Safety First
Don’t just say it, live it!

Safety is our top priority, and is everyone’s responsibility. Immediately report safety hazards or concerns to your supervisor. If an imminent hazard is present, immediately shut down the attraction or close off the area.
August 2019



  • Austin Williams - Idlewild & SoakZone
  • Mike Funyak - Idlewild & SoakZone
  • Jamie Wood - Storyland
  • Aquarius Tang - Corporate Staff
  • Mike Walk - Corporate Staff


  • Brandon Kuhn - Idlewild & SoakZone


  • Steel Curtain Opens at Kennywood
  • Story Land Earns Certified Autism Center Badge
  • Story Land Supports Give Kids The World Village
  • Story Land Nostalgia Nights
  • MSQ Releases Manatee JarJar Branch


Austin Williams – Electrician, Idlewild and SoakZone

Austin Williams is the newest Electrician at Idlewild & SoakZone, this year being his first year at the park. Austin studied electrical technology at the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center during High School. Since graduating, he also worked and has various experiences in electrical sales. Austin most recently worked in the light and residential industry, but is excited to get into the industrial side of the electric field at Idlewild & SoakZone. In his spare time, Austin enjoys spending time with his wife as well as playing base guitar for his Church’s rock band, which he’s done for eight years. He also enjoys spending time in his recording studio at his house, as well as flipping houses when he has the time. We’re excited to have you here, Austin!


Mike Funyak – Rides & Attractions Manager, Idlewild and SoakZone

Mike Funyak has been hired as the Rides & Attractions Manager at Idlewild & SoakZone. He began working in the amusement industry in 2013 as a Ride Operator at Kennywood. Most recently, he held the position of Assistant Director of Operations at DelGrosso’s Park in Tipton, PA where he worked for the past 3 ½ years. Mike graduated from Robert Morris University (Pittsburgh) in 2015 with a Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Management and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership. In his free time, Mike enjoys learning/researching the amusement industry, reading, listening to music, watching sports, and spending time with family and friends. Originally from the Western Pennsylvania region, Mike grew up visiting Idlewild & SoakZone and Kennywood. He looks forward to working with the team and continuing the legacy of creating memorable family fun at Idlewild & SoakZone.


Jamie Wood – Rides Manager, Storyland

Story Land welcomes Jamie Wood to the team as Rides Manager! Jamie is a Northern New England transplant from New Jersey, where she attended Richard Stockton College in southern NJ, just outside of Philadelphia. Most recently, Jamie worked as a human resources manager with Lowe’s Home Improvement, but her career has involved management, employee engagement, and training within a variety of retail companies. Jamie loves the outdoors; in winter she can be found snowboarding, and in the warmer months she’s camping, or out on the water on her stand-up paddle board or kayak. She’s a big time Flyers fan and loves going to Phillies games. Story Land is excited to have Jamie join the full time team!


Aquarius Tang – Senior Financial Analyst, Corporate Office

Aquarius Tang is a new addition to the Newport Beach, CA office supporting the finance side of Palace Entertainment. Aquarius came to Palace Entertainment with a diverse background in finance, operations, process improvement, and management. She worked in Fortune 500 companies, startups, and public sector. When Aquarius is not analyzing financial reports or fine-tuning processes and procedures, she is working on her MBA at UC Irvine and exploring the vibrant food scene that Southern California offers, as she is from the Northern California – Bay Area. She enjoys traveling, hiking, listening to a variety of music, eating good food, and spending time with her family and friends. Aquarius is excited to work with the parks and start her career in the amusement and entertainment industry with the Finance team!


Mike Walk – Network Engineer, Corporate Office

Mike Walk is an experienced network engineer that has joined the Palace IT team. His skills cover a wide range of topics including Microsoft technologies and network hardware from Cisco, Juniper, and Brocade. Mike has worked for many years in the Los Angeles area supporting large companies in the movie and television industry and is excited to support Palace’s evolving network.


