As I sit and write this post, my skin aches a bit from the hours under the sun, my feet are tired, and my heart is filled with joy, for we chose to spend this day in Coney Island.
We met up with our darling friend Raven and her beautiful daughter M., and headed out to Brooklyn mid-morning. With the forecast promising thunderstorms by mid-afternoon, we were unsure of how long our fun would last.
However, Coney Island is one of those places where you may not plan to stay long, but can’t seem to get out of easily. It’s just such an awesome visit, with tons to do, I am really and truly amazed that our beloved, historical site has experienced such hardships over the years.
In response to these hardships, and in an effort to raise the area above it, an international amusement park operator called Central Amusement International, LLC (CAI), also known for operating Central Park’s Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink, has stepped in and replaced Astroland with the new Luna Park.
The Luna Park name is the same as the beloved amusement park established there in the early 1900’s which eventually suffered through two devastating fires in the 1940’s leading to its demise. Revitalizing the Coney Island amusement park with yet another Luna Park is exciting and promising for all who love the area.
But this new venture is not cheap. With tickets selling at $1 a piece, and rides asking for 3 to 5 tickets, it can be a bit pricey for a large family such as mine. The park sells unlimited ride wristbands for 4hr and 6hr. The 4hr bands cost $26 during the week and $30 on weekends. The 6hr bands are $30 on weekdays and $36 on weekends. This price is per person, which translates to a pretty penny for my crew. However, most rides that my kids could ride on (42′ limit) were 3 tickets per rider, though they also required an adult per child. I believe several of the rides, which were still non-operational today, would not be ideal for them and might be more on the 5 ticket end.
Except for the Mermaid Parade ride, which is strictly for the little ones, I found that most of the rides where awfully short. The lines can get long as in most amusement parks, but I found that most of the delay was in the need to scan every riders’ wristband or “Luna Card” before they got on the ride. Ideally, a better option would be to sell day passes, or wristbands for the day, as opposed to a limited set of hours. This would not only be more user-friendly, in my mind, but might also eliminate that extra step and delays at lines. It wouldn’t hurt to maybe also consider incorporating some form of “family pack” in the ticket sales, thus attracting more families, specifically working families in and around the city who don’t normally travel out on holidays but rather plan their weekends around attractions such as these. Despite it all, there is no doubt the kids absolutely loved the experience and today, for us, that’s what it was all about.
It still is, after all, Coney Island. The famous boardwalk still offers an array of local characters and entertainment. The beach offers splashing fun no matter how frigid the waters, and Nathan’s Hot Dogs never fails to deliver a quality dog and fries.
Today was a day full of laughter and fun for us. I can’t wait for my return to Coney Island. I might have to budget for my next trip to Luna Park, but will no doubt return. My hope is that they rethink some of the issues mentioned above to really help make the experience not only more pleasant, but also more accessible for NYC families.