The Coney Island Cyclone has been a favorite attraction with Coney Island visitors for decades on end. Also known more simply as The Cyclone, this wooden roller coaster was unveiled on June 25, 1927, and to this day, it remains one of the best roller coasters on the planet. Sure, there are much larger roller coasters now, but many roller coaster enthusiasts keep a special place in their hearts for this smaller gem. So acclaimed is the ride that it was designated as a New York City landmark, and in 1991, it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more than 80 years now, the Coney Island Cyclone has been a New York institution of sorts. Inspired by other Coney Island wooden roller coasters that have since met their demise, it cost somewhere between $146,000 and $175,000 to build. When it first opened in 1927, the cost to ride was only 25 cents. That has gone up, of course, though the price is still very reasonable. After all, The Cyclone is quite simply a historical treasure, not to mention a generator of big time thrills. Among the past riders was one Charles Lindbergh. The famous aviator actually deemed that a ride on The Cyclone eclipsed his solo flight across the Atlantic in the thrills department.
In 1971, the city of New York purchased the Coney Island Cyclone, and just one year later, it was almost destroyed. The adjacent New York Aquarium wanted to expand. Thankfully, the historic treasure was saved, in part because of a campaign known as "Save the Cyclone." Today, it is operated as part of a Coney Island amusement park that is known as Luna Park, and it is as thrilling as ever. The maximum speed is 60 miles per hour, and there are plenty of quick turns to go with the 85-foot drop. Each ride on The Cyclone lasts one minute and 50 seconds, and anyone wishing to indulge must be at least 52 inches tall.