Coronavirus Update New York City: Coney Island's Luna Park ready to welcome back guests Friday

Coronavirus update for NYC
CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Coney Island's iconic Luna Park offered a sneak peak Thursday at how the park will operate when it reopens for the first time in more than a year.

With the entire 2020 season canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Friday will mark the first time the rides are running in 18 months.

And while the traditional Opening Day will a bit different this year, with limited capacity and added safety enhancements, park officials say they can't wait to welcome back guests.

RELATED | Coney Island amusement parks set to reopen
EMBED More News Videos

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.

"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."

For weeks, workers have been making final preparations -- hanging prizes, getting games ready, and testing rides for hundreds of guests.

The park has hired 300 employees and will increase that up to 1,200 by early summer.

The park will be open weekends until Memorial Day, then seven days a week all summer long at 50% capacity.

The added measures including physical distancing, 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. Friday,

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.

RELATED | NY indoor amusement parks, entertainment centers open again
EMBED More News Videos

Indoor amusement parks across New York are opening their doors just in time for spring and summer as the state continues to ease coronavirus restrictions.

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.

national geographic covid newsletter sign up


New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Find out if you are eligible and where you can go to get your vaccine
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?
Where to get tested in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
WATCH: Eyewitness to a Pandemic
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip or Question
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.