Coney Island’s reimagined Luna Park celebrates 10-year success

AT: Tim Baldwin

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — In 2010, ride manufacturer Zamperla and its sister company, Central Amusement International (CAI), breathed new life into Coney Island. Various plans for the area had been proposed, many of which involved the rejection of Coney Island’s historical identity. All that changed when Luna Park was brought to reimagined glory with numerous nods to the area’s colorful past.

This year, the property is celebrating 10 years of success. The anniversary celebration arrives with several additions.

“Each season, our goal is to deliver the best experiences to our local community as well as the tourists who visit us each year,” said Alessandro Zamperla, president, CAI. “Our park began as one relatively small location with 19 attractions in 2010. In 2020, with our latest attractions, new food and beverage locations, and our new spaces, we have a lot to celebrate, and we’re inviting everyone to join in on the fun.”

Even before approaching the four new attractions for 2020, visitors are sure to notice changes to the surroundings. Newly enhanced green spaces will offer shade, relaxing areas and performance opportunities.

“At CAI we do more than add rides to our parks; we work to enhance the entire park experience,” said Zamperla. “That’s why we hired Team Park Project to design the expansion areas with the goal to include spaces to relax with art installations to further display the unique charisma and history of Coney Island and give guests an opportunity to enjoy the amazingly fun ambiance while visiting Luna Park.”

Children and families, however, will be delighted with new ride offerings. Big WaveZ will be the first of its kind. Termed an interactive water ride, Big WaveZ will make its worldwide debut at Luna Park. Passengers board a tower ride, rise to the top where they interact with a video screen and then plunge to create a big splash. A Zamperla company product, the ride has been in development and testing for a year.

“Think of it as a vertical shoot-the-chute,” said Michael Coleman, North American sales, Zamperla. “Riders get wet, but spectators do, too, in a splash zone.”

Two of the new attractions are intertwined. A Junior Coaster and Super Flume, both produced by Zamperla, will reside on the same space, twisting and curving around each other. 

Riders on the Super Flume, which will operate with up to 12 boats seating six passengers, will have a momentary panoramic view of the shoreline before the plunge finale. The family coaster features many curves as the track weaves through the flume ride. It will be equipped with two trains, both of which will feature ADA access. 

“The marriage of these two dissimilar attractions heightens the riders’ sense of anticipation, amplifies the guests’ perspectives and incites curiosity,” Zamperla told Amusement Today. “After riding one of the two interlaced attractions, our guests will be excited to ride the other.”

The new coaster will be the seventh at Luna Park, including the legendary Cyclone, arguably the most famous roller coaster in the world.

As Luna Park continues to evolve, so does the opportunity for its operator to showcase new rides. “Luna Park in Coney Island allows buyers in the market for amusement rides the prospect of seeing many Zamperla attractions in operation in one of the busiest cities in the world, with some of the most demanding consumers,” said Zamperla. “The relationship between CAI and Zamperla is definitely a synergetic and symbiotic one that makes both stronger.”

Even more is being added for the 10th anniversary. Sporting a circus theme, a Ropes Course Adventure Zone supplied by RCI will offer four levels of physical, interactive entertainment as kids navigate the attraction, which offers various skill levels. Located next to the Thunderbolt roller coaster, the structure will also feature ziplines. 

“We are excited to grow, provide quality entertainment and bring the finest in amusement park innovations to New York City,” said Zamperla. “Leading the redevelopment project of the Coney Island amusement district was a difficult endeavor to take on, however it has been an increasingly rewarding one. We continue to restore the legacy of Coney Island by bringing new and exhilarating attractions and entertainment to our guests.”

Luna Park opens for its anniversary season on April 4.

This article appears in the MARCH 2020 issue of Amusement Today.
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