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

P. 60: Phoenix coaster announced for Phoenix at Deno’s Wonder Wheel

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This brief news article states that a water park is part of the current plan. In my opinion that fits perfectly behind the log flume filling the vacant lot to Surf Avenue.

 

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/08/23/city-unveils-plans-for-new-water-park-arcade-on-coney-island/

 

 

City Unveils Plans For New Water Park, Arcade On Coney Island

August 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm

 

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Economic Development Corporation and NYC Parks announced Thursday plans to construct a large-scale water park on Coney Island.

 

The city has picked Central Amusement International (CAI) to develop 150,000 square feet of city-owned land in the heart of Coney Island’s world-famous amusement district.

 

The plans call for a water park, a public plaza with open air food options and an arcade.

 

“Coney Island is both a cherished summertime destination and an important economic engine for South Brooklyn,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation. “With these exciting new attractions and our ongoing investments in housing and infrastructure, Coney Island’s future has never looked brighter.”

Edited by larrygator
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This is going to spoil everyone who is used to the smoothness of the Coney Island Cyclone or a Zamperla coaster.

Before the new coaster at Luna Park opens, it seems as if Deno's Wonder Wheel Park is getting a brand new custom Vekoma suspended family coaster for the 2021 season! From the article on USA Today;

They are. Dragon Flier at Dollywood is butter smooth. No OTSRs, just a lapbar in a comfortable bucket seat. He's saying the Zamperlas are janky (not going to disagree there) and the Cyclone (which has

Posted Images

My interpretation

It sounds like the flume will be entered from the beach and will stretch from the walkway alongside the B&B Carousel/stadium to the Thunderbolt, but I can't imagine it stretching more than 1/3 of the way to Surf.

 

I interpret it the same way. I'm curious to see what (if anything) fills in the rest of that area, especially because due to how narrow that street is and how close it is to the outfield wall whatever it is is going to get peppered with flying baseballs unless it's something indoors or they invest in a big ugly net. It's only 315 feet down the line which is... not much.

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My interpretation

It sounds like the flume will be entered from the beach and will stretch from the walkway alongside the B&B Carousel/stadium to the Thunderbolt, but I can't imagine it stretching more than 1/3 of the way to Surf.

 

I interpret it the same way. I'm curious to see what (if anything) fills in the rest of that area, especially because due to how narrow that street is and how close it is to the outfield wall whatever it is is going to get peppered with flying baseballs unless it's something indoors or they invest in a big ugly net. It's only 315 feet down the line which is... not much.

 

The net does not have to be ugly, the only drawback to the net is the birds that will roost upon it.

 

Maybe a permanent huge painted mural wall beyond left field.

 

A huge mesh wall/net that can be raised during baseball games (similar to a field goal net)

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^I'm not super familiar with all the new Coney Island stuff and the Zamperla deal...are there any other non-Zamperla rides/attractions in the stuff that they run?

Obviously there's the Carousel and the Cyclone. Everything else is a Zamperla attraction except for their Sling Shot ride, which is a Funtime semi-portable installation, and (I believe) their Coney Island Raceway go-kart track. So it's not unprecedented for Central Amusements to reach out beyond Zamperla's portfolio for a specialty attraction.

 

From my readings on Coney Island... "In 2010 Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. was selected by CAI (Central Amusement International) to restore and renovate the Coney Island area, the company managed the amusement park in New York installing only Zamperla rides, representing a perfect test bed for new attractions before to launch them."

 

Unlike companies such as Intamin, Vekoma, or Bolliger & Mabillard that concentrate on larger and faster roller coasters, Zamperla focuses on more family-friendly roller coasters that can be easily mass-produced, taken down, and transported to different locations. They are also a major manufacturer of flat rides.

 

That being said, while Zamperla deserves praise for a 'job well-done,' I, myself, would have been happier to see some of the other companies mentioned above being invited to produce a greater, more exciting diversity of coasters!

 

Greedy Alice

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^I'm not super familiar with all the new Coney Island stuff and the Zamperla deal...are there any other non-Zamperla rides/attractions in the stuff that they run?

Obviously there's the Carousel and the Cyclone. Everything else is a Zamperla attraction except for their Sling Shot ride, which is a Funtime semi-portable installation, and (I believe) their Coney Island Raceway go-kart track. So it's not unprecedented for Central Amusements to reach out beyond Zamperla's portfolio for a specialty attraction.

 

From my readings on Coney Island... "In 2010 Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. was selected by CAI (Central Amusement International) to restore and renovate the Coney Island area, the company managed the amusement park in New York installing only Zamperla rides, representing a perfect test bed for new attractions before to launch them."

 

Unlike companies such as Intamin, Vekoma, or Bolliger & Mabillard that concentrate on larger and faster roller coasters, Zamperla focuses on more family-friendly roller coasters that can be easily mass-produced, taken down, and transported to different locations. They are also a major manufacturer of flat rides.

