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He threw her for a loop!

A thrill-seeking Romeo proposed to his girlfriend to get off the Cyclone as roller coaster enthusiasts gathered at Coney Island’s Luna Park for the ceremonial opening of the season on Sunday.

“I knew she always wanted to propose on the Cyclone, but my fear wouldn’t let me take off a ring during the ride,” Ben Schleider said shortly after officials smashed a Brooklyn egg cream on the 97-year-old roller coaster – a traditional annual ‘baptism’ of the classic ride.

“I felt like it was the next best thing,” he added. “A few years ago we came with our families, our families met here. It’s one of her favorite things, so it’s special.”

The 32-year-old, who works in sports management, broke down in tears as he popped the question to Dena Greenbaum with her grandmother’s treasured diamond ring. She called it “a dream come true” as family gathered and photographers took pictures.

Coney Island’s Luna Park opened for the season on Saturday. Stefan Yang

Other riders getting their first ride of the season included Eric Knapp, who billed himself as “Mr. Cyclone” and said he had been to every opening day since 1973.

“I have been the first in line since 2003. I wait in line all night,” Knapp, who even has a tattoo of the ride on his arm, told The Post.

“Don’t lose that inner child. Enjoy yourself and enjoy life,” he added. “Life is too short to worry about finances, this and that. Go to the beach, walk on the sand and let your feet touch the water. Taking a ride.”

Eric Knapp, aka Mr. Cyclone, has been the first on the cyclone for years. Stefan Yang

He wasn’t the only Cyclone fanatic who headed to Coney Island this weekend.

Other adrenaline junkies and tourists just came to the park for a good time, but left feeling like a kid.

Herve Buirette, 64, a sound engineer who was visiting from Paris with his wife, said the excitement of being at the amusement park made him feel “12 years old again.”

“I know it from the movies, from the songs, from many things. It is iconic, it is a historical monument,” he said. “It’s part of the dream to do it this morning. We didn’t know it was the opening. We’re here by accident. I am twelve years old today.”

Ben Schleider proposed to his girlfriend of two years, Dena Greenbaum, during the Cyclone on Sunday. Stefan Yang
Schleider said he knew she wanted him to propose during the ride, but waited until they were on the ground to pop the question. Stefan Yang
Schleider proposed to Greenbaum with her grandmother’s diamond ring. Stefan Yang
Park visitors left Sunday morning for the roller coaster’s first ride of 2024. Stefan Yang

The park was due to open for its 121st season on Saturday, but heavy rain and ‘rash’ weather pushed it to a day when fans lined up to start the new season under blue skies and sunshine.

“Opening day 2024, here we are, tremendous positive energy,” said Alessandro Zamperla, the CFO of Central Amusement International Inc., which owns Luna Park.

“We have the sun, the blue skies and the support of the community,” he told The Post. “We’ll start with the Coney Island baptism tradition, which we just performed, a great Brooklyn tradition, the egg cream.”

This year, visitors to the park will see a new attraction called Electric Eden Raceway, a go-kart race track replete with bright LED lights and a video card system, Zamperla said.

Less risky park goers can find similar joy in the addition of new retail locations, new arcade games and new concession stands, Zamperla said.

But on opening day it’s all about the Cyclone.

The park has added several new shops, arcade games and concession stands. Stefan Yang

“The Cyclone is iconic, I always say if you ever come to New York, you have to experience the Cyclone, the most iconic roller coaster in the world,” said Zamperla. “It is a huge honor to be a steward, and every year it gets faster and better with age. We are very excited to open the 97th season of the Cyclone.”

The first group to ride the iconic roller coaster included people who worked on the Cyclone and their friends. Then regular park visitors could drive.

Admission to the beloved New York attraction is free, with rides starting from $4.




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