Coney Island is a New York landmark that has withstood the test of time, natural disasters, economic downturns, and more. So, it's no surprise that one of its iconic amusement parks is emerging from 2020 with plans to debut a new roller coaster later this year.
Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park couldn't open last year to celebrate its 100th anniversary, but that's not stopping the park's owners from building the Phoenix, a suspended, adrenaline-inducing roller coaster — their largest investment to date.
"It's an important time to rebuild," Deno "DJ" Vourderis, a third-generation member of the family that owns and operates the park, told USA Today. "We're betting on the future of New York City and Coney Island."
Standing at 68 feet tall with speeds up to 34 miles per hour, the custom-designed roller coaster will have a spot near newer rides like the Thunderbolt, as well as the Cyclone, a classic wooden coaster that has welcomed visitors since 1927.
Though the Phoenix is slated to be a thrills-filled ride, it will also be family-friendly and accessible to younger children, or those who prefer to stay away from the bigger coasters. "It'll be about as upside down as you can go for a family coaster," Vourderis told USA Today.
The name Phoenix is inspired by the feeling of flying, which park visitors can expect to experience on this ride. The trains will hang below the tracks — almost like a ski lift — leaving passengers' feet dangling below as they soar through the air.
According to USA Today, the name also signifies a rebirth — not only for Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, but also for Coney Island (and hopefully everyone).
"When this [pandemic] is all over, I think we will have another Roaring '20s," Vourderis said. "We will most certainly rise from the ashes and give birth to the best of times at Coney Island."
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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