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An Early Christmas Present from Kentucky Kingdom
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Kentucky Kingdom, located in Louisville, Ky., is offering up an early holiday treat for park guests. The theme park recently announced an extension of its 2024 season, by appropriately enough, 24 days. That extension will take place during the Christmas season with the debut of the park's first holiday event, “Christmas at Kentucky Kingdom.”

Themed areas will include Classic Christmas, Holly Jolly Junction, Santa's Village, and the Snow Zone.

The park is investing $8 million in this first-ever holiday event. The family friendly fest will include over a million sparkling lights, the ability to make reindeer food at Holly Jolly Junction, and an opportunity to visit with Santa Claus, of course. Attendees can also visit with a “special reindeer.” The name is not being mentioned, even if Rudolph is the suggested special sled-puller.

The big center piece of the experience is the Snow Zone. Here, guests can enjoy photo opportunities amid sparkling iridescent snowflakes; experience an enormous lit tree; and sail down a thrilling four-story-tall snow tubing hill which offers 175-feet of family-friendly thrills. The snow tubing hill will be a transformation of Hurricane Harbor's Big Surf Wave Pool. The newly snowy experience allows fun family racing experiences as well as solo tubers. At the bottom of the hill, guests can build a snow man, shape their own snow angels, and cozy up to a fire pit to roast some s'mores.

Naturally, other holiday figures will also be making special costumed appearances and offering meet and greets; special seasonal foods such as holiday cookies will also be on hand.

According to Carly Uglow, the park's director of marketing and sales, “At Kentucky Kingdom, we pride ourselves on bringing joy to all our guests… we're ecstatic to spread that joy to yet another season.”

Uglow is not the only one happy about the park's extended season. Louisville Tourism president and CEO Cleo Battle announced that the tourism office appreciated the theme park “stepping up and furthering their investment in Louisville with this new programming…Christmas at Kentucky Kingdom will up the ante of our city's attractions to help keep Louisville competitive throughout the holiday season.” Battle expects the new event to draw visitors nationwide and provide them with opportunities to take part in other holiday tourism offerings in the area while visiting.

The 67-acre park operates in the summer months along with its waterpark Hurricane Harbor, and offers 70 rides for guests, including multiple roller coasters, two large wave pools in the waterpark, and kiddie rides in an area called King Louie's Playground. The park is owned by Herschend.

The new holiday event opens November 29th, 2024, running through January 4th, 2025. The extended season fun is included in the cost of a 2024 Season Pass at the park, which begins at $74.99, and allows unlimited park visits annually. Season pass holders will receive an exclusive sneak peek on November 24th for those eager to get this holiday party started. The park opens for the 2024 season on May 11th.

Other events are also percolating for the year ahead. Making a fall return this year is the park's Pumpkin Festival, itself a season-expanding event. The festival features over 1,000 cheerful pumpkins placed throughout the park, as well as Harvest-themed games, costumed characters, and street entertainment. After dark, the pumpkins grow all aglow with illuminated large-scale pumpkin sculptures such as a cheerful cat and a giant but friendly spider. A 12-foot-tall Kentucky Derby equine is another photo-ready creation; inflatable pumpkins are also positioned for posing.

The event features multiple trick-or-treat opportunities along a Trick-or-Treat Trail, pumpkin-themed games, and an evening family dance party alight with those glowing pumpkins. Apple pie crumble with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce is just one of the popular Halloween-themed holiday treats.

The summer months, always the mainstay of both parks and the peak operating season for Hurricane Harbor, will bring their own extended hours to the 2024 season. Kentucky Kingdom is scheduling extended hours on Saturdays throughout the month of June, allowing park guests to enjoy the park's rides past sunset after dark.

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