Wicked Cyclone Storms into Six Flags New England

May 20, 2015, 7:45 PM · A storm is stirring at Six Flags New England with the opening of the hotly anticipated Wicked Cyclone, a truly crazy, one-of-a-kind coaster experience. The first hybrid coaster on the East Coast, Wicked Cyclone is a fierce counterpart to its West Coast sister storm, Twisted Colossus, at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Wicked Cyclone boldly lays a 3,320 feet steel track over wooden structures for an extreme and seamless ride that reaches speeds of 55 miles per hour. The smoothness, speed and inversions made possible by steel are combined with the airtime and intricacy of the best wooden coasters to hurtle riders through 24 different ride elements in 97 seconds.

Wicked Cyclone

The coaster is built over Six Flags New England’s wooden staple Cyclone, which opened in 1983 and shut its gates in 2014. Now the storm is back with a vengeance, this time bigger, stronger and faster. The devilish transformation by Rocky Mountain Construction, which represented the largest capital investment for Six Flags New England since 2002, added more than 300 feet of track and upped the speed to make Wicked Cyclone one of only five hybrid coasters on the planet.

The park puts in great effort to give Wicked Cyclone some theming, and it pays off. The story of the coaster is that a mega-storm is barreling its way toward Western Massachusetts, and TVs along the queues feature fake but convincing local newscasts that warn guests of the impending doom they are seemingly willing to walk right into, as they pass weather satellites and abandoned storm-chaser vans. Even storm chaser Reed Teamer of Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers show and meteorology students from Western Connecticut State University, alongside representatives from the Red Cross, were on hand at the opening ceremony to usher in Wicked Cyclone’s fearsome arrival.

Wicked Cyclone takes 24 riders to a train and throws them headfirst into the storm. At 109 feet, the first hill plummets riders down a hair-raising 78 degree drop and then catapults them through the world’s only double reversing bank airtime hill and 200-degree stall. It’s also the first coaster of its kind to have a hang-time inversion and two Zero-G rolls.

Wicked Cyclone

The major feature for me, though, was Wicked Cyclone’s extreme airtime - 14 airtime hills which offer more time to enjoy weightlessness than any other coaster on the East Coast, according to Six Flags. Once I was speeding down that first hill, I don’t think I ever really came back to my seat. Most of the ride was spent in the air and weightless, feeling like you’re caught up in the gale force winds of the cyclone itself.

The inversions are insane – smooth and seamless, and enhanced by the wooden structure of the ride. The coaster weaves in and out of itself with an intricacy that seems to defy the steel track it travels on. There seems to be justthismuch headroom as you roll under and through wooden beams and supports, which add to the feeling of speed. But while the majority of the ride is incredibly smooth, at times the track jerks you in an awkward and unexpected direction, reminding you that you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature.

The individual lap restraints leave riders virtually free from the waist up, adding to Wicked Cyclone’s freewheeling intensity. With nothing to hold onto, it feels like you’re being thrust into a storm - the coaster feels even smoother and freer, the Zero-G rolls even more extreme and the feeling of weightlessness heightened. Ride in the far back row to enjoy nearly the entirety of the ride weightless, and opt for the front seat to enjoy a terrifying and exhilarating sense of freedom of movement, thanks to the unoppressive harness system and smooth inversions.

The interplay of wood and steel produces a coaster experience unlike any other, and one-of-a-kind coasters are something Wicked Cyclone’s designer Alan Schilke knows a thing or two about. The famed mind behind Twisted Colossus and the world’s first fourth dimension roller coaster, X2, at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Schilke was hanging out by the line for the front row, talking with fans and coaster enthusiasts and enjoying watching riders scream and smile at his newest creation.

Wicked Cyclone lives up to the hype and anticipation – with innovation and intensity, it’s a storm that you don’t just chase – it’s one that you ride.

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Replies (2)

May 22, 2015 at 3:55 AM · When I rode the Cyclone at SFNE a few years back, I came away from it thinking, "this coaster has a great layout, but why is it so lousy?" The big problem, at the time seemed to be the excessive braking that kept speeds down to a minimum and sapped the fun out of the ride - which made it a great candidate for the iron horse treatment. I am glad to read the conversion to a modern coaster has saved this classic woodie and I am anxious to have a client sponsored trip back to the north east so I sneak away one afternoon to ride the new Wicked Cyclone (and revisit Bizarro, of course).

Thank you for the excellent review, Samantha, and the photos!

May 22, 2015 at 6:26 AM · Great review Samantha. Thanks for submitting. Color me jealous because this is exactly what the Cyclone coaster at my home park, SFOG desperately needs.

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