NYC likely to extend Coney Island lease for Zamperla

Posted | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

New York City is tacking on another seven years to its leasing agreement with Coney Island’s amusement operator, Zamperla USA, saying the seaside area was socked so hard by Superstorm Sandy that the firm deserves the break. A City Council subcommittee today backed the plan, which was pitched by the city’s Economic Development Corp.

Read more from The New York Post.

That's good news, and looks like a win-win-win for the company, city, and customers. I don't pretend to know much about the business end of this kind of thing. But based on my visit last year, they seem to be doing a pretty good job.

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

rollergator's avatar

The Coney area is booming again, and that's great. "The People's Playground" is unique in the World. Families are coming back, the area is cleaner and more inviting.

The only real downside I see is that the deisre to cater to families has led to a considerable "taming" of what was once the most ferocious ride on Earth. At first I was hearing that the first drop was smoother and perhaps a LITTLE slower, but the remainder of the ride was (almost) as fast and intense as ever. This year's reports are somewhat disheartening in terms of more widespread reports of overall sluggishness and a much more "family-oriented" Coney Island Cyclone.

^What GCI did to the Cyclone was re-track and re-profile the ride. Most people don't understand the difference, they just know the Cyclone is more ride-able now (which, I know, is the important thing in the big picture; but it really stinks to many of us Cyclone fans). JUST re-tracking the ride would have been great, but they went further. The first drop had it's *snap* somewhat leveled. I fear the 2nd and 6th drops are next. The first drop pull-out was also raised a couple feet up out of the ditch, but that shouldn't have had a big effect. The drop was known for its snap going over... now it's just more of a standard coaster drop.

I've ridden the ride at it's best and worst, in terms of bumpiness. I really don't see the need for GCI to re-profile the ride. But that is in-line with their ethic and the types of rides they build. Which seems at odds with the ride being a historical landmark; it is not safe from modifications* after all.

They are going on about how the ride is being modified back to its original form before Chris Feucht re-worked (re-profiled) the ride in the 50s... but the ride from the 50s on is the one we know and love. He made the ride better by sharpening the drop.

*Re-tracking a ride is not a modification, it's maintenance. Re-tracking a ride with a new profile is a modification.

Last edited by GayCoasterGuy,

On the positive side though, at least the ride is getting investment and will live on many years in a much healthier park. It sucks to see something you like change, but if that change spawns generations of new fans, then it's probably a good one.

For me, I had read so much about Cyclone and was so pumped when finally arriving at Coney Island about 6 years ago. But, I was sort of shocked at how seedy the area was at the time. Cyclone looked terrible, there was hardly anyone around, and those that were around didn't look very friendly.

We bought an unlimited ride wrist band anyway, and headed over to Cyclone. It replaced Son of Beast as the roughest, most miserable coaster I had ever been on. The first drop put such an intense, jarring pressure on my spine that I just wanted the ride to be over, and I was fearful of an injury until the very end.

Knowing how wooden coasters can vary, I decided to give it one more shot in a different car, seat, and location before writing it off. The second ride was just as bad; it was so disappointing. I'd love to return to the new Coney and see if I could actually enjoy Cyclone now.

^That's pretty sad to hear, I'm sorry your rides were not good on Cyclone. I rode the ride many times through the 90s and 00s, and never had a bad ride. I've heard more and more bad reports, so you make a good point; at least people want to ride it now.

I've heard the same thing about Kennywood Thunderbolt, and as of my last ride on it in 2011, I still haven't had a rough ride on that coaster. It's rough/violent (a little) in that it throws you around, but I don't find it rough/bumpy much at all. It's got that old "lumbering" feel to it.

Son of Beast on the other hand, that's the only ride I ever rode that hurt me. Like hurt me - back hurts for a couple days after - hurt.

LostKause's avatar

My "Vote up" above is for Billy's SOB comment. It hurt really bad. Good riddance!

Last edited by LostKause,

My "vote up" above is for Travis' comment about my SOB comment. I need to find productive stuff to do.

I also rode Thunderbolt in 2011, and that was just a gem. All of Kennywood's wooden coasters couldn't have been smoother when I visited. Thunderbolt stands as one of my favorite wooden coasters of all time with its awesome mountain terrain setting.

As much as I hate extremely rough coasters, I wish I would have gotten one ride on the Cyclone before the re-profile. I'm kind of surprised they did indeed reprofile this ride.

But now I wish I could just ride the darn coaster even once period. *laugh*

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

^But the ride is still there, bunky, with out silly lap bars/seat dividers, etc.. A little *bite* may be out of the 1st drop, but I'm sure it's still a great ride - and smoother to boot. But GET THERE ASAP! There will be more neutering of the Cyclone in the future (like I said, enjoy the 2nd and 6th drops as is while you can). I hope to get there this year.

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