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“Not what it used to be”

Idlewild & SoakZone
Ranked #3 of 13 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 3, 2018

We visited Storybook Forest, Racoon Lagoon, & Soak Zone on Sun. July 1st (holiday weekend) & were VERY disappointed. My husband & I have been going to Idlewild since we were children when the park was brand new, so we remember what a clean, quaint, well manicured & maintained park it was. It continued to be so until the last 5 years or so. We took our granddaughter along with our son & daughter in law & daughter. Our children also grew up with annual trips to Idlewild. Our daughter in law had never been there & we told her what a great park it was & were anxious to share it with her. We arrived in the afternoon & went to Storybook Forest first, since they close the earliest. We found the little buildings to be in need of cleaning/paint/maintenance, along with general messiness of the grounds. Some of the buildings were closed & the only characters were in the castle, not with their corresponding story. We then went to the Daniel Tiger attraction since that was what our granddaughter was most excited about. It was closed due to maintenance issues. So we went on to the Soak Zone & spent 1-2 hrs. there. Why is the large slide still standing if it is not in use? It is an eyesore. We returned back to Daniel Tiger & found it was still closed. We spent another hour in the area, checking back frequently to see if it was open & finally right before it was to close, they were letting people in to be in line. Within the next few minutes, they informed us the trolley was out of order again. Our granddaughter, along with many other little ones was really disappointed. There were 3-5 other rides that were not operating in Raccoon Lagoon also. There really seems to be a maintenance issue at the park. We left at 9PM & our parking lot was almost empty. Previously, when we visited the park, rides operated after dark & the majority of visitors left the park at closing, with a feeling of a day well spent, enjoying the atmosphere of a well run, beautiful, very special place instead of feeling disappointed & frustrated. We saw signs in the park stating that it is the Best Kid's Park in the World....maybe in the past.....not anymore. So sad.

1  Thank samsgg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"storybook forest"
in 163 reviews
"daniel tiger"
in 52 reviews
"soak zone"
in 125 reviews
"story book forest"
in 59 reviews
"water park"
in 98 reviews
"amusement park"
in 70 reviews
"ball pit"
in 26 reviews
"nursery rhymes"
in 15 reviews
"wave pool"
in 68 reviews
"giant eagle"
in 22 reviews
"mother goose"
in 6 reviews
"crooked house"
in 9 reviews
"lazy river"
in 35 reviews
"roger's neighborhood"
in 18 reviews
"all ages"
in 44 reviews
"trolley ride"
in 32 reviews
"roller coaster"
in 33 reviews
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30 - 34 of 619 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2018

The day we went, the park opened at 1030. It was a little odd, then, that the toddler area didn't open until 12. I mean, come on IdleWild - these are toddlers you're dealing with. They're always the earlier risers! Anyhow, once everything was open my two year old had lots of fun. She enjoyed the Daniel Tiger ride and show, and especially loved meeting Daniel himself and his friend Katerina Kittycat.

I didn't feel that value was very good here. $37 is a lot when you're coming along to accompany your toddler. My daughter just hit 36 inches so was allowed to do quite a lot, which was good

Hopefully we will return one day.

1  Thank Laurajc88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeff C, Public Relations Manager at Idlewild & SoakZone, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for visiting recently and for providing your feedback. Your comments were shared with the management team and we will continue to work hard on improving the guest experience. Thank you and we hope we have the opportunity of serving you again in the future.

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Reviewed July 1, 2018

I have been to Idlewild several times in my life. I know it is more geared for families, especially families with younger children. As an adult, I have enjoyed my visits to Idlewild in the past. This visit was certainly my least favorite of all, which is sad. The park has such great potential, yet it does not reach that.

I was there on a Saturday, and that is always the busiest day of the week for any amusement park. This Saturday also had a HUGE company picnic there as well as the usual Saturday crowd. Lines for food and rides were incredibly long. The employees really were not friendly at all. Some grunted at patrons or just pointed. I am not looking for a full conversation, but at least smile for goodness sake. That goes a long way.

The ride operators took their sweet time checking restraints before starting the ride. I understand the need for ride safety, but light a bit of a fire. I worked at an amusement park years ago, and I did not have time to dawdle. The new trains on the wooden coaster seat even fewer people than the old train. I do think this change is the result of the coaster accident a couple years before. Now, patrons have to be weighed as the maximum weight for any car is 265 pounds. Really?

