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Coney Island (Luna Park / Deno's) Development Discussion Thread

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I think its bizarre that they have like three different renderings of the attraction don't forget that adjacent to this will be the new steeplechase plaza where steeplechase park once was. Steeplechase Plaza will have retail space and will be able to host public performances and will become home to a new carousel as it seems. According to what I've heard this will be part of that whole area.


The first two pictures on this page are an accurate representation of where the B&B Carousell will be in relation to the Thunderbolt.


I guess we will have to wait to see how this is priced and for that matter if Luna Park will offer a combination Pay One Price wristband for Scream Zone and Luna Park in the future.

Edited by larrygator
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^Yes, that's the original Nathan's.


FYI - That empty lot between the go-karts and and Nathan's is currently a city owned vacant lot that is currently used for concerts. Not sure if NYC leases it to a promoter for the concerts or how the concerts are organized.

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  • 2 weeks later...



NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fire crews were dispatched to the amusement parks of Coney Island Tuesday afternoon, amid concerns about the stability of the iconic Astrotower.


Luna Park was evacuated as a precaution during the 5 p.m. hour, CBS 2 has learned. The Cyclone roller coaster, the Wonder Wheel, and the entirety of Luna Park will be closed until crews determine the tower is safe.


The tower, which is no longer in use as a ride, stands about 270 feet high right in the middle of the amusement section of Coney Island – near the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone roller coaster.


The FDNY was keeping watch at the base of the tower, and extra barriers had been put up, CBS 2’s Joe Biermann reported.


The Office of Emergency Management said structural integrity of the tower was in doubt.


Earlier, Luna Park remained open and rides near the tower were operating as usual despite the concerns. But the park was later evacuated as the tower swayed left and right, the FDNY said.


Fire crews entered the tower through access routes to examine the tower, Biermann reported.


The Astrotower is a gyro tower, in which a rotating platform rises up in the air for overhead views of the amusement area below. It was constructed for the Astroland amusement park, which operated at Coney Island from 1962 to 2008, and has been out of use since Luna Park supplanted Astroland in 2010.

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Sounds like this is nothing out of the ordinary and the fire department was called by someone who didn't know that.


Update, 6:35 p.m.: Dick Zigun, the "unofficial mayor" of Coney Island, said the Astro Tower swaying is nothing out of the ordinary. "That was pretty much a false alarm," he said of today's events. "It's designed to sway, someone didn’t know that and started a chain reaction by calling the fire department."

"It always sways. But if you don’t know that, it does look crazy," he said, adding that certain weather conditions—not even wind, necessarily—tend to make the tower wobble more than usual. He said it causes unwarranted concern roughly 4 or 5 times each year.

"Every other month it looks like it’s going to topple over," he said.



I didn't realize that the tower didn't run anymore, any particular reason Zamperla didn't get it running again?

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I didn't realize that the tower didn't run anymore, any particular reason Zamperla didn't get it running again?


I believe it was a parts issue. Whether the part is readily available or too costly I can't recall. But at almost 40, the Tower had to be near the end of it's expected lifecycle. Also, the costs to remove it are extremely high so they left it as a historic beacon, like the never removed parachute jump.

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Heads up for everyone heading out to one of America's treasures... The "best" parts of Coney Island will be closed tomorrow on July 4th... All of Luna Park, the Cyclone, Deno's Amusement Park and the Wonder Wheel will be closed. Scream Zone, the Carousel and a portion of the boardwalk (to host the hot dog eating contest) are expected to open though.


Due to safety concerns they've decided to dismantle the tower.

Sad stuff,


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Didn't that tower survive Sandy?(hurricne force winds) I don't really see too much of a safety concern. might as well take down possessed at dorney or wiked twister for "safety resons". On the other hand, they aren't using it anyway and could make room for something else, something very small but it's something

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OK, I think have have a better understanding of the situation now.


Yes, the tower did survive Hurricane Sandy. However, since that time the observation cabin which used to be parked about 15 feet from the ground was removed. The weight of the observation cabin at a point so low to the ground stabilized the swaying of tower keeping the movement within acceptable parameters.


^Also the footprint of the tower is very small. I'm not sure they could fit more than a Dippin Dots stand in the tower's place.

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I wonder why the tower wasn't fixed. I know some parks having towers like this who are about the same age - Hansa-Park, Heide-Park, Europa-Park - and there were never any issues when I was there.


And even at higher winds: I've never seen the Hansa-Park tower sway and I doubt its designed to do that...

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I wonder why the tower wasn't fixed. I know some parks having towers like this who are about the same age - Hansa-Park, Heide-Park, Europa-Park - and there were never any issues when I was there.


And even at higher winds: I've never seen the Hansa-Park tower sway and I doubt its designed to do that...


The Astroland Tower was designed to sway. It only recently started swaying too much.


My understanding behind it never being fixed was a combintation of:

1 - It being too costly to fix (it last ran in 2007, so 3 years of non-operation may have caused additional damage)

2 - Operating it would have required a bigger footprint (to bring the cabin all the way to the ground and fence off a queue area)

3 - It ran infrequently at Astorland was never very popular

4 - Zamperla wanted to showcase their rides


If I remember correctly, CAI wanted to remove the Tower and the City of New York requested that it stay as a landmark. Since CAI is leasing the property they followed NYC's request.


Here is an article http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/crews_dismantling_portion_of_coney_QwaRUh0NtKIUpBeNgKdB6M with more detail:


Crews dismantle portion of Astrotower, causing July 4th havoc on Coney Island

Posted: 4:50 AM, July 4, 2013


Crews have spent the night dismantling a portion of Coney Island's Astrotower due to safety concerns over the aging, swaying attraction.


