As much as I disliked the Coney Island environment when I went this past summer, I would hate to see it go away. That is something that makes Coney Island so unique, bathrooms inside trailers that cost 25 cents to use, the constant (not so constant now) sound of Cyclone barrelling through its course, and the screams heard from people who don't expect the surprise on Deno's Wheel. This would turn the historic Coney Island area into a huge joke, sure it would probably bring in a ton of money in the long run and would give the area a much needed revamping, but c'mon, you can't touch it. It's a landmark, when people hear of Coney Island, they immediately think of the Cyclone, Deno's Wheel, Nathan's, and all the other great stuff to be had. The area could use a little touchup, but this is purely out of line.
It's all well and good to state the old "it's untouchable, the way it is makes it good" viewpoint, but you know things need to develop over time and progress has to be made.
The general feeling I've built up about the Coney Island of today, via numerous articles, stories and reports etc, is that the place isn't in the best state it could be in, that it's kind of dying. Now, you could leave it be with its "perfect, untouchable" charm and watch it gradually die, or you could accept progress and witness it change into something better - better due to securing its future.
Blackpool (the town overall) has over the past few decades become tired, worn out and drifting toward undesirable demise, but in recent years the place has been gradually spruced up and enlivened, in a way that admittidly removes some old charm and character, but rather changes it into a new equally unique, exciting fresh charm and character. It's becoming fashionable again, things are gradually getting better, and the Pleasure Beach (you knew I'd get there!) is no exception. Progress simply has to happen, or things become tired and can die out.
I understand the feelings against such progress, I feel them myself sometimes. However, amusement parks and their surroundings (and entertainment complexes as a whole) have NEVER stayed the same over time. People get pissed off with ride closures, modifications or removal, and cosmetic changes at BPB. Now on a simple level, that's understandable - people have individual tastes and ofcourse don't like something they love (in this case a ride or area theme/style), being changed in a way they don't like. However, getting mentally stuck in the present isn't good - amusement parks (etc.) have ALWAYS changed - people today get annoyed at the Whip closing, with an uncertain future. However, the Whip itself whill have originally replaced another ride or attraction. The Grand National, which we're probably all in agreeance is one of the world's best classic coasters, itself replaced a classic Scenic Railway coaster. Rollercoaster replaced the classic side-friction Velvet Coaster, and so on - part of what makes the very charm and character of these places is the change and progress they undergo through time.
Who would prefer a BPB pre the classic loved rides present today, instead having such delights as a slow exhausting Bicycle Railway, a Switchback coaster that goes one way for a short dull ride along a beach, gypsy tents cointaining genuine gypsy dwellers; the place their home, and all this amidst sand dunes and uneven railway-sleeper paths, sand blowing about, not much to do.. who would prefer that to the Pleasure Beach of today?
Likewise, who would prefer the Coney Island pre-Cyclone, Thunderbolt (not quite valid today, but its inclusion is logical to my point), Deno's Wonderwheel, even Steeplechase and Luna Parks, etc.. who would prefer the place pre that, to the Coney Island of ok, maybe a bit before today due to its decline - perhaps the more modern Coney Island in the days of the three big thrillers - Thunderbolt, Tornado and ofcourse Cyclone, and their respective attraction surroundings, etc? - which would you prefer.. bearing in mind that that "modern" state was due to progression over time, keeping a vibrant place - a world of its own, alive in a wider world of changing tastes.
Now, the propsed redevelopment isn't exactly about rides in an amusement park, as I mooted earlier, but the ethos is the same, from which the world of amusement isn't detatched.
Sometimes change; progress is really for the better - better than something much revered and loved, irreversibly dying away.
"Alarm bells would start to ring in my mind" only at the mention of proposals to change or remove Coney's existing famed rides, and I didn't read any hint of that in the article.
I've not been to New York at all myself so Coney Island isn't something I've personally experienced, but I know enough about it and have seen enough of it in adequate ways to have a stance on it. Make of my stance what you will..
Well, Disneyland isn't now, the way it was when it opened, hmm? Things change, but if there could be enhancement on the good stuff to keep, like the Cyclone and some of the other attractions there. Could work if a combo is worked out, old with new, etc.
I for one am still waiting to hear on progress towards building a new theme park in CT in Norwalk was it (?) , it's fun to see how these concepts take shape (if they do at all) A perfect example is Clifton Hill Niagara Falls. You'll notice over the years they are trying to move away from the Orlando tourist trap look to the slightly shinier Vegas look with a new theme park and other redevelopments.
Only time will tell.
-Sean C. ____________________________________
FORMER DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION OP ____________________________________ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (2009) Indiana Jones Adventure (2008) Disneyland Railroad (2007) ____________________________________
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