Iconic amusement park ready to welcome back guests

After an 18-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, Coney Island amusement parks will welcome back guests starting April 9.

CONEY ISLAND, New York (WABC) -- After an 18-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, Coney Island amusement parks -- including the iconic Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park -- will be welcoming back guests starting Friday, April 9.

There will be added safety restrictions, including physical distancing through reduced capacity, controlled admissions both online and at the gate, distanced eating areas and ride seating, hand sanitizing stations located at every ride, and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas.

Additionally, all guests over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask.

To kick off the festivities at Luna Park, the traditional egg cream christening of the Coney Island Cyclone will begin at 11 a.m.

The first ride on the Cyclone is being reserved for local hospital workers, and the park is also giving 500 frontline heroes free admission for the day.

"It is incredibly exciting to finally have Luna Park in Coney Island filled with guests and joy after a very challenging year," said Alessandro Zamperla, President and CEO of Central Amusement International Inc. "We are tremendously grateful for all of our frontline workers, the heroes who have saved countless lives and continue to help our community heal; for all of our team members who have been waiting since October 2019 to welcome back our guests; and for our community that is so vibrant and resilient."

Luna Park is also introducing six new attractions for children, ranging from swings and coasters to racing games. The new rides include Circus Candy, Fire Patrol, Rainbowheel, AeroMax, Grand Prix, and Mini Mouse.

At Deno's, the decades-long tradition of the "Blessing of the Rides" ceremony will take place on the boardwalk in front of the park at 10 a.m. followed by a speaking program and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"We are extremely grateful to finally be given the opportunity to show the public that we can operate our parks safely for guests," park co-owner Dennis Vourderis said.

Following the opening ceremony, Deno's will be providing free rides on the Wonder Wheel for 100 frontline workers including EMT, FDNY, NYPD, and staff from Coney Island Hospital.

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