Idlewild and SoakZone – Ligonier, PA

Sponsored Post – GO Laurel Highlands hosted us at Idlewild. All opinions are my own.

Idlewild and SoakZone is an amusement park and water park for children. It’s located along Route 30 and close to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Idlewild typically opens for weekends around mid-May, and the water park, SoakZone, opens later in the season. It changes a bit each year, so be sure to check their operating calendar for hours before planning a visit.

The park has a rich history since it opened in 1878. The park has many different sections, including Story Book Forest, SoakZone water park, Jumpin’ Jungle, Racoon Lagoon (toddler / preschool area), and Olde Idlewild (classic rides).

Idlewild Storybook Village
Entrance to Story Book Forest

Idlewild’s admission gates are a bit different than a typical amusement park. While parking is free, you’ll pull up to a booth in the parking lot to pay for your admission. Each person will receive a wrist band to indicate that they’ve paid for admission.

Next, you can proceed to the parking areas. Be sure to note where you parked, as there are several different parking areas dispersed around the park. The lots are labeled with letters A to F.

The schedule for the day, which you’ll receive at the admission booths, indicates the hours for each area. Olde Idlewild typically opens first, while SoakZone may open an hour later. Some of the areas close earlier than others, so make note of that if you plan to stay all day.

Olde Idlewild

Olde Idlewild is a nod to the park’s long history as it includes many classic rides. Bumper cars, paratrooper, carousel, scrambler, round up, and many other classic amusement park rides are located in this area. There are also two roller coasters.

Olde IdleWild
The Spider in Olde Idlewild

One is a 1938 wooden coaster called Rollo Coaster. It has a small hill and some turns as it navigates the hillside. The other coaster is a Wild Mouse.

Rollo Coaster
Rollo Coaster

Racoon Lagoon

Racoon Lagoon is the kiddie ride area. It is located across the bridge from Olde Idlewild. There are many gentle ride for toddlers and preschoolers in this area, including a kiddie version of the bumper cars, boats, airplanes, motorcycles, cars, and a small turtle ride.

Idlewild Boat Ride
Idlewild Kiddie Boat Ride

This area is quite shady and has benches to rest. There’s also a train to ride that travels through a portion of the park. Racoon Lagoon borders Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and is home to the live show with Daniel Tiger.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Idlewild Daniel Tiger Trolley
Neighborhood Trolley

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is located beside Racoon Lagoon. The neighborhood is visited via a trolley ride that you can access from Racoon Lagoon. This ride has a great queue line, as it is lined with shaded benches.

Daniel Tiger's Friends
Daniel Tiger’s Friends

There are typically two trolleys running, and they hold approximately 25 people. Each trolley ride takes about 15 minutes, as you great all of Daniel Tiger’s friends along the way.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

There’s also a live show with Daniel Tiger and his friend, Katerina Kitty Kat. At the end of the show, there is a meet and greet with the characters.

Daniel Tiger Show
Daniel Tiger Show


SoakZone is Idlewild’s water park. It’s located toward the back of the park, reachable from a path from Olde Idlewild and from a bridge in Racoon Lagoon.

Idlewild's SoakZone
Float Away Bay and SoakZone Water Slides

SoakZone features a lazy river, mat racer slide, children’s pool area, two tube slides, two body slides, and a wave pool. Set to the side of SoakZone, there’s a water play structure with six water slides. It’s easy to miss, as it’s located down a path next to the wave pool.

Jumpin’ Jungle

Jumpin’ Jungle is another area of the park, located closer to the front, near parking lot A. This area includes places for kids to climb and slide.

BigFoot's Mudslide
BigFoot’s Mudslide in Jumpin’ Jungle

There’s a net climb, large slide, a safari hut, suspension bridge, and a few other unique attractions. This area is nicely shaded, and has a few arcade games under roof. Picnic pavilions are nearby, which can be reserved for group events. Any pavilion that does not have a reserved sign is open to the public.

Jumpin Jungle
Jumpin’ Jungle Net Climb

Story Book Forest

Story Book Forest is a walk-thru attraction where you can step inside many fairy tales and nursery rhymes. First, you’ll step into a storybook and visit Mother Goose. Follow the gravel walking path to visit many other scenes, such as The Little Engine That Could, Geppetto’s Workshop, The Three Little Pigs, and many more.

Little Engine That Could
The Little Engine That Could!

At the end of the path, the is the castle, complete with princess and Duke the Dragon. Inside the castle walls, there’s a sword in the stone that you can try to remove. Duke may even try to help you! There’s also a small souvenir shop located beside the castle.

Storybook Forest
Castle in Storybook Forest

Nearby Lodging

There’s several nearby hotels that offer hotel packages. Find a list of the hotels here.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort is a approximately a 40 minute drive from Idlewild. If you’re visiting the area, Seven Springs Resort also features summer outdoor activities for kids including an alpine slide, rock wall, trampoline, and two pools.

Sponsored Post – GO Laurel Highlands hosted us at Idlewild. All opinions are my own.

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Post Author: karenbeth24