Our review and slide show of Coney Island's Luna Park
Thu Jun 3 2010
Last Saturday, my daughter and I went out to Coney Island to check out the brand-new Luna Park. We weren't alone; we hitched a ride with Carol Cain, the Big Apple mother behind the fabulous blog nycitymama.com. I agree with pretty much everything she said in her post about our adventure. As you can see from the slide show below, Luna Park (named for the famed neighborhood attraction that burnt to the ground in 1944) has a colorful, retro vibe and fits in nicely with Deno's Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone. Currently there are 19 rides (only 12 of which were functioning on opening day), and eventually the park will expand to 23. The majority are family-friendly. In fact, some of them (Balloon Expedition, Kite Glider, Lynn's Trapeze) are reminiscent of the rides at Victorian Gardens, which isn't surprising since Luna is managed by Central Amusement International, the same company that oversees the Wollman Rink. However, unlike VG which really only has kiddie rides, Luna has plenty of options for families. Parents and older kids will enjoy (and more importantly, comfortably fit into!) rides like Tea Party, Surf's Up and Beach Shack, but they're not too scary for little ones. There are only three rides aimed specifically at tots, including the adorable Mermaid Parade water ride, and five "thrill rides" meant for adults (sadly we didn't try any of those, as most of them weren't open). You can find a full list of rides here. If your kids love rides (are there really any who don't?) and are patient enough to wait on the inevitably long lines, they'll have a blast at Luna. Parents, however, should take note of a few things: While admission to the park is free, rides cost $3-$5 a pop. While it may seem economical to opt for an unlimited ride wristband, it comes at a hefty price. On weekdays, $26 buys you four hours of fun, and $30 gets you six. Add $4 to each price for weekends and holidays. So if you have a family of four, you're going to end up dropping more than 100 bucks. This might not be so bad if the wristband lasted all day. After all, there are plenty of other attractions in Coney; your family might want to take a break from spinning and hit the beach, Nathan's or the aquarium. But once you leave the park, chances are by the time you return, your wristband will have run out. Also, the wristbands themselves are difficult to scan, which leads to very long waits, which was even more frustrating since many of the rides were quite short. All this said, you really must check it out, preferably on a weekday (you'll save money!) or early in the day to avoid the crowds (the park opens at 11am on holidays and weekends). Every family deserves an annual summer trip to Coney!