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Idlewild & SoakZone Opens 138th Season with New Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Trolley Ride and Musical Stage Show

Daniel Tiger to Appear this Summer with New Attraction & Show Planned in Future

LIGONIER, PA – May 20, 2015 Idlewild and SoakZone  is celebrating its title of ‘Best Kids’ Park in the World’ for the fifth consecutive year, and will open for its 138th season on May 22. Because you love to see them smile, Idlewild & SoakZone invites families to ring in summer with its new trolley ride, musical show and friendly puppet character.

The park continues its long relationship with The Fred Rogers Company with the debut of the new “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” ride this summer. Guests will board the iconic Neighborhood trolley and travel through the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to meet Daniel Tiger, the main character from the award-winning animated preschool series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and many of his friends and family. The trolley runs along the same track that ushered park guests through the former Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe ride, which operated at the park from 1989 through 2013.

In conjunction with the new ride, Daniel Tiger and his friend Katerina Kittycat will star in a musical stage show, Daniel’s Grr-ific Day. The show will take place three times a day in Raccoon Lagoon kiddieland. After the show, kids will have the opportunity to meet and greet Daniel, Katerina, and their friend, O the Owl! “Daniel Tiger’s Neighbor Days,” a new event featuring other characters from the television program is also being planned for August.

“We can’t think of a more ideal place to have the Neighborhood of Make-Believe than at Idlewild – one of the most beloved kids’ parks in the world,” said Paul Siefken, Vice President of Broadcast and Digital Media for The Fred Rogers Company. “When children ride the trolley for the first time, they will feel like they are in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood; but for people who remember the original ride, they will feel like we’ve paid tribute to the original, and that we’ve come full circle, bringing Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood together in this new family experience.”

Design consultation for the new ride was provided by Pittsburgh-based Schell Games which boasts a history of creating theme park gems, including Race for the Beach at SeaWorld and other successful attractions at some of the world's most popular family vacation destinations. The animatronic characters were designed by LifeFormations with set displays manufactured by The Weber Group, Inc.

“We are excited to continue offering wholesome family entertainment through our partnership with The Fred Rogers Company,” comments Brandon Leonatti, General Manager of Idlewild & SoakZone. “Both the Daniel Tiger trolley ride and stage show provide fun interactive experiences for guests of all ages to enjoy. They are the perfect fit for the children who visit our park, and their parents who grew up watching the original Mister Rogers’ program will enjoy seeing Daniel bring smiles and learning to the next generation of children.”

The final addition to the park’s 138th season is a new family-friendly monster puppet character, Grigsby, who will make appearances throughout Idlewild three times a day. Several popular events will be returning this summer, including Marvel Super Hero Days (July 7 – 9 and July 21 – 23), and Princesses in the Park (July 14 – 16 and July 28 – 30).

Idlewild & SoakZone is providing FREE admission to military personnel during Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – May 25. Guests save up to $14.00 on their Regular FunDay Passes from the regular gate price when they purchase online at www.idlewild.com. Small groups of 15 to 24 may also purchase tickets online and save up to $13.00 per ticket, while large groups save up to 50% off the gate price by contacting Groups Sales at 724.238.6784. Discount tickets are also available at participating Giant Eagle locations. Children 2 years and under are always FREE.

The park’s popular season passes are currently offered in two pricing levels. The Summer Season, $54.99, includes unlimited admission to Idlewild & SoakZone during the 2015 summer season (through September 7, 2015). The Gold Season Pass, $69.99, includes admission to summer season, September weekends and HALLOWBOO!, and comes with Bring-A-Buddy days, sister park discounts, VIP Access to SoakZone and other in-park perks!

ABOUT THE FRED ROGERS COMPANY - The company was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for PBS. In the years that followed, it not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children. The Fred Rogers Company continues to build on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. The company’s highly-rated, award-winning children’s series include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and Odd Squad. For more information, visit www.fredrogers.org.

ABOUT SCHELL GAMES - Schell Games is a full-service game design and development company with a focus on creating transformational games and innovative, interactive experiences. Founded in 2002 by world-class game designer and renowned author Jesse Schell, the studio, based in Pittsburgh, PA, heralds a highly talented array of artists, programmers, producers, and game designers. Schell Games specializes in creating memorable experiences through mobile, PC, console, handheld, online and social games, interactive theme park attractions, internet-enabled toys and virtual worlds. The company counts some of the world’s most respected brands as clients, such as Amplify Learning, The Fred Rogers Company, Yale University, SeaWorld Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company and Microsoft Corporation. For more information on Schell Games, visit www.schellgames.com or email info@schellgames.com.

ABOUT IDLEWILD & SOAKZONE - Founded in 1878 as a picnic ground along the Ligonier Valley Rail Road, Idlewild & SoakZone is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and third-oldest in America. Idlewild is recognized as the world’s best amusement park for children per Amusement Today magazine. Featuring seven theme areas, Idlewild is part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks, which owns and operates over 40 theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers nationwide, including Kennywood and Sandcastle. Palace entertains millions of guests annually and is one of the largest park operators in the nation. For more information, call 724.238.3666 or visit http://www.idlewild.com and http://www.palaceentertainment.com.

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