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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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A part of me is glad to see a ride from the old Fun Forest find a new home, since it was a part of my childhood as the first flume ride I went on, and a part of my old hometown's park. Hope the folks in New York enjoy it!

 

-Gary T.

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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

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^From the article on page 4.

 

and by summer 2011, the “Scream Zone at Coney Island” will provide additional attractions, including two custom roller coasters, a human slingshot ride

 

We can see the slingshot right next to it, so we know they were showing a clip of what the Scream Zone will be. No we don't know for sure that they will get a Volare, but since we do know for sure that two new custom coasters will be in the park and since it is in the video, we're assuming that one will be a Volare.

 

OK, I got you now. I thought you were referring to this year. I also forgot about the second plot of land on the other side of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park.

Edited by larrygator
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http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/brooklyn/judge_sides_with_city_to_allow_coney_0IRH0yuKrbJGPy3nSw2YAM

 

The city’s plans to revive Coney Island got a big boost today after a Manhattan judge tossed out a lawsuit seeking to overturn Mayor Bloomberg’s massive amusement-district redevelopment plan.

 

The suit, filed last December by a group called "Save Coney Island," attempted to block a City Council-approved, 47-acre rezoning plan, and the judge’s decision now allows the plan to move forward.

 

Despite the fact that the Bloomberg plan for Coney Island includes the creation of a new 27-acre amusement and entertainment district, the group had argued that it gives away too much land now zoned for amusements in favor of high-rise hotels.

 

It also alleged that the city failed to perform a legal environmental review, failed to include enough safeguards to prevent over-development at the expense of amusements and that the rezoning was, in part, approved to benefit seaside property owners like developer Joe Sitt.

 

Judge Eileen Rakower, however, concluded that the rezoning plan approved by the Council in July 2009 was "well considered" and legal. She also said the plan doesn’t cater to "special interests" like Sitt and "is a legitimate government purpose of revitalizing the Coney Island economy, while restoring Coney Island to it’s iconic status as a world-renowned amusement center."

 

The rezoning plan meant little to the overall rebirth of Coney Island until the city cut a $95.6 million deal with Sitt in November to buy 6.9 acres of his land, so it could go forward with opening a temporary open-air amusement park along much of what was once fabled Astroland Park. A new Luna Park, named after the original playland that burned down in 1944, is set to open there May 29 and include 19 new rides.

 

Although opponents argued that more than 60 acres along the Coney Island boardwalk had been eligible for amusements before the area got rezoned, the city argued that until last summer only a couple of acres actually had rides and attractions. City officials said the rezoning would help guarantee more Coney Island amusements.

 

The plan does allow Sitt to build hotels and commercial space on some of his remaining land near the boardwalk, but not directly along it.

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I had a chance to stop by the construction site today, but I only had my camera phone and I can't figure out how to enlarge these photos. Construction is coming along nicely as a half dozen rides are under construction or nearly finished, including the wild mouse.

 

I'm going to try to swing by again next week with a better camera.

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Through a hole in the fence you can see that the Wild Mouse appears close to complete.

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From the entrance to The Cyclone you you see the top level of the Wild Mouse.

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Frisbee type ride and the new parachute drop.

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From a opening for construction trucks I got a better view of some rides, like the Frisbee

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I'm a little Tea Cup short and stout.

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This appears to be a Wave Swinger

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Sorry this picture came out so bad, because I think this is the unique flying ride they are building.

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Thanks for the update Larry!!

I'm really looking forward to seeing project complete! I'll be Manhattan this July and will definitely be making a stop at Coney Island!!!

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Luna Park reveals rides for new Coney Island amusement park

 

Luna Park opens Memorial Day weekend with new rides and renewed promise that New York City officials hope signals the return of Coney Island to its glory days.

 

With 23 rides on six acres of city-owned land at the former Astroland site, Luna Park joins the legendary Cyclone wooden roller coaster, the iconic Wonder Wheel and Nathan’s famous hot dog stand in the latest effort to revitalize and reinvigorate New York City’s best known playground.

 

The city plans to invest $150 million on infrastructure improvements at Luna Park, which takes its name from the original amusement park that operated at Coney Island from 1903 to 1946.

 

Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla, which supplies theme park giants such as Disney, Universal Studios and Six Flags, promises to use Luna Park as a testing ground for its newest cutting-edge attractions.

 

 

 

 

The first phase of the project is to open on Saturday, May 29, with 19 rides, mostly of the whirl-n-hurl carnival variety.

 

A second phase, scheduled for 2011, will add four thrill rides, including a human slingshot and two roller coasters (a suspended flyer and a motorcycle-themed ride), according to Screamscape.

