Posts Tagged ‘50th Anniversary’

Bumper cars

Easter Bunny rides former Astroland Bumper Cars at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. April 8, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

On Coney Island’s Opening Day, while others were lining up for the first ride of 2012 on the landmark Cyclone and Wonder Wheel, we went for our first spin in a long time on Astroland’s Bumper Cars! Last time we drove one of these sparkly cars was on September 7, 2008 when Astroland closed forever. Astro fans will be happy to know that the ride, along with its psychedelic artwork and rainbow-trimmed pavilion, has come back to Coney Island. The refurbished Barbieri bumper cars have found a new home next to the Wonder Wheel in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park.

Coney Island

Bumper Car Pavilion and Wonder Wheel, Coney Island. April 1, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

We happened to be walking by the ride on Coney Island’s Opening Day as it was about to go for its inaugural spin in Wonder Wheel Park and jumped aboard. With 24 cars and a huge floor, it’s the largest bumper car ride in Coney. Totally appreciated how big it was when a bunch of kids who didn’t know how to steer immediately created a major traffic jam. Since there’s no central island, we were able to spin around and drive at full speed until the bumping and thumping resumed.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Astroland, Coney’s Space-Age theme park. The iconic Astrotower remains a part of Coney Island’s skyline, but is no longer operable. The Astroland Rocket, the very first ride to arrive at the park, was donated to the City of New York in 2009 and is in storage. The Bumper Cars at Wonder Wheel Park are the sole survivors of Astroland that you can ride today at Coney Island. Here’s a video from 2008…


Related posts on ATZ…

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

September 4, 2010: Go Up, It’s Great! Coney Island’s & Deno’s Wonder Wheel

May 29, 2009: Astroland Star from Coney Island’s Space-Age Theme Park Donated to the Smithsonian

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

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