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Posts Tagged ‘Scream Zone’

Snow in Coney Island

Coney First Snow: Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. December 8, 2013. Photo Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

In past years, ATZ has posted Bruce Handy’s first snow of the season photos in December and January and once in October during the weather event known as Snowtober. On Sunday night, the Coney Island photographer went for his first snow of the season stroll on the Boardwalk and Pier. We selected images of the amusement parks and rides enveloped in the quietness of a snowfall. It couldn’t be more of a contrast to the boisterous days of summer. You can see the complete set in the photographer’s Coney Island Photo Diary.

First Snow in Coney Island

Coney’s First Snow: Wonder Wheel Sign. December 8, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

First Snow in Coney Island

Coney’s First Snow: Wonder Wheel. December 8, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

First Snow in Coney Island

Coney’s First Snow: Cyclone Roller Coaster. December 8, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

First Snow in Coney Island

Coney’s First Snow: Luna Park’s Pinwheels. December 8, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

First Snow in Coney Island

Coney’s First Snow: Scream Zone. December 8, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

First Snow in Coney Island

Coney’s First Snow: Scream Zone. December 8, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

First Snow in Coney Island

Coney’s First Snow: B&B Carousell. December 8, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy/Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

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January 26, 2013: Winter’s First Snow in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

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

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

December 20, 2009: Coney Island Photo of the Day: First Snow on the Cyclone

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Coney Island Sunset

Coney Island Sunset with Scream Zone and Parachute Jump. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

While putting together “Amusing the Zillion’s Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2012,” we considered doing a fave unposted photos of 2012 feature but there were too many pix to choose from. If a photo isn’t or doesn’t become newsworthy, it often gets overlooked. Since there’s a post-holiday lull in the usual Coney Island Melodrama, here’s an album of quiet photos from early December. What these images have in common are pieces of the Coney Island skyline.

Coney Island Skyline

Coney Island Skyline, December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Hoax photos from Hurricane Sandy of the Parachute Jump snapped in two and real photos of a coaster underwater in Seaside Heights have visitors coming to ATZ to find out if Coney Island’s rides survived. The answer is yes! Coney Island’s rides will open for the 2013 season on March 24th, Palm Sunday, with a complimentary spin on the Wonder Wheel. Seen in the photo above from left to right: the Astro Tower, which is no longer an operating ride, but will be lit with LEDs; the Cyclone Roller Coaster; Deno’s Wonder Wheel, minus its cars, which are removed for the winter; and Scream Zone’s Steeplechase Coaster and Zenobio.

Brooms lined up post-Sandy

Brooms lined up post-Sandy inside Luna Park Coney Island. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

In November, Luna Park pitched in to help Coney Island recover from Hurricane Sandy by rewarding volunteers who signed up for four hours of clean-up with an unlimited ride, four-hour wristband to the park. “Over 300 people volunteered their time with Luna Park as part of a massive effort to rebuild Coney Island,” according to a post on the park’s Facebook page. “Luna volunteers cleared 4 parks and playgrounds, served 3 churches, cleaned 9 homes and 2 streets and helped clear the boardwalk by the amusement areas.”

Victim of Sandy

Victim of Sandy. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

This surreal image of a discarded carnival prize in post-Sandy Coney Island was just too sad to post on the day that we snapped it. A big part of it was the game that it came from is owned by a friend. The storm-damaged plush bear and fellow prizes were photographed here and there in the amusement area before being carted away.

The Last of McCullough's Kiddie Park

The Last of McCullough’s Kiddie Park. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

Even sadder was our last look at the last remaining ride sign in McCullough’s Kiddie Park, which had been torn down and was being trucked away. The Bumblebees, Kiddie Ferris Wheel and Himalaya are all gone. Today, there’s an empty lot where the kiddie park existed since the 1960s. As ATZ reported in September, the McCullough family operated amusements in Coney Island for four generations and are related to the Tilyous of Steeplechase Park. They closed the kiddie park, their last remaining business here, after being unable to come to an agreement on terms for a lease extension with property owner Thor Equities.