 

That being said, while Zamperla deserves praise for a 'job well-done,' I, myself, would have been happier to see some of the other companies mentioned above being invited to produce a greater, more exciting diversity of coasters!

 

Greedy Alice

 

Please tell me what is "family-friendly" about the death-machine Volares?

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^I'm not super familiar with all the new Coney Island stuff and the Zamperla deal...are there any other non-Zamperla rides/attractions in the stuff that they run?

Obviously there's the Carousel and the Cyclone. Everything else is a Zamperla attraction except for their Sling Shot ride, which is a Funtime semi-portable installation, and (I believe) their Coney Island Raceway go-kart track. So it's not unprecedented for Central Amusements to reach out beyond Zamperla's portfolio for a specialty attraction.

 

From my readings on Coney Island... "In 2010 Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. was selected by CAI (Central Amusement International) to restore and renovate the Coney Island area, the company managed the amusement park in New York installing only Zamperla rides, representing a perfect test bed for new attractions before to launch them."

 

Unlike companies such as Intamin, Vekoma, or Bolliger & Mabillard that concentrate on larger and faster roller coasters, Zamperla focuses on more family-friendly roller coasters that can be easily mass-produced, taken down, and transported to different locations. They are also a major manufacturer of flat rides.

 

That being said, while Zamperla deserves praise for a 'job well-done,' I, myself, would have been happier to see some of the other companies mentioned above being invited to produce a greater, more exciting diversity of coasters!

 

Greedy Alice

 

Please tell me what is "family-friendly" about the death-machine Volares?

 

Or the horrifying new Thunderbolt!

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From my readings on Coney Island... "In 2010 Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. was selected by CAI (Central Amusement International) to restore and renovate the Coney Island area, the company managed the amusement park in New York installing only Zamperla rides, representing a perfect test bed for new attractions before to launch them."

 

Greedy Alice

 

Just one slight correction

 

CAI is a subsidiary of Zamperla, they were selected by NYCEDC (New York City Economic Development Corporation) to manage Luna Park in 2010, the only non-Zamperla rides installed in new Luna Park was the Wild River log flume. Using Coney Island as a test bed for new Zamperla attractions is accurate.

 

Every time a new parcel of land has made available for new rides through an RFP (Request for Proposal) process, CAI has won the rights (Scream Zone, Thunderbolt, these newest additions)

The new Brooklyn Miniature Golf Course and the new slick race track adjoining it are on property still owned by Thor Equities.

Edited by larrygator
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As the summer is winding down, I decided to stop by Coney Island tonight to just walk around. The place really comes alive at night and the light packages for the old parachute tower and Thunderbolt are very impressive.

1521293227_20180829_2100421.thumb.jpg.f143252f6b6c53043cbf5b00b778bc88.jpg

Starting from the west, are the parachute tower (80% lighted) and the B&B Carousell

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Now fully lit

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Future home of the flume between the B&B Carousel and Thunderbolt.

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This street (West 15th) to the east of Thunderbolt is where the ropes course will be built.

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The new AstroTower

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The Brooklyn Cyclones had a night game so the area was busy tonight

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The Endeavor shows off its lights

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Continuing to move east, this is Stillwell Avenue, about 1/3 of this street will bcome shaded, receive benches turn into a game area.

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About 1/3 of West 12th Street will be reclaimed and turned into shaded food stands and seating.

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Looking out over Luna Park from the Boardwalk. Yes I skipped right over Deno's WonderWheel Park with the photos.

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The other new 2018 addition, Coney Clipper

472053595_20180829_2108051.thumb.jpg.e9a062312ba62da2314d370bb225e316.jpg

Edited by larrygator
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I love these things (seriously, they're great) but they always seem like a weird ride for small pay-per-ride parks with limited space. They're huge and they only hold an absolute maximum of 24 riders at a time if every car is functioning which I mean... it's an Air Race so

 

The midi discovery right next to it holds 16 riders but they can charge the same amount of tickets / credits for it and you could put like 3 of them in the Air Race footprint. There are a lot of more efficient options.

 

Obviously this park is in a unique situation since Zamperla owns it but at the same time I'm sure whatever they replace it with will be infinitely more profitable (especially since they could probably throw in some food places or games if they want in addition to one or two new rides).

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Lula Vourderis, the longstanding owner of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park passed away last week. She and her husband owned the park in Coney Island (bordering Luna Park) for over three decades.

 

https://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/42/9/bn-lula-vourderis-obit-2019-03-01-bk.html

 

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Rest in peace: Matriarch of Coney Island’s Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park Lula Vourderis — pictured here with her husband, Deno, in 1983 — died of Alzheimer’s disease on Feb. 18 at 88-years-old.

