About these ads
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Parachute Jump Xmas Lights

Happy Holiday Message on Parachute Jump Lights. Photo © Jim McDonnell

If you want to see Christmas lights, the #1 place to go in the country is the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights, according to a survey published today by MSN. Coney Island’s amusement area doesn’t have a tradition of Christmas lights since the parks are closed for the winter, but two of its official New York City landmarks are lit for the holidays and free to view.

While the lighted cross atop Deno’s Wonder Wheel has a 68-year history, the Parachute Jump’s light show is brand-new. The Jump’s dazzling 8,000 LEDs debuted in June and have been specially programmed with a “Happy Holidays” message and Christmas-y colors by Luna Park.

Currently, the Jump is lit from around 4:30pm until midnight, and sometimes later. Originally built for the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair, the Parachute Jump operated as a ride in Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park until 1964. Today the landmark is known as Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower. Check the Coney Island webcam to be sure the Jump is lit before you go.

Wonder Wheel Xmas Cross

The annual tradition of putting a lighted cross atop the Wonder Wheel during the Christmas season began in 1945 to mark the end of World War II and the troops return home. During the war years, Coney Island was dark after sundown because of “dim-out” and “blackout” regulations to protect shipping from being silhouetted for the enemy by the glare from the shore. The new LED cross was made by DJ Vourderis, whose family has owned Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park for 30 years.

Built in 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company, the Wheel is in operation from Palm Sunday through October. Its cars are removed for the winter and put back up in the spring prior to Opening Day. From the 1980s until neighboring Astroland Park closed in 2008, the Wonder Wheel’s Christmas cross had a counterpart in the Astrotower’s lighted Star of David.

In this lyrical video by Jim McDonnell, who also took the beautiful photos in this post, you can see the cross being raised on Friday when warm temps finally melted the ice on the Wheel, allowing it to be turned. The cross remains atop the Wheel until around January 6.

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

November 28, 2013: Photo Album: Parachute Jump Lights Way to Year-Round Coney Island

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

March 19, 2013: First Sign of Spring in Coney: Cars Go up on Wonder Wheel

January 18, 2012: Video of the Day: Climbing Coney Island’s Parachute Jump

About these ads

Read Full Post »

Christmas at Hersheypark

Christmas Light Display at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA. Photo courtesy of Hersheypark

While most amusement parks in northern climes close after Halloween due to the cold weather, a few have extended their season with Christmas celebrations featuring holiday lights, a visit with Santa, and a spin on selected rides for the price of admission. ATZ took a look at four parks that are worth the drive from the New York metro area, as well as Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens and Gothenburg’s Liseberg.

Christmas in Tivoli

Christmas in Tivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo via Facebook.com/Tivoli

CHRISTMAS IN TIVOLI
Copenhagen, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, the 170-year-old amusement park in the heart of Copenhagen, has been open for Christmas for the past 20 years. Thousands of lights adorn the buildings and rides, while glass, mother-of-pearl and heart-shaped lights bedizen the trees. Father Christmas and his elves greet visitors and the Tivoli Boys Guard parades through the Gardens playing Danish and English marches and carols. The park features 50 Christmas stalls and 32 rides including five new rides which are part of a Russian and Scandinavian-themed Christmas. For the first time ever, Tivoli will be open for walk-in guests on New Year’s Eve before the Fireworks are launched. Last year’s successful opening of some of Tivoli’s restaurants on New Year’s Eve sparked the idea of a full scale opening of the rides, games and shops. November 15-December 31. Closed December 24 and 25.

Christmas at Lake Compounce

Christmas at Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT. Photo via Lake Compounce

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT LAKE COMPOUNCE
Bristol, CT

Lake Compounce, North America’s oldest continuously operating amusement park, is bedecked with thousands of bulbs including “12 Days of Christmas” displays to celebrate the park’s 2nd annual Holiday Lights event. A selection of kiddie rides and family rides are open for the occasion. Lake Compounce’s train, which circles the lake, has been recommissioned the North Pole Express. Among the indoor activities are Story Time with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating and gingerbread house making, carolers, an ice carver, clowns and holiday characters. November 29-December 22, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Hershey Park

Hershey Park Christmas Candylane, Hershey, PA. Photo via Hershey Park

HERSHEYPARK CHRISTMAS CANDYLANE & HERSHEY SWEET LIGHTS
Hershey, PA

Founded in 1905 as a leisure park for Hershey Chocolate Company employees, Hersheypark marks its 30th holiday celebration this year. Christmas Candylane features more than 30 of the park’s rides including the Twilight Express, Santa and nine live reindeer, the N.O.E.L light show with 125,000 lights synchronized to Christmas carols, live entertainment, costumed characters, games, shops and food. Hershey Sweet Lights is a 2.3-mile drive-thru of 600 themed light displays with a customized radio broadcast. November 15-January 1. Closed December 24 and 25.

Christmas at Storybook Land

Christmas at Storybook Land, Egg Harbor, NJ. Photo via Storybook Land

CHRISTMAS FANTASY WITH LIGHTS AT STORYBOOK LAND
Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Fairytale-themed children’s parks were a popular attraction in the 1950s but New Jersey’s Storybook Land, near Atlantic City, is one of the few that has survived and is thriving in the 21st century. Christmas has been celebrated here for over 25 years and is a tradition for generations of South Jerseyans. Through December 23rd, Santa Claus comes out of the chimney of his house nightly at 5pm, waves his wand and lights the park’s million lights. Bubbles the Coaster, the Tick-Tock Clock Drop and other kiddie rides along with the park’s storybook architecture are also bedizened with lights. November 23-December 30. Closed December 24 and 25.

