If someone in charge had some fucking sense the CI boardwalk would feature the best and most unique local Brooklyn products. A visitor should be able to get a slice (yes, a slice) of Totonno's (or DiFara or Paulie Gee or even Pizza Wagon) from a boardwalk offshoot, a piece of Junior's cheesecake from their outpost, a local beer at the Brooklyn Brewpub and introduce the world to Georgian fast food, cuchifritos, beef patties etc. at Coney Island Boardwalk Bazaar (think Brooklyn Flea, but less pretentious.) Sell a piece of what's left of Real Brooklyn. Makes locals and outsiders happy.
I know it's not the cool thing to say, but Times Square needed to be cleaned up and rebranded. Tourism is massive business in NYC's economy and if your city tourist center looks like the Calcutta slums mixed with Skid Row, then that needs to be unfucked or potential money will be lost. I don't have a problem with the Disneyfication of Times Square. If the rubes want TGIFridays, give it to them and keep them spending.
Coney is a different thing. It's (and has been for over a century) a grimy beach and boardwalk for poor and working class NY'ers. Tourists may consider it a day trip, but if they're given New Times Square by the Sea, they won't be interested. The weird, trashy, wacky and especially local character give them a taste of old Brooklyn before it became BrooKansas.
The Mermaid Parade is CI's annual 'check us out' for the artistic middle class. They want the sideshow, Shoot the Freak, dive bars like Ruby's and Beer Islands like Beer Island, not a multiplex and Dave and Buster's. They'll come back for the sleaze, not for the chains.
Lots of this changing of Coney is based on the misguided notion that people with money will make their summer homes in CI. This wild idea is based on nothing but the spec prices of the Oceana in nearby Brighton Beach. The fact that successful immigrants wanting to stay within an immigrant community where they're comfortable never dawned on the people who are trying to make this happen.
No one with a choice in the matter is choosing Coney Island over the Hamptons.