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Coney Island is a ‘Scream’ — but is that the rides or the prices?

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Coney Island’s new amusement park lives up to its name for two reasons: its thrill rides and its prices.

It costs $42 to ride all four attractions at Scream Zone, which features the first new roller coasters in Coney Island since the Cyclone in 1927. That kind of money goes a lot further in other parts of the People’s Playground, including Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park on W. 12th Street, where five rides cost $25. But don’t scream too much over your Scream Zone bill, as you’ll need to save your voice for the death-defying attractions.

The most expensive and most exciting ride in the Surf Avenue park, which opened April 24, is the Slingshot ($20). Thrill-seekers shouldn’t mind spending that bill to be strapped in an oval pod that catapults more than 150 feet in the air at 90 miles per hour. But less adventurous Coney enthusiasts may prefer spending $20 on three beers at Ruby’s Bar on the Boardwalk.

Other attractions include the Steeplechase ($7), a mini coaster that pays homage to the original Coney horse racing ride that closed in 1964; and the Zenobio ($8), a 100-foot-tall beam that somersaults its riders through the sky.

“It was pretty crazy,” said first-time rider James Turpin, who traveled from New Jersey to experience the new park.

Scream Zone’s fourth ride, the Soarin’ Eagle roller coaster ($7), was closed due to mechanical issues. A Luna Park operator who declined to give her name said that workers were still running tests to see if the 66-foot-high coaster, which straps riders in a horizontal position, would be ready to open this weekend.

With Scream Zone, opened on April 24 by the same company that runs Luna Park, the People’s Playground got another dose of the city’s vision for a “new” Coney Island. The area is now a balanced blend of old and new, with the decades-old Cyclone and Deno’s Wonder Wheel running near the Central Amusement International attractions.

Scream Zone is a great time, but it remains to be seen if the $19-million park can make up for some major losses in Coney Island, including the demise of the Siren Music Festival, and a decision by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to fold up its tents after a two-year run along the Boardwalk.

And other operators, including landowner Joe Sitt and old-timer Horace Bullard, have long failed to realize their own dreams in Coney Island. For Sitt, that’s meant selling his extensive holdings to the city, and retaining some land for an upcoming Stillwell Avenue flea market called BK Festival that critics say is a poor substitute for year-round entertainment.

But, taken together, Scream Zone and the 19-ride Luna Park represent the first major investments in Coney Island’s amusement zone since the now-shuttered Jumbo Jet coaster was built 40 years ago — and remain just a first phase of what the Bloomberg Administration heralds as the transformation of the People’s Playground into a vibrant tourist destination.

“Over the past several decades Coney Island experienced little investment, but we’re reversing that trend,” said Deputy Mayor Robert Steel at Scream Zone’s opening ceremony on April 20. “Luna Park was a phenomenal success in its first year last summer, and the Scream Zone is sure to help bring more visitors, activity and jobs to Coney this year.”

Eventually, Luna Park and Scream Zone will be a part of a sprawling 24-7-365 hub of hotels, restaurants, shopping and indoor attractions that will stretch half-a-mile from the Cyclone near W. Eighth Street to the Cyclones’ MCU Park near W. 19th Street.

Scream Zone [100 Surf Avenue between W. 10th and 12th streets in Coney Island, (718) 373-5862], open weekends through Memorial Day, and daily after that. Tickets $26-$30. For info, visit www.lunaparknyc.com.

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Reader Feedback

Or from Yellow Hook says:
Hope and Change means that your standard of living has changed - an not for the better.

When you wake up and realize that imported oil that is expensive because you've embargoed your own, you grow up and figure out that the cost of everything will now go up.

Why aren't these rides powered by windmills anyway!
May 5, 2011, 5:42 am
Rubys Host from Coney Island says:
Rubys does have lots of beer for $5 - u can have 4 beers for $20 -
May 5, 2011, 9:33 am
Cynthia from Clinton hill says:
I love the cyclone,but its to much money just for one ride. yeah i know its a landmark. but its nothing new.
May 5, 2011, 4:40 pm
King Khan from Kensington says:
"Or" can I have some of what you're smoking? Thanks.
May 5, 2011, 7:56 pm
G H from Brighton says:
Oh Oy Oy!! Я лечу в небо! Я обанкротившийся ездами! Кто имеет эти деньги? Мои тестикулы горят с песком! Мэр услышит о этом!
May 6, 2011, 2:18 am
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
Hey Brighton, Translate!
May 6, 2011, 6:58 pm
Clark from Kensington says:
I think Brighton is cussing us and referring to some ancient religious or political enemy, probably the Amalekites or the Mongols.
May 9, 2011, 11:11 pm
Mari from Gowanus says:
I miss Brooklyn and when news of developer's coming into Coney Island came to us in Niagara Falls.. I wanted to rush home so my son who is now 5 could enjoy the Boardwalk. Candies at the many stores along the way including the huge lollipops we used to put on our walls as kids. As long as Nathan's and the flavor of Coney is still there.. who cares wbout a 20 dollar ride... if I want to be that scared. I'll walk through the old hood at night!
May 12, 2011, 9:24 am
KeLz from Bayridge says:
I want to b able to enjoy the rides if i'm going to an amusement park, but with the economy being what it is....I find that spending $45 bucks on four rides is truly being wasteful with money. Nathan's prices r getting more and more rediculous too.....a hot dog should never cost over $3 bucks, and yet they do. Coney Island / Luna Park was a place for all walks of life to come and enjoy themselves and escape life. It was one of the first places that people could come to and not have to worry about their skin color or their position in society. Luna Park broke barriers for a day in a society that at one point prided themselves in segregation. But, if the prices go up high, then it is making an Oasis by the sea for only upper middle class and above. What about the regular Joe that is breaking his back at work and raising a family? Doesn't he deserve that little Oasis too?!
May 12, 2011, 10:37 am
step mommy from coney island says:
our step son is missing

he was taken by his mother cindy who has brown hair and eyes olive skin with 2 black eyes in the month of august and a broken ankel in june

she was beaten by her boyfreind who claims he is a marine

his name is keith

they took jonathan they have defied court ordered visitation

he is only with mother for 2 months

have you seen jonathan he is 6 he is 4 foot tall
jonathan is about 70 lbs he runs with his hands up in the air like a bird or like an aiarplane about to take off

jonathan has 2 last names the polce know he is missing

jonathan is developmentally disabled

jonathan has special needs

jonathan does not live in brooklyn

jonathan has 2 last names and knows his dad is alive and is looking for him and lives in queens he know how to take the q 46 bus
Sept. 7, 2011, 3:37 pm
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa from aaaaaaaaaa says:
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Aug. 25, 2014, 6:59 am

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