My husband works for a wonderful company that really treats its employees well. In addition to a huge Christmas party, the company also has an annual picnic at our local amusement park, Kennywood Park, located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania right outside of Pittsburgh.It has been a place of pilgrimage for many families.
My Dad worked at the park when he was a teenager and I have been going there ever since I was an infant, and the same thing is true for our Mousekatot.
We went last year, but Lily was too little to remember a lot about the visit.
This year, we arrived about 1 p.m. and decided to try and take Lily onto a ride that is like the Haunted Mansion, which is her favorite Disney ride, however she was a little intimated to ride in the beginning. She was upset, so we decided to get out of line.
This leads to an important tip: never force your toddler to ride something. You know them best, if they just seem a little intimated, but just need a little encouragement to be fine, then fordge ahead.
We knew this would be something Lily would like to ride, so we decided to go and visit Kiddieland and come back later.
Kiddieland at Kennywood is a really nice area. There are a bunch of rides that are perfect for toddlers including a mini coaster, a ride that drops you like Tower of Terror, an airplane ride and more.
Lily decided she wanted to ride the min-swings. When we first put her on the ride she was a little nervous at first because she didn’t know what to expect. After the ride got started she enjoyed herself, but still had a look on her face like she was trying to figure it all out.
After the swings Lily decided she wanted to go on the kiddie version of the whip ride, that takes you around in a circle and whips you around. This was the first ride of the day where we really got to experience how great the employees are this year. When we arrived at the ride the ride operator came and took Lily over to her car. On the way there she was asking her what color car she wanted and she was enjoying her day. This made her feel a little better about riding by herself. When the ride was over she helped her out, walked her to us and said bye.
We also had a wonderful ride operator when Lily was too scared to ride an airplane ride by herself. He helped her out of the ride and tried to soothe her on her way over to us. You could tell these employees really enjoyed their jobs.
Lily’s favorite ride of Kiddieland was the mini-turtle. This was her favorite ride at a sister park to Kennywood and it was no surprise that she would love it again this year.
After we rode all the rides that we wanted to in Kiddieland we decided to give the ghost ride another chance.
Luckily, this time Lily felt a little more brave. When we went to watch the pre-show video she got a little nervous, but she just covered her eyes and she was fine. She really enjoyed this ride that had you shot at targets, like Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, with a ghost theme. She was so proud and excited that her score was zero. (We didn’t have the heart to tell her anything different.)
She loved this ride, Ghostwood Estates, so much that we went back again at her request.
We also had the opportunity to go on the newly refurbished Noah’s Ark, which is a funhouse attraction. Lily got a little scared on this one, but was alright once Kev held her and walked her through it.
We also really enjoyed a lot more rides including the carousel.
While it isn’t Disney, Kennywood is still a really fun place that has been an important part of my life growing up and I am happy that it is going to be a part of Lily’s.
Do you have a local amusement park that you visit? Leave your comments below.