Coney Island opens early for the 2022 season

by Susan and Simon Veness

Coney Island has moved its opening date forward, and will begin welcoming thrill-seekers, history lovers, and families starting today, April 2, 2022.

coney island
Photos by Coney Island

The seasonal re-opening will kick off at 11 a.m. with the annual egg cream christening of the Coney Island Cyclone, honoring the roller coaster’s 95th year. The first 95 guests will ride for free, and they’ll be given an egg cream to help start the celebration.

coney island cyclone
Coney Island Cyclone

“Our entire team is filled with gratitude and enthusiasm as we open our doors for the 2022 season,” said Alessandro Zamperla, president and CEO of Central Amusement International, Inc. “It is incredibly exciting to finally have Luna Park in Coney Island filled with guests and joy after a very long winter.”

Each year, Luna Park also makes a charitable donation on opening day, and this year it will host children from three local organizations: Children of Promise, the Coney Island Sharks, and Operation H.O.O.D. in recognition of their contributions to the community. Opening day proceeds will be donated to these organizations.

coney island new york

On April 10, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park will join in with their decades-long “Blessing of the Rides” tradition. The ceremony will take place on the boardwalk in front of the park starting at 10 a.m. and will conclude with a ribbon cutting, after which the first 102 guests will ride the Wonder Wheel for free in honor of its 102nd anniversary.

Dennis and Steve Vourderis, owners and operators of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, said, “We are excited to continue the legacy of our parents, Denos and Lula Vourderis, by inviting the local children from the Salt & Sea Mission to enjoy the rides for free, a tradition since 1985.”

coney island deno's wonder wheel
Deno’s Wonder Wheel

The Coney Island History Project will have a booth set up in front of the park that day, too, featuring photos, artifacts, ephemera, and maps. Films depicting the area’s past will be shown for free at the Coney Island History Project center on weekends and holidays from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.

The Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team will also start their season early, with their first-ever April home opener in April 12, against the Jersey Shore Blue Claws.

“That also means that, for the first time ever, we will be playing and able to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, the 75th anniversary of his breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball,” said Steve Cohen, Brooklyn Cyclones vice president.

Family-friendly promotional nights will take place throughout the baseball season, including Friends Night, Looney Tunes Night, and DC Comics Super Hero Day, along with Jersday Thursdays and appearances from Peppa Pig and Koo Koo Kangaroo. Tickets will start at just $10 for the majority of the team’s games.

brooklyn cyclones
Photo by Brooklyn Cyclones

Fan-favorite Mermaid Parade will be held in-person this year after a two-year hiatus, filling the streets with mermaids and sea creatures on June 18 in celebration of its 40th year while also marking the official start of summer.

The New York Aquarium’s newly-completed PlayQuarium will open this spring, as the aquarium’s first bi-lingual English/Spanish installation. Children will learn how animals communicate under water, explore a life-sized kelp forest, and become submarine scientists while searching for bioluminescent fish.

new york city aquarium
Photo by Julie Larson Maher

“Children can touch and climb their way through the exhibit while learning about marine ecosystems in New York City and other parts of the world,” said Craig Piper, WCS director of city zoos/interim NY Aquarium director.

Programs such as “Burlesque at the Beach” and the new “Coney Carnival of Comedy” will add to the atmosphere, as will the Coney Island Brewery taproom, which will host several events, including live music, drag shows, Bingo, and karaoke. Many of the local eateries and shops are open again, too.

coney island dining

The amusement attractions will open from April 15-April 24, then on weekends only through Memorial Day.  From May 27, they will resume seven-day-a-week operations.

Finally, the Festival of New York will take place on West 12 Street between Surf Avenue and Wonder Wheel Way, with live music, performances and more on various weekends throughout the summer.

Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island summed it up: “Spring ushers in the best time of year, with warmer weather and never-ending fun in Coney Island. We are ecstatic to welcome New Yorkers and visitors back to the amusement district for a year unlike any other.”


Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Email Newsletter Signup

Get the latest news direct to your inbox.
Simply submit your email address below.