Mon-Fri, noon-midnight; Sat-Sun and holidays, 11am-midnight
F, Q at W. 8th St.-New York Aquarium; D, F, N, Q at Coney Island-Stillwell Ave.
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From 1903 until it succumbed to a series of fires in the forties, Luna Park was a Coney Island fantasy land luring thrill-seeking revelers to the seashore. These days, the $15 million, three-acre playground—which opened in 2010 on the site once occupied by Astroland—recaptures the flash but shares little in common with its namesake, save for the replica of the pinwheel and moon entrance, and the echoes of screams induced by adventuresome rides. The nineteen rides were designed by Italy’s Antonio Zamperla, and are whirling, spinning, and flying fun for every age group. Younger kids will enjoy the miniature Circus Coaster and surfing simulator Surf’s Up, while adrenaline junkies will find their rush in the stomach-flipping Air Race, the park’s main attraction. There’s even something for the older folks who want to wax nostalgic: the teacup-and-roller-coaster hybrid Tickler, which pays homage the William F. Mangels ride of the same name in the original Luna Park. Mangels intended for the original to "jostle, jolt, and jounce its riders about in their seats when the ride was in motion,” but the switchback curves and rapid-fire drops of today’s Tickler do a little more than just jostle and jounce. For that, patrons can always ride the subway home.