 

The 19 opening-day rides:

 

Thrill rides

* Air Race: Simulates the experience of fighter pilots, sending riders flipping upside-down and generating up to 4 Gs of force.

 

* Electro Spin – A rocking, spinning Disk’O ride that travels up and down a half-pipe.

 

* Brooklyn Flyer – A 100-foot-tall tower swing ride.

 

* Eclipse – A spinning pendulum swing that sends riders 50 feet up in the air.

 

Roller coasters

* The Tickler – Spinning coaster cars travel along a classic Wild Mouse track.

 

* Lunar Express - A family coaster with traditional mine car trains.

 

Family rides

* Beach Shack - A dipping and tilting hurricane-style spinning ride with a seaside theme.

 

* Coney Tower - Bounce up and down from heights of 40 feet.

 

* Coney Island Sound – Another tower bounce ride.

 

* Kite Glider – Lay down in a gondola and fly like a hang glider on a double-oscillating wave-like spinning ride.

 

* Lynn’s Trapeze – A classic flying carousel swing ride featuring images of historic Coney Island.

 

* Surf’s Up – Riders stand up on a giant spinning surfboard on an undulating half-pipe track.

 

* Wild River – A 40-foot-tall log flume water ride.

 

* Balloon Expedition – Soar up to 40 feet high in a hot air balloon gondola.

 

Kiddie rides

* Mermaid Parade – A pint-sized log flume with a theme based on the annual Coney Island parade.

 

* Circus Train - A train ride for the little ones.

 

* Happy Swing – A giant swing that looks like an oversized swing set.

 

* Tea Party – Kids control the spinning speed of their own teacup.

 

* Speed Boat – A themed spinning ride with boats that leap over waves.

 

http://travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog/index.php/luna-park-coney-isla-6932/

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I had a chance to stop by the construction site today, but I only had my camera phone and I can't figure out how to enlarge these photos. Construction is coming along nicely as a half dozen rides are under construction or nearly finished, including the wild mouse.

 

I'm going to try to swing by again next week with a better camera.

 

Depending on what phone you use, when you go into the camera there should be an option to pick what size your pictures will come out as (800x600 is the largest and I know 640x480 is another option for mine). Once you email them to yourself or put them on Facebook/Twitter they should come out that size.

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Wild River will probably look a lot different in order to fit in with all the shiny new rides--I can totally understand the 6-week cleaning session.

I actually thought it was a pretty enjoyable flume. I bet it won't be as janky as it was at Fun Forest.

 

This sounds like it will be a cute, well-rounded, family-friendly park! I hope all goes well!

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I had a chance to stop by the construction site today, but I only had my camera phone and I can't figure out how to enlarge these photos. Construction is coming along nicely as a half dozen rides are under construction or nearly finished, including the wild mouse.

 

I'm going to try to swing by again next week with a better camera.

 

Depending on what phone you use, when you go into the camera there should be an option to pick what size your pictures will come out as (800x600 is the largest and I know 640x480 is another option for mine). Once you email them to yourself or put them on Facebook/Twitter they should come out that size.

 

 

The camera phone is set to capture the image as 640x480 so I don't know what I did wrong, but like I said I'm going to try to swing by tomorrow night with a camera that I practically know how to use.

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Unfortunately for you all, I got to the park too late tonight and it was too dark for any good pictures.

 

Lots more cranes on site. Work was being done erecting girders for the main entrance tonight. Quite a few of the rides looked complete. It appeared that vertical construction has started on the family coaster. I'm going to try to stop by after my softball game next Tuesday before the park opens.

 

The good news is that I had a 2 for 1 coupon for Nathan's hot dogs. The coupons appear on the wrapper for fundraising chocolate bars that the daughter of my best friend is selling. I'll have to buy another candy bar this weekend.

Edited by larrygator
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I was just out at Coney Island yesterday and I'm not too confident that they'll make the Memorial Weekend opening. They were finishing installing the Surf Ave. entrance gate while we were there but there wasn't any sign of the boardwalk entrance yet. From the Wonder Wheel I could see that the Disk O and Eclipse (Frisbee type ride) looked ready to go and the Tickler and Lunar Express were completed but there were no cars on the tracks. The rest of the rides were either still in various states of assembly or were not yet unpacked and aside from the ride pads there hasn't been any concrete poured. Here are some photos:

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Close up of the Luna Park sign element.

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Entrance area.

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Entrance area later in the day after they had installed a third wheel element to the sign.

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View from the boardwalk.

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View of the Tickler and the north end of Luna Park from the Wonder Wheel.

