Coney Island (Luna Park) Development Discussion Thread

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:06 pm

One woman got sick returning from the last 5 minute break. She was puking right at the entrance to the coaster with 30 seconds to get in her seat. Her seat for the last hour was the back row of the second to last car, the most painful row that anyone was riding in (no one was forced to ride in the last row of the last car). I never thought she would last that final hour. I have no idea how she did it. I rode that row right before the dinner break and was practically in tears my last 3 laps.

I was still in pain yesterday, but it's all good now.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby cfc » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:09 pm

Great job, Fran and Larry! Hell, I had a hard-enough time doing an hour on Anaconda on Sunday.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby A.J. » Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:34 am

Okay, so, yesterday was the thirtieth annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

I had the honor of going to Coney Island to assist with the inflation and deflation of two large balloons that were featured in the parade. Plus, I got to ride the Cyclone!

We arrived in Brooklyn at about 9:30am, which was great, as there wasn't a huge amount of traffic. The parade staff had a space set up for us on 21st Street with several helium tanks, and the NYPD even put up barriers for us!

Unfortunately, that didn't stop the media (and some Mexicans) from walking through and taking photos. I mean, I took photos as well, but my mom and I (who was also there assisting) were actually allowed to be in that barricaded area.

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The guy on the right, well, I think you know who he is. The guy in the center, though, that's Bill. He designs, produces, and maintains balloons for parades all over the country; and he's also a good friend of my family. He was here with two balloons for the Mermaid parade.

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The larger of the two balloons flying in the Mermaid Parade was this goldfish with a sailor hat. You can see how the balloon is made of several chambers. Bill and one of the parade volunteers were fixing up some damage to the balloon's fabric.

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A little bit of time and several large helium tanks later, the goldfish was in the air! We were thankful that enough volunteers showed up to handle the balloons we had.

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You can see in this photo how the individual balloon chambers are made of several pieces of fabric.

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Watch out for that fence!

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After the Goldfish went up, it was time to inflate the second balloon, a sea serpent.

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The sea serpent's head is heavy, even filled with helium. Usually, Bill inflates a beach ball balloon and attaches it to the serpent's head and neck to keep it in the air, but time was short and there were very low power lines. So, some of the volunteers had to carry the head.

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Two balloons, ready to fly! Unfortunately, because the serpent was before the Goldfish in the marching order, they had to be lifted and reversed.


The parade kicked off at 2:00pm. I was able to catch the Goldfish as it went around the corner of Surf Avenue and 21st Street...

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...but after that, I had to roll up our tarp and get my sorry ginger butt down to 15th Street, which was the deflation point for the serpent.

After charging through the WORST crowds in the world, I met up with the serpent and its handlers and we got it deflated posthaste. The handlers packed it up and carried it back to the start point at 21st, while I had to go five more blocks down to the judges' table in front of the Cyclone, because the Goldfish was too tall to fit under some power lines at the entrance to the boardwalk.

Thankfully, one of the higher parade staff members escorted me on the parade route to my destination, successfully photo bombing every photo that was taken from the city side of the boardwalk. Because the Goldfish had stopped early, the handlers had already begun to deflate it rendering me completely useless.

Most of the handlers then left, leaving two staff members, my mom, and myself to carry the heavy balloon all the way back to 21st Street through the crowds again. We eventually found a cart, but it would be a while before it would be able to get back to 21st. So, I decided that I should go ride the Cyclone while I had some down time.

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Now, I understand that the Cyclone could be considered the grandfather of the roller coaster. I understand that they want to preserve its heritage, as evidenced by the use of a manual station braking system and the general condition of the station. However, I absolutely hate the load/unload procedure! You have a huge cluster of people lined up along the yellow line, and when the train arrives and stops, it's essentially a feeding frenzy to get in the cars! I'm not saying that they should have air gates or anything like that, but they should at least have bars or railings to separate the rows.

As for the ride itself - I don't hate it. I absolutely love the layout. However, the track seems to be in unsafe condition. The hills were really jerky, and the high turns on either side of the layout slammed you into the seat or the person next to you. When I got into the train, I wondered why it was so cramped and why there was so much padding; but after I rode I realized why. I know that Great Coasters has come in and re-profiled the first drop and transition into the first turn, and I'm looking forward to coming back and riding it when the re-profiling is finished, because I came off with a massive headache.

