What Are The Newest Rides And Attractions At Coney Island?
Frigid temps last week notwithstanding (what WAS that, by the way??), with May on the horizon it seems like it's really time to get your summer-bucket-list game on. For me, both when my kids were little and right up until now, hitting the amusement parks along the Coney Island boardwalk is always a seasonal NYC must-do. And this month's the perfect time to go, because all the rides are up and running every weekend (they all go full-time starting on Memorial Day weekend and then through Labor Day), and it's warm but not hot, but because most folks are still in school-mode, the crowds are extremely manageable. Like, when I went last weekend? You could walk right up to any ride and get on, virtually no lines for anything anywhere.
Coney Island Rides – Bigger, Better & More Exciting!
Unlike the last few years, there are no new big-exciting rides opening this season, but there are still tons of thrills to be had from old favorites and those more-modern monsters that have popped in recent times. The Cyclone, for example, can still get you screaming no matter how many times you've careened over the faux-rickety wooden coaster… which is potentially a LOT if times, considering it's been in operation since 1927. The Wonder Wheel is busy doing its thing again as well and, while not exactly a heart-racer like the Cyclone, it's such an iconic part of the Coney Island skyline at this point that it deserves a measure of respect. Plus, I can attest that it's still an excellent early-in-the-game date option.
Wonder Wheel and The Scream Zone
Of the newer crop of rides, Luna Park's Scream Zone has the fan of contemporary coasters covered, especially with the slightly insane Thunderbolt, whose quiet, seemingly frictionless ride belies that terror that awaits you among the many loop-de-loops. This baby is FAST, too. There are, of course, a slew of newish rides for little kids, too, so although old-timers might lament the loss of the boardwalk's grit and independent spirit, for the next generations of New Yorkers, the Coney of today IS Coney Island. And if you want just a taste of the way things used to be, and not that long ago, check out the old-time carneys and hustlers manning the game booths in the "alley" between the Wonder Wheel and the Scream Zone.
More Information and Directions To Coney Island
Luna Park, the Cyclone, and the Wonder Wheel are all located along the Coney Island Boardwalk or Surf Avenue; take the D, F, N, or Q to Sillwell Avenue and you'll be right there. For hours and general information, the Luna Park website is a good place to start.