Cincinnati, Ohio – Saturday, June 16th, 2012
Coney Island has been entertaining Midwesterners on the banks of the Ohio River since 1886. It used to be one of the largest amusement parks in the Midwest with numerous wooden roller coasters, its name a reference to the famous New York attraction as the "Coney Island of the West". However, constant flooding and migration to the suburbs meant the park couldn't sustain itself, and many of its remaining attractions were transferred to the brand new Kings Islands which was built to function as something of a replacement Coney Island (especially evident in the original "Coney Mall" themed section).
Coney Island never completely died as their large "Sunlight Pool" remained popular, and eventually mechanical amusements returned to the park, though never on the scale they once were. Most of the rides are transportable, in case they need to be moved inland in the event of another flood. Although it'll never compete with King's Island, Coney Island still serves an important niche of cheap, accessible family entertainment in the evenings and during hot summer days.
We arrived around 5:00pm, when ride wristband prices dropped to $8.00 (there was also an $8.00 parking fee, however). The fastest route to get to Coney Island coming from downtown Cincinnati is apparently to cross the Ohio River into Kentucky briefly, then cross back into Ohio, as the park is located right along the river as soon as you get off the bridge along 275.
It might not have much in the way of big, special rides, but the park has a storied history and I was on the lookout for architecture and landscaping that's more unique than could typically be expected of a small park this size.
Coney Island is situated right next to a small lake when you first pull in. The Ohio River on the opposite side of the park has a larger breadth than this lake.
An Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel overlooks the lake.
This pavilion was found alongside the lake near the main entrance.
Fairly elaborate landscaping for a small amusement park.
This Eyerly Rock-O-Plane is a rarity among fixed location parks.
I doubt I would be here if not for the Python.
Python is a compact steel "Galaxi" or "Zyclon" style roller coaster by D.P.V. Rides.
It opened at Coney Island in 1999.
The ride is essentially identical to a Pinfari Z40.
They ran two trains that fit six passengers each, resulting in a five to ten minute wait, which was more than I was expecting from a park like Coney Island. Business was reasonably strong.
For whatever reason the very back row in both cars was sealed off. It looked like a loose articles or spare parts bin, to be honest. A shame, as word on the street was that the back row was the best place to ride on the Python.
It used to be known as the "Pepsi Python". The sign that currently reads Coney Island used to be a banner for Pepsi, so I guess people just put the two together and made that its official name. If we use that logic I wonder if now it should be called the "Coney Island Since 1886 Python"?
Python overview with the sun at a horrible angle for photography
Leaving the station on the Python. Hiss.
Up the 40 foot tall lift hill.
There's a reason you want to get the back car on the Python.
This drop (and a couple of others) provide a really sudden jolt of airtime over the top with their sharp radius which the lead car yanks them over.