Last evening at 6:55pm, Zamperla’s Thunderbolt roller coaster went for its first test run, evoking cheers from fans gathered on the Boardwalk. Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy had been standing by for the historic moment and captured “The Thunderbolt’s Maiden Voyage” in this short video.
As previously noted (“High Hopes for Coney Island’s New Thunderbolt Coaster,” ATZ, March 10, 2014), Coney Island has been home to dozens of roller coasters since the Switchback Railway debuted in 1884 but it’s been a long 87 years since one was custom built for Coney — the Cyclone in 1927. Luna Park’s newest ride is named in honor of the 1925 Thunderbolt and is expected to open as soon as the test runs and permitting process are complete.
UPDATE June 2, 2014
To anyone who watched this video of the Thunderbolt’s first test run and jumped to the conclusion it would open over the weekend, hang in there! There’ll be multiple test runs, some of which were conducted today, before the new coaster opens. On Saturday, Luna Park employees variously said the coaster would open next Saturday or in two weeks, but there’s been no officially announced date.
Related posts on ATZ…
May 19, 2014: New Thunderbolt Loops the Loop Again in Coney Island
February 23, 2014: Sunday Matinee: Under the Roller Coaster (2005)
September 22, 2012: Saturday Matinee: Coney Island’s Mite Mouse Coaster (1992)
April 21, 2012: Saturday Matinee: A Switchback Railway (1898)