You may think we are crazy but we LOVED Coney Island. So many people told us not to go. They said it was super crowded, depressing, and rundown, but we had an amazing time. I think part of the reason is that Matt and I are really good at ignoring the stupid nauseating parts of places like this. The heat, the loud kids running around and the immense kitchyness of it all. Instead we just act like total kids and embrace it. It's one of the things I love about us.
A little history: Coney Island began being developed as an amusement park way back in the 1820s when sunbathing first became popular. The first hotels went up in the 1840s. During the Civil War Coney Island really began to flourish and by 1873 it was getting 25,000 visitors a weekend. The first roller coaster went up in 1884 it went 6mph. The first enclosed amusement park with an admission fee opened in 1895. It only lasted till 1905 but it caught on. Luna parked opened in 1906 and was called 'Electric Eden' because it had 250,000 lights. It used to be the first thing people arriving into NY harbor could see. In the 1950's the island would see 100,000 people a day. For comparison Disney has never reached that number. It slowly declined there after and even though new rides and games have been added it never regained its glory of the golden years. If you want a more indepth history click here.
Of course during our visit we went to Luna Park. I was actually really impressed by the 3 coasters we were able to ride. Each one had its on little thrill. We got to ride the wooden roller coaster Cyclone that was built in 1927, I remember talking to my dad about when he would go to Coney to ride the roller coaster all day. Also we tried out the new coaster Thunderbolt where you are only strapped in by your thighs and Soaring Eagle where you ride the whole time lying on your stomach, flips and all.
Some tips if you do go to Luna Park:
- You can share one card with multiple people. The more credits you buy the more bonus (free) credits you get, so if you go in a group pool your money.
- 75 credit card deal is the perfect amount to split between two people if you both want to ride their three big roller coasters and one smaller ride. The cost is $60 (so $30 each) not bad for 3 coasters.
- The 4 hour unlimited ride wristband is awesome but it has a ton of black out days. Summer weekends are off limits it has to be Mon-Fri
- Don't spring for a locker. All the big rides that you can't have bags on have cubbies on the ride platform with workers guarding them while you are on the ride.
And of course while you're there you have to visit the original nathans and get a hotdog. Wouldn't be a day in Coney Island without it.