LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Kingdom is scheduled to open for its 34th season on Saturday, May 8.
It is the first season for new majority owners and operators, Herschend Family Entertainment, who joined the team in March.
"We're thrilled to welcome families from across the region back at Kentucky Kingdom this season to create memories worth repeating," Craig Ross, general manager of Kentucky Kingdom, said in a statement. "In just a few short months, we've put together some exciting new experiences for our guests and we look forward to sharing even more additions throughout the 2021 season and beyond!"
The park has more than 70 rides, including six coasters, two wave pools and one of the tallest body slides in the world.
There are more than 10 new food items and more craft beer and spirit selections.
Patrons can try Fruity Pebble Funnel Cakes, Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches and Dole floats and beer from Louisville's Gravely Brewing Company.
The Yogi Bear 5D Movie Experience is also new and starts May 15.
"Providing a nostalgic experience of a family favorite for guests, the show will include a live-action, CG-animated ride film featured in 5D with added special effects that bring you smack into the middle of the fun," a news release states. "It will be open to guests of all ages."
But some COVID-19 protocols will be in place.
"We want our guests to wear masks when they're not able to social distance," explained Jessi O'Daniel, a spokesperson for Kentucky Kingdom. "But as long as they're social distancing, masks are not required outdoors -- only in indoor areas."
More than 100 hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the park, as well as social distancing markers.
"We will definitely have our staff encouraging social distancing and offering masks in areas where those are required," said O'Daniel.
But The park spokesperson will not say what capacity limits are in place.
"We do have some capacity restrictions in place," O'Daniel said. "However, with the 63 acres here at the park, we're not concerned about our capacity and have plenty of room for everybody to spread out."
The park also still has a couple of hundred positions to fill -- and has increased the pay to attract interest.
"Ride operators now start at $9.50 an hour, and lifeguards are at $10 per hour," O'Daniel said.
In honor of Mother's Day, Kentucky Kingdom will welcome moms for free on Sunday with the purchase of a Single Day Ticket.
After months of restrictions, Kentucky Kingdom is hoping there is pent up demand for outdoor amusement.
"We really feel it's time for families to be able to get outside and enjoy themselves," O'Daniel said.
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