Luna Park Opens! (Courtesy NewYorkology)

May 31, 2010

May 30, 2010

Luna Park opens at Coney Island: pictures and video

All pictures and video: Amy Langfield/NewYorkology


After the drawn-out demise of AstroLand, a glossier Luna Park on Saturday opened at Coney Island, designed with history in mind and promises of an expansion that could fundamentally change the end-of-the-line Brooklyn neighborhood.


Gates opened just after noon Saturday, allowing one hour of free rein on the 12 rides that were approved for operation on Opening Day. In all, there will be 19 rides open this summer, ranging from putt-putt trains to a fight-pilot simulator packing 4 Gs.

When the park opens today, officials hope to have 17 rides open. Two more — the Air Race and Wild River — should be open within two weeks. Next year, the Scream Zone phase, will add two more roller coasters, a human sling shot and possibly go-carts. A third phase is planned for the following summer.


Luna Park, named for the legendary park that burned down in 1944, is now packed with rides made by the Italian firm Zamperla.

For a quick study of the old Luna Park, pop into the
Coney Island History Project, located on Surf Avenue. (It’s literally in a storefront under The Cyclone, so it shakes a bit each time the cars of the rolller coaster pass overhead.) The free mini-museum is kid-friendly, though will also explain how the phrase “going to see the elephant” became a euphemism for sex.

For opening weekend, the park will be open from noon to midnight through Memorial Day. The park will close from Tuesday through Thursday, and then re-open on Friday, June 4 and remain open every day through Labor Day. On weekdays, Luna park will be open from noon to midnight; on weekends it will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight.


It’s free to enter the park itself, but you need individual tickets or a timed, unlimited-ride pass to get on the rides. Luna Park of course isn’t the only amusement park at Coney. It’s situated between the boardwalk and Surf Avenue, with The Cyclone roller coaster on one side and Deno’s Wonder Wheel park on the south. A number of other carnival-style games and arcades fill several other blocks, along with the Coney Island Circus Sideshow and the Shoot the Freak human paintball shooting gallery.

Individual rides at Luna Park cost $3 to $5. The unlimited-ride wristbands cost $26 for four hours or $30 for six hours on weekdays. On weekends, the prices rise to $30 for four hours or $34 for six hours. By comparison, The Cyclone costs $8 for single ride.

On Saturday, the line on the boardwalk started well ahead of the scheduled 11 a.m. opening time. At the front of the line were Noreen Mittlemann and her daughter Tracy, who live in one of the residential towers with a view of the amusement area. “We love Luna Park,” the very opinionated Noreen declared even before the gates opened. “Everytime I come here, it brings back a lot of memories,” Tracy said.


19-year-old Tom Watson of Midwood was on the first run of the Surf’s Up ride. “I thought it was great. I thought it was a little scary at first,” he said, breathless, as he’d just run to join the line for the “Beach Shack” as it was loading up only its second batch of riders for the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The first run of the first rides on opening Day at Luna Park:

More videos:
Grand opening of Luna Park as gates open to public at Surf Avenue entrance
Tea Party teacup ride
Balloon Expedition ride next to boardwalk
Surf’s Up ride during one of its first public runs
Shuttered Astroland Jan 1, 2009

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One Response to “Luna Park Opens! (Courtesy NewYorkology)”

  1. Haley said

    I read your recent post, “Luna Park Opens!” and truly enjoyed reading the entire post. I felt like I was there experiencing all of it! It was good to hear that some of the residents are excited about the park, since, as I’m sure you know, others worry about losing the historic value.

    I think you might be interested in this video. It is a short, 2-3 minute clip that touches on both the excitement of the rebirth along with the questions and concerns that many have about what will become of the historic buildings of America’s Playground. Newsy.com condenses and analyzes news stories from all over the world using multiple media outlets to give a full view of each story.

    I hope you see the relevance of this video to your post and that you will consider imbedding it into Coney Island.

    Please let me know if you have any questions,

    haleyw@newsy.com

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