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Coney Island Eliminating Rides To Focus On Water Park

Courtesy of Coney Island
Coney Island says all its "dry side" rides will be gone by next summer.

Coney Island will begin removing its amusement rides when the park closes for the summer Sept. 21.

The park says it's getting rid of its amusement park rides in order to expand its water park.

"We're going to focus all of our efforts on enhancing a water park experience for our guests," says Shawn Maus, communications and marketing manager. "We're going to be bringing in all kinds of new features, new park services, enhance our special events, all with a plan to culminate with the 100th anniversary celebration of Sunlite Pool in 2025."

The plan will take about five years to phase in. The park isn't releasing any details about what kinds of enhancements will be coming to the Sunlite Water Adventure area. The historic Sunlite Pool is staying.

"Since 2016, we've invested more than $6 million into the Sunlite Pool," says Rob Schutter, Jr., president and CEO of Coney Island.

Credit Courtesy of Coney Island
Coney Island is removing its amusement park rides in order to expand its water park experience.

The park says it surveyed visitors and made the decision after learning people were more interested in the water park than the rides.

"We should be fine with closing down the ride side of the park because the maintenance on that isn't going to be as costly and we can refocus all of those efforts financially into our water park area," Maus adds when asked about footing the bill for the expansion.

What will people notice different next summer?

"The rides will be gone," Maus says. "What we call the dry side of the park, all of the rides, those will be dismantled and sold off to different, other amusement parks."

Maus says as far as he knows, no buyers are in place.

Moonlight Gardens, Summerfair and other events will continue. Additional event, festival, and group outing spaces may be added.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.