Sandcastle opens ahead of Memorial Day with a new look, first new slide in 10 years

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Like its sister attractions kennywood and Idlewild & SoakZone, Sand castle will open earlier than usual this season.

On Friday, the West Homestead water park announced that opening day was May 21 – a week before the start of the traditional Memorial Day weekend.

Kennywood opens April 16 and Idlewild May 7.

“We also decided to open Sandcastle earlier,” said Nick Paradise, director of corporate communications for Palace Entertainment, which operates all three parks. “There are times when the weather is nice before Memorial Day weekend.”

Friday wasn’t so good. Temperatures were in the 30’s. Windy with occasional snow showers.

“What better day to think about summer than a cold, wet, miserable day,” said assistant general manager Ricky Spicuzza. “We can’t wait for customers to experience this energetic version of Sandcastle. It’s unlike anything our city has seen before.

Sandcastle season pass holders will get early entry on day one. They will notice a facelift to the park, including the boardwalk, with new signage and lighting, and freshly painted food stalls located not far from the Monongahela River.

“We really wanted to elevate the boardwalk,” Paradise said. “The lights give more opportunity to be open later for evening events.”

New this year is the Sandbox, a 2,000 square foot dedicated play area that’s perfect for building sand sculptures, Paradise said. There will be chairs nearby where parents can relax while their children play.

Courtesy of Sandcastle

The new Sandbox at Sandcastle Water Park is a 2,000 square foot play area.

The whole landscape was decorated with ornamental flowers and grasses. Each slide has been repainted. Sandcastle has 16 slides, two large pools, Lazy River and two children’s areas. The lazy river, whose opening has been delayed in recent years due to flood-related maintenance issues, should be ready in time, Spicuzza said.

Palace Entertainment has committed a multi-million dollar investment to upgrade the water park, Paradise said, marking the biggest transformation since the park opened in 1989.

The announcement was made on April Fool’s Day, but it wasn’t a joke, Sandcastle said on Facebook.

Kennywood in West Mifflin and Sandcastle will also introduce a ride that was not available last year. Celebrating 125 years in 2023, Kennywood is bringing back the beloved kangaroo. Sandcastle will launch the highly anticipated Bombs Away waterslide.

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Courtesy of Sandcastle

The Bombs Away Waterslide is scheduled to open at Sandcastle Water Park in the summer of 2022.

Bombs Away is set to launch in early June, Spicuzza said. It’s the newest slide in the 10 years since the Dragon’s Den opened. The freefall slide is described as having “riders entering an enclosed launch capsule. The ground disappears, dropping riders at 26 feet per second through 300 feet of water.

The Bombs Away burger is made from Wagu beef with a fun twist on the toppings to honor the new slide.

All three parks will have open days through mid-September.

This will be the park’s longest season, Spicuzza said. He said they realize that in the past some days before Memorial Day and after Labor Day have often been hot, and that played into the decision to open early and stay open longer.

“The good days are coming,” he said. “They really are. Spend those summer days here at Sandcastle.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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