On the bright side, Pete’s Clam Stop and its old school signage on Surf Avenue at 15th Street is here to stay. Along with Williams Candy next door, it is owned by Peter Agrapides, who has worked in Coney Island for six decades.

Pete's Clam Stop

Pete’s Clam Stop, Coney Island. December 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

January 3, 2013: Photo Album: New Year’s Day Coney Island Photo Diary by Bruce Handy

December 7, 2012: Photo Album: Signs of the Times in Post-Sandy Coney Island

May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

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

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“Coney Island Lights,” a new video by photographer and self-described “footage guru” Jim McDonnell, is lyrical and bewitching. Lights from Coney’s various amusement parks and attractions come together fluidly thanks to masterful editing by Jim, who knows Coney Island and has a talent for distilling its essence into a short film.

Luna Park’s Air Race ride looks like its performing a ballet with the whirling pinwheels on the park’s lighted gate. You’ll also catch sight of the dancing lights of the landmark Cyclone and Wonder Wheel, Deno’s Carousel and the blinking red eye of the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops, 12th Street’s Saturn 6, Surf Avenue’s Eldorado, the new Boardwalk signs and Scream Zone rides, and the old school carnival rides in Cha Cha’s Steeplechase Park.

In 2010 and 2011, ATZ posted Jim McDonnell’s “Coney Island Dancing” videos. We’re looking forward to “Coney Island Dancing 2012,” which is being shot over the course of this summer.

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March 27, 2012: Video of the Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter at Coney Island (2011)

January 8, 2012: Video of the Day: Coney Island at Night by Edwin S. Porter

July 19, 2011: Video of the Day: Let Us Now Praise Coney Island’s Zipper

November 30, 2010: Video: The Wanted’s Lose My Mind at Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel Park

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New Coney Island ‘Funny Face’ Mural on Thor Equities Building at Surf and Stillwell. May 28, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Memorial Day Weekend in Coney Island saw the debut of new lights and signage as well as the return of some old favorites. The cute blue-eyed Funny Face pictured above is the first sight visitors will see when they exit Stillwell Terminal. It was painted on Memorial Day afternoon, along with a swath of yellow, on Thor Equities plywood-encased building at Surf and Stillwell. The muralist began work on Sunday, blocking out the words “Coney Island.”

Having complained that while everyone else in Coney Island has been busy painting and beautifying their property in preparation for Memorial Day, Thor has done nothing, ATZ was very happy to see this mural-in-progress. Of course, the generic-looking new building underneath, which was revealed when construction fencing came down in February, still looks like it belongs in a suburban mall. The plywood remains dotted with signs touting “CONEY ISLAND – The RETAIL RIDE of a LIFETIME – for leasing contact…” As we wrote last May: “Ain’t it just like Joe Sitt to tout retail when Coney Island, the birthplace of the amusement industry, is expecting its best season yet because of the success of Luna Park on land purchased by the City from Thor?”

New Sign for Grimaldi’s Pizzeria on Surf Avenue, Coney Island. May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Grimaldi’s new sign also appeared in time for the holiday weekend, though the pizzeria isn’t open yet. Located on the north side of Surf Avenue next to the Tattoo Shot Lounge, the opening of Grimaldi’s second Brooklyn location in the coming weeks is sure to set off a Best Pizza in Coney Island contest with Neptune Avenue mainstay Totonno’s. The two pizzerias are already longtime rivals for the title of Best Pizza in New York. Grimaldi’s, whose original location is under the Brooklyn Bridge, chose a New York City skyline for their sign.

