Whether it’s your first summer at Coney or your 50th, we’ve rounded up some of the best features — new and old — that can be found in the venerable People’s Playground, now updated for the 21st century.
Luna Park is one of the main attractions.
There’s no fee to enter the park itself, but you’ll have to purchase a wristband or individual tickets before hopping on one of the park’s 30 rides. One of the newest additions to Luna Park in 2017 is the All-Day Wristband, which allows guests to try nearly every ride in the park as many times as they want in a day, excluding the Sling Shot and Coney Island Raceway, which guests may ride once. A weekday All-Day Wristband can be purchased for $29 for those under 48’’, and $49 for those 48’’ and up. On weekends and holidays, All-Day Wristbands can be purchased for $42 for those under 48’’, and $69 for those 48’’ and up.
Ready to ride? Good. Pay your respects to a Coney Island classic by riding the Cyclone, a New York City landmark which celebrated its 90th birthday with a block party last month. Since opening in 1927, the Cyclone has carried close to one million riders over 2,460 feet of track, 12 drops and 27 elevation changes. An 85-foot, 60 degree drop allows riders to soar over the park at approximately 60 miles per hour. Individual rides on the Cyclone cost $10.
Now that you’ve experienced the old, what about the new? Take a spin on the WindstarZ, which gives guests the option of controlling their own ride experience, controlling the movement of the wings and seats of a glider while donning a virtual reality headset. Paying tribute to the Roman adoption of of the Greeks’ 12-wind system compass system and Vitruvius’ 24-wind rose, the WindstarZ features 12 arms and 24 seats that allow multiple riders to feel as if they are hang-gliding over the Riegelmann Boardwalk.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, consider stopping by the newly-reopened Feltman’s of Coney Island for a hot dog. After shutting down 63 years ago, Feltman’s was reintroduced to the park by restaurateur Michael Quinn this year. Grab a hot dog from the stand located at Surf Avenue and West 10th Street, as well as at another stand inside Luna Park. Top your ‘red hot” with sauerkraut, raw onions, chili, cheese and mustard.
For more information on Luna Park, including operating hours, visit www.LunaParkNYC.com.
Just next door is Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, home to two of Coney’s greats — the iconic Wonder Wheel and Spook-A-Rama. The 150-foot-high Ferris wheel is unusual in offering its riders the option of taking a spin in either a stationary or swinging car; it dates back to 1920 and has been a landmark since 1989. The swinging cars provide riders with a moderate thrill; the best view, however, can be attained from the stationary cars which sit at the very top of the wheel.
Spook-A-Rama is a classic, 1950s era “dark ride,” though unique in that it is the only one that, when constructed, contained both indoor and outdoor segments. A salute to the horror films of the era, the ride occupies a special place in the history of the amusement area.
The park, which was founded by Denos Vourderis, contains a total of 16 kiddie and five adult rides. Tickets for the adult rides are $8 each; a five-pack of tickets is $35. Tickets for the kiddie rides cost $4 each, with a 10-pack of tickets going for $35 and a 20-pack going for $50.
For more info, go to denoswonderwheel.com.
But, Coney isn’t only about rides and beach. Also drawing crowds are the beloved New York Aquarium, MCU Park (home to the Mets minor league team, the Cyclones, and the Cosmos of the North American Soccer League) and the one-year old Ford Amphitheater, the neighborhood’s Concert Central.
The art-inclined can also find fun in Coney, thanks to Coney Art Walls, an outdoor museum located at 3050 Stillwell Avenue that features New York street art. The exhibition, which is curated by street art veteran Jeffrey Deitch, is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily until September. Live entertainment and local eateries are also available on site.
Additional reporting contributed by Helen Klein.