After riding the Cyclone, I attempted to make my way back to the cart. The whole situation was absolutely horrifying that involved a Mexican woman threatening to kick me in that place I'm not allowed to talk about, drinking water from an open fire hydrant, and almost getting lost. But the short story is - the cart left without me and I had to get back to 21st fast enough before the police dropped the barricades and told Bill and my mom to move our van. I made it back in time, and we got everything packed up. We didn't get out until 8PM due to nasty traffic.

Some thoughts -
  • The Cyclone is the worst coaster I've ever ridden, but it's not my least favorite. Like I said, I love the layout.
  • The crowds during the parade, and especially afterward, are the worst crowds I have ever had the displeasure of trying to go through.
  • Incompetent "security" guards won't let you behind the scenes even though you have a "Staff" shirt as well as credentials.
  • The Mermaid parade is neat, but it seems like it's an unorganized mess.
  • I'm totally willing to go back and inflate/deflate balloons, but I'm certainly not going to try and do ANYTHING else next time.
  • The "Cyclone" sign above the ticket booth uses the Gadzoox (TPR logo) font! How cool is that?!?

Thanks for reading!
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby cal1br3tto » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:21 pm

A.J. wrote:The Cyclone is the worst coaster I've ever ridden, but it's not my least favorite. Like I said, I love the layout.

Exactly how I feel. The airtime is the only thing that partly redeems it for me.

Also, that sea serpent is absolutely freakin' adorable.

Sorry you ran into some issues, though. Coney Island thoroughly creeped me out last year (in a mostly bad, non-charming way). The run-down attractions and possibly insane staff at the older venues were fine by me, but the clientele rubbed me the wrong way for whatever reason. I'm only willing to re-evaluate the area and potentially become a fan because of its fascinating history and its location in NYC.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby coasterfreak101 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:35 pm

I just don't understand the Cyclone complaints...I rode it in the back seat of the middle car, and I loved it completely. So did the people I was with. It's rough, but I think you need to accept that considering that it's what, 85 years old now? And it's hardly as rough as anyone makes it out to be. Honestly a great ride that feels completely out of control, and I wish the profiles of all the hills weren't being smoothed-out and changed so drastically. Part of what made it great to me was how jerky it was, how nothing was built perfectly.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby dragonskeep » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:37 pm

We took a very late night trip to Coney Island a couple years a go . From the midnight train ride from Manhattan to the 1 am rides on Cycloine, a very weird experience. Quarter bathrooms and bar soap, a puker right the F*** in front of Nathan's and you can't imagine how bad I wanted that hot dog, The Warriors, and the above stated "operations" on Cyclone made for a memorable experience. Still to this day I haven't had a Nathans hot dog.

Cyclone itself, I thought was a blast.

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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby cal1br3tto » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:13 pm

^So the paid bathrooms are real! I remember seeing a sign about that at Deno's.

coasterfreak101 wrote:And it's hardly as rough as anyone makes it out to be.

Yes it is. Riding the back seat alone, I felt as if several bones in various parts of me were actually breaking on the first couple drops. And despite knowing how unrealistic this would be, I swear I was honestly a bit surprised that my thighs took that much pain and didn't literally snap. I ended up with the most bizarre, abnormal-looking, lumpy hand-sized bruise that took at least a month to disappear.

Also, the other rows in the back car are noticeably less rough than the very back (I was informed of this by others and wasn't sure if I'd actually find it true...but I definitely did).

I'm looking forward to reriding now that the worst drops are supposedly smoother, but part of me wonders if I'll miss the murderous intensity of years past (or if the rest of the course will just about make up for it).
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby X2coasterfreak » Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:04 pm

I was there today for the first time, and I really enjoyed it. I actually really like Cyclone, it's GCI re-track was really smooth and fun. Soarin Eagle was extremely painful, it took away from the fun. Tickler I thought was boring, but I really liked Steeplechase. It was SO much better than Pony Express. I wasn't there for that long, and was able to get all the credits and eat lunch at Nathan's. Overall it was a really cool day!
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby A.J. » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:10 pm

I never said it was really painful, but I came off with a headache. I don't hate the Cyclone either, and any other day I'd have another go in a different seat. My rough experience was probably because I sat directly above a wheel - first car, fourth row.

As for Coney Island itself, I don't like the area at all, crowds or not. I had to get back onto Surf Avenue quickly, so I went through an alleyway between Deno's Wonder Wheel Park and Luna Park. It was in terrible shape with old sideshows and shops. One guy that ran a children's play area kept saying that I was that comedian Carrot Top and tried to get me to come in. Very, very creepy.
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Re: Coney Island Development Discussion Thread

Postby coasterfreak101 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:32 pm

^That's actually the alleyway that the city is cleaning up. Glad to see it's going well! :lol:
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