Cheap thrills! Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park kicks off spring season with free rides

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Talk about a free ride!

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park will celebrate the opening of its 2018 season on March 25 by offering nearly 100 people free rides on Coney Island’s iconic Ferris wheel. The park’s management says that the Wonder Wheel starting up again is a sign warmer days are ahead.

“When the cars go back up on the Wonder Wheel, it’s the first sign of spring,” said a spokeswoman for the park. “It’s a hint that summer is coming.”

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park is offering the first 98 people entering the park on March 25 each a free ride on the Wonder Wheel, in honor of the wheel’s 98th anniversary.

The park is also letting 300 kids from the Salt and Sea Mission go on all the rides for free that day. The Salt and Sea Mission is a local charity that runs food pantries and soup kitchens for the homeless, abuse victims, and others. The kids who will be at the amusement park on March 25 are some of the Brooklynites the mission serves.

The park’s other 21 rides include the Speedway race track, bumper cars, the Twist-N-Shout Drop Tower, and a new virtual-reality attraction called Stop the Zombies.

The Sunday opening will kick off with the 34th-annual “Blessing of the Rides” ceremony at the park, which honors the Salt and Sea Mission for the work they do in southern Brooklyn. The owners are proud they’ve celebrated the group at their openings for so many years.

“We are happy to remember and honor the season opening tradition started by our dad, Denos Vourderis, and the Mission founder, Debbie Santiago in 1985,” said owners Dennis and Steve Vourderis in a statement.

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park will be open on weekends and school holidays in April and May, and will be open seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

“Blessing of the Rides” at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park [3059 W 12th St., between the boardwalk and Bowery street, (718) 372–2592,]. March 25 at 10:45 am.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 5:47 pm, July 9, 2018
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