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Friday, January 11, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Magazine and Amusement parks.

Luna Park Melbourne

The iconic "Mr Moon" face entry
Australia's metropolis of Melbourne is not only known for its multiculturalism, but also for its moderate oceanic climate. These are two of the reasons why Melbourne has been crowned the world's most liveable city by the journal The Economist. Luna Park, the amusement park south of the city centre in the suburb of St Kilda, surely contributes to the city's popularity.

Located on the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay adjacent to a beach, the historic Luna Park is a paradise for nostalgics and night owls. It opened on 13th December 1912 and is now, especially with regard to its mix of heritage listed attractions and brand new thrill machines, a fun destination for all amusement park enthusiasts throughout the world. Luna Park Melbourne was founded by American showman J. D. Williams, in company with the three Phillips brothers. They had experience in the amusement and cinema industry. In 1931, Williams returned to the USA and help to found First National Films which subsequently became Warner Brothers, while the Phillips brothers kept running the park and opened three other Luna Parks in Australia – one of them, Luna Park Sydney, is still in operation.

The iconic "Mr Moon” face entry and the wooden coaster "Scenic Railway”, the oldest continually operating roller coaster in the world, are doubtlessly two of the most characteristic features at Luna Park Melbourne. Another peculiarity of this world famous roller coaster, that circles the park once, is the standing brakeman in control aboard its moving carriages. Other rides – around 20 in number – , such as the spine-tingling "Ghost Train” built in 1934, the nail-biting double ranger "Pharaoh’s Curse”, the classic Ferris wheel "Sky Rider” or the modern "Crazy Coaster”, live up to the park's slogan "Just For Fun” in all respects. Even though the attractions are rather aimed at families than at thrill seekers, Luna Park Melbourne expresses its very own charm, particularly when dusk is approaching outside allowing the ride facilities to shine in a colourful light.

The Luna Park Melbourne in the beginning

The vibrant metropolis of Melbourne is definitively a tourist destination to go for, and visitors are very well advised to take a side trip to Luna Park because from the moment they step inside Mr Moon's giant mouth, they are exposed to a world full of fun-filled adventures. However, one little drop of bitterness cannot be hidden: the Australian amusement Park does not operate every day of the year, merely weekends, school holidays, public holidays and few weekdays. Good thing that visitors to Luna Park Melbourne often have the chance to take advantage of extended hours into late evening.

© parkscout/SN/AF

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