We salute you with cotton candy, oh wondrous wheel. Photo by @laurenswells

The Spring Equinox has come and past but the world, or at least New York, still feels grey and damp, so here’s a surefire sign that spring weather and good things are coming: Coney Island’s Opening Day is just over a week away (!).

The Happiest Place on Earth (ya, we know that actually refers to Disneyland but, like, Coney is proof that money and sterile fairytales can’t buy you the same quality happiness decaying theme park rides, funnel cake, and drunk boardwalk dancing with topless strangers can) is coming back to life from its winter dormancy on Saturday, April 8 for the start of its official 2017 season.

As per tradition, there will be a Blessing of the Rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. In celebration of the Wonder Wheel’s 97th year, the first 97 people in line will get free rides. Rides open at 11:30am, so get there early. On the 8th, Coney will also be debuting its new virtual reality 7D Dark Ride. You’ll have to wait till June for the free Friday night fireworks and boardwalk karaoke to start up again, though, and the park will only be open for spring break (April 8 – 18) weather permitting.

As of April 8, however, when you drunkenly fall asleep on the D, F, N, Q and wake up at the end of the line, depending on the hour, Coney will once more be alive if you fancy getting yourself a corn dog before going home. That knowledge should comfort you at least somewhat. 

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