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Taking a roller coaster ride back in time at Coney Island

From Amy Gardner, CNN
updated 1:17 PM EDT, Sun July 1, 2012
The Cyclone
The Cyclone "has really stood the test of time," Johanna Zaki, marketing manager for Central Amusement International.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cyclone roller coaster debuted in June 1927
  • Coney Island fixture starts with 85-foot drop
  • Riders on Saturday paid the original 25-cent fare

New York (CNN) -- Brooklyn gave roller coaster fans something to scream about Saturday.

This weekend marks the 85th anniversary of New York's most esteemed roller coaster, the Cyclone. Nostalgic local residents and excited tourists gathered Saturday at Luna Park in Coney Island to help celebrate the anniversary of the treasured landmark.

The Cyclone, which debuted on June 26, 1927, helped revolutionize entertainment in amusement parks across the United States. The roller coaster, made mostly of wood, has an 85-foot drop to start and is followed by several drops and turns.

Luna Park honored the ride's original fare of 25 cents for the first 85 minutes Saturday. The 2012 price to ride is $8.

Players from the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team were on hand around the park for a "meet and greet" with fans. The day's festivities, many of them free, were to be followed by a fireworks display over the Coney Island beach.

"This ride has really stood the test of time" said Johanna Zaki, marketing manager for Central Amusement International. "It's been around for so many years that families get to share their experiences from generation to generation," she said.

Zaki said visitors lined up three hours before the park opened Saturday.

The Cyclone was declared a New York City landmark in 1988. Three years later, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Did you ride the Cyclone as a kid? Tell us about it and all of your favorite summer memories in the comments.

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