CONEY ISLAND – The official opening of the Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster will occur on Sunday, April 14 with elected officials and local leaders breaking a bottle of Brooklyn egg-cream on the front car. But the Cyclone and its home base, Luna Park Amusement Park opened this past Saturday for the die-hard fans who couldn’t wait a week to take the ride.
Amusement park visitors were given free ride passes with each $10 donation to the Brooklyn non-profit Children of Promise, an organization that helps children with a parent in prison. The organization helps bring cheer to those children and provides mental health services.
A few people lined up for the first ride of the year at the Cyclone taking in what is deemed as the “soft opening” of the ride.
But Erik Knapp, a long-time fan of the ride who sports a Cyclone tattoo and drives a dune buggy car on a Volkswagen chassis, said he will wait for his ride for next week.
“I find it is lucky to wait for the official opening,” he said as he watched early riders take advantage of the sunny weather on Saturday. “That’s when the real fans show up for their first ride, after the breaking of the egg-cream.”
Amusement enthusiasts who showed up at 11 a.m. at the Cyclone Saturday got to experience the tops speeds of 60 miles per hour of the rehabbed ride, a large section of the track and platform having been replaced over the winter.
“I couldn’t wait for next week, I just needed to get on that roller coaster and feel that thrill again,” said Bill Monroe of Bensonhurst. “It just felt great to be back on.”
Next week, it is expected that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will break the first egg-cream bottle against the front of the ride along with other elected leaders and officials. Also opening next week will be Deno’s Wonder Wheel a 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel built in 1920 and accompanying smaller rides, a favorite destination for young children just off the Boardwalk.
The Cyclone is a historic wooden roller coaster that opened on June 26, 1927, and was originally part of the original Astroland theme park. The Cyclone was declared a New York City Landmark on July 12, 1988, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Place on June 26, 1991.