Coney Island, the home of America’s favorite struggling theme park, opened a new attraction today: the Thunderbolt roller coaster. Unlike its wooden predecessor of the same name that operated on the site for nearly six decades, this one is all made of steel – the latest of promised upgrades.
The ride is pretty smooth, with one initial dramatic highlight — a vertical climb that’s completely perpendicular to the ground and once it crests, you really feel as if you might slide out from under the red shiny safety harness as you’re catapulted downward. Then there are two or three quick adrenaline thrusts and the following loops and flourishes of twirling are abruptly less impressive until you sputter out softly to the finish line and are rushed out. I’d compare it to a hard orgasm with a soft wistful ending. Other riders enjoyed the jostling a lot. In contrast to the still-rickety Cyclone, this was a very oiled ride, but a great addition to Luna Park with its intimate six-person cars and a great view up top, unless you have your eyes closed, coward. (Video Courtesy Luna Park)