Coney Island Amusement Rides Open for Summer

At Luna Park on Sunday, Italian tycoon Alberto Zamperla christened the first ride on the Cyclone roller-coaster by dousing it with the traditional egg cream

By Verena Dobnik
|  Sunday, Apr 13, 2014  |  Updated 5:32 PM EDT
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Coney Island Amusement Rides Open for Summer

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The rides of Coney Island opened Sunday for another season — with a 1920s wooden roller-coaster up and running and a new, steel one almost ready to roll.

At Luna Park, Italian tycoon Alberto Zamperla joined Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as Adams christened the Cyclone roller-coaster by dousing it with the traditional egg cream.

"This is entertainment that seems dangerous, but it isn't," said Zamperla as he stepped off his Cyclone ride. "It's an adrenaline rush."

It was the opening of the 40 rides of Luna Park, where 750 local residents are employed. Twenty of the amusement rides were manufactured in the Zamperla factory in Italy.

Another roller-coaster, the Thunderbolt, is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. It stands at the same spot as the 1920s Thunderbolt that appears in Woody Allen's movie "Annie Hall."

With its sharp drop and vertical loop and rolling at almost 60 mph, the Thunderbolt, "is on the edge of the future — to attract people," Zamperla said.

But it's the classic merry-go-round — Coney Island's restored Carousel — "that is forever," he said. "That's where the memories are."

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