The 19 new rides at Luna Park will be phased in, and they’ll have some famous company: the Cyclone, a wooden coaster built in 1927, and the giant Wonder Wheel, which stands 150 feet high and was built in 1920. Both are New York City landmarks. Nathan’s Famous hot dog eatery is a few blocks away.
The new Luna Park is named for a now-defunct park that opened in 1903 and was known as an “Electric Eden,” according to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. In its heyday, it attracted 90,000 visitors a day.
The first Luna Park featured hundreds of thousands of lights — such a spectacle that people started using the phrase, “It’s lit up like Luna Park.” By 1907, visitors were mailing more than a million postcards a week out of the Coney Island post office.
Luna Park was destroyed in a 1944 electrical fire. An estimated 750,000 people stood watching the 10-alarm blaze from the Coney Island beach.
The arrival of its namesake, declared City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden, is “a great day for Coney Island fans all over the globe.”