Cyclone at Coney Island has been a bucket list ride for me since seeing it on a documentary called “The Ultimate Top 10 Thrill Rides” over 10 years ago. At the time I had recently visited Blackpool for the first time(s) and with the memories of the coasters there fresh in my mind, it seemed so exciting that I could one day travel out to America and ride this famous coaster.
Arriving at Coney Island and seeing the ride in person was surreal, I never thought I’d actually get to be there standing in front of it.
Having heard lots of contrasting things (some people calling it rough, some saying it’s much smoother now etc) I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but my word… this thing is incredible.
Firstly, the operations were fantastic. The ride hardly built up a queue because it was taking around 20-30 seconds to get people on and dispatch the train. It was amazing watching staff hurrying people onto the train and rushing around to get it sent, very different to over here.
The ride has kept its old-style trains, braking system and still has the character of an old wooden coaster (rather than being “modernised”) which brought back lots of memories of old style PB. The trains were very padded and the lap-bar had to go down very tight in some rows, whilst leaving us with room for airtime in others. One thing that struck me was how well maintained it was, there wasn’t one bump in the track and the ride ran absolutely relentlessly.
The first drop provides some incredible floater airtime towards the back, whilst the slam into the next corner was amazing in the front. There was lots of unexpected airtime throughout the layout, however the biggest surprise for me was the force generated by some of the turns; especially towards the end of the ride. It's just a brilliant classic wooden coaster and even after 11 rides on it, I came back into the station grinning from ear to ear each time. Also, night rides on it were amazing.
Cyclone is incredible. If you like old-style wooden coasters, go and ride it!
The rest of Luna Park was fun; despite the other coasters not being the best, the park had a fantastic amusement park atmosphere and we were lucky enough to get to speak with the Coney Island History Project who were immensely proud of the Cyclone and the history of the park.
Thunderbolt is the worst roller coaster I have ever ridden, the Volare seemed nice in comparison. The way it forces your shoulders onto those straps when you reach an inversion, the awful trimmed first drop (again forcing you painfully into the restraint), the rattle (forcing you into the restraint) … just AWFUL.
I enjoyed the flat rides and overall park atmosphere, the fact it was open until midnight too was incredible. The wristband provided us with good value at $48 online, bearing in mind that Cyclone would have cost $10 per ride using the park's token system. It's 100% worth visiting for Cyclone alone but we made good use of the wristbands on most of the rides.
Soaring Eagle x1
Astro Tower x1
Steeplechase (not that type of steeplechase unfortunately!) x1
The Tickler x1
Circus Coaster x1
Wild River x1