Brandon Kuhn – Plumbing/Facilities Maintenance Technician, Idlewild and SoakZone

Brandon has worked at Idlewild & SoakZone since 2017, starting as a Ride Operator, working as a Rides Maintenance Assistant and now holding the full-time title of Facilities Maintenance Technician. Brandon graduated from Ligonier Valley High School this May, where he also graduated from the plumbing program at EWCTC—Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center—after studying there from his sophomore to senior year in high school. Brandon enjoys working with several of his family members, including his father and younger sister, who work seasonally. In his free time, he likes to read—Stars Wars and other fantasy novels being his favorites—as well as listen to music—primarily rock and metal though he enjoys all music. Although Brandon has only worked in his new position for a short time, he already loves the job and says the team is one of the things he’s most excited about. Welcome, Brandon


Steel Curtain Opens – Kennywood

Kennywood opened the highly-anticipated Steel Curtain roller coaster on July 12, with a special media day featuring first riders from all over the United States and members of the Pittsburgh Steelers past and present!

Read some of the coverage: CNN | Travel+Leisure


Story Land Earns “Certified Autism Center” Badge

Story Land is proud to announce that it has officially earned the Certified Autism Center badge! This designation granted by IBCCES signifies that Story Land has completed training from leading autism experts and is committed to providing accommodations to guests with autism and other sensory disorders. Story Land has added a Calming Room, Quiet Dining Area, and two “Sensory Sensitive Weekends” to its regular operations to better accommodate people with autism.

Story Land Supports “Give Kids the World Village”

Story Land helped raise $7000 for Give Kids the World Village, a central Florida nonprofit resort! Coasting for Kids came to Story Land on July 13th and each participant raised a minimum of $100, which granted them access to ride time on the Polar Coaster and the Roar-O-Saurus before the park opened for the day. Give Kids the World President & CEO Pam Landwirth presented “Top Individual” and “Top Team” fundraiser plaques to the participants who earned them. Every dollar raised went directly to Give Kids the World’s mission to provide cost-free, weeklong vacations to critically ill children and their families. Story Land looks forward to hosting this event year after year!


Story Land "Nostalgia Nights"

Story Land’s two sold out Nostalgia Nights were a total blast! Adults 21+ were encouraged to relive their childhoods and recreate memories at the park, without any kids in tow, after hours on June 22nd and July 9th . Both events featured live music, a wide selection of beer and wine, the majority of the park’s rides and attractions, and historical displays (the original pumpkin coach, famous Voyage to the Moon ride vehicles, an original Antique Car, and our first ever ride, “Freddy the Fire Truck”)! Game prizes were switched to unique Nostalgia Night items like shot glasses, light up cups, bags, etc, and neon & tie dye branded fanny packs were available to purchase and were seen on guests all throughout the park. Story Land is excited to begin planning next year’s after hours events, and is looking forward to hosting these events for years to come.


MSQ Releases Manatee JarJar Branch

On May 25, 2017, manatee JarJar Branch was struck by a boat. He was brought to our facility and remained in highly critical condition for the first four months, due to severe internal blunt force trauma. His medical care and physical rehabilitation to regain buoyancy took two years, but he has fully recovered! He now weighs more than 1,000 pounds and was released back to Florida waters on June 20. We want to thank our Camp Seaquarium campers for helping our team take measurements of JarJar Branch, jotting down notes and creating beautiful, heartfelt posters for him. We wish him the best of luck!


If you have any exciting news, announcements or events to share, a new employee to introduce, or recognition of an employee who has gone above and beyond, please email me a brief paragraph and photo if available, and we will share your news in next month’s newsletter.  

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Our Palace Mission

“To provide wholesome family entertainment that is safe, a great value, and exceeds guest expectations at every opportunity.”

Our Mission talks to the very essence of what Palace Entertainment is all about. Please keep this Mission in mind as you approach your work and make decisions that impact our guests.