So the world-famous Cyclone at the world-famous Coney Island amusement parks got stuck.
And the two dozen people who were lucky (or is it unlucky?) enough to get the very first coaster ride of the season had to be walked down from the 85-foot, 88-year-old thrill ride’s highest point.
Chalk it up to opening-day jitters.Or at least jitters for Gabriella Centeno and the other riders rescued by the Cyclone’s crack crew.
“It was terrifying, because I was up there and everything was spinning,” Centeno said, once safely back on terra firma. “I didn’t know what to do.”
“I’m scared of heights,” she noted. “This was insane.”
Officials from Luna Park NYC, who run the section of Coney where the Cyclone is located, called it all an “isolated issue.”
What sorta issue? They haven’t said.
On Facebook, they posted this soon after the coaster stopped dead on the wooden, clickety-clack tracks: “Safety is the No. 1 priority for our guests at Luna Park. This was an isolated issue and it is quickly being resolved. The Cyclone will reopen after proper inspection. No one was injured. Those on the ride were safely evacuated according to our safety training procedures and will be able to ride again for free.”
Let’s just say, if I was stuck on that thing, you couldn’t pay me to go back on. But that's me.
Moments before the Cyclone incident, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams smashed a ceremonial bottle. He even got into a Cyclone car to mug for the cameras.
If he actually was on that first ride when it got stuck … oh, what a story that would have been.
Still, all in all, it was an amazing day at the beachside funland. Chilly, but the sun and sky were breathtaking.
Coney is actually several amusement parks under different management.
Over at Deno’s Wonder Wheel, there was less drama but lots of excitement at the 30th annual Palm Sunday blessing of the rides by Pastor Debbie Santiago, of the Salt & Sea Mission.
Dennis Vourderis, the vice president of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, talked of the rebirth underway.
The Scream Zone. Luna Park. A coming amphitheater. A bigger and better New York Aquarium.
New York City development officials said attendance was the best in modern record-keeping in Coney last year, with 1.5 million visitors.
The Wonder Wheel is 95 years old, Vourderis noted, and was there seven years before the boardwalk was even built on the beach, which first opened in 1824 as a seaside resort.
“We’re still here. The Wonder Wheel is still turning,” he said of the landmark attraction.
“My family’s been in Coney Island since 1966. We’re proud to be part of the new Coney Island."
But, “the best is yet to come,” he said.
The Coney amusement parks will be open every weekend until Memorial Day weekend, when the whole shebang opens seven days a week for the summer.
As always, there’s lots ahead.Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 20, at 1 p.m. -- the Mermaid Parade.
Summer can’t come soon enough.