Several of the older rides have been removed and haven't been replaced with anything. Despite the loss of rides, the admission price steadily climbs higher. The Whip and haunted swing ride are gone as is the Round Up, though a sign states it will return soon. The Caterpillar and Tri-Star have both been removed and replace with a Tilt-a-Whirl and Flying Scooters, albeit it fun, but very common. The Mr. Roger's Neighborhood ride is no more. Mr. Rogers used to work at the park years ago as a young man. He helped design the ride. Though he is no longer living, the ride remained as a tribute to him and his love for education and young children. When management decided to change the format of the ride to Daniel the Tiger, they did not do much of a transformation. Much of the ride is still remnants of what was there when it was Mr. Roger's. The ride should have been left as it was.

The operations on the mouse coaster were a joke. Only two coaster cars were on the track. Ride ops would not load the car sitting in the station until the other one had completed the circuit and was empty. This seems to be an overreaction to the accident on the wooden coaster. It reduced efficiency on the ride and created a HUGE line. I did not have the time to wait for a ride on it.

Souvenir selections were mediocre at best. The food could be classified the same way. I don't expect top of the line food as this is an amusement park, but the taste could be improved somewhat. Prices were very high, from gate price to food price. AAA offered the best discount at $10 off gate admission, but even then it was over $32 to enter.

I do hope this experience is not their new norm, but since Idlewild and its parent park Kennywood sold out to a foreign park operator, things have gone down hill. I do wish the park the best. Hopefully management will read this and make some corrections.

1  Thank Amusementparkguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeff C, Public Relations Manager at Idlewild & SoakZone, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for your recent visit and for providing your feedback. Your comments have been shared with the management team and we'll continue to work hard on improving the guest experience. As for Rollo Coaster, it is in the midst of a long-range modernization project and the weight requirement is expected to only be temporary. We apologize for any inconvenience and for any disappointment by lack of enthusiasm by any of our staff. To clarify, Fred Rogers never worked for the park, but he did visit as a boy, and worked with park management on the trolley ride through the neighborhood of Make-Believe. We are happy to work with his partners to continue his legacy through Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, which is what children of today identify with. Thanks again, and we look forward to the opportunity of serving you again in the future, and delivering a better experience.

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Reviewed June 27, 2018

This is a small pretty park surrounded by trees. Staff are friendly but the attractions are limited. The wooden rollercoaster is good fun but the Mouse coaster looks good but kept having technical problems so I never got to ride it. There were other rides that were similar to those in other parks. There is a crooked house which is worth a visit as that is good fun.

There is a limited choice of food and mostly average theme park fast food. There were ice cream places that were shut.

Thank Hevsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeff C, Public Relations Manager at Idlewild & SoakZone, responded to this reviewResponded June 30, 2018

Thank you for visiting and for providing your review. We are happy to hear that you were quite pleased with some aspects of your visit, and we'll be sure to pass along your comments regarding food choices along to the management team. It is our goal to deliver great family fun experiences, and we will continue to work hard to improve our guest's experience. Thank you, and we hope we can serve you again in the future.

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Reviewed June 25, 2018 via mobile

We got season tickets this year as a gift and were excited to check it out! We arrived on a VERY hot day. We quickly learned that the park provides no relief from the hot - no shops or restaurants have air conditioning.

We instead high-tailed it to the SoakZone to spend the day. We were pleasantly surprised. We started in the lazy river area. Continued to the small kiddie area before having lunch. It was very busy the day we were there; all cabanas were sold out and most chairs and loungers were taken as well. We found a few chairs together in a remote part of the park to have our lunch. We opted to buy the refillable drink as it was hot and we had season tickets. Food was pricey onsite, but you can bring in coolers. Next we hit the wave pool. This was our absolute favorite part of the Waterpark! I failed to mention that the park provides life vests. My five year old LOVED this area!! We spent hours in the wave pool! Finally, we headed to the jungle gym area with the slides. Again, my five year old had a blast going down all the slides! That day, a few of the adult slides were not running so my husband was unable to slide.

When the Waterpark closed, we hit Raccoon Lagoon! My son rode a bunch of rides before the park closed for the day!

The next day we hit Storybook Forest! This was my favorite part of the whole park! Reminiscing with the stories from my youth to pass down to my child was amazing! They even had characters present in various stories for my son to interact with! After the forest we ate near a beautiful fountain, caught a show by the Hootin Holler, and then played in Jumpin Jungle before heading home!

We absolutely cannot wait to head back - preferably in cooler weather - to enjoy the entire park!!

Thank Dawn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeff C, Public Relations Manager at Idlewild & SoakZone, responded to this reviewResponded June 30, 2018

Hello, and thanks for your review. We are glad to hear that you are enjoying your Season Passes this year, and look forward to many more fun times with you and the family soon! Thanks, again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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