Coney Island Boardwalk

Brooklyn Beach Shop and Scream Zone, Coney Island Boardwalk. May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The new look for the Boardwalk includes lighted custom signs replacing much of the quirky hand-painted signage of recent decades. One of the Boardwalk’s new stores, the Brooklyn Beach Shop, is a shining example of the new Coney Island. Located between the entrance to Scream Zone and Ruby’s Bar, the glass-fronted storefront features custom brickwork and a 6-foot-tall stone Steeplechase face sculpted by Italian artist Mario Ambroselli. The piece de resistance is a classic bare bulb sign in script that says “Beach Shop.” The airy renovated space formerly occupied by Coney Island Souvenir Shop is filled with private label T-shirts and beach gear.

Brooklyn Beach Shop also has roots in the past. The store is owned by Maya Haddad and her father Haim Haddad, who has owned and operated businesses in Coney Island since 1996, starting with Mermaid Horizons at Mermaid and Stillwell Avenues. In 2002, Haim opened Coney Island Beach Shop on Stillwell Avenue behind Nathan’s. They also operate a second Coney Island Beach Shop inside Stillwell Terminal and the new Nathan’s Gift Shop on the Boardwalk.

Coney Island Raceway Sign for New Go Karts. Scream Zone. May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Memorial Day Weekend marked the return of go-karts to Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue and the debut of a thrilling new ride on the Boardwalk. We snapped this photo of Coney Island Raceway’s new sign on the eve of the go-kart track’s opening day at the expanded Scream Zone. Go Karts were a popular attraction in Coney Island until 2006, when Thor Equities bought the Stillwell Avenue property leased by Batting Range and Go Kart City and evicted them. The second new ride to open this weekend at Scream Zone was the Skycoaster, a high thrill ride combining elements of skydiving and hang-gliding. It is already proving to be as much of a show as a ride with crowds gathering for the vicarious thrill of watching riders soar over the Boardwalk.

Lola Star Gift Shop

Lola Star Gift Shop, Coney Island Boardwalk. May 28, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Lola Star’s fashionably skinny boutique on the Boardwalk is crowned with a dazzling sign designed by the shop’s eponymous owner Lola Star aka Dianna Carlin. ATZ wrote about the sign’s upcoming debut several weeks ago, but this weekend was the first time we saw it illuminated and in action. On the new sign, blinking white lights encircle “Lola Star,” which is pink neon, as well as the 3D clouds and the words “Gift Shop.” Says Lola: “In Phase 2 there is going to be a gigantic disco ball rotating on the roof with a 3D Lola Star on Roller skates standing on the disco ball!” Bravissima!

Wonder Wheel

Deno’s Wonder Wheel cars are newly lit by solar powered panels. May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The solar-powered lights on Deno’s Wonder Wheel debuted on Memorial Day Weekend! In this photo taken from West 12th Street, you can see the jewel-like lights on the corners of the Wheel’s Swinging Cars as well as the Mangels lights around the park’s perimeter and the Wonder Wheel’s vintage neon sign and row of new booths on West 12th Street. Installing solar panels atop the cars is a longtime project of DJ Vourderis, whose family owns the New York City landmark. The goal is to bring back the wheel to the way it originally looked when it opened in 1920. Though the perimeter and spokes of the Wonder Wheel were lit, the cars had been in the dark since the 1980s, when park founder Denos Vourderis removed the lights due to safety concerns over high voltage.

Miss Coney Island

Miss Coney Island and Coney Island Always, West 12th St. May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The dancing mannequin “Miss Coney Island” and the miniature animated rides of “Coney Island Always” got some new lettering over their windows: “Watch Her Dance Until the End of Love.” Along with Skin the Wire and other games, the whimsical windows moved to West 12th Street this year after 14 years on Jones Walk. The new booths look more delightful than ever, but the old overhead signage had to be left behind since the new space couldn’t accommodate them. More new signage is in the works. Miss Coney Island’s motto remains “Don’t Postpone Joy” and it’s still only “25 cents to fall in LOVE.” She occasionally has more to say on twitter!

