After nearly a year of anticipation and construction, Luna Park’s newest rollercoaster, Tony’s Express, officially opened at Coney Island.
The park announced in advance that was to have its soft opening Friday, Sept. 9 at noon, so at that time, thrill-seekers tested out the new coaster. A video was also posted on Instagram to show what riders could expect from the experience.
The Zamperla family owns Central Amusement International Inc., the parent company of Luna Park; and the ride pays tribute to President and CEO Alessandro Zamperla’s grandparents, the late Antonio (or “Tony”) and Letizia Zamperla.
Last October, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the overall park’s expansion and its planned new rides.
The coaster is described as family-friendly, and bends and curves around the upcoming log flume, Leti’s Treasure.
It travels at more than 30 miles per hour with more than 1,200 feet of track. It consists of two trains equipped with ADA access.
Tony’s Express is designed to evoke the Switchback Railway, which was the first rollercoaster in America, also at Coney Island. The Switchback, which was made of wood, opened in 1884 and was fairly short-lived. Still, it set the standard for all of the great rollercoasters that followed.
“The illuminated station house, surrounded by twinkling signature lights along the archways and tracks, re-establishes Luna Park as The Electric Eden, a nickname that was given to the historic park in the early 1900s,” said Luna Park via Facebook.
The original Luna Park was destroyed in a fire in 1944, while the current one was opened by Central Amusement International in 2010.