Insider's Guide to Kentucky Kingdom

May 24, 2022

Those unfamiliar with Kentucky may only equate the Bluegrass State with derbies, bourbon, and fried chicken. However, adept adrenaline junkies know that near the state’s famous fairgrounds lies one of the South’s premier parks.

Follow along to learn everything you need to know about Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay!

From rousing roller coasters, including the tallest ride in the state, to refreshing plunges into the Mile High Falls, every inch of this theme park guarantees thrills. Even tiny tots can still get in on the action as they spin on the magical Mad Hatter in kid-friendly King Louie's Playland.

With 70 scintillating rides and attractions, Kentucky Kingdom is one awesome amusement park you can't afford to miss.

About Kentucky Kingdom

Curious to know more about Louisville's crown jewel amusement park? Formerly known as Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, this 67-acre sprawling oasis of water rides, roller coasters, and attractions has been entertaining families for over three decades. 

Back in 1977, the Kentucky State Fair Board announced plans to break ground on a brand new park on the grounds of the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. Construction was eventually completed, and Kentucky Kingdom opened to the patiently waiting public in 1987. 

Unfortunately, the park's success was short-lived as it went bankrupt after one year. Reputable businessman Ed Hart swooped in and purchased the park and reopened it in 1990. Hart successfully ran the park for many years and eventually sold it to Six Flags during the 1998 season. Today the park is owned by the Kentucky State Fair Board and operated by Herschend Family Entertainment.

Aerial view of Hurricane Bay pool and other attractions on a sunny day with blue sky and clouds in Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky, USA

photo credit: Kentucky Kingdom via Facebook

When to Go

Got your heart set on a thrilling spin aboard the Giant Wheel or Lightning Run? Plan your day at Kentucky Kingdom to royal perfection when you consult their official calendar and hours.

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Depending on the day and date, you can expect Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay to open between 10-11 a.m. and parks to close between 7-8 p.m. As always, weekday and non-holiday visits will result in fewer crowds and lines. 

Kentucky Kingdom Tickets

Ready for some down-home deep-fried Kentucky fun? Don't waste precious moments waiting in line. Instead, pre-purchase your discount Kentucky Kingdom tickets ahead of time and dive straight into hours of world-class amusement. 

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Kentucky Kingdom: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Whether you want to get soaking wet on slippery water slides or soar high on the Flying Dutchman, we provide a variety of admission tickets:

1-Day General Admission - features admission for one day to both Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay

2-Day General Admission- features admission for two days to both Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay

For some serious savings, bundle your Kentucky Kingdom tickets with room nights in a Kentucky Kingdom package!

Kentucky Kingdom Season Passes

Can't get enough of the Bluegrass Bakery's world-famous Cinnamon bread or the soaring heights of T3? If you think you'll need a repeat performance of Kentucky Kingdom's greatest hits, why not upgrade your General Admission ticket to either a Silver or Gold Season Pass? Simply complete this transaction on the day of your visit before you leave the park premises. 

Season Pass holders are afforded a wealth of wonderful benefits, including:

  • Unlimited Visits to Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay
  • Free Parking
  • Discounts on food, retail, and cabanas
  • Free Bring-A-Friend Tickets
  • Exclusive access to the park and pass holder events*
  • And more!

*Certain pass holder benefits are applicable only to Gold Season Pass holders. 

Giant Wheel ride with blue sky and clouds in the back ground in Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

photo credit: Kentucky Kingdom via Facebook


Whether you're a tourist or a Bluegrass State local, you'll need to ensure epic parking on the day of your visit. For the easiest access to both parks, enter the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) via Gate 2 or 4. The KEC charges a parking fee of $10.00 per car or $20.00 per bus. All Season Passholders are eligible for free parking on the day of their visit. 


Nothing can stop a day of theme park festivities faster than a tired toddler. Let little feet rest when you bring your own stroller or opt to rent within the park.

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Can't Miss Rides & Attractions

Cruisy water slides, classic bumper cars, and raucous wooden coasters create endless amounts of awesome amusement park entertainment. 

From kid-friendly options to high stakes thrills, we've got the pulse on Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay's can't miss attractions:

  • Lightning Run - steel yourself for the heart-pounding thrill of this 10-story coaster featuring a 100 ft, 80-degree drop!
  • Mile High Falls - forecast says it's going to pour! Prepare yourself for a dynamic drenching on one of the world's tallest spill rides. 
  • Giant Wheel - soak in panoramic views of downtown Louisville and the hilltops of Iroquois Park on this classic Ferris Wheel ride.
  • Thunder Run - wooden roller coaster fans unite! Post almost $1 million in refurbishments; this exhilarating ride is back, featuring negative airtime and a 74-foot drop.
  • T3 - suspend your fear and try not to lose your lunch on this suspended looping coaster with five gravity-defying inversions.
  • Mad Hatter - it's tea time! Enter a world of magical mischief when you spin round and round in these oversized teacups.
  • Flying Dutchman - travel to the Netherlands when you sit inside a giant whimsical flying wooden shoe!
  • Wave Runner - unparalleled aquatic excitement awaits Hurricane Bay guests on this triple bump speed slide.
  • Adventure River - brace yourself for a wild river ride as you experience the currents and rush of this winding water adventure!
Flying Dutchman ride with people onboard in Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville, Kentukcy, USA

photo credit: Tyler Clark via Facebook

Food & Drink

While outside food and drink may not be allowed on the park premise, you'll never go hungry at Kentucky Kingdom or Hurricane Bay. Both parks contain a cornucopia of delicious cuisine options:

  • Bluegrass Bakery - satisfy that sweet tooth with a hearty helping of world-famous cinnamon bread. Choose from toppings like apple butter and bourbon glaze and wash it all down with an ice-cold Starbucks Coffee beverage.
  • Swampwater Jacks - need to refuel with a real meal? Then, head to this Bayou-based favorite for tasty burgers, fresh salads, chicken tenders, personal pizzas, and more! 
  • Taco Tequila - located in Hurricane Bay, this Mexican-inspired eatery dishes up awesome artisanal tacos.
Bluegrass Bakery exterior with trees in background and people in front of bakery in Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

photo credit: Coaster Nation via Facebook

What to Bring

Don't let an errant blister or drained phone battery cast a dark cloud on your day of sunshine and smiles. Instead, guarantee a day of blissful Kentucky Kingdom memories when you come prepared. 

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Set yourself up for success when you pack your very own amusement park essential bag with our must-have items:

  • Portable phone charger
  • Water bottle
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Bathing suit + change of clothes (if planning on visiting Hurricane Bay/and or riding water rides)
  • Poncho, raincoat, or jacket (weather dependent)
  • Bandaids
  • Stroller (if required)

Nostalgic rides on a giant Ferris Wheel, 360-degree spins on the Eye of the Storm, and crystal clear Wave Lagoons. Come spring, there is nothing more enticing than a day of outdoor excitement at Kentucky Kingdom or Hurricane Bay.

From the simple pleasure of devouring soft serve ice cream to riding sky high with the Flying Dutchman, kids of all ages will experience royal perfection at Kentucky Kingdom

So don't wait; plan your escape to this land of Louisville thrills today!

Tell Us, What Kentucky Kingdom Ride Will You Conquer First?

Leave us a comment below!

isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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