Cyclone at Six Flags New England | Keep Your Chiropractor on Speed Dial
Cyclone takes the cake. My first and hopefully last ‘1’. Six Flags New England has the honor of being home to what Cyclone - Six Flags New Englandmany consider the Best Coaster on the Planet. On the other end of the spectrum, Cyclone is there too. Unfortunately, I really can’t think of ANY positives for this ride.

I got off this monstrosity holding my lower back. I felt more like 62 than 26. From the unenthusiastic teens running the ride, to the single train operation with it’s back seat roped off Cyclone was consistently bad. Clearly, this coaster has seen better days and that’s all I could think as I navigated its queue and looked up at the chipped white paint all over its rickety structure.

Riverside Cyclone No More
Cyclone’s reputation as the ‘Riverside Cyclone’ preceded it. For many enthusiasts and New Englanders, its fondly remembered as its previous incarnation, not the demolition nominee it currently is. I could see where Six Flags had tried to re-track the Cyclone when they acquired the park in 2000. Call me crazy, but I don’t think the coaster rehab worked. According to RCDB, first drop was shortened by 15 to 20 feet. I’m not sure how that would have made the ride any better. Maybe then it wouldn’t have been so terribly sluggish, but I imagine it still would’ve been rough. Maybe some New Englanders can explain the Riverside Cyclone to Cyclone transition. At least there was a very short wait and some decent rock playing in the station. Wow, there’s two positives. So I lied.

So, forgive me hardcore woodie fans and older New Englanders, I don’t know this coaster from it’s hallowed past as the ‘Riverside Cyclone’. So it gets no points from me for its rep. All I have to judge it by is the rough, painful, trim break heavy trip I took on this demolition candidate. So when you visit Six Flags New England for Superman: Ride of Steel as anyone should, take my advice and skip the Cyclone. Your time is better spent re-riding one of the park’s better rides. Or probably riding any other ride at the park. Final Rating – 1.0 (Demolish)

Traditional Roller Coasters - Fun For AllThe Cyclone is rated ‘TR’ for Traditional. It’s a 2 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale.

What’s Your Take?
Did you have a bad experience on Cyclone at Six Flags New England? Leave a comment below. Photo Credit: Ric Turner | RCDB

UPDATE – The Cyclone is Defunct

This version of the Cyclone is defunct. It went through a major overhaul and was rebuilt in 2015. Then it reopened as the Wicked Cyclone.

Cyclone at Six Flags New England
Experience Factors & Final Rating
My Take
Far from its hallowed days as Riverside Cyclone, by the time I reached this ride, it was deserving of the 1 out of 10 rating I gave it for a rough and painful ride. Thankfully, it later was reborn as Wicked Cyclone.
Reader Rating0 Votes
A unique layout.
Probably the roughest wooden roller coasters I've ever ridden.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

58 Responses

  1. Tick

    As a 40 something guy, I remember the Cyclone when it was first errected in 1983. It was awesome! Then they ruined it somehow.Taking out the first hill was the start. I have not bothered riding it in many years. So sad, a once great coaster is now just pretty much despised.

  2. Joey Till

    K i have an interesting story bout this one. Was waiting in line, saw honestly the whole structure of the coaster wiggle and wobble back and forth. So much the people in line were making jokes, or not wanting to ride. IK rides are supposed to sway and you probrally think yes stupid all rides sway a little, but you could see this thing sway when you were at the top of the free fall tower. So I along with the rest of the people in line were kinda scared. For the ride itself, i could feel it shake as we rode it, and was terribly rough! Some decent airtime, but you would slam right back down HARD. So I got off and then the shut it down. They said that it was computer difficulties, but then there waqs some guy prepeling on the coaster with a safley harness nailing in loose pieces of wood lol. No lie this ride is dangerous!!!

  3. Shane

    Alright, I have a story.. and yes I'm a kid.
    So, me and my cousins (9 people) all went to SFNE. It was my first trip, and I wanted to ride the Cyclone. They all were like "DON'T RIDE! IT HAS WHIPLASH AND HEADACHES!" So, I avoided it. Then we went on Mind Eraser. I got no pain at all. It was just so fun! So then I told my Dad I wanted to ride the Cyclone, but the others were having lunch. So my aunt and my Dad made up the idea to ride it while they ate lunch outside of the park. My dad stayed and watched, and I was waiting for a 5 min. line for a swaying wooden coaster. I've NEVER seen a swaying wooden coaster. So I boarded the train in the back seat. I was terrified leaving the station. Then the chain lift.. I got stuck in the middle. When the ride started after 10 sec. we had the first drop. OMG That was the BEST airtime I ever received! As the ride progressed, I had a blast. One of my favorite roller coasters. Always a must do. I did it once more in the back, and twice in the front. I rode it 4 times in 1 day. My cousins were like "HOW DO YOU MANAGE THIS!?" It was smoother than Batman! My rating: 10/10. I loved the cyclone and I think nothing could be better out of a wooden coaster. Thanks for reading! ~Shane

  4. dee

    Couldn't believe the negative comments about this classic. Then I realized most of the negative comments are prob from people too young to remember the glorious wooden coasters. First off, some people love getting battered around, its part of the fun. Thats what the wood classics did. Knocked the snot out of you. The more it knocked you around, that just showed how fast it was. Secondly, you can't compare classics to moderns, you can only compare oldies to other oldies of their time period. You think you can compare 1980's arcade pac man to modern day Grand Theft Auto? You can't. The original reviewer probably doesn't understand this concept. Shame on his narrow mindedness.