Mr Shrimp

Mr Shrimp is back at Paul’s Daughter, Coney Island Boardwalk. May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

As we reported last week, Paul’s Daughter and Ruby’s Bar opened their renovated stores on the Coney Island Boardwalk. We were happy to see the Mom & Pop businesses bring back some of their quirky old hand-painted signage. The popular favorites Mr. Shrimp, shown above, and Chiefito and Chiefita — the Nice N Sweet/Fluffy Cotton Candy Kids–were among the restored signs returned to the new facade of Paul’s Daughter. At Ruby’s Bar, the hand-painted sign advertising clams and fried shrimp was set out on the Boardwalk amid new tables and chairs. Along with the rest of Coney Island, both stores were packed with visitors over the Memorial Day Weekend. Cheers to a bright and prosperous new season!

Ruby's sign

Ruby’s Seafood Clam Bar Sign, Coney Island Boardwalk. May 26, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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June 25, 2012: New Club Atlantis, MegaWhirl Ride Open in Coney Island

June 15, 2012: Amusing the Zillion’s Guide to Free Summer Events in Coney Island

June 8, 2012: Art of the Day: Steve Powers New Signs for Coney Island

May 19, 2012: Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar Reopen on Saturday, Restored Signs to Return!

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SkyCoaster Construction

SkyCoaster Under Construction at Scream Zone, May 11, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy. All Rights Reserved

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.)

SkyCoaster Coney Island

SkyCoaster Under Construction at Scream Zone, May 11, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy. All Rights Reserved

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.

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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!

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Photographer and amusement park aficionado Jim McDonnell has uploaded two new videos of Scream Zone rides to his YouTube channel. Jim was the grand prize winner of last year’s Luna Park film contest and his videos feature an inspired pairing of edited images with music. Jim’s latest shows Zamperla’s Turbo Force, which has been christened the “Zenobio” in Coney Island. The 100-foot-tall thrill ride sweeps passengers through the air at speeds of over 60 mph.

As you can see in Jim’s vid, it’s also a thrill to stand and watch the Turbo Force in action. When I worked with Wade Shows, this spectacular was often set up near the entrance to the carnival midway. The first time that I happened to pass by the ride in action, I experienced the optical illusion that the whirling arm hurtling in my direction was coming directly at me. Pretty soon I was lingering by the fence to experience the vicarious thrill of this scream machine.

Jim’s short vid of the Steeplechase Cavalry coaster aka the Motocoaster is the first showing the ride in action in Coney Island. The Zamperla coaster pays homage to Steeplechase Park’s signature horse race ride that made a circuit around the park until it closed in 1964 (“Steeplechase Express: Will Zamperla MotoCoaster Pony Up for Coney Island?,” ATZ, February 15, 2010). It’s one of two new Zamperla coasters in Coney Island’s Scream Zone. When a video of the second –the Soarin’ Eagle aka Zamperla’s Volare– is available, we’ll post a link to it here.

This vid of the Sling Shot is one of several already uploaded to YouTube by Scream Zone visitors. We expect to see many more– the Sling Shot is as much of a show as a ride. On the vid’s soundtrack, you can hear the exclamations and screams of the crowd. In a few weeks, a video camera will be mounted on the capsule and patrons will be able to purchase a video recording of their ride complete with close-ups shots of their faces. This on-ride video of the Sling Shot is part of Luna Park’s Channel of Coney Island ride videos.

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April 22, 2011: Coney Island Has 64 Rides and 30 Weekends of Summer!

March 10, 2011: Video: Seasons of the Cyclone Roller Coaster by Charles Denson

October 4, 2010: Coney Island 2011: Zamperla Adding Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster to Scream Zone

August 28, 2010: Video: Grand Prize Winner of Luna Park Coney Island’s Film Contest!

