It was just about four years ago that the world's most iconic amusement area of yesteryear made a bold step towards a bright future. On February 16, 2010, then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Coney Island was coming back in a big way with Luna Park, an all new amusement park designed with the intention of hearkening back to the glory days of its celebrated namesake from years past.
Though Luna Park is a much welcomed and beautiful update to the long-dilapidated area, and the new for 2011 Scream Zone park added two coasters to the area, the rides and attractions at the new Coney Island have done little to attract lovers of major thrill rides. Other than the Coney's legendary Cyclone, the new Coney Island has been short on big thrills, until now.
This summer, Luna Park will be adding the $10 million Thunderbolt, a new twist on a classic Coney Island coaster. The new ride will sit on the very site where its eponymous predecessor thrilled riders from 1925 to 1982, and though the contemporary coaster carries the same name, it will not be the same ride by any means.
The classic Thunderbolt roller coaster was a traditional wood design coaster, like all of the coasters were back in the early days of thrill rides. The new ride will be of steel construction and features a 110-foot vertical lift, followed by a 100-foot drop almost straight into a huge loop. Several inversions follow as the coaster flies at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour. The ride is not the tallest or the fastest around, but it finally gives coaster enthusiasts something new to sink their teeth into at Coney Island.
Look for the new Thunderbolt to debut sometime this summer, and in the meantime, check out some photos of the new ride at the New York Daily News.