By Gabriella Krumgalz ’15 and Yana Shtapel ’15
Get Ready to kick off your shoes, bury your feet in the sand, and watch the fireworks explode through the night sky. On Sunday, April 13 at 11am, Coney Island’s Luna Park re-opened it’s doors to the public with 750 employees and 40 rides.
In honor of their re-opening, Coney Island held special events such as the annual egg cream christening on the Cyclone, discounted prices, free rides on the Cyclone to the first 100 people on line, and free italian ices.
Luna Park was founded in 1903 but eventually closed in 1944. After it’s closing, many rides were brought back with a new “space-age” theme that attracted many people when it was taken over by Astroland. In 2008 the park was again closed and redesigned. On May 29,2010 Luna Park was opened. Nicole Purmal, Luna Park’s brand manager said that this year’s April 13 opening day was one of the busiest opening days since 2010, according to DNAinfo New York.
Crowd favorite restaurants joining the opening celebration were Nathan’s Famous, Coney’s Cones, Ruby’s Bar & Grill, and lets not forget Coney Island’s oldest, Tom’s Restaurant.
“Even though we are open year round, the opening of Luna Park always helps out with business and brings in more customers,” said a worker at Tom’s Restaurant.
Some of the most popular events looked forward to in Coney Island are Flicks on Beach, Mermaid Parade, Friday Night Fireworks and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
“Coney Island is a popular hangout for many New Yorkers. We all look forward to spending our days by the boardwalk and watching the fireworks on friday nights,” said Victoria Luk ’15
The Coney Island Museum will also re-open on Memorial Day with three major exhibits: Highlights from Coney’s permanent collection, a 3D printed scale model of the original Luna Park by Fred Kahl and a “related to Lifei n the West End of Coney Island” installation by artist Africasso.
When walking on Coney Island’s boardwalk you can still see construction being done, but for the most part everything is as it was last summer. Many businesses are already open, but some are not serving food yet. While the weekends are full of many people, the weekdays aren’t as popular. The weather also hasn’t been consistent so while there are always people on the boardwalk, the biggest crowd comes in towards the end of the school year.
Looking to the future, a couple of new rides will be joining Luna Park’s roller coaster family. One of them called the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt will be a new italian-made roller coaster that is scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend. It is a 125 foot tall ride that reaches a speed of 65 miles per hour. It will be the original Thunderbolt that starred in the Annie Hall movie in 1977.
“I love going on all the rides, especially the Cyclone. I’m definitely excited to try the new rides, including the Thunderbolt,” said Zack Kirkland ’15.
Yasin Mehmood ‘15 said, “From going for a swim to running along the boardwalk, Coney Island has a variety of things to do, I think thats why it attracts so many people.”
Coney Island is a place where we can reunite with friends and enjoy our firework filled summer nights. We can kick of our shoes and bury our feet in the sand while watching the midnight waves crash into the rocks. Whether you like being right next to the water or spend the chilly nights on the boardwalk, Coney Island definitely gives you a summer to remember, and if you’re a roller coaster junkie, well then your summer will be a crazy ride for sure.