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Electro Spin and Wonder Wheel

Coney Island's 64 Rides include Luna Park's Electro Spin and Deno's Wonder Wheel. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

This month marks the 2nd anniversary of Amusing the Zillion, which began on April 10, 2009 with a sweet first post on Coney Island ‘s Opening Day. The zings came in May and June with “Joe Sitt’s No Show Rides” (ATZ, May 17, 2009) and “Coney Island Ride Count: Veteran Ride Ops 40, Joe Sitt 10!” (ATZ, June 4, 2009). Back then, the dwindling number of rides and the empty lots had people asking “Is Coney Island Closed?” and gave rise to the marketing slogan “Coney Island: Really Fun, Really Open.”

We’re happy to report that Coney Island has come a long way since then with the opening of Luna Park (May 2010) and Scream Zone (April 2011) on land purchased by the City from real estate speculator Joe Sitt. As we head into Coney Island’s Easter weekend, which can be as busy as Fourth of July if the sun shines, the amusement area has a grand total of 64 rides! (Update: September 12, 2012… McCullough’s had to reconfigure the park and removed two kiddie rides in 2011. Scream Zone added two rides: Go Karts and a Skycoaster in 2012. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park replaced two rides with the largest Bumper Cars in New York City. For the 2012 season, Coney Island’s parks had 63 rides plus the Megawhirl and a half-dozen or so carnival rides brought to Stillwell Avenue for the summer.)

Luna Gate and Cyclone

Luna Park entrance and Cyclone Roller Coaster, Surf Avenue at 10th St. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

The ride count for the 2011 season is Luna Park (19), Scream Zone (4), Cyclone (1), Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park (22), Eldorado Bumper Cars (1), Polar Express and 12th Street Amusements (5) and McCullough’s Kiddie Park (12). Coney Island’s extended season stretches all the way to Halloween, effectively creating 30 weekends of summer fun.

Coney Island isn’t a gated single operator park like Six Flags or Disneyland. Visitors can move freely throughout the People’s Playground, where the rides and attractions are individually owned and operated by several different families. Here’s ATZ’s guide to Coney Island’s rides for the 2011 season.

LUNA PARK, THE CYCLONE and SCREAM ZONE

Air Race

Zamperla's Prototype Air Race at Luna Park. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

Luna Park opened last May with a magnificent gate that pays homage to the original Luna Park. Operated by Central Amusements International, the park division of Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla, Luna Park features 18 Zamperla rides and a Reverchon water flume. Notable rides include the prototype Air Race, designed by Mega Disk’O creator Gianbattista Zambelli. The thrill ride sends riders upside down at up to 4 g forces and made its world debut in Coney Island last May.

One of Coney Island’s historic rides that inspired a modern counterpart in the new park is “The Tickler.” Zamperla’s spinning coaster model, the Twister, was renamed “The Tickler” in honor of Coney Island inventor William F. Mangels pioneering thrill ride that debuted in 1907.

Additional rides include the Brooklyn Flyer (Vertical Swing), Eclipse (Discovery Pendulum), Circus Coaster, Coney Island Hang Glider, Lynn’s Trapeze, Surf’s Up, Big Top Express, Happy Swing, Mermaid Parade (Kiddie Log Flume), Speed Boat and Tea Party.

Sling Shot

The Sling Shot Ride in Coney Island's Scream Zone Thrill Park. Photo © NYCEDC via flickr

Also operated by Central Amusement International is the iconic Cyclone Roller Coaster, a New York City landmark that first opened in 1927. This weekend the amusement operator is debuting Scream Zone, a new thrill park on the Boardwalk. Rides include the Turbo Force, Sling Shot, Soarin’ Eagle Coaster (Volare), and Steeplechase Motocoaster, which pays homage to Steeplechase Park’s legendary horse race ride.

DENO’S WONDER WHEEL AMUSEMENT PARK

Wonder Wheel

Deno's Wonder Wheel. Built in 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company using Bethlehem Steel forged on the premises. Photo © brooklynnfoto via flickr

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park has 22 rides and is owned and operated by the second and third generation of the Vourderis family. The Wonder Wheel, which is an official New York City landmark, celebrated its 90th birthday last year. A popular spot for engagement photos, the Wheel has a very romantic history: When the park’s founder Denos Vourderis was a hot dog vendor in the 1940s, he promised his sweetheart Lula that he would buy the Wonder Wheel for her as a wedding ring if she would marry him. She said yes and in 1983 when the Wheel was offered for sale, he bought it and built the park around it.

