Photo by Allen Shweky/Brooklyn Views
UPDATE (June 3, 2014): The public relations folks for the new Thunderbolt contacted us this morning to note that the opening is now being pushed to next week. They’re not sure of the date yet, but the announcement is coming soon.
Coney Island’s newest roller coaster, Zamperla USA’s Thunderbolt, is slated to open this Friday, June 6, according to Brooklyn Views.
When first announced last year, the coaster was originally scheduled to open in time for Memorial Day. That was pushed back until just after Memorial Day, and delayed again to this Friday.
Still, after 2.5 months of construction, the $9 million coaster is nearly ready for showtime. The three-car coaster will hold 27 people as it zooms along 2,233 feet of track at 55 miles per hour. It’ll reach its peak height at 115 feet before plummeting nearly straight to the ground and into a 100-foot vertical loop, then an 80-foot zero-g roll followed by a heartline dive and corkscrew. That two-minute ride will represent the single-largest private investment in Coney Island in decades.
Coney Island’s newest amusement tycoons, Central Amusement International (a.k.a. Zamperla USA), broke ground on the Thunderbolt yesterday, the first roller coaster in more than a century at the People’s Playground to throw riders through a literal loop.
The three-car coaster will hold 27 people as it zooms along 2,233 feet of track at 55 miles per hour. It’ll reach its peak height at 115 feet before plummeting nearly straight to the ground and into a 100-foot vertical loop, then an 80-foot zero-g roll followed by a heartline dive and corkscrew. The whole shebang lasts two-minutes.
The new ride, which borrows the name of the original Thunderbolt coaster that was built in 1920, decommissioned in 1982, and torn down in 2000, will cost $10 million, the single largest private investment in Coney Island in decades.
According to the press release for the groundbreaking:
Creation of the coaster helps realize the goals outlined in the Coney Island Revitalization Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2009. The plan is anticipated to generate billions of dollars in economic activity and create tens of thousands of jobs over the next decades by preserving and expanding the historic amusement area, investing in district-wide infrastructure, and building new housing, commercial and community space.
No word on when they’ll get to the district-wide infrastructure and housing stuff, but the roller coaster will be open in May.
Here’s a video mockup of what a ride on it will be like:
Thunderbolt Roller Coaster Looks To Rock Coney Island
Video: Take A Virtual Ride On The New Thunderbolt
A rendering of Steeplechase Plaza by Coney Island Development Corp.
Looks like the big red parachute jump in Coney Island will have a new buddy.
The city began construction yesterday under the famous Parachute jump on the $29.5 million Steeplechase Plaza, reports the New York Post.
“The parachute jump has always been this amazing icon, but now you’re going to get to enter Steeplechase Plaza underneath it. And as you peek through it, it’ll pull you into the park,” said one of the plaza’s designer, David Rockwell from Rockwell Group, in a NY1 segment.
The 2.2 acre Steeplechase Plaza, will sit between West 16th Street and West 19th Street and will feature the B&B carousel, Coney Island’s last remaining historic carousel, on a two-story pavilion as the plaza’s center piece.
The 1919 wooden carousel was bought by the city in 2005 for nearly $2 million and is currently being restored in Ohio. It includes 50 hand-carved wooden horses and two chariots.
“Steeplechase Plaza is a first big step at building up the western end, that also includes soon-to-be built new playgrounds, shops and market-rate high-rise housing,” said local Councilman Domenic Recchia in the Post article.
The plaza and the carousel will be ready by 2013, says the city.