Coney Island's Luna Park reopened for the summer season this past weekend. Crowds descended upon the beachfront amusement park, which opened in its current iteration in 2010, to experience the likes of gravity-defying rollercoasters, slingshots, and drops, at once delightful and terrifying.
Last summer, Luna Park announced that it would be expanding and introducing a series of new rides this year and next. A rope and zip line course is expected to open later this year, while a splashing log flume ride promising a "semi-circle panoramic route view" and relief from the heat is set to launch in 2020.
When the original Luna Park opened in Coney Island (to much fanfare) in 1903, rides like the Jules Verne-inspired "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" wowed park-goers.
Some of the park's early rides are still around, like the legendary Cyclone, self-proclaimed as the "mother of American roller coaster culture." Built in 1927, the wooden rollercoaster continues to chug along despite getting stuck on the tracks multiple times in recent years. A a power outage also temporarily halted it last summer.
Fear not: If the Cyclone isn't your bag, more mild rollercoasters like the Circus Coaster are a fun option. If drops from high above the ground are more of your thing, the Astro Tower is open for business. And if the idea of somersaulting high above the ground is exhilarating, and doesn't make you want to lose your lunch, head to the Zenobio. If you're unsure about how intense the rides are, you can browse them on Luna Park's website by thrill level.
If you prefer to stay on the ground, there's also an arcade inside the park, and endless sweet and fried goodies to enjoy. Those looking to learn more about the winding history of Luna Park can go to the Coney Island History Project, tucked under the quintessential Deno's Wonder Wheel. (It's open select weekends and holidays throughout the summer.)
Next Sunday, April 14th, the Wonder Wheel will be celebrating its 99th annual "Blessing of the Rides" at 10:30 a.m.—which also means that the first 99 people in line to board the giant wheel get to go on it free of charge. Speaking of classics, the Nathan's on Surf Avenue opens at 10 a.m., so if you're not opposed to eating a hot dog for breakfast, that's probably an excellent thing to enjoy while you're queuing for the ferris wheel.
Luna Park is located at 1000 Surf Avenue, in Coney Island, Brooklyn. It's open Saturdays and Sundays, as well as the entire week of April 22nd for spring break, until May 24th. On and after Memorial Day weekend, the park will be open 7 days a week through the summer. Hours vary, so check their website here.