Coney Island is getting a wet ’n' wild addition.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation and NYC Parks today announced the winning proposal to transform 150,000 square feet of city-owned land in the heart of Coney Island. The chosen design, which was submitted by the current operators of Luna Park, includes an adventure park with a ropes course, a public plaza, an arcade and, most strikingly, a sprawling, 40-foot tall log flume ride. (You definitely shouldn’t have too many Nutcrackers before riding.)
In case you’re not familiar with the classic amusement park log ride, the general gist is basically: “What if we took the dangerous and potentially environmentally harmful logging industry and, like... made it fun?” Riders climb into plastic versions of hollowed-out tree carcasses for a ride down a moving stream and up steep inclines before then descending quickly on the other side, causing a large splash. (Pro tip: If you want to get less wet, it’s better to sit at the front of the log because the splash usually lands towards the back. You can just file that one away until next summer.)
"It is an honor to work with the City of New York to continue the expansion of Luna Park and the revitalization of the historic Coney Island amusement district," said Alessandro Zamperla, President of Luna Park, in a statement. “Our shared commitment to the constant growth and development of Coney Island has allowed us to burnish this iconic place. We are expanding Luna Park by 50 percent, adding new attractions and entertainment while also providing spaces where guests surrounded by timeless excitement can eat, play, rest, and escape the mundane. A spectacular new portal with thousands of glorious lights will welcome guests as they arrive from the subway, asserting Luna Park as one of the nation's most dynamic amusement destinations that must be visited by New Yorkers and tourists.”
The other major component of the upcoming expansion, which will cover the land between West 15th and West 16th streets between Surf Avenue and the boardwalk, will be a “rope circus” that overlooks the ocean. But there's a twist: You are actually the circus performer. The ropes course will offer options for guests with varying degrees of climbing abilities, reports AM New York, with the most ambitious option being a 34-foot tall course that you will then descend from via zip line.
The current designs for the new rides and public areas have now been submitted to the Public Design Commission for approval. If all goes according to plan, the adventure park is slated to open next summer with the splish-splashin’ log ride set to open in 2020.