Christmas in Kennywood

Christmas in Kennywood. Photo via Kennywood.com

12 NIGHTS OF HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT KENNYWOOD
West Mifflin, PA

Kennywood’s 3rd Annual Holiday Lights Festival includes two different light shows every half hour in the area surrounding the lagoon, local choirs, magic show, strolling band, dinner with Santa, and readings of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Pittsburgh radio and TV personalities. Operating rides include the Paratrooper, Kangaroo, Merry-Go-Round, Turtle, Ghostwood Estate (with a special holiday twist), The Gingerbread Express (Holiday Lights version of the Olde Kennywood Railroad), and up to 9 rides in Kiddieland. Although the park’s roller coasters aren’t open, guests are invited to stop by the Racer to take a unique picture with Santa in a replica coaster car. November 29-December 22. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Christmas at Liseberg

Christmas at Liseberg. Photo via Liseberg.com

CHRISTMAS AT LISEBERG
Gothenburg, Sweden

Founded in 1923 as a temporary attraction for the 300th anniversary of the city of Gothenburg, Liseberg is Sweden’s most popular amusement park. In November and December, the 260-acre park hosts Scandinavia’s largest Christmas Market, which is illuminated by nearly 5 million lights. Rustic stalls and shops sell arts and crafts, and traditional food such as marinated herring, roasted reindeer meat from Lapland, marzipan pigs and glögg. Some rides are open including the Liseberg Wheel, carousels and kiddie rides. There’s also sleigh rides, an ice skating show, Santa’s House, a midwinter festival at a medieval village, and white rabbits from the North Pole greeting the park’s green rabbit mascot. November 15-December 29. Closed December 24 and 25.

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

December 18, 2013: Photo Album: Christmas Peddlers in Old New York

December 13, 2013: Photo Album: Gingerbread Coney Island in City Harvest Extravaganza

October 21, 2013: Traveler: Osteria Ai Pioppi’s Homemade Amusement Rides

December 18, 2011: Playing Santa at the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

Read Full Post »

Gingerbread Coney Island

Coney Island by
Rolling Pin Productions with Aperitivo Restaurant, Brooklyn. Gingerbread Extravaganza, Le Parker Meridien. Photo via Rolling Pin Productions

Coney Island’s Cyclone, Parachute Jump and Carousel are among the gingerbread wonders on display at the Le Parker Meridien through January 8th to benefit City Harvest. Created by Susanna Caliendo of Rolling Pin Productions and Mario DiBiase of Brooklyn’s Aperitivo Restaurant, the Coney Island-themed confection is among 13 whimsical structures in the 5th annual Gingerbread Extravaganza.

Gingerbread Coney Island

Coney Island by
Rolling Pin Productions with Aperitivo Restaurant, Brooklyn. Gingerbread Extravaganza, Le Parker Meridien. Photo via Rolling Pin Productions

The fondant Santa Claus and his elves ride the wreath-bedecked gingerbread coaster, which has tracks made of licorice and cookies. The Carousel’s poles are made of colorful candy canes. Caliendo researched and took great care in the making of the exquisitely detailed horses. She estimates that it took 60-80 hours of work for the two chefs to create the elaborate structure. DiBiase’s training as an engineer before getting into the culinary field was essential to the task of replicating the curve of the Cyclone’s track.

Gingerbread Coney Island

Coney Island by
Rolling Pin Productions with Aperitivo Restaurant, Brooklyn. Gingerbread Extravaganza, Le Parker Meridien. Photo via Rolling Pin Productions

This year’s theme of “Quintessential New York” inspired the city’s top bakeries, pastry chefs, and restaurants, to craft such icons as the Chrysler, Empire State and Flatiron Buildings, the Guggenheim Museum, Katz’s Deli and New York Brownstones.

“With the constant change that is a part of the New York City evolution, Coney Island is one of the few major landmarks that keeps the nostalgia of the ‘old days’ going strong,” said the Gingerbread Coney Island’s creators Caliendo and DiBiase in their artists statement. “Surviving Hurricane Sandy and continuing on despite difficult times will always be a testament to the ‘quintessential’ strength of all of us here in New York City.”

Gingerbread Coney Island

Coney Island by
Rolling Pin Productions with Aperitivo Restaurant, Brooklyn. Gingerbread Extravaganza, Le Parker Meridien. Photo via Rolling Pin Productions

You can vote for the structures on display in Le Parker Meridien’s atrium, which is open 24 hours, or online by selecting it on this page. Purchase one ticket for $1 or 5 tickets for $5 through the concierge desk or online to vote for your favorite. Each vote enters the donor in a raffle to win a 5-night stay at the Parker Palm Springs.

All proceeds benefit City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, where every dollar rescues four pounds of food.

The creation with the most votes will receive the Gingerbread 2013 People’s Choice Award in January.

Gingerbread Coney Island

Under Construction: Coney Island by
Rolling Pin Productions with Aperitivo Restaurant, Brooklyn. Gingerbread Extravaganza, Le Parker Meridien

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

December 9, 2013: Photo Album: First Snow of the Season in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

December 12, 2011: Holiday Album: Coney Island in the Bronx

October 31, 2011: Photo Album: Snowtober in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

Read Full Post »

Neon Wonder Wheel

Neon Arrows and Deno’s Wonder Wheel, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Coney Island! The rides reopen on Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013 — less than three months away. Neon arrows point the way to Deno’s Wonder Wheel, which will be free on opening day.

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

December 12, 2011: Holiday Album: Coney Island in the Bronx

October 31, 2011: Photo Album: Snowtober in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

December 24, 2010: Happy Holidays from Amusing the Zillion

February 26, 2010: Photo of the Day: Snow Mermaid on Coney Island Beach

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 315 other followers

%d bloggers like this: