New Thunderbolt opening at Coney Island in May

Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2014 8:56 AM | Contributed by Mike Gallagher

Elected officials and developers broke ground Monday on construction of the $10 million steel Thunderbolt roller coaster at Coney Island. The new scream machine is named after its predecessor, which was torn down in 2000.

Read more from The New York Daily News.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:43 AM

I'm glad this new ride is coming to Brooklyn, and it looks ok, but I find the continuous reference to the original attraction laughable. It's as if we're to believe that this new coaster is along the lines of some preservation effort, or the rebuilding of a classic attraction. Maybe in name alone...
There are plenty of New Yorkers around who still remember, and I bet they roll their eyes over this.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11:22 AM
Vater's avatar

How is it any different than Luna Park?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11:37 AM

We need GCI to rebuild the Tornado.

Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next Flight!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:55 PM

Oh, it's no different than Luna park. That's irritating to me, too. And once again I'm very, very glad it's all there for everyone to enjoy, and that there's a renaissance. I suppose my irritation is small, silly, and irrational.

But let's say the beloved Cyclone was no longer with us, lost to the hurricane or something, and Zamperla came along with some weird steel coaster and used phrases like "We come to Coney Island to respect the memories". Imagine the outcry. Now, granted, the last time anyone rode the original Thunderbolt was 30 years ago, and the Tickler is even farther away. So I guess I'll have to agree that it's cute, accept it for what it is, and beg everyone to forgive my crankiness over it.

(Looks like RCMAC has figured out a way to argue with himself...)

Edit to add:
And no, GCI should not rebuild the Tornado. Gravity Group should.

Last edited by RCMAC, Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:59 PM
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 8:51 PM

I think coney is better since zamperla opened luna. Astroland was rundown as well as the whole area, but now its more open and looks cleaner. I could ride steeplechase all day, its such a fun coaster.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

Funny, I do enjoy what's there now - but pretty much everything RCMAC said. Tickler, Steeplechase *and* T-bolt...kinda throwing around the historical references a little lightly considering the rides those names were originally attached to...

Gravity Group would be my first choice too, although the Tickler seems like something more likely to end up in Elysburg....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 10:18 PM

Yes. And it would be 6 years before they'd get those Tickler cars just right...

Thursday, March 13, 2014 2:56 PM

On my last visit two summers ago, I enjoyed my rides on the Tickler a helluva lot more than my one Cyclone circuit. Oww...

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

Friday, March 14, 2014 11:26 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

I'm a little confused now. Looking for pics of this original Tickler coaster. All I can find is the Mouse that opened in 2010. Nothing at all about any historic coaster, not even on the almighty RCDB. (Which is pretty much my go to)

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Friday, March 14, 2014 11:27 PM
Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:02 AM

Tickler is a really, really old ride, maybe from the turn of the last century. Have you seen a Virginia Reel/Crazy Ribbon ride? It was kinda like that. The structure looked like a large, slanted platform and the cars were round tubs on caster wheels, and the riders sat tea cup style. The tubs were lifted up along the edge to the top and then switch-backed their way down to the bottom, guided by side friction rails that caused to tubs to spin as they made their way.

I've heard for years that Knoebels has a rebuild of the Virginia Reel on their bucket list, but I think like Flying Turns, the ride vehicles would be the bugaboo. Insurance and modern safety standards just wouldn't permit the ride to operate the way it did back then.

If I can find a decent Tickler pic I'll post a link.

And no, smart asses, I never rode one...

Edit to add:

Ok, that was easy!

Edit to add:

This is a really good one. Note the sign. (see what I mean?)

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:09 AM
Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:05 AM
LostKause's avatar

I would love for a ride manufacturer to design a modern day Virginia Reel ride.

Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:15 AM

You know, LK, back in the late 70's early 80's Arrow had a re-invented Virginia Reel in their catalog. It wasn't quite right, tho, as the tubs traveled on tubular steel track and didn't have that side friction spin like the old ones. They also had the horse collar restraints, too. I don't think they sold even one.

Saturday, March 15, 2014 10:09 PM
LostKause's avatar

Sounds like a Crazy Mouse, which is funny, because The Tickler at Coney Island is a Crazy Mouse, and supposedly an updated version, or at least themed to the old ride style.

I'm going to NYC this summer. Kind of excited for Coney Island.

Saturday, March 15, 2014 11:47 PM

Well, looky what I found- these ancient conversations right here from our own CBuzz.


I hope these links work. The links to the artwork in the thread didn't work for me, they're probably too old and gone now. It's fun to read the discussion, though, with posters from the past as well as a few current ones too. And it looks like some things never change.


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