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Published March 28th 2016
Making memories at Sydney's favourite amusement park
Luna Park is one of those rare attractions that can be enjoyed by all ages. It is a great place to visit as a child with your parents or as a teenager for a fun day out with friends. In your twenties it is a fun place to go on a date and as a parent you can take your own children there. Grandparents also enjoy a day at Luna Park reliving their own memories and making new ones with their grandchildren.
The iconic face of Luna Park has had a constant presence in Sydney since 1935. I have been lucky enough to enjoy Luna Park from my childhood and through my adult years and can now share the fun and memories with my own children.
It has been about five years since we last visited Luna Park when the kids were quite young but with a 10 and 12 year old we decided it was about time for another visit.
These days Luna Park has free admission however you must purchase tickets to participate on the rides as well as attractions such as Coney Island.
Ticket prices at Luna Park are based upon your height, measured with your shoes on, as all of the rides have height requirements.
The ticket categories are:
Red Category - for those between 85 - 105cm tall
Green Category - for those between 106 - 129cm tall
Yellow Category - for those 130cm tall and above
You can save a couple of dollars per ticket by buying online and there are different ticket deals available depending on your requirements. For ticket information and prices click here.
It is very important to buy the correct ticket for your height as you will be measured at the park before being given your wristband. We also found that on some rides the staff checked heights again before allowing entry for safety reasons. My children were both tall enough for the Yellow wristband, allowing entry on to all of the rides, and also meaning there was no possibility of sitting out of any rides for me.
I love the history of Luna Park but it is also exciting to see there are some new attractions and rides since our last visit, the most obvious one being Hair Raiser which can bee seen as soon as you enter because it towers above all the other rides.
A ride on this attraction will give you a breath-taking and indeed, hair raising, experience. This ride takes you 50 metres above sea level before dropping you back to earth at 80km an hour. It is for those wearing yellow wristbands only.
The first time I was dragged on to this ride I screamed at the top of my lungs all the way down. As you free fall it feels like you are never going to stop. It is definitely scary and there is a big adrenaline rush and it was so good that I had to have a second ride. While there are great views at the top you don't really have enough time to enjoy the scenery before plummeting back to earth.
Another new attraction for Luna Park is Mystery Manor. It is a haunted house themed attraction but it is only open to those who are aged 12 years and over.
It is a walk-through experience where the horror is created by live actors, special effects and animatronics. I was brave enough to go through Mystery Manor with my 12 year old son.
Before entering you are given instructions by a very straight-faced staff member who kept in character as he explained the rules - do not stray from the path, do not touch the actors and similarly they can not touch you.
How scary can it be, I thought to myself. Well, let me tell you they definitely had me spooked. The actors come out of nowhere as you try to find your way through the house. There wasn't any discernible path that we could see so we were stumbling through the dark from room to room. For horror fans this is a definite must-see and I can understand why there is an age limit. We were glad to get through Mystery Manor and had big smiles, possibly from relief, as we exited.
The next attraction for us was Coney Island. This would have to be one of my favourite places to visit as far as amusement parks go. It is one of the original buildings of Luna Park from 1935 and has many original art deco features. It is an old school fun house with giant timber slides as well as a number of other original attractions. There is so much history here from the old photos of Luna Park being built, to the historical artworks and murals around the walls.
The old fashioned attractions in Coney Island include Barrels of Fun, The Joy Wheel, the Slides, Mirror Maze, Wonky Walk and the Turkey Trot. There are also some arcade games to play. It is worthwhile to know that some of the rides in Coney Island require enclosed footwear. My kids love Coney Island and had a great time racing each other on the slides and trying not to fall off the Joy Wheel.
Some other favourite rides of ours this time around were:
Wild Mouse - a thrilling rollercoaster ride with abrupt turns and big dips high above Luna Park and out over the harbour. You can ride alone (with a yellow wristband) or with a friend (green wristbands) And make sure you check out the action shots of your ride as you leave the attraction.
Ferris Wheel - For spectacular views of Sydney Harbour nothing beats the Ferris wheel at Luna Park.
Ride the Ferris Wheel for a stunning birds eye view of Sydney Harbour
The Rotor - one of the mainstays of Luna Park, the rotor has remained virtually unchanged since the 1950's. On this ride you stand against a wall then as it spins you at a dramatic speed the floor drops away to leave you hanging on the wall. Not recommended it you have just eaten lunch but it is definitely a ride you need to experience.
The Carousel - a must for young and old alike, you can enjoy the carnival music and old world charm as you ride the painted ponies on the carousel.
Other rides at Luna Park are the Tango Train, Moon Ranger, Body Rock, Tumble Bug and The Spider. You can find the height restrictions for each ride at the website here.
For small children you will find special rides in the section behind Coney Island such as the Whirly Wheel, U Drive, Magic Castle and Space Shuttle.
I was surprised to discover that on weekends there are also mini shows throughout the day such as Sweet Candy and the Hot Dogs, a 1950's dance group and the LunaBob and Lunabelle Show in front of Coney Island.
Sideshow Alley includes all of your favourite carnival games, such as the Laughing Clowns, the Hi Striker strength tester and the Shooting Gallery. If you want to try your luck and test your skills in Sideshow Alley ask at the ticket booth for any specials deals they are offering.
Test your skills on the Laughing Clowns in Sideshow Alley
We found it useful to pay for a locker for the day so we didn't have to carry our bags and jackets with us on the rides (after all, you often need two hands to hold on). Lockers can be found near Sideshow Alley and underneath Coney Island.
If you are staying for the day there are a couple of options for food. The Lighthouse Café offers hamburgers, hot dogs and meat pies, while Fish n Sips offers hot food such as battered fish, pizza and hot chips. If you wish to bring your own food there is a picnic area behind Coney Island where you can sit by the harbour to eat. There is also a bar serving coffee and cold drinks in The Big Top foyer.
Even a heavy shower of rain could not dampen our spirits as we enjoyed the thrills of the rides and the fun of the amusement park. We had a great day exploring the new and the old attractions at Luna Park and I'm sure we will be back before too long.