AGAWAM, Mass. — The Wicked Cyclone at Six Flags New England will not scare the bejeebers out of you. But it's still a really fun, speedy ride packed with some unexpected turns and plenty of "air time," which is roller coaster lingo for when your backside is not exactly one with the seat.
Wicked Cyclone is the successor of Cyclone, one of Riverside Park's and then Six Flags' iconic wooden roller coasters, which opened in 1983 and shut down last July.
Construction on Wicked Cyclone — the name gives a wink to New England slang and also denotes a more powerful version of the ride — began almost immediately after the old one closed down.
The new version, which opened Memorial Day weekend, is billed as offering thrills and adrenaline by combining the characteristics of steel and wood roller coasters. It pretty much delivers that from beginning to end over the 3,300 feet of track it covers in less than 90 seconds at a top speed of about 55 mph.
The ride starts with a quick climb 10 stories to a drop at a 78-degree angle, and the air time begins right there, thanks to an interesting safety harness design that keeps your legs in place but leaves your upper body free of shoulder restraints.
The result is that the rider pops up off the seat slightly at every twist, turn, dip or jump — of which there are plenty.
Wicked Cyclone's attraction and chops come in those turns, including a 200-degree stall, two Zero-G Rolls, which the operators say are the first of its kind and the world's only double reversing bank airtime hill, which will literally have you out of your seat.
Spencer Plourde, an Ellington High School senior who was previewing the ride for his school newspaper enjoyed the new coaster.
"First-time riders will be surprised by the speed and the G-forces, but it's not intimidating," Plourde says. "And I'm also a big fan of the air time."
If you are a veteran coaster thrill seeker looking for a ride that instills flat-out fear in you, Wicked Cyclone is probably not going to get it done. But there are plenty of other offerings that make this coaster worth checking out more than once, and especially from the last row.
>>Information on hours, ticket prices and events at Six Flags New England: 413-786-9300 and sixflags.com/newengland.