Set to open Memorial Day weekend, the Thunderbolt will only add to Luna Park’s expansive list of fun rides. The new coaster will sit where the original wooden Thunderbolt thrilled riders from the 1920’s through the 1980’s, and it will be the first roller coaster in the area since 1910 to send that will actually send riders upside-down in a vertical loop. Even better, the Thunderbolt, according to Luna Park officials, will be “Coney Island’s first custom roller coaster since 1927, the year the Cyclone Roller Coaster was built.”
According to the New York Times, the $10 million cost of building the ride “represents the single largest private investment in Coney Island’s amusement strip in decades.” Designed and manufactured by Zamperla, of Italy, the roller coaster will be operated by Central Amusement International, which also runs Coney Island’s Luna Park, as the amusement area is called.
The Thunderbolt will reach speeds of 55 miles per hour and is set to stand at 115 feet tall with 2,233 feet of track. The new roller coaster will be built by Zamperla and operated by Central Amusement International, which is the operator of Luna Park. The ride will last approximately 2 minutes and it begins with a jaw-dropping 90-degree vertical drop. That initial drop will be followed by a 100 foot vertical loop, then an 80 foot zero-g roll, followed by a 112 degree over-banked turn. Then comes “a unique heartline dive, a corkscrew, and several airtime hills,” according to officials. The coaster will join Luna Park’s assortment of rides which include the legendary Cyclone Roller Coaster, Boardwalk Flight, Coney Island Raceway, Air Race, Water Mania and more.
“Luna Park in Coney Island is reaching even greater heights with the addition of the powerful Thunderbolt Roller Coaster,” Alberto Zamperla, President and CEO of Zamperla S.p.A. “We are thrilled to welcome this exhilarating new attraction to our repertoire of rides that are sure to please every type of coaster enthusiast. The Thunderbolt’s many twists and turns, and 100-foot vertical loop, will thrill visitors from near and far, as we continue to commit ourselves to the revitalization of our beloved Coney Island.”
Furthermore, it will be situated next to the B&B Caouresell, according to a New York Times report. That antique merry-go-round underwent an extensive restoration prior to reopening just last summer. And the Thunderbolt, with its steel frame, will be the modern counterpoint to the wooden frame of the beloved Cyclone roller coaster at Luna Park.
“Luna Park in Coney Island is New York’s Playground and we are committed to making sure that kids, in age and at heart, have something to look forward to when they visit,” said Valerio Ferrari, President of Central Amusement International, operator of Luna Park. “The Thunderbolt will give these thrill seekers the chance to experience a ‘loop’ coaster in New York City for the first time in over a century, and our entire team is eager to unveil this revolutionary coaster to the world.”