Kennywood announces "biggest and best edition" of annual Phantom Fall Fest | Pittsburgh City Paper

Kennywood announces "biggest and best edition" of annual Phantom Fall Fest

click to enlarge Kenny the Kangaroo and another costumed character from Kennywood wave at the camera
Photo: Courtesy of Kennywood
Phantom Fall Fest at Kennywood
Each year, Halloween fans in Pittsburgh look forward to events like Phantom Fall Fest at Kennywood. What was formerly Phantom Fright Nights, a multi-week scare-fest that transformed the theme park into one big haunted attraction, the event now caters to a wider demographic with fun for the whole family.

Kennywood recently announced that it will present the "biggest and best edition" of its annual Halloween event since it debuted in 2002. Now in its 20th year, Phantom Fall Fest, which kicks off on Sept. 24 and runs through Oct. 30, will include seven haunted attractions, four scare zones, and more than 35 rides.

The park caters to families with daytime activities for kids, rides, "festive food," and a "unique autumn atmosphere." When the sun goes down, guests are treated to a more "extreme" experience with "terrifying haunts and spine-chilling scare zones." Unlike during the day, Phantom Fall Fests nights are recommended for park attendees 13 and up.


Compared to previous years, Kennywood also added 15 operating days to the 2022 season.

“There is no other place that offers so much Halloween fun  haunts, scares, popular rides, and family fun  at such a great value,” says Kennywood general manager Mark Pauls.
click to enlarge A group of actors dressed as zombie construction workers pose in front of the entrance to Kennywood
Photo: Courtesy of Kennywood
Phantom Fall Fest at Kennywood
New at Phantom Fall Fest this year is the Alice in Wonderland maze, an indoor haunted attraction based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale about a girl transported to a bizarre magical realm. The maze is described as offering an "unprecedented choose-your-own-adventure trip through the looking glass, creating a different experience for every guest."

Also launching on Sept. 24 is HallowBOO!, the fall festival at Kennywood’s sister park, Idlewild. HallowBOO! runs for 12 days and caters more to families and kids with three "not-so-scary mazes," rides on the HallowBOO! Express Railroad, and more mildly spooky fare like the Story Book Forest Trick-or-Treat Trail, the Confusion Hill Wacky Witches Inn, and the Jack-O-Lantern Jive and Monster Mash live stage shows.

HallowBOO! also has something new this year. Every day, kids can do meet-and-greets with costumed characters from the animated PBS show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.


Kennywood also plans to hire more workers  the park estimates that it needs more than 350 new recruits  to help pull off this ambitious Phantom Fall Fest. Those interested in being a part of Phantom Fall Fest or HallowBOO! can now apply online at the Kennywood and Idlewild websites. Kennywood will also host a job fair on Wed., Aug. 31 from 4-7 p.m. at the park's Parkside Café.

“Few jobs are as fun as being paid to scare people!” says Kennywood's human resources director, Joe Barron, in a press release. “Working at Kennywood or Idlewild offers a unique environment, flexible and engaging schedules, and the ability to deliver smiles  and screams to thousands of guests during the fall season.”

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