Lula Vourderis, who owned and operated Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park with her husband for more than three decades, died in Queens on Feb. 18. She was 88-years-old. The beloved matriarch of the landmarked Wonder Wheel, who died after a years-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, was a fixture in Coney Island, according to its unelected mayor and the founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, who said he first met Vourderis and her husband, Deno, back in the ’80s when he opened his home of human oddities.

 

“She always had a glow about her, a generosity and friendliness about her,” said Dick Zigun. “She was very much a mother to all of us in the amusement community.” She lived most of her life in the distant borough of Queens, but Coney Islanders always considered her one of their own, Zigun said.

 

Indeed, residents recognized Vourderis’s role in making Coney the entertainment destination it is today back in 2014, when leaders of neighborhood group the Alliance for Coney Island awarded her a lifetime achievement award for her decades of commitment to the community, according to the alliance’s head, who praised Vourderis’s humility and bootstrapping spirit.

 

“She was the epitome of the American dream,” said Alexandra Silversmith. “She was not a flashy person at all and didn’t want attention on all the good things that she was doing — she was definitely someone who left an impact on a lot of people.”

 

Vourderis, who often doled out homemade fried potatoes, shish kabob, and cotton candy to visitors of the People’s Playground, originally hailed from upstate New York, and spent part of her childhood in Greece — where, at 6-years-old, she lost her mother to typhoid, and later struggled to get by while living in the country during World War II, according to her grandson Deno Vourderis.

 

After the war, her family returned to Manhattan, where Vourderis’ father bought a pushcart and began selling hot dogs — a job Vourderis took up just a few years later. She soon met her future husband, a fellow Grecian and wiener seller. The pair spent their weekends on dates in the People’s Playground, where they took in the sights and sounds of Sodom by the Sea. And on one hot day in 1947, Deno proposed to Lula on Coney Island Beach, promising her the iconic Wonder Wheel that loomed overhead in lieu of a ring that he couldn’t afford, the pair’s grandson said.

 

“He said to her, ‘I don’t have money for a ring, but if you turn and look at that big wheel over there, I promise that one day I’ll buy it for you,’” the younger Deno said.

 

The couple went on to have four kids — Aristea, Dennis, Steve, and Helen.

 

And more than three decades after her husband made his promise, Lula finally got her Wonder Wheel. In 1983 the pair bought the more than 60-year-old, 150-foot-tall, 400,000 pound ride from owner Fred Garms — whose father, Herman, was its first owner-operator — and dubbed it “Deno’s Wonder Wheel.”

 

The duo then got to work restoring the contraption, which the city landmarked six years later, in 1989 — three years after the husband and wife bought the land next door to the ride, which they christened “Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park” for its range of other attractions for kids and adults.

 

Vourderis spent a decade cleaning and cooking at the amusement park, where she served food from the couple’s snack bars — a passion born from her own food-insecure years in Greece during the war, her grandson said. “After going hungry, she took joy in feeding people, even if they couldn’t pay,” he said.

 

Vourderis retired in 1995 — the year after her husband died — and spent the rest of her life as a grandmother and great-grandmother living with her family in their Queens home, the younger Deno said. Her sons Dennis and Steve took over the family’s fun business, which they run to this day.

 

Doctors diagnosed Vourderis with Alzheimer’s in the early 2000s, and Steve took care of her until she died surrounded by her family this month, according to her grandson. And through it all, Vourderis never forgot her love for Coney Island, a place she loved for its ability to bring people from all walks of life together. “It was a place where immigrants could live out their American dream,” he said. “After seeing so much war in her life, diverse people enjoying life together meant the world to her.”

ConeyIsland_120x900.jpg.91886270b79a9ac8b9e83625cc685af5.jpg

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Deno's Wonder Wheel is the heart of Coney Island. Sad that this special woman suffered from Alzheimer's. She and her husband left NYers - and people from all over - a one-of-a-kind legacy.

 

Alice

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  • 1 month later...

Luna Park is opening this weekend. On the map on the website, it looks like they've removed more than just the Air Race in terms of flat rides; Coney Island Sound (their themed Kang'A Bounce), the Mermaid Parade mini-flume, and the weird Cosmo Jet flat + video game experience that they literally just put in last season are all gone from the map and corresponding listings.

 

There are two "coming soon!" bubbles on the map corresponding to where Air Race and Cosmo Jet were, and I'll see if there's anything installed there when/if I visit on Sunday. As far as I can tell, Mermaid Parade ended up getting sold to Casino Pier down in Seaside Heights, and that general area is being turned into a new food pavilion according to a post on their FB. Hopefully my daughter doesn't freak out about it being missing, because it was her favorite ride the last time we visited (she'd literally run right around the gate to get back on like five times in a row).

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