Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Coney Island's Luna Park and Scream Zone

This just in - The city of New York has announced their full plans for the Zamperla run Luna Park and Scream Zone amusement areas. Here's parts of the city's (surprisingly long) press release with renderings. The full release can be seen here.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Central Amusement International (CAI) today unveiled plans for a new amusement park on three City-owned parcels in Coney Island that will open by Memorial Day 2010. CAI will lease the parcels, totaling 6.2-acres, for ten-years and invest nearly $30 million to build and operate the amusement park.

The entrance to Luna Park

The park will feature both traditional and cutting edge, state-of-the-art rides from renowned ride designer and manufacturer, Zamperla. The new amusement park will be built in two stages: This summer, CAI will open "Luna Park at Coney Island," which will feature 19 rides, including one - Air Race - that will make its worldwide debut at Coney Island; and by summer 2011, the "Scream Zone at Coney Island" will provide additional attractions, including two custom roller coasters, a human slingshot ride, and go-karts. In total, 23 new rides will be installed, designed to celebrate Coney Island's unique history and character while adding modern amusements.

Air Race - making it's world debut at Luna Park

"Coney Island remains one of the most known and beloved neighborhoods around the world, but for decades its famed amusement park has dwindled to just a tiny fraction of what it once was. This summer, we're reversing that trend," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As part of our Administration's revitalization plan for Coney Island - passed by the City Council last year - we're making necessary infrastructure investments and joining with Central Amusement International to build new amusements that celebrate Coney Island's historic past while featuring modern rides - some making their worldwide debut - that will attract people from around the City and around the globe."

As part of planned infrastructure improvements, the City will invest $6.6 million in site preparation and basic infrastructure to support the ongoing redevelopment of the neighborhood. In addition, CAI will invest about $30 million: $3 million for additional site preparation, more than $15 million to open Luna Park and more than $12 million to open the Scream Zone. The new amusement park will be operational by Memorial Day and remain open daily until Labor Day and weekends through Columbus Day for its inaugural season.

The Speedy Discovery Coaster

"Central Amusement International is excited to be chosen by New York City to be a part of the revitalization of Coney Island," said CAI Vice President Peter Pelle. "Coney Island has long been known as a place of innovative thrills and attractions. Our dedicated team will work with the City to revitalize this iconic New York destination to make it a must-see attraction for locals and visitors coming to New York from around the world. We are bringing back the fun to Coney Island this May and for many years to come."

A themed Discovery flat ride

Luna Park at Coney Island will reestablish the area as an amusement park destination offering 19 new mechanical rides from Antonio Zamperla S.p.A., games, food and beverage concessions, and live entertainment. Four new prototype rides will have their debut in 2010 including Air Race, where riders will soar and barrel roll around a control tower; and the Speedy Coaster, a gravity coaster designed especially for families. In addition, the iconic Astrotower will be repurposed and utilized as signage to draw visitors to the area. By summer 2011, the Scream Zone will expand the park's entertainment offerings by introducing four additional thrill rides, including the debut of two new roller coasters.

A nicely themed Mega Disk'O

Luna Park and the Scream Zone will more than double the acreage currently utilized for amusements in Coney Island, with Luna Park encompassing 3.16-acres on the former Astroland site and the Scream Zone covering an additional 3-acres between West 12th and West 15th Streets. Pursuant to its lease, CAI will pay a base rent to the City of $100,000 per year for each year of its term; the City will also receive additional revenue derived from gross receipts from the amusement park. It is anticipated that existing amusements on other City-owned sites in Coney Island, including the Cyclone and Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, will continue to be operated by their current management for the duration of their leases.

A look at the parcels that will be developed

CAI currently operates two amusement facilities including Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park and Minitalia Leolandia Amusement Park in Capriate San Gervasio, Italy. Zamperla, which is providing the rides, is the largest manufacturer and designer of amusement park rides in the world and creates nearly 200 rides annually for parks including Disney Parks & Resorts, Morey's Piers, Legoland, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Sea World and Merlin Entertainment Theme Parks.