You can add one more thing to your list of things to look forward this summer that wasn’t around last year: taking a trip to the amusement parks on Coney Island.
When the attractions reopen on Friday, it will be the first time that Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Luna Park have been open since 2019. Both are planning to welcome guests back at limited capacity, with advanced reservations available on the parks’ websites.
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the park’s traditional opening ceremonies. There will still be a “Blessing of the Rides” ceremony, a decades-long tradition, on the boardwalk Friday morning. (It’s invite-only, though.) Immediately following the opening ceremony, 100 front-line workers will get free rides on the Wonder Wheel.
"2020 marked the first time in 100 years that the wheel has not spun,” said the Vourderis Family, owners and operators of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. “While it was a devastating time for many, we are excited to welcome back guests and celebrate the life and passion of our parents and grandparents’ hard work who dedicated their lives to providing Coney Island with a warm welcoming amusement park on the Boardwalk. We hope to see everyone this season!"
Also taking place on opening day this Friday will be the annual Egg Cream Christening at the Coney Island Cyclone. If you’re heading down for opening day on Friday, you’ll be able to check out six new rides for children at Luna Park: Circus Candy, Fire Patrol, Rainbowheel, AeroMax, Grand Prix and Mini Mouse. Later this summer, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amuseument Park will also be debuting a new ride: the “Phoenix,” a family-friendly, steel-suspended rollercoaster.
"The Coney Island amusement rides are synonymous with summer in Brooklyn, and their closure last year was a painful blow for all of us,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “We are thrilled to see the amusement district come back better than ever, which will revitalize the local economy and allow visitors to enjoy the unique attractions with their friends and families."
While you’re down there, be sure to also stop by the New York Aquarium which has some exciting new offerings this summer, as well. The newly-opened “Spineless!” exhibition features interesting examples of invertebrates including an incredible giant Pacific octopus, moon jellies, cuttlefish, and the world’s largest living arthropods—the Japanese spider crab.
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