Evolution and change are inevitable and amusement parks make no exception. If you visited some of the amusement parks on our list when you were a kid, you might be surprised to see what they look like now, through your adult eyes. If you thought rides were exciting and exhilarating back then, you will be absolutely mesmerized by today’s technology-driven amusement parks, regardless of your age.
This is your chance to see for yourself how much amusement parks have changed over the years, from the moment they first opened their gates to the general public to their reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Coney Island | Brooklyn, New York
Back in 1895, when the first amusement park opened on Coney Island, it was the talk of the town and for good reason. The Sea Lion Park had plenty of attractions to keep you busy and entertained but its most popular ones were Shoot the Chutes and an incredible roller coaster, the first looping roller coaster in the U.S., in fact. And, of course, as the name suggests, the funny and full of tricks sea lions!
The 20th century has not been very kind to amusement parks. Once popular places such as Steeplechase, Dreamland, and Astroland have gone back and forth, closing and reopening for younger generations. But they are not the same, that’s for sure. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, things are even more complicated.
The reopening date for the famous Luna Park, for example, hasn’t been decided yet, as the park is part of phase 4 of a reopening plan, which means it will be among the last things to open to the general public. “We are working diligently behind the scenes to address the realities of a post COVID-19 world and to ensure that Luna Park in Coney Island is ready when New York State and the City of New York directives allow amusement parks to open,” the park said in a statement.
The initial Luna Park burned down in 1944 and it has been restored piece by piece ever since. In 2010, the current park opened its gates and introduced the iconic Cyclone roller coaster and the Steeplechase horse-themed roller coaster. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, another Coney Island attraction, is also closed, which is even sadder because the park turns 100 this year. The celebrations will, unfortunately, have to wait for now.