hurricane Bay Beach Club, as well as the entire Kentucky State Fairgrounds. Cyclos, which is a Zamperla Revolution, will spin and flip 16 passengers in what promises to be one of the more extreme rides at Kentucky Kingdom. It is scheduled to open later this spring.
The park also re-introduced the classic Enterprise spinning ride. Two new family rides include ‘Up, Up & Away’, a tea-cup style ride that moves up and down a tower and ‘Flutterfly’ which is an interactive spinning ride where riders peddle to move their cars up and down. Finally, the last addition is a 5D tribute to ‘The Wizard of Oz’. In celebration of the 75th anniversary, this multisensory experience is a condensed telling of the classic. The theatre uses motion based seats and other special effects to place you into the world of Oz.
As if all the new stuff wasn’t enough, the park is still home to two great coasters. First, we jumped on ‘Lightning Run’, which opened last year to overwhelmingly positive reviews. The ride, manufactured by Chance Morgan, ranked as one of the top steel coasters in the world for 2014, as well as being nominated for best new attraction. This non-stop airtime machine delivers a smooth and intense ride while occupying a relatively small footprint.
Video-Ride the Lightning with a POV of Lightning Run!
The coaster packs a punch for such a small size, which makes it the perfect addition to Kentucky Kingdom. However, that’s not the only amazing coaster in the park.
Of course you can’t have Lightning without Thunder, ‘Thunder Run’ that is. This coaster, which opened in 1990, was re-tracked last year by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) who did an incredible job making this coaster smooth and littered with airtime!
Video-The distant sound of thunder roars with a POV on the amazingly fun Thunder Run!
The park continues to add new attractions and update existing offerings. I did not originally plan to visit the park due to the weather, but I am sure glad to have made the trip. To be completely honest, I was not expecting a lot. But after spending the entire afternoon walking the park, I realized this isn’t a park trying to come back from the dead…on the contrary, it is a park already competing with some of the heavyweights. Not only is Kentucky Kingdom’s ride collection great and steadily growing, but it is a park with great food, beautiful landscaping, neat theming, and a dedicated staff. The park is spotless and I saw numerous employees pick up trash while walking from station to station. The park is easy to navigate and the numerous signs and the smartphone app help enhance the experience. The employees went out of their way – on more than one occasion – to accommodate some of our requests… and they did so with a smile. The parks location, although within the Expo Center, is quite secluded and does a great job of immersing guests away from the rest of the hustle and bustle. Kentucky Kingdom isn’t the only major park in the area, but they do go out of their way to ensure that guests come back, and enjoy their time. While stormy weather cut our time short, it could have easily been an all day outing.
Slideshow-Check out even more pictures from Kentucky Kingdom!
The park has gotten off to an amazing start in the first two season, and has pretty much no limits on the possibilities. While the park is just gearing up for the 2015 season, they are already looking ahead to 2016, and some exciting new additions (lookin at you Twisted Twins). The legendary dueling wooden coaster, Twisted Twins is on the map as coming for 2016, and should make a huge impact when they scream to life next season. As for the everything else, Kentucky Kingdom is shaping up to be a huge family destination at the gateway to the Midwest, and we can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves!