Take a Break on Coney Island

Written for culture and tourism website NYCWave.com and published on July 29, 2012 under maiden name Emily Harris. (Original Post)

Coney Island has been a getaway spot for New Yorkers for centuries. It’s famous for its beaches, boardwalk, amusement parks, and of course, hot dogs. Thankfully all of these can be found at the Riegelmann Boardwalk which plays host to Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, and Nathan’s Famous.

Luna Park is a recent development. It opened in 2010, and it takes its name from an earlier one that closed in 1944. The current park offers thrill rides and a kiddie park. Admission is free, but to ride visitors might purchase a Luna Park card and load Luna Park credits. Visitors pay as much as they want, but Luna Park does offer a few deals:

• $35 purchases 35 credits plus five bonus credits
• $60 purchases 60 credits plus ten bonus credits
• $100 purchases 100 credits plus 25 bonus credits

Luna Park visitors may also purchase wristbands for $26, which will allow for four hours of unlimited rides. However, these wristbands are restricted by park sectors, so plan accordingly.

The historic Cyclone, the oldest rollercoaster still in operation, is also a part of Luna Park and costs eight credits. However, individual tickets may be purchased without a Luna card.

For more traditional amusement park rides, head over to Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Admission is free and but tickets are required to ride. The front of the park has 17 kiddie rides, and tickets may be purchased as singles for three dollars or in packs of ten and 20 for $25 and $40 respectively.

For something more thrilling, head towards the middle of the park. The Wonder Wheel, Spook-A-Rama, Bumper Cars, and Thunderbolt are for teens and adults. Tickets are six dollars each but $25 will buy five tickets.

The major attraction at Deno’s is of course the Wonder Wheel, a historic Ferris wheel first built in 1920. Passengers have a choice between the 16 stationary cars or the eight sliding cars. On a secure track, gravity causes these to swing back and forth as the wheel turns.

Afterwards, head to the boardwalk for hotdogs and snacks. Nathan’s Famous has a stand there, and the original Nathan’s from 1916 is at the intersection of Surf Avenue and Stillwell Avenue. If it’s too crowded, and lines get long, there are other restaurants as well.

Transportation
Subway: Take the F or the Q line to the station W 8 St – NY Aquarium.

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