Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

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Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
Previously known as Ward's Kiddie Park
Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park Logo.png
Wonder Wheel (7082366245).jpg
LocationConey Island, New York, United States
Coordinates40°34′28″N 73°58′45″W / 40.574310°N 73.979182°W / 40.574310; -73.979182Coordinates: 40°34′28″N 73°58′45″W / 40.574310°N 73.979182°W / 40.574310; -73.979182
Opened1920 (Wonder Wheel)[1]
1950 (other rides)
OwnerDennis Vourderis and Steve Vourderis
Attractions
Total22
Roller coasters3
Websitehttp://www.denoswonderwheel.com/

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is a family-owned amusement park located at Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. It features six adult rides and 16 kiddie rides, including a dozen family rides that parents and children can ride together. The park is named for its main attraction, the Wonder Wheel, a 150-foot (46 m) eccentric wheel built in 1920.[2]

The park overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Riegelmann Boardwalk along the Coney Island beach. The Wonder Wheel was made a New York City designated landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1989.[3][4]

History[edit]

The 150-foot-tall (46 m) Wonder Wheel predates the park, having opened in 1920.[2] It was designed by Charles Hermann, and created and built by Herman Garms in 1918-1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company.[3] Until the construction of the 250-foot-tall (76 m) Parachute Jump, it was the tallest attraction in Coney Island. It was a stand-alone attraction operated by Herman Garms. In 1955, Garms built Spook-a-Rama, an indoor dark ride.[citation needed]

Near these two attractions, Denos Vourderis opened a restaurant called the Anchor Bar & Grill. Also, next door to the Wonder Wheel, stood a small kiddie amusement park called Ward's Kiddie Park owned by John Curran. That area was built in 1950. Denos opened up a concession stand there in 1970. In 1976, Denos bought the kiddie amusement park from Curran. In 1983, Denos acquired the Wonder Wheel and Spook-a-Rama from Fred Garms and Walter Kerner Sr. Today the park still has predominantly children's rides along with several family attractions. Since Denos's death in 1994, the park has been operated by his two sons, Dennis and Steve.[5]

In January 2020, Deno's Amusement Park announced a major expansion to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel. The expanded park would take over part of the abandoned West 12th Street amusement area, shuttered since 2017.[6] The Vourderis family paid $6 million for the land and another $5.5 million for an unnamed ride. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, the park did not open for the 2020 season, and the expansion was delayed.[7] A Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster called Phoenix soft-opened on June 26, 2021, with a full opening on July 1.[8][9] Also open in 2021 is Sky Flyer, a micro coaster from SBF Visa Group,[10] which Deno's had purchased at the 2019 IAAPA Expo.[11]

Attractions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park appeared in The Silver Boulders "Crazy Car" music video from The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie as three attractions at the amusement park appeared in the music video: Bumper Cars, Big Trucks, and Fire Engines.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Denson, Charles, "Coney Island Lost and Found," Ten Speed Press, 2002, pages 227–231
  2. ^ a b "Wonder Wheel History". Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "The Wonder Wheel" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. May 23, 1989. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  4. ^ Hillman, Jim (2013). Amusement Parks. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 9780747813590. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Lilliefors, Jim; Lilliefors, J. (2006). America's Boardwalks: From Coney Island to California. Rutgers University Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-8135-3805-1. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Parks, Jessica (January 6, 2020). "Deno's Wonder Wheel owners expanding into dilapidated amusement park". Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  7. ^ Gill, John Freeman (August 7, 2020). "Coronavirus Silences the Wonder Wheel". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  8. ^ Parks, Jessica (June 29, 2021). "The Phoenix, Coney Island's newest roller coaster, opening July 1". Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  9. ^ DeJesus, Jaime (June 30, 2021). "The Phoenix rises in Coney Island". The Brooklyn Home Reporter. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  10. ^ Marden, Duane. "Skyflyer  (Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  11. ^ "IAAPA Expo 2019 Wrap Up: Rides-4U Reports Brisk Sales; Mondial Introduces New Ride Concepts". CarnivalWarehouse.com. Retrieved December 31, 2020.

External links[edit]