Posts Tagged ‘Coney Island 2011’


Since Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus bowed out of Coney Island after two seasons, ATZ has been hearing that efforts were underway to bring another circus to Coney this summer. Names of a few circuses were mentioned, but didn’t pan out. This morning, the following press release from Robert W Connor Marketing landed in our inbox. Though we don’t usually post press releases, this is very good news for Coney Island’s amusement area and we’re happy to share it with our readers…

Bob Connor announced today that he has booked the Vidbel Circus into Coney Island this summer from July 4 thru Labor Day. This will be the first summer of a multi year deal. So the people of New York City will have a circus at Coney Island this summer and many years to come. The circus will be centrally located in Coney Island–Connor says–“If you walk out the front door of the subway station at Coney Island–cross Surf Ave. heading straight for the boardwalk and the beach–Nathans will be on your right and just past that will be the circus. It is a perfect location.”

We’ll update this post as more details become available..

Update, June 3rd, 11:30 am…

The location mentioned in the booking agent’s press release, which is Thor-owned land currently occupied by the BK Festival, is incorrect. The circus is actually coming to City-owned Parcel C, the empty lot across from the Scream Zone (Parcel B). It is also not a multi-year deal, as claimed in the release. ATZ has confirmed with Valerio Ferrari, CEO of Zamperla’s Central Amusement International, the operators of Luna Park and Scream Zone, that they are bringing in the circus for a one-year deal. Also, Ferrari says the deal is not signed yet.

Update, July 10…

Photo Album: Vidbel Old Tyme Circus Opens in Coney Island
Shows are Tuesday through Fri, 6 & 8pm; Saturday, 4, 6 & 8pm; and Sun, 3 & 6pm. Tickets are available one hour before showtime and cost $10. At the show we attended, children 5 and under were admitted free of charge.

Update, July 17…

Catch the show this weekend! The circus will be here only through Sunday, July 17th and then will be hitting the road again. Discounted tickets are now available online

Parcels A, B & C Are Up for Bid. Detail of the CIDC’s Map of the Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP Sites.  Credit: Coney Island Development Corporation

Credit: Coney Island Development Corporation


Related posts on ATZ…

June 21, 2011: Zamperla-Zoppe Riders Coming to Zamperla’s Coney Island

April 27, 2011: Coney Island 2011: Free Movie Screenings on the Beach

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

June 17, 2010: Coney Island Fireworks Show: Every Friday Plus 5 Saturdays

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Coney Island Bound: Zamperla's Motocoaster themed as Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

Coney Island Bound: Zamperla's Motocoaster themed as Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

In a presentation at last week’s “What’s Next for Coney Island?” panel at CUNY, Valerio Ferrari, President and CEO of Zamperla USA/CAI gave the public its first look at renderings of the four rides set to open at Luna Park’s new Scream Zone in Spring 2011. Two of the rides are Zamperla coasters: a Steeplechase Cavalry-themed MotoCoaster and an American Eagle-themed Volare flying coaster.

Here’s the original commercial for Zamperla’s horseback “Pony Express” launch coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., where it opened on Memorial Day Weekend in 2008. The prototype- a MotoCoaster with motorcycle seats–opened at Darien Lake in upstate New York, also in 2008.

Last February, ATZ posted “Steeplechase Express: Will Zamperla MotoCoaster Pony Up for Coney Island?” In reply to our query, Ferrari confided that they were then considering having the public decide which type of MotoCoaster seats–motorcycles or horses- would be used. As it turns out, there’s no need for a poll. The Coney Island theming is just the ticket for the new Luna Park. The crescent moons and pinwheel logos on Surf Avenue’s magnificent entrance pay homage to the whimsical gate of the original Luna Park. At the same time, the logo on the Spinning Mouse Coaster, renamed the Tickler in honor of Coney’s William F Mangels pioneering ride, is the Steeplechase Funny Face. A more manic version of the grinning face is also the logo for Scream Zone.

Inspired by Steeplechase Park’s signature horse race ride that made a circuit around the park, Zamperla is bringing in the cavalry! The Zamperla Steeplechase Cavalry Coaster takes its inspiration from the Steeplechase ride, but it does differ quite a bit in design. Most notably, the horses are part of a single train instead of racing against each other on multiple tracks. Another big difference: The ride’s seating design and restraint system was designed to comply with current-day safety standards.

Vintage postcard of George C Tilyou's Steeplechase Ride,which closed in 1964

Vintage postcard of George C Tilyou's Steeplechase Ride, which closed in 1964. The Coney Island History Project has an original Steeplechase horse on display.

According to Zamperla’s website:

The Pony Express comes with two trains, each accommodating up to 16 riders in an innovative pedestal seating design that maximizes safety, comfort and ride freedom. Using the time tested flywheel and clutch launch system, the PONY EXPRESS delivers a high energy ride with low energy costs. Seated two abreast on their own horses, 16 riders are treated to an exhilarating launch from 0–60 km/h (0-37 mph) in 2.5 seconds. The horses then race to the finish line along a 450 meter (1476 ft) track reaching heights of 14.7mt (48 ft.) through a breathtaking series of exciting 65 degree banked turns. Like the MotoCoaster, the PONY EXPRESS can be adapted to any theme. Let Zamperla design a custom layout and specialized theme for your venue.

Zamperla's American Eagle Coaster aka The Volare

Zamperla's American Eagle Coaster aka The Volare will be the second coaster in Coney Island's Scream Zone. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

Additional rides planned for the new Scream Zone include Zamperla’s Turbo Force and a SlingShot high thrill ride from Funtime. The newly re-themed American Eagle made its debut as the Volare, which means “to fly” in Italian, at Denver’s Elitch Gardens in 2002. Zamperla/CAI has a ten-year lease to operate amusements on the 6.9 acres the City bought for $95.6 million from Thor Equities. Zamperla’s Scream Zone will be located on “Parcels B & C, ” the City-owned property at Stillwell and the Boardwalk. The thrill park is expected to open in 2011.


Related posts on ATZ...

May 2, 2011: Coney Island 2011: Videos of New Scream Zone Rides

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

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

February 15, 2010: Steeplechase Express: Will Zamperla MotoCoaster Pony Up for Coney Island?

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