    • CoasterCritic

      Even compared to rides as old as it (and even older!), Cyclone was still way too rough to enjoy. And I've been on enough older rides to know that they all don't necessarily beat you up. I'm starting to wonder if people that "love getting battered around" : A) Are defending a poorly created product B) Have a higher pain threshold than the rest of us.

      There's nothing wrong with liking a ride like this, but your "narrow mindedness" comment is a bit off. You're basically saying that I should be more open minded and willing to go through pain and possibly get hurt. Not the best argument in my opinion. Again, to each his own though.

      • dee

        You're right, I apologize, I shouldn't have used the term "narrow mindedness", poor choice of words. But I still stand by my belief that you're comparing something from another time period to things from the modern day, with all the innovation and technology they have now that they didn't have then. With all the thrashing one can get from an old wooden roller coaster, what does that say? FAST! I've never been on a wooden coaster that doesn't knock you around somewhat. And its not a coincidence that it seems more younger people hate the cyclone, whereas most of the people who do like it seem to be older and remember it from their past.

  5. Mark

    I rode the "Riverside Cyclone" when it was only a few years old and it was amazing. I can imagine after two decades it is not so amazing anymore.

    Topper track seems to be the way to resuscitate old, intense coasters with lots of twisty parts. I've been on the topper track on Tremors (Silverwood) and it was very smooth, not noticeable that it was a different style of track. Ride in the front seat and look closely to see which parts are topper and which are not.

    The Riverside / New England Cyclone seems to be a good candidate for an Iron Horse makeover.

  6. Bob Whitworth

    Today’s Cyclone has little in common with the original incarnation, which was probably the most spectacular roller coaster ever built. It was almost frightening and you had to literally HOLD ON for your life. People lined up over and over to ride it. Then along comes Six Flags and completely destroys the original design by reducing the first drop and putting trim brakes along the tracks to slow it down. This coaster is a GEM but has been seriously harmed by its present owners. So very sad. I was lucky to ride the original Cyclone (at least 30 times.) Most people have NO idea what has been lost.

  7. Rai Fox

    It’s such a shame to see what’s become of the old Riverside Cyclone. The old Cyclone was my first big wooden coaster, back around 1990 or so; it terrified me then, as it should have anyone at my age, and barely tall enough to get on it, but it was also the ride that made me fall in love with wooden coasters. It was fast, out of control, just rough enough to be wild without hurting you…it was a near perfect ride. I’d be so happy to ride that coaster again, but unfortunately it doesn’t exist.

    The Six Flags Cyclone might look something like the Riverside Cyclone and share some of its structure, but it’s as close a ride to it as Mind Eraser is to Montu. It no longer has any of what made it a classic.

    I’m sorry that you only had the chance to ride it in its tragic state now, instead of what it once was. These days, though, there just might be hope again. I’ve been hearing so much about how SFNE is beginning to improve again, and other SF parks have been saving their neglected, nearly hopeless old coasters. I’d be happiest to see Cyclone restored back to its original form, but the Rocky Mountain Iron Horse treatment might just make it something special again, too, and I’ve heard quite a few rumors that that just might be a possibility…

  8. Dranoz

    I used to love this one as a kid in the ’80’s – I don’t remember it being particularly violent, but perhaps it was different then or I was simply sturdier. Speaking of Cyclones, the Coney Island version threw me a nice beating last year…

  9. Shane

    2013 UPDATE:

    Okay. So I walked into the park screaming “CYCLONE!!!”
    The person at the ticket booth (very nice woman) said “be careful honey. The back seat on that ride has gotten considerably rougher.”
    I instantly got nervous.
    After riding Bonzai Pipelines, I saw the Cyclone cresting over it’s first hill.
    I thought they added a trim to the first hill.
    It was SLOW. It was unbearably SLOW.
    But on it, it was the exact opposite.
    My friends sat in the back. I called them stupid idiots and they agreed. We saw from the outside the EXTREME airtime, but with great airtime comes great pain.
    Yes, I’m talking SEVERE whiplash.
    They came off holding their necks in serious pain.
    I sat in the front and had another amazing ride on one of my favorite coasters at the park.
    I sat in the middle row, the farthest I would go, and I was jolted badly on the drop after the first trim. It killed! The ride batters you around so bad that the PTC train’s cloth covering the “fluff” was literally torn to shreads with pieces of cotton all over the seats.
    I fear the worst next year, I think it’s heading out the door.

  10. Stevenam

    I rode this coaster today with my 18 year old daughter and her friend. All three of us loved it to bits. We rode every coaster in the park today, and Cyclone was among the standouts. We agreed it was clearly the smoothest, and quite possibly the best overall wooden coaster we’ve ridden.
    I have no idea what the negative reviews here are even thinking about.

    • Joel

      Stevenam, glad you enjoyed the park. The Cyclone you rode was essentially a completely different roller coaster than this one that I reviewed. In 2015, the Cyclone was re-built and re-opened as the Wicked Cyclone. It’s a completely different and much smoother experience now. That’s why the reviews are so different. Thanks for the comment. I’ll update this post to reflect that this ride is basically defunct.


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