Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park announces April 9 opening

March 31, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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The Coney Island amusement area is coming back.

After being closed for the entirety of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park has announced via social media that it plans to reopen Friday, April 9 for the 2021 season

During that day, it will hold its Blessing of the Rides at 11 a.m., a family tradition that includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony that has customarily been hosted by park owners Dennis and Steve Vourderis.

Afterwards, the park — which is one of two major amusement parks in Coney, along with Luna Park —will be open only on weekends for the time being. Visitors can reserve tickets based on blocks of time. A reservation time is good for entry, and once inside the park, the visit can be up to two hours. Deno’s will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The amusement park will temporarily become gated because of the pandemic, and capacity will be limited to 33 percent.

“Guests will be advised through signage and park announcements to practice social distancing, standing at least six feet away from others while waiting in lines or moving through the property,” the park said in its guidelines. “Restaurant tables and other physical layouts will be arranged to ensure appropriate distancing as well. We will have clear markers in all of our park entry, ride, restroom and dining queues to help guests keep a safe distance from one another.”

Employees will practice social distancing by standing at least six feet away from all guests and other team members.

On Feb. 18, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that amusement parks could reopen on April 9 with 33 percent capacity, face covering, social distancing, temperature checks, cleaning, disinfection, tickets sold in advance and other COVID-related safety measures.

Deno’s will finally be able to celebrate its 100th anniversary of the Wonder Wheel itself, which opened in 1920. There were several festivities scheduled last year to commemorate the moment, but they had to be canceled because of the pandemic.

“At last! Can’t wait to ride the landmark Wonder Wheel again and wish it a Happy 100th,” read a statement from the Coney Island History Project.

Construction is also on track for Phoenix, a high-thrill, state-of-the-art rollercoaster that is scheduled to be finished later this year.

The new and the old: Construction work on the Phoenix, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park’s new, state-of-the-art modern rollercoaster, proceeds with the Wonder Wheel in the background.
Photo courtesy of Deno’s Wonder Wheel

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