Coney Island, New York
(Also includes Scream Zone and Coney Island Cyclone)
Park News - (4/12/13) The local news reports that the nearby Parachute Jump tower has finished working on the $2 million lighting package upgrade. On special nights and whenever Luna Park is operating, the tower will put on an impressive light show.
(3/20/13) To help celebrate the reopening of Coney Island following the damage from Superstorm Sandy, rides on the nearby Deno’s Wonder Wheel will be free on Sunday, March 24th. (11am to 6pm).
(2/20/13) The local news reports that Luna Park will soon have a little competition, as a developer is making plans to open a new funzone called Big Mark’s Action Park that will feature a 50 ft rock climbing wall, skydiving simulator, an “obstacle course”... and a bar. (You may want to try those last two in the opposite order...)
Big Mark’s Action Park will take up the site that was formerly home to Cha Cha’s Steeplechase Fun Park. Sections of the Mega Whirl attraction that was on-site and damaged by Hurricane Sandy will be converted into the new bar area called Marco Grande’s Cantina which will feature drinks, live bands and DJs, foxy boxing and a mechanical bull. The owner will also take over and renovate the existing nearby Zip Line attraction and reopen it in time for Easter, however when the first of Big Mark’s Action Park opens around Memorial Day weekend the Zip Lines will close for renovations and reopen later that summer.
2013 - Water Mania - (5/31/13) Luna Park’s new Water Mania ride is set to open this Saturday according to the local news. Water Mania, made by Zamperla of course, seems to be the company’s own version of the Mack Twist ‘n’ Splash ride concept, offering a teacups on water kind of ride, with water guns to spray everyone down with. The concept here seems to differ mostly in the layout department, as the Mack ride features a classic tea-cup style disc with spinning mini-discs layout, while the new Zamperla Water Mania ride will feature two separate circles of rafts that will only come close at one point allowing them to try and shoot at each other as they whiz past.
2013 - Steeplechase Plaza - (11/11/11) While not officially part of Luna Park, construction has started on Coney Island’s new Steeplechase Plaza, which will be home to a historic old B&B Carousel from Coney Islands past when it opens in 2013. This will be located at the base of the historic old Parachute Jump tower structure. Now if only they could find a way to reopen the Parachute Jump...
???? - Cylone Refurbishment - In Progress - (2/2/12) Amusement Today reports that CAI (Centtral Amusement International), the Zamperla subsidiary who will oversee Coney Island Cyclone, has selected Great Coasters International to repair and refurbish the Cyclone. While normally this would be a completely happy story, the article does mention one thing that has a few Cyclone fans somewhat nervous.
According to the Present of CAI, Great Coasters surveyed the Cyclone and determined that by making a few very small adjustments to its profile, they could make the ride more enjoyable for everyone. The project will be broken down into several phases and result in a complete track replacement within 4 to 5 years. Part of the final phase will involve either refurbishing or replacing the Cyclone’s trains.
On a personal note, I can say that the work GCI has been doing over the last several years on another multi-phase refurbishment project at Carowinds on Thunder Road has been a huge success. Every season I look forwarding to riding it again as it just keeps getting better, so I’d be inclined to have a little faith in GCI’s judgement.
2014 - Thunderbolt - Confirmed - (6/13/13) An interesting new video showing off the new Thunderbolt Reborn coaster has surfaced on YouTube. The video shows off a slightly different steel coaster experience that will start things off with a very unique elevator lift system. The single car is also unique… as I don’t think I’ve seen a 3-row car with 3-across seating before. The coaster looks quite fun actually, and looks to leave a lot of open room on that site that could see more rides possibly added in the future.
(6/12/13) It has been confirmed that the new Thunderbolt coaster will be a steel coaster from Zamperla that will feature a vertical lift hill and vertical first drop. It will have an Out & Back layout that will feature inversions on the way out, but the return trip will be full of back to back airtime hills. Concept art showing off the layout and some of the elements can be found at Gizmodo.
(6/11/13) Don’t say I didn’t warn you, but the local news is now reporting that a new version of the old Thunderbolt coaster is being planned for a return to Coney Island. The new coaster will stand 125 feet and hit speeds of 65mph with the contract to run it going to the operator of Luna Park and Scream Zone. The ride is expected to be built in a vacant lot near the new Steeplechase Plaza on West 15th Street. My only question is... they don’t really show off what the coaster will look like and the one piece of artwork shown on the news website features a lot of white steel. So will the new Thunderbolt be steel or a recreation of the old classic wooden coaster? Anyone know more? Either way, Thunderbolt is expected to open in 2014.
(3/11/13) A very interesting rumor is starting to float around Luna Park these days. Word has it they have been getting a bit nostalgic for the old Thunderbolt wooden coaster that was closed in 1982 but left standing until being demolished as a safety hazard in late 2000. Could they be working on a plan to rebuild the Thunderbolt? From what I can tell from Google photos, the empty lot where Thunderbolt once sat is still sitting there empty and waiting. It would be great to see it returned to Coney Island once again if true.
(7/24/12) Now that we’ve seen Luna Park reborn and The Scream Zone added… people are wondering what’s next for Coney Island. (Other than a several year long phase by phase rehab of the Cyclone that is…) According to one very early rumor, the park mangement may be looking into possibly adding another coaster in a few years. No more details other than that however, so we’ll have to wait and see.