According to the history page on the Wonder Wheel’s site, it was “built in 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company using 100% Bethlehem Steel forged right on the premises. Each year, the entire 400,000 lb. ride is overhauled and painted to protect it from the elements of weather, wear and tear.”

The park’s adult rides include the legendary Spook-A-Rama dark ride, Thunderbolt, Bumper Cars and Tilt-A-Whirl. The Kiddie rides are the Carousel, Herschell Boats, Dizzy Dragons, Pony Carts, Jumping Motorcycles, Sea Serpent Roller Coaster, Mini Enterprise, Free Fall, Red Baron Airplanes, Willie the Whale, Fire Engines, Jets, Flying Elephants, Pirate’s Pond, Big Foot Trucks. Rio Grande Train, and Samba Balloon.

Carousel horse dedicated to Denos Vourderis, founder of Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. Photo © Deno's wonder Wheel Park via flickr

12th STREET AMUSEMENTS

The classic Saturn 6 ride is part of 12th Street Amusements. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

The Guerrero family’s 12th Street Amusements has 5 adult rides including the Polar Express, Bumper Cars, Saturn 6, Ghost Hole and Virtual Reality. The Saturn 6 is a classic flat ride. “Right now, I believe the only one in existence is at Coney Island,” writes one ride fan on the CoasterBuzz forum. “Some people think the newer Dartron Hurricane’s are the same thing but the Saturn 6 cars are fastened directly to the arm in a manner so as they do not pivot when they are raised. This is one of those rides you can hear from way down the midway. The loud pop of compressed air being released as the arms raise up & down.”

ELDORADO BUMPER CARS

Eldorado

Eldorado Bumper Cars on Surf Avenue. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

Coney Island’s disco palace of bumper cars, the Eldorado Skooters, is a family owned business at Surf Ave between Stillwell and 12th St.

As we say in the amusement biz, it’s the front of the show that gets the dough! The front of Coney Island’s Eldorado is famed for its lights and signage. On flickr you’ll find dozens of pix of the dazzling theater-style “Eldorado Auto Skooter” marquee and the sassy “BUMP YOUR ASS OFF!” signs by Dreamland Artist Club founder Steve Powers.

The Eldorado was hand built by the Buxbaum and Fitlin families and a carpenter named Rafael, according to Scott Fitlin. It opened on March 21st 1973 and the first record played was “Cisco Kid-War.” The bumper cars are old school Italian-made Soli cars. Stop by the Eldorado this summer to hear the legendary sound system and “Turn that Wheel!”

MCCULLOUGH’S KIDDIE PARK

McCullough's

More Rides at McCullough's Kiddie Park, Coney Island. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

McCullough’s is a family owned park with 12 10 kiddie rides on the Bowery at 12th Street. The rides are the Bumblebeez, Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Swings, Motorcycles, Yellow Submarine, Dizzy Dragons, Himalaya, Ladybug, Frog Hopper, Circus Train and Tug Boat.

According to his interview in the Coney Island History Project’s Oral History Archive, “Jimmy McCullough learned the carousel business from his father, James McCullough, who began his career working on the Steeplechase and Stubbman carousels. Working in Coney Island is a family business going back generations for Jimmy who is a descendent of both the Tilyou and the Stubbman families.”

Bumblebeez

Bumblebeez at McCullough's Kiddie Park, Coney Island. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

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May 29, 2012: Photo Album: Coney Island Lights & Signs of the Times

May 22, 2012: Photo Album: Welcome Back, Paul’s Daughter & Ruby’s Bar!

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

May 21, 2009: Astroland Closed But Your Kid Can Still Ride the USS Astroland This Summer!

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