Coney Island is one destination that should not be out of the reach of any budget. It's practically a rite of passage to visit Brooklyn's most well-known amusement park and boardwalk during the summer, and this can often mean hefty transportation, food, and admission prices. Therefore, it's not unusual for some to cross it off their summer to-do lists.
There is some good news, however: a visit to Coney Island doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. With some good budgeting and a few tips along the way, visitors will be riding the Cyclone in no time.
UPDATE: 2022/09/04 15:04 EST BY GABRIEL KIRELLOS
More Budget-Friendly Tips To Adopt While Visiting Coney Island
Coney Island is known to be "the playground for the people," so it obviously offers plenty of free attractions and cheap fun for budget travelers. This article was updated to shed light on many free activities that people traveling to Coney Island can enjoy.
How Much Should One Expect To Spend When Visiting Coney Island?
While Coney Island costs are somewhat difficult to nail down, it all depends on what visitors plan to do there. For those who want to visit Luna Park and hop on every ride, this is an additional cost that needs to be factored in. For those who would rather just stroll the boardwalk and do a self-guided food tour, these are costs that should be added, as well.
The best place to start when it comes to budgeting for Coney Island is with transportation, and visitors should take into account these fees:
- Transportation: For those taking the subway or train, factor in round-trip ticket costs ($1-$3 by subway). For those staying in Brooklyn, factor in the cost of a taxi or Uber, or consider taking the subway or bus.
- Admission Costs: It's free to walk the boardwalk at Coney Island, and wristbands to Luna Park are set at $38–$62 per wristband, depending on height, or $3.00 per ride (varies). However, admission to the park, in general, is free.
- Food Costs: This can range anywhere from $10 and up, depending on whether one is taking advantage of Coney Island's food vendors or opting to have a sit-down dinner at one of its boardwalk restaurants.
- Souvenirs: Another additional cost that visitors should factor in, especially if they plan on shopping at Coney Island.
Consider booking a stay near the boardwalk so that costs can be cut completely by just walking.
Save Money On Rides When Visiting Luna Park
A good tip for saving money when visiting Luna Park is to bypass the wristbands altogether. While Luna Park wristbands do allow visitors to have practically unlimited four-hour access to any and all rides in the park, it's only worth it if one plans to do just that. For those who aren't planning to go on every ride or are visiting with children who can't, opting to pay at the park is the better choice.
- Cyclone Coaster Cost: $10/person (AKA 10 credits)
Visitors who opt for the latter are able to pay at the park during normal opening hours for only the rides they plan on riding. More often than not, this will come out to less than $68 if only a few rides are on the list, automatically making it the cheaper, more sensible option. For those who plan on spending the majority of their time at the amusement park, going on rides multiple times, then the timed wristbands are still the best budget option.
Some years, Coney Island offers free admission to Luna Park on opening day (usually in April) - so keep an eye out!
Save Money On Food When Visiting Coney Island
Saving money on food when visiting Coney Island is also easier to do than many people realize. The boardwalk plays host to a whole range of options, from fast food to decadent water view dining. For those looking to save some serious bucks, nothing quite compares to a 'dirty water dog,' AKA the famous New York City hot dog. Opt for a boardwalk vendor or head down to Nathan's Famous, one of the most iconic food stops on the Coney Island Boardwalk. A slice of pizza at Pizza On The Run or the famed Totonno's is also pretty affordable and is especially delicious during the summer.
For those looking to save even more money, consider packing a lunch and eating on the beach! Since Coney Island is also home to the best beach in Brooklyn, no visit is complete without taking in the sounds and sights of the surf. Packing a lunch can be an affordable way to enjoy the boardwalk without worrying about budgeting for food at all.
Coney Island is an absolute must for anyone visiting Brooklyn during the summer. Just because it's an iconic part of Brooklyn's landscape does not mean it's unaffordable, and there are plenty of ways to cut costs so that one can budget for the perfect boardwalk trip.
These Two Free Activities Are Worth Enjoying On Coney Island
There are many free things that people expecting to spend a budget-friendly trip on Coney Island can benefit from. For instance, it's totally free to have fun along the three miles of the Atlantic Ocean's public beach. This is one of the best amenities in New York City, and people can enjoy nearby activities, such as free volleyball, basketball courts, handball, and various playgrounds. However, people are advised to only swim there when the lifeguards are on duty and to beware of the riptides.
Another almost-free attraction on Coney Island is best for people who don't have the case to visit an aquarium, although they love to see penguins, sharks, and other marine life. These people can head to the New York Aquarium, where they can benefit from the offer of Wednesday afternoons and a pay-what-you-wish donation. This offer starts at 3 PM.