Cyclone @ Six Flags New England | Coaster Reviews

Roller Coaster Reviews

Cyclone @ SFNE | 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 Roller Coaster Reviews‘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.

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


  1. i dont know wat you guys are talking about. ive rode many woodies, this is by far my favorite. i love the bruises and other stuff like that, its a mans coaster, and this is my favorite ride in the whole park and id ride it a million times.

  2. Wow, you're not very smart. An intamin pre-fab is not steel, it is a series of excellent wooden coasters such as El Toro and T-Express. Think before you post next time.

  3. Okay, Ive got afew points to make about the previous comments.

    -you can be smart and still like rides like the cyclone. many people have negative comments about the cyclone beacause of their ride expeirience. after riding several rides over and over again doing diffrent things while riding i came up whith some reasaults on how to make certain rides more comfortable and enjoyable. #1: When riding through an unbaked turn press yourself againts the side of your seat in which your not about to turn in be fore your slammed into it the wall. #2:if riding a ride such as the mind eraser pullyour head back from he shoulder harness while NOT pushing it back into the seat just hold it in between the estraint and the seatand your head banged into the sides #3 avoid sitting inthe front cart, the closer you are to the back the less rough it is

    -liking the cyclone isnt stupid, but liking getting bruised is i have to admit it a little wierd

    -the cyclone could also due whith some banking, whith banking and an intamin pre-fab it would be one of the best wooden coasters around.

    -i didnt like the cyclone much but its not like its the worlds worst coaster to some people it may be the greatest ride ever

    -now for my opinion: it was horrible no offense cyclone fans

  4. The back seat was actually roped off?!? Was it a safety hazard to sit there or something?

  5. probably, i wouldn`t be suprised.

  6. Did you go in the afternoon? I found (today) that in the morning it was relatively smooth and one of the best rides at the park (in the front), and repeated in the afternoon and would give it a 1 then as well. Sat in the front seat both times, only 1 train was running all day, so it's definitely something to do with the time.

  7. With Riverside/SFNE being my home park, I've had the joy of riding the Cyclone before they reduced the first drop, and man! It was INTENSE! You guys are reviewing the tame version of the Cyclone. I've always remembered the Cyclone as one of the rougher wooden coasters I've ever been on (except the Rebel Yell backwards at KD – holy crap – talk about spine compression!) but I feel like it has gotten worse over time – the shorter hill didn't make it any less rough in my opinion – but call me a masochist, I love it.

  8. you guys are all wusses! i loved the cyclone, it was amazing! i rode the thunderbolt and that i didn't like, it hurt and was unpleasant. are you sure you're not mixing them up? but the cyclone was just incredible. i love wooden roller coasters. ride the very first seat in the very first car, you won't get so banged up and you'll feel yourself pushed through everything it's mindblowing!

  9. This is one of my favorite rides. I only ride it around or after dusk, though – it really needs to warm up. I always sit in the first row of the last car. And the experience is DYNAMITE. Cool headchoppers, butt goes WAY out of the seat, wild and crazy… but when I've ridden it during the morning and day, it's been a bit slow and somewhat boring. Still decent, though – I'd never give it a 1.

  10. After riding Mean Streak at Cedar Point, I was fairly certain that no roller coaster could be any rougher. This ride proved me wrong. Before I was even on the ride, I noticed the supports swaying a couple feet every time a train passed which was slightly unnerving. While on the lift the train rocked back and forth and the rattling throughout the course was unbearable. SFNE should demolish this ride asap. If they replace it with an Intamin pre-fab, SFNE would have two killer coasters and would surpass SFGAdv as my favorite in the chain.

    • In reply to my previous comment, I just got back from Six Flags New England today and while Bizarro is still easily the best ride, the shock of the day had to come from Cyclone. I noticed when we were there that they had replaced the track on most of, if not the entire ride. This has made Cyclone not only dramatically smoother, but has also allowed the ride to be easily placed in the bearable category, and that's even an understatement. It's like a completely different ride! Forgive me if this explanation doesn't totally make sense, but the steel strips that the wheels run on aren't thin pieces like I've noticed on most wooden coasters, but cover almost the entire top of the wood they are placed upon. This along with the new wood that I noticed on the support structure has changed the ride for the better, and if I'd have to rate it I'd give it a 5 or 6 out of 10. It's not going to win any awards, but it is far from the demolition candidate that it was previously. Coaster Critic if you ever make it back to Six Flags New England, give Cyclone another whirl. The improvement is nothing short of stunning.

      • Thanks for the update about this ride. According to an article I found, Cyclone received topper track from Rocky Mountain Construction –

        That's what you're referring to. I'd love to give it another try and update my review after my next visit.

        • Thanks for the information. I knew about their work on Texas Giant but I didn't know they worked on wooden coaster track as well. I'd suggest they give Roar at Six Flags America topper track because since Cyclone has been improved, Roar is now by far the worst coaster I've been on.

  11. horrible ride. I've been on alot of wooden roaller coasters and they seem to all have the same problem. I think its the cars not the ride. Look at the original cyclone on coney island, opened in 1927 and its one of the most comfortable woodies ever!! cuz it has cushy seats! i think if all the bad woodies get cushy seats, it wouldnt be so bad. sros is #1 on my list followed closely by el toro. only been on 78 coasters but i'm workin on it!

