4 New Rides Open at Coney Island

By Susannah Griffee
|  Thursday, Apr 21, 2011  |  Updated 6:57 AM EDT
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4 New Rides Open at Coney Island

AP

Matteo Ferrari, left, and his brother Marco, right, react while riding the "Sling Shot" one of four new Coney Island rides, Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

This summer, Coney Island will debut the first new roller coasters to be built in New York City since the Cyclone opened in 1927.

Scream Zone, a new amusement park featuring four thrill rides, will operate alongside Luna Park, which opened last year.

The new Soarin’ Eagle coaster will suspend riders horizontally and send them upside down in dives and swoops. Another coaster, the Steeplechase, creates a modern version of the historic Coney Island ride involving horses racing around a track.

“Last year we brought the fun back to Coney Island, and now it’s time to Scream,” said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International, the company responsible for Scream Zone and Luna Park.

The Sling Shot may be the scariest new ride, launching passengers more than 150 feet into the air at speeds faster than 90 mph. The Zenobio offers a more moderate thrill, taking riders up 100 feet at speeds of 60 mph.

“Last summer was Coney Island’s biggest in nearly a half century, and this year – with the addition of the first new roller coasters since the Cyclone opened in 1927 – it’s going to be even bigger,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement.

The city’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan will foster development on Coney Island over the next few years. In 2009, the city rezoned Coney Island and purchased 6.9 acres of land to create new amusement parks in the area.

The city has spent more than $6.6 million on Luna Park and Scream Zone. Central Amusement International has spent an additional $30 million on both parks over the past two years.

The Scream Zone will open for weekends through Memorial Day, when it will begin daily operations. Visitors will be able to pay for single rides at $7 to $20 per ride using refillable cards. 

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