Thunderbolt roller coaster opens in Coney Island this weekend after weather delays construction

coney island roller coaster thunderbolt luna park
A Luna Park worker watches the Thunderbolt being built in Coney Island. The roller coaster is opening to the public on Saturday.
Credit: Bess Adler, Metro

The new Thunderbolt roller coaster will finally open to the public in Coney Island on Saturday, after three weeks of construction delays. 

The ride, standing 115 feet tall on the same spot as the old wooden Thunderbolt, reaches speeds of 55 miles per hour. With 2,233 feet of track, the ride features a 90-degree vertical drop, a 100-foot vertical loop and an 80-foot zero-g roll.

There’s also a 112-degree over-banked turn, a heartline dive and a corkscrew.

The ride was originally expected to open Memorial Day weekend, but the last bits of construction were delayed because they couldn’t be completed in the rain, officials said.

“The weather didn’t help us at all,” said the coaster’s designer, Alberto Zamperla, president and CEO of Zamperla Group. He told Metro last month that freezing temperatures, in addition to the rain, halted certain aspects of construction.  

“Even when we were putting down the foundation, it was freezing and you cannot pour the concrete when the temperature is low,” Zamperla said. “Another major concern is the safety — I don’t want to speed up the date and rush my people to gain the time that we lost.”

If you go

You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride the Thunderbolt, located at Luna Park in Coney Island. The park opens at 11 a.m. this Saturday, but hours vary throughout the summer. The Thunderbolt costs $10 and lasts about 2 minutes.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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