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The Thunderbolt’s roar is as synonymous with Pittsburgh summers as Pirates baseball.

The iconic coaster and the rest of Kennywood Park, located in West Mifflin Borough, will open April 29 as part of a Season Pass Appreciation Weekend. The park opens weekends to the public May 6, and will operate daily for the summer season beginning May 25.

Among Kennywood’s new offerings at the park this year include:

Pedro’s moves to Lost Kennywood
Pedro’s stand moves to Lost Kennywood and will be “more ‘Chipotle style’ with a build-your-own concept with fresh fare,” according to TribLIVE.com.

Small Fry, big change to other food locations
Potato Patch’s spinoff Small Fry’s now is totally gluten-free, Kennywood spokesman Nick Paradise says. In addition, Snack-a-Saurus in Kiddieland will serve healthy and kid-friendly grub from Bean Sprouts. Check out the tasty treats.

Dining pass
All Season Dining Pass. For $79.99, park-goers can have two meals each day (four hours in between each transaction). Among food items guests can choose from include cheesesteaks, hot sausage, chicken tenders and, of course, Potato Patch fries. Learn more here.

Virtual reality on Sky Rocket
Imagine a nearly 90-degree launch plus three inversions in reality while in a virtual world. It soon will be reality on Sky Rocket. The steel coaster will premier a virtual reality option for riders that puts them in a futuristic world.

“While we put great value on history, tradition and nostalgia here at Kennywood, the ability to innovate and deliver the newest thrills is critical to our continuing success,” says Kennywood General Manager Jerome Gibas. “Entering the Virtual Reality arena with Sky Rocket is one way we look to stay on the cutting edge.”

For a small fee, four people on each train upgrade to the virtual reality experience using a Samsung VR headset. Riders should be able to start using the devices at some point in May, Kennywood spokesman Nick Paradise says.

Everything is awesome!

Lego time! This year’s 4-D movie is “LEGO Movie 4-D Experience” and will feature wind gusts, water squirts and more. Except for Legoland properties in the United States and Asia, Kennywood is the first place to get this 4-D movie.


Bobby Cherry is a Kennywood Park enthusiast and a Pittsburgh-based journalist. When he’s not Instagramming his Potato Patch fries, find him on Twitter at @GoBobbo or at bobbycherry.com.