It’s the 86th Anniversary of Coney Island’s Cyclone Roller Coaster!

Getty Images/Stringer
Getty Images/Stringer

It’s not every day that we find it necessary to wish an inanimate object a happy birthday. But on June 26, 1927, the Cyclone roller-coaster opened its doors on Coney Island, making today its 86th anniversary. Now that, folks, is a reason to celebrate. Seriously, this is one famous inanimate object. In fact, it was named a New York City landmark in 1988 after being re-vamped by Dewey and Jerome Albert in 1975.

The Cyclone’s history has about as many ups and downs as the ride itself: Although it was extremely popular for many years after its initial opening, its appeal seemed to diminish in the 1960s and, 1969, the Cyclone was shut down. And then, out of the goodness of its heart — because cities have hearts, obviously, just like inanimate objects have birthdays — New York City bought the Cyclone in 1971. But popularity was still down, and then the New York Aquarium wanted to expand — into Cyclone territory. See? We weren’t kidding about the ups and downs. This poor roller coaster has been through a lot. But, fortunately, a “Save the Cyclone” campaign emerged and, well, saved the Cyclone.

Now, before you go running off to Coney Island to celebrate the Cyclone’s anniversary, we should probably warn you of two things: First of all, When the roller coaster first opened in 1927, you had to pay only 25 cents for a ride. Now it’s $8 — a bit of a hike, if we do say so ourselves. But, hey, you’ll be riding a New York City landmark, so that in and of itself has to be worth a few bucks. Second of all, this is no hands-in-the-air-like-you-just-don’t-care ride. Legend has it that a mute-since-birth coal miner from West Virginia spoke his first words — “I feel sick” — while riding the Cyclone. Prepare yourself for a certain level of intensity before coughing up that $8. 

In fact, because we like you so much, we’ll provide you with a small preview of what’s to come if you choose to ride the ‘coaster. Of course, it’s nothing compared to the real deal, but at least you won’t be going in completely blind. Check out the video below and then head over to Coney Island to celebrate the Cyclone’s birthday!