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Italy's oldest Theme Park, Luneur, reopens!


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Well, it's official. Italy's oldest amusement park is open again!

 

For anyone who isn't Italian (which accounts for, like, 3 of us), Luneur is located in the EUR area of Rome, and has been operating since 1953. The park, in a nutshell (for what I can remember, looking back at it today (I was 6 when I last went) was really a dumbed down version of Knoebel's, only without the woodies and instead of Impulse, it had a Schwarzkopf Looping star. The one that is now at Zoomarine, to be exact.

 

Its main draws were the iconic ferris wheel that still stands today in the front of the park, the already mentioned Anton coaster along with four other roller coasters, an excellent collection of flat rides, including a Zamperla Rotoshake, a 150ft SBF Visa drop tower, Italy's only Gravitron ride, and many more; and best of all, dark rides. Lots and lots of dark rides.

 

The reason it closed in the first place (this was around 2008, btw), is because the park's management (not sure if it was family owned, like Cavallino Matto, though) auctioned the park off to Cinecitta Entertainment, who went on to build Cinecitta World two years ago. And boy, they messed up. Badly.

 

Before they bought the park, it had no admission price and all the rides were upcharge. Meaning that anyone could wander in, even just for a stroll (The atmosphere was very enjoyable). Those morons decided it was a good idea to get rid of that, and to have everyone pay admission to get in. After that, the park was f***ed. But what REALLY killed it, was the removal of the Looping Star.

 

They kept saying how the park would eventually reopen for at least 6 years. Meanwhile, CCW, Zoomarine and Rainbow Magicland opened up, and by 2014 the people of Rome had pretty much given up.

 

Fast forward to a few days ago and the Luneur reopens. However, not as people expected it to.

 

The hate towards the new Luneur started at the beginning of the year, when they announced its definitive opening, stating that it was targeting children from 0-12 years old and that it would have nothing but kiddie rides (including a Wacky Worm) and extremely childish theming.

 

The thing is, I don't hate the new Luneur as much as the next guy. That's because A: I'm not from Rome, B: I am aware that Rome has three of the best amusement parks in the country (a bit of an exaggeration). When people said they wanted the old Luneur back, they meant they wanted it back EXACTLY AS IT WAS.

 

I see where they're going with the hate. Imagine Knoebel's closed down, and they then rebuilt it and replace it with something like ZDT's Amusement park without Switchback.

 

However, I think they're overreacting. If this was anywhere else, I'd be extremely pissed. But it's Rome, so I can just drive a little futher down to go to Cinecitta' world and ride Altair. At least for the new Luneur they're just charging 2 euros for admission, instead of 20. That's an improvement, as far as I'm concerned.

 

I know I wrote a heck ton of stuff, but just to close, some of the classic rides, like the Rotor, the Haunted house, and the mine train roller coaster, are still in the back of the park, SBNO. So potentially, these childhood memories of the people of Rome are gonna come back soon enough. Hopefully next year.

 

Pictures! Credit to Parksmania.it and flickrhivemind.net

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The ferris wheel in all its former glory

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At least it looks prettier now.

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New Luneur now.

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The new Luneur is 90% kiddie ride, 10% SBNO classic ride

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Wacky worm!

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More kiddie rides!

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Log flume with drop tower

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Fun pinfari coaster in the front, Anton goodness in the back.

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The rotor and one of the haunted houses are still there, but not operating.

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