The fun is back at historic Coney Island! No visit to New York City is complete without a visit to the City's most famous beach, boardwalk, and rides. The boardwalk's premier attraction, Luna Park, features 18 brand new rides and attractions for both kids and adults. Looking for a thrill? Check out Scream Zone - where you'll find supersonic rides that will challenge even the most hardcore roller coaster fans!And, of course, a visit to the legendary Cyclone roller coaster is a MUST. Coney Island's attractions open again in April 2012 - we'll see you on the boardwalk!
Coney Island’s Luna Park includes 20 rides, 7 games, and the legendary “Cyclone”. During the time my husband, 6-year-old son, 20-month-old daughter and I were there we each found rides we loved. Between us, we tried almost every ride in the park. The four hours spent there were perfect, allowing us enough time to visit all we wanted and get into the car before the kids’ tiredness took over.
At the entrance are the most thrilling rides with the mild (kiddy) rides at the back. Each attraction states the thrill factor, height requirements, and the credits cost for the ride. Some rides my son was too small for and these I rode alone, others he met minimum height requirements for riding with me.
With 20 different rides, almost every member of the family is covered. My daughter, however, only rode the teacup and the train, because I felt that most rides were too dangerous for her. She enjoyed watching her family, the gentle motion and other children’s faces.
My son’s fear of coasters and their height worried him, so it’s strange that his best rides were the Tickler (a fast-spinning, high-thrill coaster), and the Brooklyn Flyer (an edge-of-your-seat ride on a swing 100 feet up). He also loved the swinging of the Coney Island Sound and the free-flying Coney Island Hang-Glider.
My favorite was the wild Air Race, a tumbling, spinning, upside down minute that feels like forever, and the Cyclone.
The Cyclone, a coaster built in 1927, still rides its bumpy wooden tracks and is a great Coney Island attraction. It’s a New York historic place and landmark, and the ride is awe-inspiring, bone-rattling and teeth-clenching fun. It recently underwent renovations to shorten the first drop by 5 feet, not that it made any difference to the sensation of freefall while I was riding. Souvenirs and ride photos are sold outside.
The bathrooms were cramped and busy. Only one was operating though even with two I am certain of long lines on a busy summer day. The changing tables in both men’s and women’s bathrooms are located in the doorway to get to the toilets; very inconvenient while I was changing my daughter.
Many of the snack bars were closed. When open they sell, hotdogs, BBQ, popcorn, ice-cream and the usual snacks - chips and cotton candy.
I found the staff courteous, helpful, and knowledgeable. From my first contact at guest services through to the ride operators, all were smiling and gentle. They were especially patient with little kids who needed their wristbands scanned for entry to rides.
Overall, the janitorial staff does a wonderful job keeping the park clean and ensures that litter is removed quickly.
Pricing + value
Luna Park gives the option of pre-paid credits or an unlimited ride wristband. The cost for a wristband (non-transferable and valid for 4 hours) is $26. This was a very reasonable price given that my son and I rode 70 credits of rides (each!) which would have cost at least $100 just for us two. My husband went on 26 credits of rides. I would hesitate to buy an unlimited pass for my daughter – she spent the time asleep, and rode 12 credits worth. It’s best to buy unlimited rides for those able to independently race around the park; with younger kids use your discretion on what rides they would enjoy. Credits are needed for entry to the Cyclone and for carnival games. Credits cost $1/credit, with value packages starting at $35 (for 40 credits).
Tips for a great day
A stroller or carrier is a must if you have a baby or toddler. Plenty of park seating allows for rest stops though there was little shade.
I strongly recommend a visit to the boardwalk, easily reached via the stairs or ramp at the back of Luna Park. The view on a clear day is beautiful and you are able to get a real feel for the Coney Island of yesteryear.
Best time to visit
The park is open from April through October, starting with weekends only and progressing to full days (12pm-12am) at the height of the summer. We had short lines on many attractions, though the park filled up as the day went on. I would suggest coming earlier. It is less crowded and you will get the most value for your money.
This review is based on a complimentary visit to Coney Island’s Luna Park and Cyclone. I received no other compensation and the business owner did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view. The opinions I express are entirely my own.
I remember going to Astroland when I was younger, and I dont think it's at all the same as when I used to go there. It is a more dirty place and the people there were not at all like the kind I would want my kids to be around. There was so much smoking that I felt like I was in an old saloon, and shockingly, the people who went there AND the ones that work there are beyond UNFRIENDLY!
Comment from Luna park of Luna Park at Coney Island - April 10 2012
We invite you to experience the new Luna Park. Luna Park is now the new kid on the block. A brend new amusement park that sits on the former Astroland site-located at the corner with st. 3 Surf Ave. Luna park features 19 Spanking new rides, 4 interactive games, a retail shop and delicious concessions. For more information visit www.lunaparknyc.com
Long before the debut of Disneyland, Coney Island was the apex of the amusement park world. Once, fantasy islands called Luna Park and Dreamland dotted the boardwalk, but today Deno’s and Astroland are the sole survivors of that magical era. For a unique aerial perspective of Manhattan, climb into the 1920s Wonder Wheel or brave the wonderfully rickety Cyclone roller coaster. There are dozens of rides for all ages here, as well as an assortment of pinball and video games at the arcade.
Once a bustling and energetic beach resort for New Yorkers from 1900 to about 1945, it is now a bit dilapidated and depressing to visit on the off season months. The history is still there and the rollercoasters and boardwalk all point to a grander time in bygone days.
Astroland is the main amusement park in Coney Island with its wooden rollercoasters and Ferris Wheel.
Coney Island is a nice to visit for a sense of its glory days but going out to that point in Brooklyn may not be worth it.