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Posts Tagged ‘dark ride’

Spook-A-Rama Cyclops

Spook-A-Rama Cyclops on Display at Coney Island History Project, March 24, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Spook-A-Rama’s vintage Cyclops head is on view at the Coney Island History Project on Sunday along with other artifacts that survived Sandy. The iconic eye is still operational. The eye slyly moves back and forth in the manner of a Kathakali dancer. Meanwhile, the dark ride in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park was carefully rebuilt after flood damage from Sandy and has a fabulous new animatronic dragon atop its roof as seen in this video by Jay Singer.

Spook-A-Rama’s Pretzel cars and track are back and some vintage props were combined with new stunts in a way that remains true to the spirit of Coney’s last classic dark ride. The Cyclops was one of the original figures atop the 1950s ride but it was retired decades ago. The head resurfaced a couple of years ago to be inducted into the Coney Island Hall of Fame and was later put on display in front of Spook-A-Rama. The most recent resident of the dark ride’s roof was a giant skeleton. In the photo below, taken in Wonder Wheel Park just a few weeks after Sandy, you can see Sandy’s high water mark on the Cyclops teeth. The marks are still visible today.

Spook-A-Rama's Cyclops

Spook-A-Rama’s Cyclops Survived the Super Storm. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Coney Island. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Related posts on ATZ…

March 13, 2013: Coney Island 2013: New Ghouls Mingle with Old in Rebuilt Spook-A-Rama

November 21, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Flooded Spook-A-Rama to Get New Stunts

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Spook-A--Rama

Spook-A-Rama Under Reconstruction. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Coney Island. February 22, 2012

This veteran imp from Spook-A-Rama survived Sandy and is peeking out at the scary new creatures from Scarefactory, a design and fabrication studio which specializes in haunted attractions. As ATZ reported in November, Coney Island’s oldest dark ride, which dates back to the 1950s and is part of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, was severely damaged due to flooding during Superstorm Sandy. Park owners Dennis and Steve Vourderis vowed to rebuild. Construction is well underway and the ride, which is adjacent to the Wonder Wheel, is expected to open on March 24th, Coney Island’s Opening Day.

These photos from late February offer a sneak peek at a few of the new ghouls. You’ll also be happy to see some of the old-timers were rescued. These flood-damaged props original to Spook-A-Rama and other historic dark rides are being restored and will be put on static display. Some will get new electronics. The exterior artwork and restored Pretzel cars and tracks will remain.

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February 28, 2013: Coney Island Shooting Gallery from 1940s Makes Comeback

January 18, 2013: Coney Island 2013: “Water Mania” Spin Ride to Debut at Luna Park

November 21, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Flooded Spook-A-Rama to Get New Stunts

January 31, 2012: Remnant of Under Boardwalk Bar Found in Coney Island

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Spook-A-Rama

Power-Washed Spook-A-Rama Cars and Murals Drying Out at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Coney Island’s oldest dark ride, which dates back to the 1950s and is part of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, was severely damaged due to flooding during Superstorm Sandy. Spook-A-Rama’s electrical, interior props and the floor inside the ride were destroyed but park owners Dennis and Steve Vourderis have vowed to rebuild the attraction. At last week’s IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, they contracted with Scarefactory, Inc. to come in and lay out new props, according to Dennis Vourderis. The giant skeleton on Spook-A-Rama’s roof is a product of the design and fabrication studio, which specializes in creating haunted attractions and everything that goes into them.

Spook-A-Rama Skeleton

Giant Skeleton from Spook-A-Rama’s Roof Recuperating After Superstorm Sandy. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Sadly, some of the destroyed props original to Spook-A-Rama and other historic Coney Island dark rides cannot be replaced. If it’s possible to save them, the old props will be put on static display (February 2013 Update: some of the rescued props will get new electronics!) The good news is that the legendary Cyclops, which came out of retirement two years ago to be inducted into the Coney Island History Project’s Hall of Fame, was unharmed. Another old-timer at the Wonder Wheel, the 1920’s fortunetelling machine Grandma’s Predictions, suffered water damage, but is being restored by an expert in antique arcade machines. Grandma’s “boyfriend” Zoltar was not so lucky –the popular machine which debuted at the park in 2011 will be replaced by a brand-new one.

zoltar

Zoltar Destroyed by Sandy, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Coney Island. November 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Also destroyed in the flood waters and being replaced is the Scarface-themed shooting gallery next to Spook-A-Rama. The new shooting gallery will be themed with some of the same spooky characters that visitors will see inside the refurbished dark ride. While the Wonder Wheel side of the park and the area beneath the kiddie park were inundated with 5 to 7 feet of flood waters, the 92-year-old landmark Wonder Wheel and the rides and games in Deno’s Kiddie Park on the Boardwalk escaped serious damage though a lot of work remains to be done. The park will re-open with its 25th Annual Blessing of the Rides Ceremony on Palm Sunday, which is Coney Island’s opening day and falls on March 24, 2013. (Update: On opening day, rides on the Wonder Wheel will be free of charge for one and all.)

Spook-A-Rama's Cyclops

Spook-A-Rama’s Cyclops Survived the Super Storm. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. Coney Island. November 17, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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November 20, 2012: Coney Island Post-Sandy: Mini-Golf or Roller Rink to Replace Denny’s?

November 13, 2012: Coney Island’s Eldorado Wins Lease But Bumper Cars Soaked by Sandy

November 9, 2012: Update on Coney Island’s Amusement Area After Sandy

October 30, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

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Ghost Hole in Winter

Wonder Wheel, Ghost Hole & Astrotower in Winter. January 29, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

On West 12th Street in Coney Island, the Ghost Hole Demon is still hibernating in his plastic shroud, but preparations are well underway for opening day of the 2012 season.

Next door in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the kiddie rides have been reassembled, the Wonder Wheel is being painted, and the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops opened his eye and looked around. Putting the cars back on the Wheel is the last bit of business before Palm Sunday. Coney’s traditional opener is early this year. It’s on April 1st–yes, April Fool’s Day!–but some of Coney Island’s rides and attractions are expected to open for the weekend on Saturday, March 31st.

If you’re curious to see the demon on the Ghost Hole’s facade, here he is calling in customers courtesy of a 2009 video by magicalthemeparks. Formerly called “Geister Hohle”, the German dark ride came to Coney Island from Trimper’s Amusement Park in Maryland in 1999. The facade was updated and the demon was added by 12th Street Amusements in Coney Island.

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