Coney Island is a well-known amusement park and seaside resort featuring 50 or more rides and attractions. It traditionally operates between Easter and Halloween each year, with the boardwalk and beach open all year. Rides open at noon closing in late evening. The Coney Island Mermaid Parade will be held on June 22nd to celebrate the start of a summer season.
Coney Island’s first structures were built around 1840. Its first carousel was built in 1876 by a Danish woodcarver with rides costing five cents. In 1916 Nathan’s original hot dog stand opened in Coney Island and still remains a popular attraction. Astroland Park and Wonder Wheel were built nearby Coney Island beach in spite of protests for preservation as a natural park setting.
Beginning in the 1830’s Coney Island became a desirable vacation spot due to its location nearby Manhattan and New York City. The amusement park reached its peak in the first half of the 20th century, but following World War II its popularity declined. With up and downs over its lifetime it has rebounded due to its historic past. It doesn’t seem fans would allow disappearance of this historic park.
Three rides within the park have historic beginnings.
Cyclone roller coaster built in 1927 is one of the oldest wooden coasters in the country still in operation. It is popular with a sixty-degree drop over 85 feet.
Wonder Wheel is a steel Ferris wheel built in 1918. Its has stationary and rocking cars holding 144 riders, weighing over 2,000 pounds, standing 150 feet high.
The Parachute Jump was introduced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair as the first of its kind. After rising 190 feet riders were dropped via attached guy wired parachutes. Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower ride has not been functional since 1968, but remains a Coney Island landmark.
The island is a peninsula off southern Brooklyn NY with a beach on the Atlantic Ocean. It is only 4 miles long, and one half mile wide, on the western side of Long Island’s barrier islands. A residential neighborhood of 60,000 people is on the western side of the island.
Native American Lenape Indians originally inhabited the islands. Narrioch was their name for the island, translated meaning ’land without shadows’. Long Island’s southern shore orientation results in its beaches remaining sunlit all day long.
Coney Island is about a 6 hour drive of 351 miles from Rochester NY. First drive east on thruway I-90 to Syracuse, US 81 south to Scranton Pennsylvania, US 380 to Bethlehem PA. Then east through New Jersey on US 78 to Newark NJ, US 95 south to US 278 and east following signs on Ocean Parkway to Coney Island.
Here is a testimonial to this historic park.
“this place is amazing and I’ve gone at least once every summer since I was a baby. Go to Nathan’s, eat on the boardwalk, check out the freak show, just walk around if you don’t like rides.”