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OUR HISTORY

Where it all began

The best way to know where you are going is to remember where you’ve been. It is in this spirit that we present a snapshot look at the rich history of Coney Island, with an eye toward the present and promising future that is taking shape in New York City’s original destination for fun in the sun.

First Rollercoaster

1884

That's when the thrill started

Coney is home to the first rollercoaster which debuted in 1884, the Gravity Switchback Railway, drawing lines of trailblazing thrill seekers and setting off a craze that quickly spread around the globe.

Steeplechase Park

1897

Steeplechase Park was an amusement park in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York created by George C. Tilyou which operated from 1897 to 1964. It was the first of the three original iconic large parks built on Coney Island featuring the Steeplechase ride where riders straddled horse-shaped single cars and launch simultaneously, as from a horse-race starting line.

Luna Park

1903

Luna Park was an amusement park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, in New York City that opened in 1903. Luna Park was located on the north side of Surf Avenue on a site between 8th street, 12th street and Neptune Avenue. The park was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1944

Original Thunderbolt

1925

The Thunderbolt was a wooden roller coaster operating from 1925 until 1982 and remained standing until it was demolished in 2000.
It was designed by John Miller

Cyclone Rollercoaster

1927

The success of 1925s Thunderbolt led Jack and Irving Rosenthal to buy land at the intersection of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street for a coaster of their own. With a $100,000 investment, they hired coaster designer Vernon Keenan to design a new coaster. The cyclone opened on June 26, 1927, at only twenty five cents a ride.

Parachute Jump

1939

The Jump, which attracted as many as half a million riders annually, was as described as "flying in a free fall and operating until 1966.

Luna Park

2010

CAI built the first new amusement park in Coney Island in over 40 years. Luna Park opened on May 29, 2010, and immediately created 247 jobs for the local community, attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and brought a world-class amusement destination back to Brooklyn.

Parachute Jump

2013

A now defunct ride, the Parachute Jump regained some of its former glory that season when CAI covered it in 8,000 LED lights.
Steeplechase Plaza also featured a newly restored carousel, once again owned by the City but operated by Luna Park.

B&B Carousell

2013

The B&B Carousell is known as Coney Island’s last traditional carousel, and features fifty hand-carved wooden horses and two chariots which were restored by a team of carousel restoration

New Thunderbolt

2014

The Ride of your life

The summer of 2014 marked the return of the Thunderbolt roller coaster, an exciting new steel thrill ride iteration of the legendary ride that operated from 1925 until 1982 .

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