Zamperla’s plans for Go Karts and a SkyCoaster on City-owned “Parcel C” in Coney Island were unveiled last November and on Friday the launch tower of the new thrill ride was put into place with a crane. Coney photographer Bruce Handy’s stunning photos juxtapose the SkyCoaster with the great-granddaddy of vertical thrill rides– the 250-foot tall tower of the landmark Parachute Jump. From the 1940s until it closed in 1964, the Jump was the high thrill in Coney Island and to this day it has supporters who clamor for it to be retrofit and made operable again. Will the new high thrill ride on the Boardwalk win them over?
The Coney Island SkyCoaster will be called Boardwalk Flight, according to Luna Park’s website: “Take flight over the Atlantic Ocean at heights of over 200 feet. Not thrilling enough? Try it at over 60 mph! This Sky-Coaster will propel you mid-air giving you a sky-diving sensation.” A SkyCoaster combines elements of skydiving and hang-gliding. Riders are harnessed into “flight suits,” winched to the top of a tower and then swing through the sky as they drop towards the ground. From the time you’re strapped in to the finish, each “flight” lasts about five minutes. At Scream Zone, the cost of the new ride will be 25/20/15 credits, which at $1 per credit equals $25/$20/$15, though bonus credits are available with the purchase of a Luna Card. (Update: When the ride opened on Memorial Day Weekend, the charge for riding was a flat fee of $20.)
A spokesman from Luna Park told ATZ the price of riding the SkyCoaster depends on the number of riders–one, two or three–since up to three people can ride at a time. A solo skydive over the Boardwalk will cost you $25, but if you ride with two friends you’ll each pay $15. Manufactured by SkyCoaster Inc., the ride debuted in 1993 and can be found at over 75 parks around the world, from the Jersey Shore to Brazil and South Korea. In gated amusement parks, it’s typically an “upcharge attraction,” meaning that an additional fee is charged to riders who have already paid general admission to the park. Here’s the official video. And here’s a vid of three guys riding the 180-foot SkyCoaster at Six Flags Darien Lake.
Along with the Coney Island Raceway–as the Go Kart track will be called–Boardwalk Flight will be part of an expanded Scream Zone. Earlier this year Central Amusement International, the park division of Zamperla, shelved the idea of creating a third Coney Island park called “Speed Zone” on Parcel C. In March, Scream Zone manager Beau Berni told ATZ that the new rides will instead operate as part of Scream Zone, which is just across Stillwell Avenue and has four rides, including two Zamperla coasters. The SkyCoaster and Go Karts are scheduled to open on May 25th.
Related posts on ATZ…
April 26, 2012: Coney Island Carousel Vying for Online Votes to Win Grant
January 18, 2012: Video of the Day: Climbing Coney Island’s Parachute Jump
November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk
April 22, 2011: Coney Island Has 64 Rides and 30 Weekends of Summer!