Back in the early days of Coney Island, there wasn’t anything amusing about amusement park rides. They were more horrifically scary than anything else: compared to the Parachute Jump or horse diving, the boardwalk’s two roller coasters, The Cyclone and Thunderbolt, must have seem tame in comparison.
But we’ve long since learned that simulating a skydiving with steel cables acting as your landing gear isn’t the safest thing in the world and throwing a horse and rider into deep water from a diving board is downright cruel. Add to that the constant battle over converting AstroLand into Luna Park, Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path and the closing of Coney Island Eight , and one could be forgiven for doubting that the glory days of Coney would ever return.
Yet somehow, miraculously, Luna Park was able to open again this summer, as was Nathan’s, both of which experienced damage after Sandy. And the news today is even more cheering: the return of the Thunderbolt, which was bulldozed in 2000 to make room for the Brooklyn Cyclone’s stadium. Read More