The ride that brought Frederick Thompson and Elmer Dundy to Tilyou’s attention, called Luna, flapped its wings to navigate outer space. Although Dundy attributed Luna Park’s name to his sister, it was most likely named after this successful machine.
Among other attractions, domesticated elephants were used to enthrall the crowds. In a horrific effort to prove that alternating currents should not be employed, however, Thomas Edison killed Topsy the Elephant by electrocution. He used the film of her needless execution to prove his point.
One of the other main amusements was Theophilus Van Kannel’s Witching Waves, a large oval course with a flexible metal floor. Wave-like motions produced by reciprocating levers propelled two small, steerable cars. The attraction was moved to the Bowery in Manhattan in 1910.
Much of Luna Park was destroyed in the 1944 fires, and it was not rebuilt to open in the 1945 season. The land was used for other purposes after a legal battle and another fire in 1946.
The Coney Island Development Corporation released the “Coney Island Revitalization Plan” in 2005. The park would be preserved and the historic amusement area would grow. The new Luna Park opened on May 29th, 2010. Its entrance, which is similar to the original, is built on the site of the former Astroland amusement park. Luna Park is the only part of Coney Island where cash is not allowed. Luna Cards and Luna Credits are the payment method of this magical park.