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For the 2010 season, the CIDC’s Coney Island Fun Guide team is launching a visitor hotline called the Coney Island Fun Phone. A template version of the Fun Phone has been up and running since October to get feedback from Coney Island amusement area stakeholders.

We jotted down the phone number at the stakeholders meeting where the idea was introduced. The project strikes us as very promising. Someone asked how the Fun Phone will be marketed. Well, here you go…

Dial 1-877-71-CONEY

The hotline’s official launch date has yet to be announced, but the number is already posted on the Coney Island Fun Guide’s Facebook Fan Page. We recommend saving the number in your cellphone right now. Coney Island’s official opening day is March 28th–just 53 days away!

The Coney Island Fun Phone’s main menu includes Upcoming Events, Directions & Parking, Rides & Attractions, Eating, Shopping, Voice Mail for Fun Phone Team and return to the main and sub menus. If you hit #3 for Rides & Attractions, you’ll get the menu for 6 different attractions including the Beach and Boardwalk, The Cyclones, Cyclone Roller Coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, New York Aquarium, Ringling Circus, and submenu access to 10 more attractions.

The CIDC’s Daniel Mulé, who is the voice of the Coney Island Fun Phone Team, has recorded short and engaging descriptions of the attractions along with prices, hours and phone numbers. Here’s a sample….

Beach and Boardwalk

At the Coney Island beachfront you can find the perfect spot along two miles of sandy shoreline or enjoy a stroll along the legendary Riegelmann Boardwalk. The Beach and Boardwalk are free for all visitors and accessible year round. The beach is open for swimming from 10 am to 6 pm all summer from Memorial Day Weekend till Labor Day Weekend. For more information on beach rules and regulations contact the park manager at 718-946-1353.

The Fun Phone seems to be geared to people who are unable to access the web-based Coney Island Fun Guide. Perhaps they do not use a computer. Or they don’t have web access on their cellphones.

The restaurant listings and phone numbers came in handy when we were in Coney Island with friends who suddenly changed their plan about where to eat. The Fun Phone offers a wide range of dining choices. In addition to Nathan’s Famous and places on the Boardwalk, you’ll find out about Surf Ave sit-down bars and eateries like Peggy O’Neill’s, Ragazzi’s Pizza, Footprints Café, and Surf & Turf, and neighborhood mainstays like Gargiulo’s, Totonno’s and Coney Island Soup Shop. We bet there’s a restaurant on the Fun Phone that some regular visitors have not tried yet.

ATZ gives the Coney Island Fun Guide high marks. Before the Guide was launched last summer, there was no such thing as a comprehensive calendar of Coney events. Coney Island is not a single operator amusement park like Six Flags, but an amusement district made up of many individually owned and operated businesses. During the season, the Cyclone Roller Coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the Coney Island Sideshow and other attractions field hundreds of phone calls from potential visitors with general questions about Coney Island. This season they will be able to redirect some of the callers to the hotline.

Please note that the Fun Phone is still under development and hasn’t been updated for the 2010 season yet. “We will definitely get it live for the summer,” says Mulé. “No official launch date scheduled — pending some further comprehensive thinking about our marketing efforts for this year.”

The Coney Island Fun Guide also has an e-newsletter and a Facebook Fan Page that you can join now.

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