A new ride has blown onto the Coney scene!
WindStarZ, one of five new rides to hit Luna Park this year, is the first of its kind to debut on the amusement park circuit.
The wind-propelled attraction allows its riders to steer themselves while traveling at eight revolutions per minute.
“It is the world debut of guests actually taking control of the ride where they’re really pushing and pulling it on their own, so we’re pretty excited about this,” said Brand Manager for Luna Park Angie Morris. “It’s a really fun, interactive ride and it’s kind of like hang gliding. Because we’re near the Boardwalk, you get a lot of breeze and wind coming from that direction, so it really helps with the motion of the ride.”
Seating up to 24 guests at once, the ride—which took about a year to complete—can go as high as 25 feet and sets out to combine the feeling of sailing and flying.
“The particularity of this attraction is that it allows the family to interact with the mechanisms and the wind by pulling and pushing their handle as they go against the wind,” said Fernando Velasquez, general manager of Luna Park. “Also, from a technological point of view, it’s very innovative. It’s not usual to see that you can use natural forces like the wind so it’s going to always be a different experience, depending on the direction and speed of the wind.”
The park opened up shop early on Thursday, July 30 to give a few, lucky thrill seekers the chance to try it out for themselves.
At first glance, the ride looks like something out of an adventure storybook: A swirl of seats and colorful, kite-like wings topped with a giant compass—a detail that Velasquez says was inspired by a traditional compass, or what he called “rosa di venti,” which in Italian means, rose of the wind.
As soon as the ride begins to lift, riders—who are strapped in tightly with an across-lap buckle—feel a smooth ascent into the fresh, breezy air.
The hang gliding comparisons were not lost on this attraction. Once the ride begins to spin, the seat’s upright position and the control panel at your lap, a rod that you can move back and forth, truly makes riders feel like they are propelling themselves through the air.
Velasquez urged that, at first try, if you feel like you’re not doing it right, get on and try again.
“You normally don’t get it the first time so we expect people to try multiple times until they become real experts at navigating the kite to fly,” said Velasquez. “We expect people to notice the beauty of this attraction during the day and at night when you see everything illuminated.”
For more about Luna Park, WindStarZ, or the park’s hours, visit www.lunaparknyc.com.