Wicked Cyclone

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Wicked Cyclone
Six Flags New England
Park section North End
Coordinates 42°2′25″N 72°36′56″W / 42.04028°N 72.61556°W / 42.04028; -72.61556Coordinates: 42°2′25″N 72°36′56″W / 42.04028°N 72.61556°W / 42.04028; -72.61556
Status Under construction
Opening date 2015 (2015)
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction
Designer Alan Schilke
Model I-Box
Track layout Twister
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 109 ft (33 m)
Length 3,320 ft (1,010 m)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Inversions 3
Max vertical angle 78°
Trains 2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Wicked Cyclone at RCDB
Pictures of Wicked Cyclone at RCDB

Wicked Cyclone is a hybrid roller coaster currently under construction at the Six Flags New England amusement park. The ride originally opened as a wooden roller coaster named Cyclone on June 24, 1983. It operated for 31 seasons before closing on July 20, 2014. The ride's original name and design were inspired by the Coney Island Cyclone.

History[edit]

In 1983, Riverside Amusement Park decided to open a wooden roller coaster named the Riverside Cyclone.[1] The ride was the park's second roller coaster, following the installation of Thunderbolt in 1941.[2] The $2.5 million Riverside Cyclone was designed by William Cobb & Associates and built by the Frontier Construction Company. The ride officially opened to the public on June 25, 1983, with Cobb as well as Norm Howells from Frontier Construction in attendance. The opening of Riverside Cyclone was expected to increase park attendance by more than 10% to 1 million annual visitors.[3]

During its first season of operation, Riverside Cyclone featured two trains from Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC) where riders were restrained via a lap bar. Part-way through the first season, shoulder belts were added; however, these were removed prior to its second season. During its second season, the ride's trains were damaged, forcing the park to combine parts from both trains to form a single operational train. Two new replacement trains were purchased from D. H. Morgan Manufacturing in 1985.[1]

A view of the original Cyclone from inside its footprint

In the late 1990s, Premier Parks (later Six Flags) purchased Riverside Amusement Park. Over a period of four years, approximately $100 million was invested in the renovation and expansion of the park, culminating in its rebranding to Six Flags New England in 2000.[4] As a result the Riverside branding was dropped, with the ride being renamed to the Cyclone. The D.H. Morgan Manufacturing trains were replaced with two PTC trains.[1] The new operators made modifications to the track in 2001, shortening the first drop by between 15 and 20 feet (4.6 and 6.1 m).[1]

A refurbishment of the Cyclone in 2011 saw Topper Track from Rocky Mountain Construction added to sections of the ride.[5] Topper Track is steel plating that replaces the upper layers of laminated wooden track. This track style is designed to reduce the maintenance typically required for a wooden roller coaster and to provide a smoother ride experience.[6][7]

In June 2014, Six Flags New England announced that Cyclone would closed permanently on July 20, 2014.[8] Across its 31 seasons in operation, Cyclone was ridden by more than 15 million riders. The decision to close the ride was made over a period of one and half years, with the park reportedly having no immediate plans to demolish the ride.[9][10] On August 28, 2014, it was announced that Cyclone will undergo a transformation into the Wicked Cyclone steel-tracked roller coaster. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction and designed by Alan Schilke, it will feature a 10 story drop, speeds of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) and the world's first Double Reversing Bank Airtime Hill. It will be the first hybrid coaster on the East Coast, and the only to have a 200 degree stall and two Zero G Rolls. The ride is set to open in Summer 2015.[11]

Characteristics[edit]

Statistic Cyclone[1] Wicked Cyclone[12]
Years 1983–2014 2015–
Manufacturer Frontier Construction Company Rocky Mountain Construction
Designer William Cobb & Associates Alan Schilke
Track Wood Steel
Height 112 ft or 34 m 109 ft or 33 m
Length 3,600 ft or 1,100 m 3,320 ft or 1,010 m
Speed 45 mph or 72 km/h 55 mph or 89 km/h
Max vertical angle 54° 78°
Trains Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC) Rocky Mountain Construction

Reception[edit]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, the Cyclone ranked moderately, peaking at position 25 in 1999. The ride dropped to a low of 122 in 2009 before returning to position 103 in 2013.[13] The table below summarises the results.

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best wood-Tracked Roller Coaster[13]
Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 31 29 35 27 29 25 31 38 51 71 89 86 86 95 107 122 115 109 110 103


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Marden, Duane. "Cyclone  (Six Flags New England)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ Marden, Duane. "Six Flags New England". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ Powell, Tom (July 9, 1983). "Cyclone coaster expected to blow Riverside gate to 1 mil". Amusement Business. 
  4. ^ O'Brien, Tim (January 3, 2000). "Premier parks flags 4 more; invests millions". Amusement Business 112 (1): 1. 
  5. ^ "Two Six Flags Rides Receive "Topper Track" for 2011". News Plus Notes. March 7, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Georgia Cyclone: A Classic "Woodie"". Six Flags. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Rocky Mountain Construction Company". Coaster-Net. February 16, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Cyclone at Six Flags to close next month". WWLP.com. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Zeitlin, Hugh (20 July 2014). "After three decades, Six Flags New England retires Cyclone". CBS3Springfield.com. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Warner, Dan (18 July 2014). "Last chance to ride Cyclone after 30 years of memories". MassLive.com. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Hybrid Coaster “Wicked Cyclone” is Coming to Six Flags New England in 2015" (Press release). Six Flags. August 28, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wicked Cyclone  (Six Flags New England)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Hawker, Mitch. "Wooden Roller Coaster Poll 20 Year Results Table (1994–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 

External links[edit]