What is Coney Island and how do you describe it in 100 or so words? It’s a neighborhood, an entertainment district and a popular tourist destination. Maybe more than anything, Coney Island is quintessentially New York City. It transformed into a seaside resort by the middle of the 19th century, and amusement parks followed a few years later. While Coney Island’s popularity waned following World War II, the area has experienced a resurgence in recent years, thanks in part to the opening of the MCU Park in 2001.