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“Great Family Park”

Idlewild & SoakZone
Ranked #2 of 12 things to do in Ligonier
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Attraction details
Owner description: With something for everyone, Idlewild & SoakZone is rated the Best Kids Park in the World by Amusement Today magazine, and rated Best Park for Families by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. With two parks in one, this is what family fun is all about! The oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania, Idlewild & SoakZone offers a delightful day of fun for every member of your group. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, having a party, hosting a company picnic, or spending quality time with family and friends, Idlewild & SoakZone helps make everything easier and hassle free with party packs and catered event menus. Attractions that include the Rollo Coaster, SoakZone, Storybook Forest and so much more make Idlewild & SoakZone the place to be for everyone young and old!
Reviewed July 17, 2013

My boys are 8 and twins 5. While the park has years on it, its charm and family atmosphere is awesome. Heavily shaded even on the hottest days there are places to escape.

The ability to pack a cooler and picnic is a huge draw. Healthy food for my family at no hurt to the wallet....except for the ice cream cones :-)

Story Book Forest is definitely dated. But if you read Fairy Tales to your little ones they come alive for a child here. No elaborate 3-D but it is what you make of it.

The Soak Zone was clean and staff was friendly. The water was awesome my kids loved it.

Don't go expecting Disney...that it is not. It is wholesome and charming and very much affordable. We go every year!

2  Thank Lori S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 - 359 of 578 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2013

As other reviewers have said, Idlewild seems to be slipping from what it used to be. This is very sad as my family of four has been going there for a full decade now on the fourth of July. For the past two years, the Scrambler was not running. In addition to that, this year the Wild Mouse and Rafters Run were also closed. One of the places to eat near the water park was also closed. Add to that the fact that the catepillar ride and Dizzy Lizzy's is now completely gone with no replacements and you see why things are looking downhill for Idlewild. Also, we have always stayed to watch the fireworks show on the 4th of July. This is the first year we were disappointed in it too. There are many trees in the park (which add to its beauty) however, they didn't launch the fireworks high enough to be seen above the trees this year! We got up and tried desperately to find a better spot to view them with no luck. Never in the tens years we have been going have we left so disappointed. It is such a shame because this park has always been so wonderful for families. It still is a very beautiful, clean park as far as the landscaping goes. But as others have said, Storybook forest attractions could use some sprucing up. I hope the manangement of this park read some of these reviews and makes some improvements. I wrote them a letter outlining the issues and have asked for a response. We'll see what they say....

2  Thank Cheerymom806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who feels Idlewild is starting to look a bit run down.

I have been to Idlewild 4 times since 1993 and on my first 3 visits, I absolutely loved the park. It was a charming, well-maintained little park that didn’t need to concentrate on thrills as there was something for everyone. On my most recent visit in June of 2013, I still had a great day at the park, but there’s a few things that the park could definitely improve.

First and foremost would be the Mister Rogers Neighborhood attraction. Built in 1989 in conjunction with the late Fred Rogers himself (who grew up just a few miles from Idlewild), this was at one time the park’s star attraction. I guess these days since kids seem to have no clue who any of the characters are, the folks at Palace Entertainment are just letting the scenes fall into disrepair. X The Owl and Henrietta Pussycat were “on vacation”, meaning that they were broken, Daniel Tiger doesn’t really move anymore as he used to peek out from behind the ledge of his clock, King Friday has a horrible case of lazy eye and a nasty grease stain on his robe, and the wires and supports are fully visible at the final “Hug And Song” scene. As someone who grew up watching Mister Rogers, I hate to see this once amazing attraction deteriorate. It’s still a fun experience, but this Neighborhood has definitely seen better days.

Secondly, Storybook Forest is another area that could use some touching up. Some of the characters look faded, the Storybook entrance is chipped and peeling, and the evil jack-in-the-box head has some torn ruffles around his neck. This is one of the last remaining attractions of its kind. I wish the park would put a few dollars into sprucing it up as it still draws quite a crowd and the kids seem to love it despite not knowing many of the nursery rhymes presented.

Third, the ride maintenance seems to have slipped in recent years. This year the park’s historic Caterpillar ride was removed without a trace left on its old site. Nothing was announced if it would return, which is a shame as I believe there is only one Caterpillar ride remaining now. The park’s Wild Mouse roller coaster has been down for over a year and a half now. It was testing all day on my recent visit, and the sign out front said it would re-open “mid-to-late June”, but as of this writing (July 8, 2013), it is still down. The Carousel needs a massive refurb as the horses are all chipped and scratched, and a boombox is used to provide the music. And even the park’s unique Dizzy Lizzy’s haunted swing attraction was removed this year. The building it was housed in looks rather ramshackle already, and I don’t think that is theming.

And fourth, Idlewild’s food has taken a turn for the worse. The “famous” Potato Patch fries were not cooked all the way through, the chicken fingers have been switched to the mechanically separated variety, and the soft serve ice cream ranks as some of the nastiest I have ever tasted. I don’t recall Idlewild being this lousy in the food department in years past.

On the good side, the park is still wonderfully landscaped and is downright beautiful in parts. The kids area is perfect for the little ones, the Olde Idlewild section has some fun rides for the whole family including a deceivingly fast junior wooden coaster, there’s a nice train ride through the woods and over the Loyalhanna Creek, guests can bring their own picnic food in, and of course, any park that pays homage to Mr. Rogers is going to win points in my book. I know Idlewild is capable of so much more… I just hope that Palace Entertainment sees that too and decides to spruce the place up a bit.

Overall, I recommend Idlewild to families with young children and fans of classic amusement parks as that is truly who they cater to. Thrill seekers need not apply!

5  Thank rayp1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Idlewild Park has been a family park since 1878 and is still a charming place for families, especially with small children. Storybook Forest is a wonderful trip back to all the nursery rhymes. My family has been going to Idlewild for at least three generations and still love it. I was disappointed to see some of the rides closed for the day. It was nice that they had a military discount.

Thank Becky M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

We've visited here 2 summers in a row now both times w ticket promotions. We used the giant eagle coupon for BOGO this time and my 2.5 year old is free still. I'm not sure if I'd be willing to pay full price for all of us to go. That's quite expensive :-(

There is more than enough to fill a day or even two at this park. This time the weather was a little dreary so we did not go to the soak zone, but if your kiddo is in to water, you can certainly spend a lot of time there. Last year, my 1.5 year old loved the toddler water area.
I've thought this with each visit, the park could certainly use more directional signs. The park is laid out in different areas, directional arrows would be helpful.
My little one was 37 inches tall and could ride a lot this year. She had a blast. She could do many (maybe all) of the rides in the kid area by herself and even a couple of the bigger rides w one of us.
If you're able to, I would highly recommend packing a lunch. There are plenty of picnic areas. We were even able to eat our packed lunch on the picnic tables at the Thomas show. I found the food a little overpriced. The BBQ place in the mine shaft food court, is just ok. Out chicken was fine but the corn on the con tastes like its been sitting in water all day and the potato salad was not good at all. We also got potato patch fries and the cashier told me (when I told my daughter to be careful bc they were hot) that they were most likely not hot bc they were busy and the fries were probably under the light for a long time. He was right--they weren't hot.
The Mr Rogers trolley ride is cute but the puppets are in need of some repair....some didn't move when speaking....sometimes on eye moved but not the other....it needs some tlc.
Overall is was a nice day. For as much as they charge, they need to upkeep a bit better...some things could use a good cleaning or repair.
My 2.5 year old had a blast. It's a pretty wooded park....lots of shade.
Nice day overall.

Thank amybethcooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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