6 Things to Know When You Plan a Trip to Coney Island

one day at coney island

Coney Island is so much fun! I’ve been to New York a bunch of times (not counting the two times I’ve been for New Years…), but this was my first time going to Coney Island and it really was a blast. I didn’t do too much research before going, but there are definitely some things I wish I had known when I was planning a trip to Coney Island. I wanted to make sure I shared those things with you! Here is some information to help you plan a trip to Coney Island.

1. Getting there

If you’re staying in Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn, it really isn’t hard to get there because you just take the train! The thing you need to plan for is time. Many different subway lines go out to Coney Island as their last stop. Since it’s the last stop, it does take about an hour to get there from most parts of the city so make sure you budget plenty of time. The subway is just a few blocks from the beach and boardwalk. Once you leave the station, signs clearly mark the direction to the beach and boardwalk where you will find all the fun!

2. The theme park

Luna Park is the major theme park on Coney Island. Unlike other theme parks, you can walk through different parts of Luna Park and walk up to rides without going through a scanner. Instead, each ride has its own scanning system. The Wonder Wheel and some other things cost extra or are not part of the theme park at all, instead they are part of Coney Island and you pay separately to do them. This was new to me because I thought Coney Island was all one theme park.

3. Buying tickets

There are several ticket options.

  • Buy tickets for rides one by one. Rides range from 3 tickets to 10 tickets depending on thrill level ($3 – $10). The higher the “thrill level” the more expensive. 1 ticket = $1
  • You can buy an all day wrist band with unlimited rides for $60. They scan your wrist band at the gate for each ride with the band.
  • They also run a deal where you buy $100 in credits, you get 40 extra. You can split the credits between multiple people, the wrist band cannot be split. You get a card that is scanned at each ride which makes it easy to share with others. They will let you buy any amount to put on the card.
  • Groupon is also running a special (fall 2017)and for just $31 you can get an all day pass – check there first! We missed out on this deal because we didn’t book in advance. Whomp whomp…
  • You don’t need to buy any tickets in advance unless you find a discount or are worried it will be extra busy that day. We walked right up and bought tickets in less than five minutes.

4. Opening Hours

Hours vary based on the day of the week and season. I recommend checking online on the Luna Park website before going to see when they are open. Luna Park is typically open 12pm – 5pm, but if you want to make a day of it, get there early and go to the beach and check out the boardwalk in the afternoon!

5. Using your tickets

Most of the rides are included in the Luna Park ticket purchase. However, some rides like the ferris wheel and carousel were not included so you will need to budget for this as well if you want to do those rides. Tickets for every ride are scanned from your card or wrist band as you enter a ride. The scanners are very easy to use and we never waited long in line. Maybe we got lucky, but it was a super hot day and we did wait for like 45 minutes for a hot dog…

6. The beach

The beach at Coney Island is well kept and pretty nice. Tons of people were on the beach while we were there. However, we ended up not being able to get into the water because the water was too dangerous at the time because of currents. Check online and be prepared that the beach does close at times. The boardwalk with all the restaurants and rides are right along the beach so you don’t have to walk far. Free bathrooms are also located on the beach.

There you have my need to knows for Coney Island! Hopefully these important things to know can help you plan a trip to Coney Island. I know they are all things I wish I knew. Now that you’re done planning your trip, don’t forget to head over to my page about how to spend a day on Coney Island!

  • Awesome tips! We are actually planning a last minute, spur-of-the moment trip to NYC to take my husband’s mom to see the Statue of Liberty. I am going along, because well, it’s hard for me to pass up a trip, but I have never been a huge NYC fan (crazy, I know; it’s just a lot going on for me). We have never done Coney Island though, so maybe that will be a good way to escape further out for the day!

  • I was just in New York last month. I should have definitely visited Coney Island. It seems fun and lively over there. Thanks for sharing!