photo via me-myself-i, flickr
Astroland closed in September 2008, but your kid can still ride the USS Astroland in 2009, and 2010, and far into the future. Wish I could ride too–but grownups aren’t allowed. This classic Allan Herschell kiddie boat ride is in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, which according to a new sign is “open this year, & next, & next, & next, & next…” Deno’s owns the Wonder Wheel and the land beneath it and has a lease on the kiddie park property through 2020. Last October, the City entered into a purchase agreement to acquire the 1-acre kiddie park parcel for $11 million from the Ward family after Thor Equities dropped out of the deal. The Coney Island Rumor Mill is sayin’ the closing is imminent. Will city officials break a bottle of Brooklyn egg cream against the hull of one of the kiddie boats to celebrate the land acquisition? Of course, the rides belong to Deno’s and are not part of the deal.
Each little boat is named after a different Coney Island park, all defunct now except for Deno’s, whose namesake is the ocean blue USS Deno’s Wonder Wheel. When the rides were repainted a few years ago, former arcade owner and history buff Stan Fox had the idea it would be a neat way to pay tribute to Coney’s amusement heritage. The other boats are named after Boyton’s Sea Lion Park (1895-1902), Luna Park (1903-1946), Dreamland (1904-1911) and Steeplechase (1897-1964).
Although Astroland closed in 2008, Coney Island has
50 54 amusement rides up and running in 2009!
photo via pablo57, flickr
Related posts on ATZ…
December 30, 2009: Looking Back & Forward: Astroland Shrine on New Year’s Day 2009
November 23, 2009: The Contenders from A to Z: Coney Island Amusement Operator RFP