New Thrill Rides to join Cyclone, Wonder Wheel On Coney Island


coney-islandConey Island is in for a wild ride – and amusement operators are already lining up to grab the brass ring. The city’s plan to create a 12.5-acre park means the Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and Polar Express will be¬†getting some shiny new company.”You need some of these high-thrill, hifalutin type pieces,” said Leonard Soled, president of Rides-4-U in Somerville, N.J.

Officials are heading to a massive industry convention in Las Vegas to search for an operator who can restore luster to the faded resort by this summer.

But even before they left, amusement companies were churning out ideas like a Skee-Ball machine spits out tickets:

A wooden roller coaster with heart-stopping drops but a smoother course than the historic Cyclone.

“If I could put a coaster in Coney Island, I’d be able to put the plaque on my wall and retire,” said Jeff Pike, vice president of Great Coasters International, who wants to bring another wooden roller coaster to Coney.

“Coney Island was famous for, in my mind, two things: It was famous for freaks and it was famous for wooden coasters,” said Pike, who envisions a coaster with 14 drops of up to 85 feet.

“If the Cyclone is rolling down a mountain in a barrel, this thing is like zipping down a nice smooth slip ‘n slide covered in jelly.”

A massive, Italian-made observation tower that turns 360 degrees to take in Coney Island’s stunning views – then freefalls up to 250 feet.

“It takes you right out of your seat,” Soled said.

A Dutch-made pendulum ride aptly called the Freak Out, which features a base that swings up to 70 feet off the ground while madly spinning passengers.

“It’s very scary,” Soled said proudly.

An upside-down steel coaster.

“There’s loops and corkscrews and sidewinders,” said Jim Seay, president of Premiere Rides, who served on a city advisory panel for Coney. “It’s an air-in-your-face experience.”

Other ideas include the Spill Water, a flume-like ride that takes a boatful of passengers on a 200-foot drop into a splash pool; a bungee cord and trampoline contraption that lets jumpers bound 30 feet in the air while doing flips; a 3D motion simulator ride called XD Theater; and a surfing pool that creates waves up to 8 feet high.

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}