Coney Island amusement rides open for the summer - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Coney Island amusement rides open for the summer

Posted: Updated:

VERENA DOBNIK

NEW YORK (AP) — The Coney Island amusement park opened Sunday for another season — with a 1920s wooden roller-coaster and a new, steel one ready to roll at breakneck speeds.

In Luna Park, Italian amusement tycoon Alberto Zamperla joined Eric Adams as the Brooklyn borough president christened the Cyclone roller-coaster with a local tradition: cracking a bottle of egg cream on the first car.

Zamperla stepped off his Cyclone ride, declaring in Italian: "This is entertainment that seems dangerous, but it isn't — it's an adrenaline rush. It's happiness, it's lightness."

Isabel Peters described it her way when she emerged from the 87-year-old ride that got a $3 million makeover in recent years. She paid only $6 for the experience — a first-day discount from the usual $9 thrill.

"Once you get up to the top, going down, it's like a free fall," said the 25-year-old software engineer from Berlin, Germany. "It's scary, but I'd absolutely do it again."

Sunday was opening day for the 40 rides of Luna Park, where 750 local residents are employed. Twenty of the rides were manufactured in the Zamperla factory outside Vicenza, in northeast Italy.

Deno's Wonder Wheel also started up on Sunday, operated separately from the Zamperla rides.

The new Italian-made roller-coaster, the Thunderbolt, is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend on the same spot as the 1920s Thunderbolt that appears in Woody Allen's movie "Annie Hall."

With its sharp drop and vertical loop and rolling at almost 60 mph, the Thunderbolt "is on the edge of the future — to attract people," said Zamperla.

But it's the classic merry-go-round — Luna Park's restored B&B Carousell with its 50 hand-carved horses — "that is forever," said the 62-year-old entrepreneur whose family amusement industry goes back four generations. "That's where the memories are."

On the Brooklyn waterfront, memories include screams of white-knuckled joy for generations of Americans who gave the working-class beachfront the name The People's Playground.

In 2009, the New York City Council voted in favor of then Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 47-acre rezoning plan to turn the beloved but decaying waterfront into a modern, year-round destination with high-rise hotels, restaurants, retail stores and movie theaters.

Zamperla entered the scene in 2010 with its world class, high-tech rides, which also dot various Disney amusement parks.

A Zamperla-linked company, Central Amusements International, has signed a lease with New York City to manage attractions on municipal land including Luna Park, the Scream Zone and the historic Cyclone.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:34 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:34:20 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
  • Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:00:35 GMT
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
  • Almost all NYC pre-K centers ready

    Almost all NYC pre-K centers ready

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:48:37 GMT
    Nearly all 1,100 facilities providing services in the city's new universal pre-kindergarten program are ready to open on time after passing health and safety inspections. City officials said Friday they expect the eight remaining pre-K schools to remedy violations by Sept. 4's opening day. If they don't, affected children will be temporarily enrolled in other facilities.
    Nearly all 1,100 facilities providing services in the city's new universal pre-kindergarten program are ready to open on time after passing health and safety inspections. City officials said Friday they expect the eight remaining pre-K schools to remedy violations by Sept. 4's opening day. If they don't, affected children will be temporarily enrolled in other facilities.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices