Kentucky Kingdom is open after 5 years


by WHAS editors

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Updated Saturday, May 24 at 7:32 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - After being closed for five years, Kentucky Kingdom will reopen to the public on Saturday.

The park has not only renovated, but it has expanded, adding more than 20 rides and upgrading its water park, Hurricane Bay. Hurricane Bay now features the nation's tallest water slide, coming in at just over 12 stories high.

New rides include a roller coaster called Lightning Run, an attraction called Fear Fall that drops riders 13 stories and an expanded water park.

The park has also upgraded its menu. Along with keeping the traditional cotton candy and funnel cakes associated with theme parks, Kentucky Kingdom will also offer top-notch food items, including grilled chicken sandwiches and chilli.

Kentucky Kingdom will also offer free sunscreen to park guests, as well as extra perks for season pass holders, such as $1 soft drinks and discounts at various locations throughout the park.

The amusement park in Louisville last operated in 2009 when Six Flags decided to shut it down. A group headed by businessman Ed Hart has been working for nearly a year to fix it up.

Park spokesman John Mulcahy says the restored park will give the community "a new place to play."

Hart's business group spent more than $44 million on restorations efforts since taking on the project after several other proposals to reopen the park fell through.

"Kentucky Kingdom will have a big impact on our city, from both a tourism and jobs perspective," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. "The park was one of our top tourist attractions in the past, and we know it will be again. ... Its re-opening adds to our significant momentum and will be a strong new draw for regional visitors."

A consultant hired by the state Tourism Department said the park had the potential to provide an economic boost of $3 billion to the local community over the next two decades.