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Posts Tagged ‘new ride’

Zip Line Coney Island

Zip Line Under Construction in Coney Island. August 4, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The scaffolding towers for the Coney Island Zip Line started going up last week on Stillwell Avenue, but construction has not been completed. No one was working over the weekend. The gates were locked and the lot was a ghost town. Sources told ATZ that the zip line expects to be ready to open next weekend.

In the meantime, the BK Festival’s merchandise vendors who sell hats, sunglasses, jewelry and other items under the multicolored tents did not open as usual on Saturday and Sunday. Word on the street is they were closed because of the ongoing construction. Will they be allowed to open when people are zipping overhead? The new attraction is being set up behind Nathan’s and runs from the Bowery and Stillwell Avenue to West 15th Street. Originally slated to traverse Stillwell Avenue and open in July, the zip line’s debut has been rescheduled a couple of times due to paperwork delays. “It’s taken a bit longer than we thought to get the engineering drawings required for this project,” zip line operator Patrick Ingram told ATZ when we first wrote about it in June.

Another zip line in the news last week was in the UK, where London’s Mayor Boris Johnson got stuck in mid-air when he tried out the 1,000-foot ride at an Olympics celebration. This comic video of him merrily waving little Union Jacks before the zip stalled went viral and won him fans in China. “I love his spontaneity, not pretentious at all!,” one wrote on the social networking site Weibo, according to the Wall Street Journal. Will Coney Island “Mayor” and Mermaid Parade founder Dick Zigun be the first to ride Coney’s new zip line?

UPDATE September 14, 2012

Long-Delayed Coney Island Zipline Is Officially Open!

UPDATE August 19, 2012

BK Festival Vendors Back in Business, Coney Zipline Isn’t, ATZ

UPDATE August 14, 2012

Official sources tell ATZ that additional paperwork needs to be filed and the Zipline might open on Thursday or Friday.

UPDATE August 10, 2012

The Zipline is finished and ready for zipliners. On Thursday and Friday the crew was being trained and the zipline was tested. We’re expecting it to open today and will post an update via twitter

UPDATE August 7, 2012

Yay! Construction resumed today on the platforms for the Coney Island Zipline.

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June 28, 2012: Zip Line Coming to Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue in July

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

February 24, 2012: Summer Jobs: From Coney Island to the Carnival Midway

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

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Alberto Zamperla

Alberto Zamperla at Opening of Luna Park Coney Island. May 28, 2010. Photo © Bruce Handy. All Rights Reserved

The July issue of Italian Wired has a feature story on Alberto Zamperla, president and CEO of Antonio Zamperla S.p.A and founder of Coney Island’s Luna Park. “Megagiostre: l’arte di trasformare adrenalina in soldi è italiana.” Translation: “Mega Rides: The art of turning adrenaline into money is Italian.” Two grafs in the article caught our eye. Since the conversation is in Italian, we translated the quotes with the help of Google, Bing and a dictionary. If any of our readers have corrections, let us know.

When reporter Riccardo Meggiato asked Zamperla what his company is secretly working on, he replied: “We plan an interactive water attraction, which will be built in Coney Island in a few days before being sold throughout the world. It’s called Watermania and consists of a madcap monorail in which the occupants can also shoot the water cannons against those who are there to watch.”

It’s not clear if Watermania was planned for this season at the time of the interview, which may have been done months ago. We’d be very surprised to see the ride this summer. Where will it go? With very little space for new rides, the ride will probably replace one of the other rides in Luna Park.

Zamperla also tells Wired that his company is developing a super coaster inspired by the sci-fi Western “Cowboys & Aliens.” In the 2011 movie, a spaceship arrives in the Arizona Territory, where a posse of cowboys and townsfolk do battle with the aliens. The description of the coaster, featuring a dark tunnel where interactive movies are projected and riders blast away at adversaries calls to mind Universal’s Men in Black or Disney’s Buzz Lightyear Ride.

