Coney Island (Luna Park) Development Discussion Thread

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby capnkyle1 » Sun May 23, 2010 10:59 am

I was just out at Coney Island yesterday and I'm not too confident that they'll make the Memorial Weekend opening. They were finishing installing the Surf Ave. entrance gate while we were there but there wasn't any sign of the boardwalk entrance yet. From the Wonder Wheel I could see that the Disk O and Eclipse (Frisbee type ride) looked ready to go and the Tickler and Lunar Express were completed but there were no cars on the tracks. The rest of the rides were either still in various states of assembly or were not yet unpacked and aside from the ride pads there hasn't been any concrete poured. Here are some photos:
sign2.jpg
Close up of the Luna Park sign element.
sign.jpg
Entrance area.
gates.jpg
Entrance area later in the day after they had installed a third wheel element to the sign.
street.jpg
View from the boardwalk.
looking north.jpg
View of the Tickler and the north end of Luna Park from the Wonder Wheel.
lunar.jpg
A blurry photo showing the other coaster - Lunar Express. This one is tucked up against the wall and is a bit tough to get a photo of but it looks pretty lengthy for a compact family coaster.

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Sun May 23, 2010 11:19 am

^thanks for the update

When I stopped by at 8PM on Thursday night construction was in full swing. Not sure if they are working 16 hours a day or around the clock but workers weren't just sitting around at night. It looked like the Coney Tower, WaveSwinger and the Tea Cups were also complete on Thursday night.

As the article below states, the owners plan to open the park next weekend, even if all the rides are not complete.
10 of 19 rides are completed.
8 of the 9 remaining rides are on site.


Article from 5/21, owners say park will open on time.

Never mind all the construction cranes and mud, Luna Park operators say that they will be ready to welcome Coney Island thrill seekers to the amusement park starting at 11 am on Saturday, May 29 as planned.

“As long as the weather assists us, we’re going to make it happen,” Central Amusement International CEO Valerio Ferrari said this week after giving the media a preview tour.

Ten of the 19 new rides made by Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla have already been fully assembled. Only one — described as a “small family ride” — has yet to arrive.

Work crews are expected to begin paving the three-acre site this weekend.

A lot more than just a few summer rides is at stake. Ferrari’s outfit — an offshoot of Italian ride manufacture Zamperla — is building an interim amusement park that may occupy the former Astroland site for up to 10 years — though city officials say it will give way to a permanent new theme park, plus hotels and other amusements years earlier.

Luna Park’s more aggressive rides will be located closer to the main entrance on Surf Avenue, leaving tamer variants near the Boardwalk — similar to the layout of Luna Park’s predecessor, Astroland Amusement Park.

When it’s finally installed, the 25-kilowatt “Luna Park” sign welcoming patrons to Coney Island’s newest amusement park will rise 60 feet over Surf Avenue.

Luna Park operators plan to briefly shut down the amusement park for three days immediately following the Memorial Day holiday in order to finish assembling all of its pieces.

The amusement park as envisioned — with all its rides, games and food services — isn’t expected to be fully operational until about mid-June.
Last edited by larrygator on Sun May 23, 2010 11:24 am.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Tue May 25, 2010 7:34 pm

First off my apologies, tonight my company softball team had one out to go to mercy rule the other team and we let in two runs. Therefore we had to play an extra inning. Why am I apologizing, because I lost 15 minutes to the encroaching night, so the pictures aren't the best, but here goes. Pictures taken 90 minutes ago at Luna Park. Construction was in full swing, at least 6 cranes on site working tonight. A lot of the cement has been poured and I saw more rides in place versus last week.

The only rides I didn't see vertical construction started on were: Brooklyn Flyer (Star Flyer), Surf's Up, Coney Island Sound. However, just because I didn't see these rides, doesn't mean they weren't there.
PICT0264.JPG
The Main Entrance
PICT0265.JPG
Still a little work to do in the Wild River
PICT0267.JPG
Kite Glider looks complete
PICT0268.JPG
I can't figure out which ride's seats those are behind the storage shed.
PICT0270.JPG
Air Race still needs some work
PICT0271.JPG
The Luna Park symbol atop Eclipse.
PICT0274.JPG
Beachy Shack, Shack, Shack, still needs to be moved into place and set-up.
PICT0278.JPG
I'm confused about the cylindrical striped thing lying on it's side. It appears to be a slide, but a slide was not on the complete ride list that was published.
PICT0275.JPG
Happy Swing, I think Guy has one of these in his bedroom!
PICT0273.JPG
One of the better angles I could get of Lunar Express.
PICT0277.JPG
Took this one of Lunar Express by holding my camera above the fence. Where is Casey when you need him?
PICT0279.JPG
Tickets Booth sitting in the street ready to be craned into place.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby coasterkyle » Tue May 25, 2010 9:20 pm

the red and white cylinder looks like it goes to air race in some of the artwork
Air race.jpg
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Tue May 25, 2010 9:31 pm

hmmm, I think your are correct, but I can't see how they are going to apply the ride in it's current state of construction. Looks like they skipped a step to my untrained eye, but I'm sure the contractors know what they are doing.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby DBru » Thu May 27, 2010 9:13 pm

Thanks for all the updates, guys! This park seems to be coming along very quickly.

Will you be attending the grand opening on Saturday, Larry?

