Coney Island’s Newest “Old” Rollercoaster: The Thunderbolt

You’ll be staring straight at the ground, plummeting downward at more than 60 miles an hour. Just as you think you will smack right into the green grass below, you’ll be slung up into a full 360-degree loop, then shot forward into a series of twists, dives and turns that will have you screaming in both fear and joy. This is the promise of Coney Island’s latest thrill ride, The Thunderbolt, a roller coaster set to open in summer 2014.

The original Thunderbolt ran from 1925 up to 1982. With its traditional steep drop and rolling racetrack-style architecture, the Thunderbolt was Coney Island institution. Since closing in the ‘80s, this lifeless structure spent a couple decades decaying before being torn down.

This summer, the opportunity for thrill and fun will return to the same exact spot where the original Thunderbolt stood. This new ride will share the name of its predecessor and offer a new enhanced experience. Made by steel (instead of wood) and standing at 125 feet, this Coney Island roller coaster includes a 90-degree vertical drop—a shocking punch of adrenaline for even the most seasoned amusement park thrill seekers.

The $10 million construction of the Thunderbolt has been the latest move in a greater revitalization of this once thriving area. Part of Coney Island’s Luna Park, this new ride will join its predecessor Cyclone, a historic wooden roller coaster built in 1927. This movement hopes to bring back some of Coney Island’s classic heyday, where beachgoers can spend the day on the boardwalk, noshing on Nathan’s Hot Dogs, watching a few Circus Sideshows, and of course, braving a ride or two on the Cyclone and Thunderbolt.