If you're like me, and you decide one day to head to Brooklyn, NY on a whim, you just might end up at the corner of West 10th Street and Surf Avenue. Unlike most city street corners, which may be uneventful aside from a coffee shop, something special awaits visitors here:
That's the kind of corner you wouldn't mind finding yourself on, right? I've been wanting to visit Coney Island since Zamperla came in and opened Luna Park last year, and then Scream Zone this year, and finally found the time to do exactly that.
The company behind the operation of Luna Park and Scream Zone, Central Amusement International, LLC (a.k.a. Zamperla) took over the operation of the Cyclone this summer, and now advertises it as part of the whole package of rides and attractions. This bodes well for the classic wooden coaster.
The Cyclone was first opened in 1927, and through good times and bad has survived to still be thrilling riders in 2011. The ride is owned by the city's Park & Recreation Department, but the operation of it is leased out, currently to CAI. It's both a New York and National Historic Landmark, not to mention a treasured gem in the eye of both enthusiasts and the public alike. CAI has publicly said they plan to invest in the ride to keep it running at its peak.
So truth be told, I'd never been on the ride. Now that I have, I see what all the fuss is about - the Cyclone is intense! It really means business. Things start out innocent enough, but once you're at the top of the lift peering down a drop that, at almost 60 degrees, is still steeper than many rides built 70 years later, that innocence is gone! Long gone!
Things are a bit of a blur from that point on, but I know that I was bouncing around that classic coaster train more than I can remember - but I know that plenty of steep, I really mean steeper than normal, drops, tight curves, and a plentiful amount of airtime were involved.
The layout of the Cyclone is one that has been copied over and over again through the years, and throughout the world. I believe the famous lyrics go, "ain't nothing like the real thing," and that's the truth.
A nice benefit to the CAI operating the Cyclone now is that when you visit Luna Park and Scream Zone the credit card you use to hold ride points can be utilized for Cyclone trips, too. Currently it costs 8 points, or $8 for a spin on the Cyclone.
Riding the Cyclone while in Coney Island is a must, and now joined by its new neighbors, Luna Park and Scream Zone, there's plenty for us ride folks to do while in town. We'll be taking a close look at both new parks soon!