  12. Wow. I cannot believe how many people hate this ride. In my opinion it is the second best ride in the park. It didnt used to be, but they did a LOT of retracking on the roughest parts, but even when it was rough, in the back, this ride is insane. The airtime was MAYBE a bit painful at some parts, but it was incredible how intense the drops are. In the back this is one of the only coasters that ever makes my stomach drop,not even superman/bizarro does. The only one i can think of is El Toro, The first halve of the ride is for its drops, and the first drop- crazy lateral gforce turn- dive again/airtime sequence, and the second halve, now that they lowered the trims, and retracked the turn near the entrance, it is great for lats, and then right after it goes up AND changes direction while you are flying out of your seat. Which is crazy fun and always catches me off guard. And the last turns are great when the trims are off.

  13. The original incarnation of this ride (The Riverside Cyclone), was and is the best and most intense coaster I've ever ridden. The bizzare, banked, double first drop was sheer mayhem. Unfortunately, the current incarnation of the ride bears no resemblance to its predecessor. Bill Cobb (the designer who planned it during open heart surgery) would be disgusted if he were still with us.

  14. I had ridden this coaster on it's opening day in June 1983 and it was insane. The first drop was one of the most intense drops I've ever been on to this day, and even though the banked turn into the second drop was rough as hell, it offered an element you couldn't find on many wooden coasters at the time. The second half of the coaster was even more intense with amazing airtime and lateral direction changes which had you feeling like the cars were going to fly off the tracks at any moment.

    After not riding the coaster for years, I recently tried it again and had the same experience almost everyone else has been reporting. The first drop and sweeping turn have been completely neutered, and the trim brakes in the second half take away all of the excitement of the old coaster and end up making this coaster feel even rougher. I like wooden coasters and enjoy getting knocked around and feeling out of control…but this coaster just hurts now.
    If Six Flags could renovate this coaster with pre-fab tracks and bring it back to it's former glory…they would have another winner on their hands. I'd love to be able to show the old version of this coaster off to enthusiasts. For now though, my advise is don't ride it unless you have a good chiropractor.

  15. I have been going to Riverside/SFNE for years. There were always 2 rides there that I had to go on before I left the Cyclone and the Thunderbolt. The Cyclone was the big one that was rough but wild and out of control. The Thunderbolt was the one to end the night not as wild but always fun in a classic coaster kind of way. Well, after a few times going and not making it over to the Cyclone I finally went back on it last year and was horrified. Six Flags had taken my memories of the Riverside Cyclone's greatness and shanked it jailhouse style dropping the shiv as they walked away. Other than castrating the first drop it doesn't appear that they have done any maintenance on this coaster since this became a six flags park. I'm sure that isn't the case but that is the feel of it.

    At this point they need to undo the damage that they have done to the drop and do some serious work to restore this coaster to it's original configuration. In addition to the track restoration either rehab the trains or replace them. Maybe they should close the ride for a year to restore it. Then they could have a grand re-opening. Make it a mystery put up a huge privacy fence around the site and hide what is being done. Put up signs that say something like Coming soon (???).

    I hate to say it but at this point the Thunderbolt is way better than the abomination that they currently call the Cyclone. As someone who loves almost every coaster seeing the way this has turned out pains me. It is almost as bad as Rolling Thunder at SFGA.

  16. I rode this ride when I was in the USA in May 2011. Not having read up on this coaster, I had no idea how painful this would be. In the middle though, there was a whole section of track that was refurbished with what looked like the Rocky Mountain topper track, and that part was very, very smooth. The only thing I could think of, after the extremely painful part that came after that: why didn't they refurbish the whole coaster? If they did, this could be a very enjoyable ride!

  17. Oh, the irony of CC's thrill scale. 2/5 is "Fun for all", but SFNE Cyclone is no fun at all.

  18. I rode this coaster a couple weeks ago. I thought it was great actually! Not rough at all! The one part that i remember being rough they put that topper track on. Its like a steel coaster there now its so smooth. You need to come back and ride it again! It was less rough than my ride on thunderbolt, which says something.

  19. It's no masterpiece but I've certainly ridden worse. Hurler, Roar, and Rolling Thunder come to mind. Cyclone has an AWESOME ejector air at the top of one of the middle hills. This thing launches you half a foot in the air if you are in the front car. Makes it worth a ride. Yeah it's pretty slow after that.

    I'd rate it a 6.

  20. When I first rode Cyclone in 2011 (after a ton of topper track was added), it was pretty rough, and the train vibrated on the bottom of the first drop. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't awesome, either. I took the advice of fellow enthusiasts and avoided the back at all costs.

    When I rode it this year, I decided to try riding in the back to experience the legendary pop of airtime on its first drop. It ended up being smoother than Batman's back seat, and the second drop after the high-speed turn was insane! There was some very mild airtime on the bunny hops at the end.

    Conclusion: Now that it's not a painful torture device anymore, they should rebuild the original first drop, and remove the brakes on the second half of the ride. Then, they should hype it by saying "New England's most twisted wooden coaster now faster than ever!", and it would become one of their flagship rides again.


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