Those concerns left the roller coaster, Ferris wheel and other attractions idled Wednesday - and could keep them closed today.


"We're going to do everything we can to keep this park open," Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said, but authorities said they needed to keep a chunk of it closed and even rope off part of Coney Island's famous boardwalk until they could be sure there was no danger.


While the beach, a carousel, some other amusements and Nathan's Famous — home of the July Fourth hot dog eating contest — were open, the developments had tourists trying to figure out whether to rejigger plans and vendors wishing they wouldn't have to.


"You've waited for a whole year. You just wait for this day," Victor Summers said as he stood next to the 3-D simulator ride he's operated in the shadow of the Astrotower since 1996.


"The Fourth of July — it's like Christmas for Coney Island."


The holiday cliffhanger centers on a spindle that has stood over Coney Island for nearly half a century, a beacon for a its beachfront entertainments and a memento of the space-race era in which many of them were built.


Installed in 1964, the Astrotower was a focal point of space-themed attractions that updated the beach resort and helped it endure tough years later on.


The tower was equipped with an observation car that looped around the top to offer visitors 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Brooklyn. It instantly became a New York classic — "the big bagel in the sky," a newspaper of the time called it, and the nickname stuck.


The structure closed to visitors in 2007, but the city made a point of saying the tower would remain when a new company took on the amusement park in 2010.


Now, a portion of it is coming down.


The hullaballoo began Tuesday afternoon, when someone called the fire department, concerned that the tower was swaying. The park was evacuated and shut down hours before its usual closing time as a precaution.


The needlelike structure was built to give somewhat in the wind to withstand storms, such as Superstorm Sandy last year. But recent work to remove the now-unused observation car took weight off the tower's tip and allowed it to sway more than usual, LiMandri said.


Officials found it was moving about 1.5 feet at the top, approaching the threshold of what it can safely withstand, he said, declining to give an exact figure.


Mayor Bloomberg said Wednesday morning initial assessments showed the tower was stable, and officials weren't yet certain but were optimistic. Some attractions, including the Coney Island Raceway and the B&B Carousell, reopened around noon.


But on Wednesday afternoon, police began closing down two blocks of the boardwalk and stretching tape around the block near the Astrotower, which shifted from time to time in the wind.


"I'm losing a ton of business. I understand it's safety purposes, but it's the wrong day," Billy Burke said as he closed up Paul's Daughter, the boardwalk hot dog stand where he has worked for 31 years. He'd bought triple the amount of supplies he lays in for a normal weekend.


But, he said, he understood the stakes.


"If that thing falls, it's going to be a disaster."


Burke and other locals are accustomed to seeing the structure waggle — "every year, people complain that it's moving," said Esther Sherman, who manages Lago Furniture across the street.


But some who had watched it Tuesday said they noticed the movement was more pronounced than normal.


"It's the first time I saw it swinging like that, back and forth. I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" said Tracy Mittleman, who has lived across the street all her 34 years.


And it was squeaking, "like it just wasn't oiled, like parts were rusting," added her mother, Noreen Mittleman, 53.

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The video on the NY Daily News site has footage of the tower swaying and I can understand why they were concerned. It may be within the design limits of the tower, but if it continues long enough, it will begin to weaken the steel and could potentially become a more serious hazard in the future. Considering they have had 2 hurricanes in 2 years come very close to NYC, its probably safer to remove the problem while the weather is nice.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I was stuck in traffic today so I diverted to Coney Island to check out five things:

The new B&B Carousell

The new rides at Luna Park

The state of the former Astroland Tower

Check out the look of the completely renovated original Nathan's

Finally visit Totonno's Pizzeria


The B&B Carousell building


with a beautiful carousel inside.


It's a Coney Island original


The lead horse is fancy and they plan to keep him that way.


They surrounded the ride with old signs.


This one is for Larry


One of Luna Park's new rides: Water Mania


and there's the other


That's what left of the AstroTower


The whole area is only about 40 feet by 20 feet. I'd be surprised if they could fit more than a Dippin Dot stand there


For those who miss the Shoot the Freak paintball booth, there is now Shoot the Clown.


Mega Whirl still sits there, rumored to be beyond repair due to saltwater damage.


Nathan's was busy, just like old times.


Totonno's is about two blocks from the amusements. One of the workers from Lombardi's started his business in 1924. The location has moved once and was closed for months due to Hurricane Sandy damage.


Simple menu


Fresh mozzarella, olive oil, grated cheese, tomato sauce and dough. That's it. There should be nothing else on a good pizza.


Not my pie, but I know Robb likes the sausage. On his pizza.


My delicious pizza. The place is closed Monday and Tuesday and other days the line is usually around the corner, but in 100 degree weather the locals were not eating pizza today.

Edited by larrygator
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Thanks for the pictures Larry! The carousel looks beautiful, and so does that pizza! Also glad to see the redesigned Nathan's, looks like it should be able to move the line quicker than the old one, so that's always good as well.


They really did a good job with the B&B Carousell restoration.


If nothing else, the redesigned Nathan's is more organized making it easier for patrons to know where to lines up.

Edited by larrygator
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Oh how I love Coney Island. I did the Shoot the Freak a few times a while back, and it was hilarious fun. Do they still have those fairground-esque rides such as Ring of Fire, etc?


Directly west of Deno's there are still 5-6 rides run by independent operators.

Saturn 6

a dark ride

bumper cars


I think the Ring of Fire, Zipper and other fairground type flats used to be where Scream Zone now stands.

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