- Sea Lion Park
Sea Lion Park was a sixteen acre
amusement parkstarted in 1895 on Coney Islandby Paul Boyton. He fenced the property and charged admission, the park becoming the first enclosed and permanent amusement park in North America. Up until the establishment of this park, amusement areas around the country consisted of pay-as-you-go concessions. [http://www.icewind.net/themepark/History/h_coneyisland.htm History of Enduring Coney Island] . Retrieved 4 August 2007.] In 1903, Sea Lion Park was replaced by Luna Park.
Mr. Boyton achieved international notoriety with various demonstrations of a rubber suit which served as a type of kayak, for example, by crossing the
English Channel.Stanton, Jeffrey (1998) [http://www.westland.net/coneyisland/articles/sealionpark.htm Coney Island-Sea Lion Park] . retrieved 4 August 2007] He travelled around the United States with an aquatic circusand in 1894 established an amusement park in Chicago. He then decided to settle in Coney Island and purchased the land behind the Elephant Hotel as a permanent location for his aquatic show featuring 40 sea lions.
Rides and Attractions
The most popular attraction, aside from the aquatic show, was a ride called the Water Chute. The attraction, designed by Boyton and Thomas Polk, consisted of flat bottomed boat that slid down a ramp into a pool of water at the bottom. When the boat hit the pool it would skim across the surface of the pool.
The park also included the infamous
Flip Flap, which was a roller coaster ride, designed by Lina Beecher, that inverted the riders in a loop after fall from a height of 20m. [http://www.angelfire.com/ca6/schlottablubbik/History1.html Luna Park History site] . Retrieved 4 August 2007] The ride was too dangerous and was closed. Boyton also added an old mill style ride called Cages of Wild Wolves, and a ballroom (1899).
By 1902, Boyton could not keep up the pace of new attraction introductions that the public craved. The 1902 summer was particularly rainy and not very profitable. The nearby
Steeplechase Parkhad opened on Coney Island in 1897 and was presenting even newer competition. In 1903, Frederick Thompson and Elmer Dundy, obtained a long term lease for Sea Lion Park and it was re-opened as Luna Park. [ [http://history.amusement-parks.com/lunamain.htm Luna Park history at Amusement Parks.com] . Retrieved 4 August 2007.]
List of abandoned amusement parks
* [http://www.icewind.net/themepark/index.htm Midway Plaisance-Amusement Park histories]
* [http://history.amusement-parks.com/lunamain.htm Luna Park at amusement-parks.com]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/ca6/schlottablubbik/index.html Luna Park history site with numerous pictures]
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