wonder wheel

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Behind the Scenes, Coney Island, Features

The Wonder Wheel with no cars installed; photos © James and Karla Murray

Honoring a 60-year tradition of opening on Palm Sunday, Coney Island Amusement Park will be back in business this Sunday, April 14th. One of the many activities will be the annual blessing of the rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel. The 150-foot-tall, 100-year-old structure is one of the most iconic pieces remaining at Coney Island. But there’s a lot that goes into this seasonal opening than even the most well-versed New Yorker may not know. Each winter, the 200-ton ride is repainted, and all of its 24 cars are removed. But come spring, second-generation co-owner Steve Vourderis goes through the process of precisely reinstalling and aligning the cars. We were lucky enough to visit Steve and his brother Dennis on a recent frigid Sunday to watch the magic happen.

Go behind-the-scenes at the Wonder Wheel

Coney Island, Events, holidays

Deno’s Wonder Wheel courtesy of kzoop’s Flickr

Editor’s Note: Due to the extreme cold conditions, Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Stop the Zombies ride will NOT open on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The B&B Carousell will be open.

Overpriced clubs, surging Ubers, and Manhattan crowds not your thing? Check out the fourth annual New Year’s Eve party at Coney Island’s historic boardwalk instead. Four rides, including the iconic Wonder Wheel, will be free of charge beginning at 6 pm until 9:30 pm on December 31.  Nathan’s Famous, Coney Island Brewery, and Tom’s Restaurant will also stay open for the festivities.  As amNY learned, there will be live entertainment and the countdown to 2018 will feature a digital “burst” of lights from the Parachute jump at midnight.

Details on the event here

Coney Island, Events

Deno’s Wonder Wheel courtesy of kzoop’s Flickr

While New Yorkers have been celebrating the historic seaside resort all summer long, this weekend the Coney Island History Project is hosting its seventh annual history day. On Saturday, August 5, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., attendees can learn about all of the classic rides and attractions of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, take a self-guided tour, and listen to free folksy music. Since it was built in 1920, more than 40 million people have experienced the park’s iconic Wonder Wheel.

Details ahead

Coney Island, Events, holidays

deno's wonder wheel, coney island, wonder wheel

Image via Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

Since it opened on the Coney Island boardwalk in 1920, the landmarked Wonder Wheel has given more than 35 million rides. If you want to add to this number, a press release from Deno’s Wonder Wheel tells us that it will offer free rides from 6 to 10pm on New Year’s Eve. They’ll also charge only $5 from 11am to 2pm on New Year’s Day to coincide with the annual Polar Bear Plunge (50 percent of January 1st’s profits will go to the Plunge’s charity Camp Sunshine).

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