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Thu May 27, 2010 9:27 pm

^I'll be there sometime this weekend, probably not on Saturday though as the Media Event for Morey Piers new attraction ends at 2AM on Saturday.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Fri May 28, 2010 7:37 pm

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/8519dd90-69e4-11df-a978-00144feab49a.html

There is no better way to view the peninsula of Coney Island in south Brooklyn than from the top of the 1918 Wonder Wheel – provided you choose a stationary car rather than one that nauseatingly slides on its tracks from side to side. In the distance, disused historic buildings stand before high-rise housing blocks. Behind you, the 1927 Cyclone, an ancient wooden rollercoaster, hurls small cars along its tangled tracks. To the left, rows of hot dog stalls, many closed, line the boardwalk. All around, small rectangles of land lie empty. From up here, Coney Island looks just like a toy-town – but one in a state of disrepair.

Since Dutch settlers took possession of Coney Island from Native Americans in the mid-17th century, real estate disputes have occurred. After the American civil war, entrepreneurs snapped up its land for private beaches and hotels and, later, three big theme parks – Steeplechase (1897), Luna Park (1903) and Dreamland (1904). With improved transport links from Brooklyn and Manhattan, the area became a major resort for daytrippers. But in the 1940s, urban planner Robert Moses’ “re-zoning” contracted the “tawdry” amusement area and, by 1964, the three parks had closed. The past decade has seen further decline, as the land’s two newest owners, Thor Equities and the City of New York, have struggled to come to an agreement about the neighbourhood’s future.

Last weekend, however, there were signs of progress. Beneath the Wonder Wheel, construction workers pieced together red, yellow and blue metal tubes and cogs that resembled the pieces of a Meccano set, while cranes heaved up an iron gateway, decorated with crescent moons and fairy lights, on Surf Avenue. Luna Park, inspired by the original of the same name that closed in 1944, is a brand new theme park, consisting of 19 rides constructed by Italian company Zamperla. Funded by the City of New York, it is being marketed as the first step towards a Coney Island renaissance.

Until now, efforts to revive the area have been led by Coney Island USA, a not-for-profit arts centre featuring a small museum, theatre and bar, situated on Surf Avenue in the building once occupied by the Childs restaurant chain. The organisation was founded by Dick Zigun, a Yale-educated performance artist and disciple of the 19th-century entertainer PT Barnum. From 1980, Zigun trained a new generation in the arts of the vaudeville sideshow; today, the centre gives classes in burlesque dancing and sign-painting, and organises an annual Mermaid Parade – a continuation of the Coney Island Mardi Gras.

But as Aaron Beebe, director of the Coney Island Museum, explains, even last year, when the June parade attracted 200,000 visitors, people were still talking about the area as if it was about to disappear. 2009 was, he jokes, the “third annual last year of Coney Island”. Death is “sexy, thrilling,” says Beebe – much easier to sell than the story of urban renewal through cultural tourism. Beebe is excited by the “small, weird enterprises” that he hopes will appear to feed off Luna Park’s success.

The sideshow at Coney Island USA’s theatre offers a taste of its heyday: a man in a top hat and two scantily clad women lure passers-by inside to see a seedy performance by snake-charmers and sword-eaters.

At the other end of Surf Avenue, the Coney Island History Project is a tiny hut that sits beneath the Cyclone – “like Annie Hall’s house”, says the project’s director Charles Denson, as screams and rattling are heard outside. Its walls are lined with Coney Island memorabilia: an advertisement for the first-ever baby incubator, an “exhibit” in the original Luna Park; photographs of the famous Elephant Hotel, which burnt down in 1896.

Denson worries about the “re-zoning” of the amusement area. Coney Island has always been low-rise, but there is now planning permission for 26-storey residential buildings on the boardwalk. Meanwhile, Beebe is concerned about empty lots, such as the one left by the disused Thunderbolt rollercoaster. “Speculation [in property] has always been a downside of Coney Island’s history,” he says.

But on a muggy Saturday afternoon, there was little to do but speculate. After the Wonder Wheel and the sideshow, smaller rides looked drab. The hot dogs at Nathan’s Famous (established in 1916), are not – as one local warned me – what they used to be, although Totonno’s on Neptune Avenue, the “oldest continuously operating pizzeria in the US”, offered beautifully crispy margheritas.

The beach is fun, if you like listening to several boom-boxes at the same time, but “Shoot the Freak” – a game inviting tourists to splatter a man with paint – managed to be at once disturbing and dull. Groups of tourists milled about, looking for places to offload large cuddly toys.

Perhaps the best entertainment is to play a game of fantasy. What could be done with such a peculiar, abandoned area, just 45 minutes on the subway from Manhattan? An indie theatre festival? A mega pop venue? A trendy line of organic hot dog stalls? Speculating is one of Beebe’s favourite pastimes – but with a sensitivity to Coney Island’s particular charm. How about a five-star restaurant? He nods; yes, Coney Island could do with some good food. And a hotel? He looks uneasy. “Yes,” he says, a little hesitant. “We need a hotel – but we need an old one.”

.................................

Details

Coney Island Luna Park opens this weekend: http://www.lunaparknyc.com. Rides cost $1-$10. To get there from Manhattan, take the F, D, N or Q subway trains to Coney Island Stillwell Avenue.

http://www.coneyisland.com

http://www.coneyislandhistory.org
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby capnkyle1 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:03 pm

Color me impressed by what they managed to pull off in a week and watch now as I eat my words. . .

Munch munch munch. . . these words need salt.

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby deathbydinn » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:34 pm

They should go far back into the history of the park and bring this back.
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