Luna Park, a carnival concept amusement park native every continent in the world except for Antarctica. Even within Australia, even though there used to be approximately 6 of these parks entertaining the locals, there is more than one that is still operating until today. The famous ones known to many are the ones in Melbourne and the one I visited, Luna Park Sydney.
Opened in 1935, it used to be operating in a 9-month season until 1972 when it started to operate year round. Located adjacent to the iconic Harbour Bridge, the Luna Park Sydney boasts the perfect setting for any tourists craving for cheap carnival thrills with a picturesque background along the West side of the Sydney Harbour. Even though it have been closed for approximately 3 times ever since it opened for reasons including engineering inspection and the infamous Ghost Train Fire, the parks never fail to attract patrons of all kinds to visit and just fill the air with joy.
The park, previously known as Harbourside Amusement Park used to be the site occupied by cranes, railway sliding and a a series of workshops to aid the construction of the Harbour Bridge. The site which upon the completing of the Harbour Bridge was open for tender applications to develop the site. Despite the initial resistance from the North Sydney Council towards the idea of an amusement park, Herman Phillips (one of the minds behind Luna Park) won the tender to develop what now is knows as Luna Park Sydney.
Fast Forward to the Millenium, Luna park have attracted millions of people from all over the world and have been going through restoration in stages throughout a period of 14 months. Rides are removed, restored and in some cases upgraded to comply with modern safety standards. The most recent announcement was in 2001 when the NSW Government allocated $78,000 in the state budget to upgrade and restore all the rides and building including changing all lighting to LED lights.
The park, which is divided into 5 parts namely the Maloney’s Corner, named after Toney Maloney, a long time Luna Park Employee is an area set up to accommodate temporary rides hired by Luna Park for use during the high seasons. Other areas such as the Big Top and Crystal Palace are utilized as multi purpose venues from wedding receptions to concerts. The Mid-way is the main thoroughfare of Luna Park. It is where all the excitement exists.It acts as the main access throughout the entire park connecting it to most if not all areas and permanent rides. Last but not least, lets not forget the Coney Island – Funnyland is the only operating example of a 1930 Funhouse left in the world!The Heritage-Listed building is home to rotating barrels, moving platforms, large slides and arcade games form some good ol’ family fun.
The Iconic Face of Luna Park is ‘Always Smiling’ 9 meters wide with two flanking towers, have presided over the main entrance for as long as the park have existed. The Face have changed eight times throughout its history and its latest being completed in 1994 carved from polyurethane based on Arthur Barton’s 1950 “Old King Cole” version.
Well that’s all folks! You can always count on Luna Park Sydney which currently have a total of 14 rides for some affordable fun! So do check the site out and plan your trip into the world JUST FOR FUN!
Luna Park Sydney 1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point New South Whales Australia