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A blurry photo showing the other coaster - Lunar Express. This one is tucked up against the wall and is a bit tough to get a photo of but it looks pretty lengthy for a compact family coaster.

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^thanks for the update

 

When I stopped by at 8PM on Thursday night construction was in full swing. Not sure if they are working 16 hours a day or around the clock but workers weren't just sitting around at night. It looked like the Coney Tower, WaveSwinger and the Tea Cups were also complete on Thursday night.

 

As the article below states, the owners plan to open the park next weekend, even if all the rides are not complete.

10 of 19 rides are completed.

8 of the 9 remaining rides are on site.

 

 

Article from 5/21, owners say park will open on time.

 

Never mind all the construction cranes and mud, Luna Park operators say that they will be ready to welcome Coney Island thrill seekers to the amusement park starting at 11 am on Saturday, May 29 as planned.

 

“As long as the weather assists us, we’re going to make it happen,” Central Amusement International CEO Valerio Ferrari said this week after giving the media a preview tour.

 

Ten of the 19 new rides made by Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla have already been fully assembled. Only one — described as a “small family ride” — has yet to arrive.

 

Work crews are expected to begin paving the three-acre site this weekend.

 

A lot more than just a few summer rides is at stake. Ferrari’s outfit — an offshoot of Italian ride manufacture Zamperla — is building an interim amusement park that may occupy the former Astroland site for up to 10 years — though city officials say it will give way to a permanent new theme park, plus hotels and other amusements years earlier.

 

Luna Park’s more aggressive rides will be located closer to the main entrance on Surf Avenue, leaving tamer variants near the Boardwalk — similar to the layout of Luna Park’s predecessor, Astroland Amusement Park.

 

When it’s finally installed, the 25-kilowatt “Luna Park” sign welcoming patrons to Coney Island’s newest amusement park will rise 60 feet over Surf Avenue.

 

Luna Park operators plan to briefly shut down the amusement park for three days immediately following the Memorial Day holiday in order to finish assembling all of its pieces.

 

The amusement park as envisioned — with all its rides, games and food services — isn’t expected to be fully operational until about mid-June.

Edited by larrygator
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First off my apologies, tonight my company softball team had one out to go to mercy rule the other team and we let in two runs. Therefore we had to play an extra inning. Why am I apologizing, because I lost 15 minutes to the encroaching night, so the pictures aren't the best, but here goes. Pictures taken 90 minutes ago at Luna Park. Construction was in full swing, at least 6 cranes on site working tonight. A lot of the cement has been poured and I saw more rides in place versus last week.

 

The only rides I didn't see vertical construction started on were: Brooklyn Flyer (Star Flyer), Surf's Up, Coney Island Sound. However, just because I didn't see these rides, doesn't mean they weren't there.

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The Main Entrance

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Still a little work to do in the Wild River

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Kite Glider looks complete

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I can't figure out which ride's seats those are behind the storage shed.

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Air Race still needs some work

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The Luna Park symbol atop Eclipse.

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Beachy Shack, Shack, Shack, still needs to be moved into place and set-up.

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I'm confused about the cylindrical striped thing lying on it's side. It appears to be a slide, but a slide was not on the complete ride list that was published.

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Happy Swing, I think Guy has one of these in his bedroom!

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One of the better angles I could get of Lunar Express.

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Took this one of Lunar Express by holding my camera above the fence. Where is Casey when you need him?

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Tickets Booth sitting in the street ready to be craned into place.

Edited by larrygator
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hmmm, I think your are correct, but I can't see how they are going to apply the ride in it's current state of construction. Looks like they skipped a step to my untrained eye, but I'm sure the contractors know what they are doing.

Edited by larrygator
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Thanks for all the updates, guys! This park seems to be coming along very quickly.

 

Will you be attending the grand opening on Saturday, Larry?

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^I'll be there sometime this weekend, probably not on Saturday though as the Media Event for Morey Piers new attraction ends at 2AM on Saturday.

Edited by larrygator
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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/8519dd90-69e4-11df-a978-00144feab49a.html

 

There is no better way to view the peninsula of Coney Island in south Brooklyn than from the top of the 1918 Wonder Wheel – provided you choose a stationary car rather than one that nauseatingly slides on its tracks from side to side. In the distance, disused historic buildings stand before high-rise housing blocks. Behind you, the 1927 Cyclone, an ancient wooden rollercoaster, hurls small cars along its tangled tracks. To the left, rows of hot dog stalls, many closed, line the boardwalk. All around, small rectangles of land lie empty. From up here, Coney Island looks just like a toy-town – but one in a state of disrepair.

