In Daniel Lombroso’s “The Prince of Luna Park,” Alessandro Zamperla works to protect his family’s iconic theme park during the pandemic—and prove himself to his father.

Luna Park in Coney Island is the largest amusement park in New York City and its most famous playground with a heritage that stretches back more than 120 years. Luna Park in Coney Island provides New Yorkers and tourists from around the world an unforgettable seaside experience with family-friendly attractions and entertainment, shopping and dining on the scenic landmarked boardwalk, thrill rides and special events.  Luna Park in Coney Island lights up the famous Coney Island skyline with its timeless charm, historic landmarks, and exciting novelties.  Adjacent to  nearly three miles of sandy beaches, two and a half miles of boardwalk and other top attractions, Luna Park in Coney Island, which employs more than 1200 people, offers over 50 games, rides and roller coasters and is a fun-filled world-class destination for all ages.

Corporate Family

The Zamperla family –  who have been involved in the amusement industry for five generations with their roots in circus, carnival rides, and ride manufacturing – developed Luna Park in Coney Island, through their company, Central Amusement International Inc (CAI). CAI is a locally-based small family-business with unparalleled expertise in the amusement industry.

CAI, is an amusement park planner, developer, and operator whose management team has more than 150 years of combined amusement industry experience. CAI was founded in 2002 with the goal of establishing a seasonal amusement park in New York City’s Central Park.  That vision came to fruition in the summer of 2003, when CAI opened the gates of its first amusement park, Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Seven successful years later, CAI opened Luna Park in Coney Island, a brand new amusement destination that revitalized America’s Playground.

Alessandro Zamperla, President and CEO of Central Amusement International Inc. (CAI) :

As the grandson and son of ride manufacturers and IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees Antonio Zamperla (2005) and Alberto Zamperla (2019), Alessandro spent his entire life embedded in the attractions industry and has more than a decade of experience with CAI. During his tenure, he has overseen local and global development of amusement parks, all designed, built, and operated with a community centered approach. He currently serves on the board of the Alliance for Coney Island, the non-profit organization dedicated to building a stronger Coney Island business and residential community. Alessandro graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Political Science from Columbia University in the City of New York. He lives in New York City with his wife Tracee and their three children.


Park Operations


On May 28, 2010, after only 100 days of construction, CAI proudly presented Luna Park in Coney Island. The new amusement park was the first to be built in Coney Island in over 40 years, complete with 19 brand new rides, 6 games, 5 food kiosks, and a retail location. One of these innovate rides was Zamperla’s Air Race, the first of its kind in the world. During its first season, Luna Park in Coney Island created 247 jobs that helped serve the local community and delighted 450,000 visitors with over 1.7 million rides.

In 2011, Luna Park in Coney Island opened on Palm Sunday (as is tradition is Coney Island) with a whole new space to explore and enjoy. Located off Stillwell Ave. and the Coney Island boardwalk, the area was called Scream Zone, introduced two new roller coasters and two extreme thrill rides. The first anniversary season also brought the gift of operating the NYC-owned Coney Island Cyclone.

The season opening of Luna Park in Coney Island in 2013 was a memorable moment as the park opened on time despite Hurricane Sandy the previous autumn. Newly formed CAI Foods was in full effect with several food kiosks, cafes, and a new boardwalk restaurant. On the ride side, CAI introduced the world premiere of Water Mania, a new Zamperla ride. Track work continued on the Coney Island Cyclone but the area of focus that season was Steeplechase Plaza. Located within the plaza is the Parachute Jump. A now defunct ride, the Parachute Jump regained some of its former glory that season when CAI covered it in 8,000 LED lights.

In 2014, we introduced another two rides – Luna 360 and the Thunderbolt roller coaster. Luna Park in Coney Island has championed these two new additions to the park to continue the upside down fun, the spinning in circles fun, and the g-force moving fun.

In 2016, Luna Park in Coney Island recreated a new classic, Endeavor which gives riders the sensation of flying sixty feel through the air! Coaster to coaster, from the 93 year-old wooden Coney Island Cyclone to the new steel Thunderbolt; there’s something for everyone at Luna Park in Coney Island.

What’s next? You tell us! It’s New York City’s most iconic destination for fun and we’re listening.


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