It’s history in the making.
The first roller coasters to debut in Coney Island since 1927 opened to the public on Sunday as part of the new Scream Zone amusement park.
Thrill-seekers were able to mount the Soarin’ Eagle, which shoots its riders bellies-down through a series of twist and turns, and Steeplechase, which pays homage to the original Coney horse racing ride that closed in 1964.
But Scream Zone, operated by the same company that runs Luna Park, offers more than just coasters. The Central Amusement-run park also boasts the Slingshot, which shoots riders 150 feet into the air, and the Zenobio, which flips dare-devils ad nauseam. Najee Jenkins, 12 ,of Coney Island Prep School, and Binta Li, 14, of Dewey JSH, were brave enough to give the latter its first customers.
With Scream Zone, the People’s Playground got another dose of the city’s vision for a “new” Coney Island. The area is now a well-balanced blend of old and new, with the decades-old Cyclone and Deno’s Wonder Wheel running near Scream Zone and Luna Park, which launched last year.
“These new parks are bringing visitors back to Coney Island, spurring more economic activity, and creating new jobs for the residents of the community,” said city Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky.
But it remains to be seen if Scream Zone, worth $19 million, can offset the losses that the area took in recent months: The Siren Music Festival is being moved out to a neighboring borough, and last month, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus decided to fold up its tents after a two-year run along the Boardwalk.
Scream Zone [100 Surf Avenue between W. 10th and 12th streets in Coney Island, (718) 373-5862], open weekends through Memorial Day, and daily after that. Tickets $26-$30. For info, visit www.lunaparknyc.com.
©2011 Community News Group
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