Kentucky Kingdom re-opens to public for the first time since 200 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Kingdom re-opens to public for the first time since 2009

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Kentucky Kingdom re-opens to the public Kentucky Kingdom re-opens to the public
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's most popular amusement park shut down five years ago, but thanks to new owners and millions in investments, the gates are finally back open at Kentucky Kingdom.

The lines were long for opening day at Kentucky Kingdom.

"No, it hasn't been too bad, we got our passes made last week," said one woman waiting at the gate.

Some people stood in line for more than two hours waiting for this day since 2009 when Six Flags shut the park down.

"Ever since it closed,” said Shawn Boswell from Louisville, “I've been waiting five years for this day and I'm so excited."

A big attraction at the park on Saturday was “Lightning Run”, the first new steel roller coaster at the park in 17 years.

"You have to come here, this is the key ride of this park now," said Boswell.

Jennifer Solinger and her family have watched the progress at the park the last several years.

"Every single day”, she said, “we ride by and we take pictures and he (husband) analyzes the progress and he's emailed Ed Hart every day I think since we heard about the announcement."

The park and its rides seem to work as therapy for her teenage son Evan.

"My son was diagnosed with autism when he was three,” she said, “and we were told he would never speak. I firmly believe he was on the rides every day when he was younger and that that's the reason he speaks today."

Evan, seemed to be just as excited as mom about Saturday's opening. "We're going to be here all night, and all day," he said.

Their family even got a private tour before the gates opened. "It was fun actually,” said Evan. “We looked around and looked at what their jobs are, got a look at the new roller coaster.."

More than $40 million dollars was invested to transform Kentucky Kingdom. There are 20 new attractions and a water park that's double the size of the old Hurricane Bay.

A thousand team members, working behind the scenes, have spent the past few weeks "pretending" to have guests. But now, real guests walk through the park sharing real memories.

"There are people who come to the park and can remember when they worked for us in their younger years, what trees they planted," said Kentucky Kingdom Marketing Director John Mulcahy.

"It's day one,” he said. “We have a long season, it's never been a sprint it's always been a marathon but we're here, we're committed to give a great guest experience, at a very affordable price."

WDRB General Manager Bill Lamb was also at Saturday’s opening. He handed the keys to the park over to the Atherton family who won our "Keys to the Kingdom Contest”. The family got VIP treatment, t-shirts, season passes, and was also an honorary guest who officially turned the key to re-open the gates.

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