Neither Coney Island nor a time frame for the coaster’s completion are mentioned in regard to the super coaster, but Zamperla’s intention is to have the latest rides that they develop in the park. The Air Race, a prototype designed by Mega Disk’O creator Gianbattista Zambelli made its world debut in Luna Park Coney Island in 2010.

Thanks to Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy for his portrait of Alberto Zamperla at Luna Park.

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MegaWhirl

MegaWhirl Cars in Coney Island. May 6, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

ATZ snapped these photos over the weekend of the MegaWhirl under construction on the BK Festival lot in Coney Island. Set up in the center of the Stillwell East lot, the ride platform is surrounded by amusement rides including a Himalaya and Bumper Cars from Castle Rock Shows.

As previously reported, the MegaWhirl, a prototype ride described as combining the thrill of the Whip and the Tilt, is expected to make its debut on Memorial Day Weekend. Designed by Jonathan Gordon of Gordon Rides, the prototype was built by Larson International and was previously set up on the factory floor at Larson’s headquarters in Texas.

Thor Equities’ Stillwell Avenue lots were leased to the BK Festival promoters for last year’s flea market and this year’s new Steeplechase Park. Will McCarthy, event director of the BK festival, tells ATZ that the flea market didn’t mesh with the Coney Island location and this season the BK Festival will bring in rides and amusements along with a smaller number of vendors.

Coney Island

MegaWhirl Platform Under Construction in Coney Island. May 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita via flickr

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May 1, 2012: MegaWhirl Ride Prototype to Debut in Coney Island

April 19, 2012: Rides Return to Thor’s Stillwell Lots for 1st Time Since 2008

March 5, 2012: Exclusive: Goodbye Flea Market, Hello “Steeplechase Park”

June 28, 2011: New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl

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MegaWhirl

MegaWhirl Ride in Action, Still from Promotional Video. © Gordon Rides

The MegaWhirl, a prototype ride described as combining the thrill of the Whip and the Tilt in a whole new way is expected to make its debut in Coney Island this season. On Monday, the first two of four trucks carrying the MegaWhirl structure arrived on Thor Equities’ Stillwell Avenue lot leased to the BK Festival promoters for their new Steeplechase Park. The new ride’s arrival is another promising sign of Coney Island’s revival. Back in the day, the first models of new park or carnival rides would make their debut here.

“This is the prototype. It’s running like a charm,” the MegaWhirl’s designer Jonathan Gordon of Gordon Rides told ATZ. Over the next few weeks, the ride will be set up, tested and inspected. “If all goes well, we’re hoping that the ride will make its debut along with the rest of the park on Memorial Day Weekend.” The prototype was built by Larson International and was previously set up on the factory floor at Larson’s headquarters in Plainview, Texas. Promo videos show visiting ride enthusiasts going for a test spin.

“This dizzying ride swings riders in all directions, creating the illusion of near-misses with other carriages and the edges of the ride,” according to Gordon Rides website. Unlike the Whip, the cars of the MegaWhirl spin all the way around- 360 degrees – in a random curve pattern that could be mild or intense. As a family ride, it runs at a maximum of 4 miles per hour. “We’re going to tweak it a little bit faster,” said Gordon.

When we interviewed Gordon last year for “New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl” (ATZ, June 28, 2011), the White Plains-based ride designer said that he grew up in Westchester County and went to Playland Park as a boy, where he enjoyed riding the Whip and other classics. “That influenced me quite a bit,” Gordon told ATZ. “The rides were beloved and they’re just not around anymore.” He spent summers working at the park, first as a mechanic and later in the superintendent’s office before going to engineering school. He holds numerous patents in roller coaster and ride design, including one on a “multi-track multi-vehicle interactive roller coaster.”

First Trucks Carrying the MegaWhirl Arrive in Coney Island. April 30, 2012. Photo © Gordon Rides

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Related posts on ATZ…

April 19, 2012: Rides Return to Thor’s Stillwell Lots for 1st Time Since 2008

March 5, 2012: Exclusive: Goodbye Flea Market, Hello “Steeplechase Park”

June 28, 2011: New Ride: The Whip + Tilt-A-Whirl = MegaWhirl

February 1, 2011: Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels

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