 

Since Dutch settlers took possession of Coney Island from Native Americans in the mid-17th century, real estate disputes have occurred. After the American civil war, entrepreneurs snapped up its land for private beaches and hotels and, later, three big theme parks – Steeplechase (1897), Luna Park (1903) and Dreamland (1904). With improved transport links from Brooklyn and Manhattan, the area became a major resort for daytrippers. But in the 1940s, urban planner Robert Moses’ “re-zoning” contracted the “tawdry” amusement area and, by 1964, the three parks had closed. The past decade has seen further decline, as the land’s two newest owners, Thor Equities and the City of New York, have struggled to come to an agreement about the neighbourhood’s future.

 

Last weekend, however, there were signs of progress. Beneath the Wonder Wheel, construction workers pieced together red, yellow and blue metal tubes and cogs that resembled the pieces of a Meccano set, while cranes heaved up an iron gateway, decorated with crescent moons and fairy lights, on Surf Avenue. Luna Park, inspired by the original of the same name that closed in 1944, is a brand new theme park, consisting of 19 rides constructed by Italian company Zamperla. Funded by the City of New York, it is being marketed as the first step towards a Coney Island renaissance.

 

Until now, efforts to revive the area have been led by Coney Island USA, a not-for-profit arts centre featuring a small museum, theatre and bar, situated on Surf Avenue in the building once occupied by the Childs restaurant chain. The organisation was founded by Dick Zigun, a Yale-educated performance artist and disciple of the 19th-century entertainer PT Barnum. From 1980, Zigun trained a new generation in the arts of the vaudeville sideshow; today, the centre gives classes in burlesque dancing and sign-painting, and organises an annual Mermaid Parade – a continuation of the Coney Island Mardi Gras.

 

But as Aaron Beebe, director of the Coney Island Museum, explains, even last year, when the June parade attracted 200,000 visitors, people were still talking about the area as if it was about to disappear. 2009 was, he jokes, the “third annual last year of Coney Island”. Death is “sexy, thrilling,” says Beebe – much easier to sell than the story of urban renewal through cultural tourism. Beebe is excited by the “small, weird enterprises” that he hopes will appear to feed off Luna Park’s success.

 

The sideshow at Coney Island USA’s theatre offers a taste of its heyday: a man in a top hat and two scantily clad women lure passers-by inside to see a seedy performance by snake-charmers and sword-eaters.

 

At the other end of Surf Avenue, the Coney Island History Project is a tiny hut that sits beneath the Cyclone – “like Annie Hall’s house”, says the project’s director Charles Denson, as screams and rattling are heard outside. Its walls are lined with Coney Island memorabilia: an advertisement for the first-ever baby incubator, an “exhibit” in the original Luna Park; photographs of the famous Elephant Hotel, which burnt down in 1896.

 

Denson worries about the “re-zoning” of the amusement area. Coney Island has always been low-rise, but there is now planning permission for 26-storey residential buildings on the boardwalk. Meanwhile, Beebe is concerned about empty lots, such as the one left by the disused Thunderbolt rollercoaster. “Speculation [in property] has always been a downside of Coney Island’s history,” he says.

 

But on a muggy Saturday afternoon, there was little to do but speculate. After the Wonder Wheel and the sideshow, smaller rides looked drab. The hot dogs at Nathan’s Famous (established in 1916), are not – as one local warned me – what they used to be, although Totonno’s on Neptune Avenue, the “oldest continuously operating pizzeria in the US”, offered beautifully crispy margheritas.

 

The beach is fun, if you like listening to several boom-boxes at the same time, but “Shoot the Freak” – a game inviting tourists to splatter a man with paint – managed to be at once disturbing and dull. Groups of tourists milled about, looking for places to offload large cuddly toys.

 

Perhaps the best entertainment is to play a game of fantasy. What could be done with such a peculiar, abandoned area, just 45 minutes on the subway from Manhattan? An indie theatre festival? A mega pop venue? A trendy line of organic hot dog stalls? Speculating is one of Beebe’s favourite pastimes – but with a sensitivity to Coney Island’s particular charm. How about a five-star restaurant? He nods; yes, Coney Island could do with some good food. And a hotel? He looks uneasy. “Yes,” he says, a little hesitant. “We need a hotel – but we need an old one.”

 

.................................

 

Details

 

Coney Island Luna Park opens this weekend: http://www.lunaparknyc.com. Rides cost $1-$10. To get there from Manhattan, take the F, D, N or Q subway trains to Coney Island Stillwell Avenue.

 

http://www.coneyisland.com

 

http://www.coneyislandhistory.org

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