Coney Island, New York
(Also includes Scream Zone and Coney Island Cyclone)
Park News - (7/5/13) You can check in on the progress of the removal of the AstroTower with this live webcam. Based on the look of it right now (6pm EST) the tower appears to have been cut down to about the same height as Luna Park’s Brooklyn Flyer (Zamperla Vertical Swing) ride which is about 100 feet tall according to the Luna Park website. Look below the live cam image and you can click on some previous images showing the progress of the tower being removed over the past days.
(7/5/13) Update on Luna Park and the nearby AstroTower - Construction crews arrived on the scene either late night on July 3rd or very early on July 4th to begin removing pieces of the AstroTower, and allowed for the nearby local businesses that were closed to reopen on Thursday afternoon. While visibly the tower is still standing, they cut away and removed 44,000 pounds of weight and the ‘cap’ structure from the top of the tower so far.
2014 - Thunderbolt - Confirmed - (11/22/13) Zamperla was on hand to talk to our friends at Coaster Crew about the new Thunderbolt coaster coming to Luna Park, along with a great look at a huge scale model of the new coaster.
(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.
Ongoing - 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.