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Goodbye SFNE Cyclone

MountainFlyer

Posted:
6/24/14 at
4:34:10 PM

Sad news from Massachusetts. Another wood coaster bites the dust:

Cyclone to end 31 year run

Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by CortexBomb CortexBomb Profile at 6/24/14 4:46:18 PM
Gah, noooo.

I know I'm in the minority now, but I still love this coaster; it's a throwback now to a more brutal era. Even though the ride as it runs today is not nearly up to its potential I still love its opening sequence and crazy slammer transitions.

I'm very, very glad I went back to SFNE last year on a whim and got more rides on it as I would have been heartbroken to have not gotten any prior to this unexpected demolition.

Michael W.
242: 66 (22 CCI/GG) / 175
Voyage / Eurosat
R.I.P.: Riverside Cyclone...
Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by MABrider MABrider Profile at 6/24/14 8:31:33 PM
I also like Cyclone, though I must admit the last few years it became a front of train ride only for me.

This announcement caught me by surprise.
I have not made it to SFNE yet this season, normally I am there on opening day for at least a few hours, and then again in the fall. I cannot get there for the July 20 "specials" going on...SP holders can ride Cyclone for an hour after closing (9-10 PM), and ACE members can ride for the 30 minutes after that (I've received emails from the park re both).
So I guess I've ridden that Cyclone for my last time.

Mike B.
Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by Frontrider Frontrider Profile at 6/25/14 1:42:55 AM
Sad and devastating news :(

Six Flags really seems to hate the classic wooden coaster experience - which is making me really start to hate Six Flags...

I bet it will be replaced with another overrated, trendy, faux "woodie" by the overrated, trendy Rocky Mountain, which will probably have stupid inversions and uncomfortably tight, airtime-killing restraints. But hey, it will be "smooth as glass", which seems to have become THE most important criteria for evaluating coasters among a large percentage of both the GP and enthusiasts alike.

Hence the growing trend of "woodies" doing their best to mimic the texture and elements of steelies. "Woodies" designed to appeal to people who don't care for traditional woodies...

At the rate Sux Flags is going, in another 20 years, there won't be any REAL woodies left in any of their parks.

And while I appreciate that Six Flags announced their plans which is good for the locals, the SMALL window before the closure is not much help for those who live 1,000 miles away. It would be nice if for once these soon-to-be-extinct woodies got to at least finish their final season...

* This post was modified at 6/25/14 3:27:40 AM *

"If it isn't wood, it's not as good!"
Favorite wood and overall favorite - Voyage, Holiday World. Favorite steel - Nitro, Great Adventure
"Voyage To Paradise" - http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/profiles/frontrider/blog/340
Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by JMiller at 6/25/14 12:43:02 PM
Frontrider said:

Sad and devastating news :(


Six Flags really seems to hate the classic wooden coaster experience - which is making me really start to hate Six Flags...

I bet it will be replaced with another overrated, trendy, faux "woodie" by the overrated, trendy Rocky Mountain, which will probably have stupid inversions and uncomfortably tight, airtime-killing restraints. But hey, it will be "smooth as glass", which seems to have become THE most important criteria for evaluating coasters among a large percentage of both the GP and enthusiasts alike.

Hence the growing trend of "woodies" doing their best to mimic the texture and elements of steelies. "Woodies" designed to appeal to people who don't care for traditional woodies...

At the rate Sux Flags is going, in another 20 years, there won't be any REAL woodies left in any of their parks.

And while I appreciate that Six Flags announced their plans which is good for the locals, the SMALL window before the closure is not much help for those who live 1,000 miles away. It would be nice if for once these soon-to-be-extinct woodies got to at least finish their final season...

I really get you, but at the same time I think what we're seeing is simply an evolution of the wooden roller coaster. GCI, CCI, the Gravity Group.....all their coasters were awesome and fun when they first opened, but many of them have become rough and unrideable (GCI's The Boss is a fine example, as is the Rattler and the Texas Giant pre-conversion.) But with these changes, Fiesta Texas is and Six Flags Mexico are left without wooden coasters, and Six Flags Over Texas lost what was once the tallest and fastest woodie in existence. I do think parks should be very careful about deciding to revamp their traditional-style woodies in favor of more thrilling woodies like Outlaw Run or Goliath (or steelies like NTG or Iron Rattler). Speaking for myself, I think there's a hole that can only be filled by woodies (that special sound the anti-rollback dogs make, the rickety feeling, and the visual aesthetic can't be replicated by any steel coaster), and every park should have at least one. I haven't been to SFNE so I can't speak to Cyclone's ride quality, but from looking at it I think the park's management team needs to think long and hard about whether or not they want to take out a ride that so many people find enjoyable and replace it with something that isn't quite as popular.

Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by Frontrider Frontrider Profile at 6/25/14 2:27:38 PM
JMiller said:


But with these changes, Fiesta Texas is and Six Flags Mexico are left without wooden coasters, and Six Flags Over Texas lost what was once the tallest and fastest woodie in existence. I do think parks should be very careful about deciding to revamp their traditional-style woodies in favor of more thrilling woodies like Outlaw Run or Goliath (or steelies like NTG or Iron Rattler). Speaking for myself, I think there's a hole that can only be filled by woodies (that special sound the anti-rollback dogs make, the rickety feeling, and the visual aesthetic can't be replicated by any steel coaster), and every park should have at least one. I haven't been to SFNE so I can't speak to Cyclone's ride quality, but from looking at it I think the park's management team needs to think long and hard about whether or not they want to take out a ride that so many people find enjoyable and replace it with something that isn't quite as popular.

Thanks, I am in complete agreement with this! ;)


JMiller said:

I really get you, but at the same time I think what we're seeing is simply an evolution of the wooden roller coaster. GCI, CCI, the Gravity Group.....all their coasters were awesome and fun when they first opened, but many of them have become rough and unrideable (GCI's The Boss is a fine example, as is the Rattler and the Texas Giant pre-conversion.)

Thanks for understanding. I think the whole "roughness" and "unridable" thing is subjective and relative to an individual's point of view. For example, I marathoned on the Boss in both the front and back last fall (my first visit there since 2010) and I had no issues with it whatsoever, and it still gave rides thrilling enough for it to retain my number 3 woodie ranking (of 73 ridden) behind only its CCI/Gravity Group cousins Voyage and Boulderdash.

My last rides on Rattler was just a few weeks before it closed, and again, I found it neither too rough or unridable and I rode both front and back several times. I loved it's quirky layout, the epic opening, and the way the train felt like it was going to shake itself to death while descending the twisted second drop! I guess I like my woodies "rough", it's part of the experience for me, and I've never met a woodie yet that was too "rough" to marathon on in the front AND back - even Son Of Beast, Darien Lake Predator, and Myrtle Beach Hurricane all got 20 + laps from me on my trips there!

The saddest loss for me personally in all the Six Flags woodie carnage was Texas Giant. This was a ride I've marathoned on nearly every season since it opened, and it never felt too rough for me in any part of the train. Even on it's last day, it was giving me intense, thrilling, epic, airtime-filled rides and was still in my top 5. The only reason it fell from my number 1 was not because of any decline in my enjoyment of it, but because newer rides like Voyage and Boulder Dash pushed it down a few places.

As far as Rocky Mountain being the future - I rode Outlaw Run last Christmas season with the same open mind I keep while riding any woodie or any coaster. Yet the restraint had to be stapled into my gut so painfully tightly that it killed any airtime and any joy this ride could have given me. It even made the tight restraints on Intamin's El Staplo feel like the most comfortable rolling stock in the world!

For the record, I am within the suggested "Body Mass Index" for my height but am pretty tall (over 6 feet). To make matters worse, the ankle restraints were also extremely painful - particularly in those roll inversions that RMC seems to like where you hang upside down a little too long for my taste.

It's very rare for me to visit a park where their woodie (or one of their woodies) is not my favorite coaster in its park. In fact, the only parks previously I can think of where a woodie was NOT my favorite coaster in its park (SFOG, Great Adventure, Carowinds) were all parks with airtime-packed Beemer hypers, with a woodie coming in at #2 in the park right behind the Beemer hyper (yet no Beemer hyper could ever top Voyage for me!)

And yet, at SDC, Outlaw Run didn't come CLOSE to topping my previous SDC fave, the airtime-filled Powder Keg. And shockingly, I even found the B&M multilooper Wildfire (with it's excellent backseat air going down the first drop), and the Arrow mine train Thunderation both more satisfying and re-ridable. This was the first time in my coaster riding "career" that I actually preferred a multilooper and a mine train over a woodie, but it sort of makes sense, considering the woodie in question is also an inversion coaster, and I'm not big on inversions. And Wildfire was more comfortable and gave me more airtime than Outlaw Run did. And I enjoy floating through Wildfire's epic, oversized inversions (especially the Immelman) more than the inversions found on Outlaw Run, which again, were painful due to the ankle restaints.

If this (RMC) is the "future" of woodies, I'll take the past ANY day - even admitedly mediocre woodies like Rolling Thunder and Colossus, which I honestly enjoyed more. I'd gladly trade RMC's excessive "smoothness" for more comfortable trains and a perfect woodie inversion count of zero!

Frankly, I'd have been much happier if SDC has simply moved the sadly SBNO Ozark Wildcat up the mountain and given it a new home, but hey, at least there are now less people in line in front of me when I marathon on Powder Keg! ;)

* This post was modified at 6/25/14 2:57:57 PM *

"If it isn't wood, it's not as good!"
Favorite wood and overall favorite - Voyage, Holiday World. Favorite steel - Nitro, Great Adventure
"Voyage To Paradise" - http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/profiles/frontrider/blog/340
Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/25/14 3:41:57 PM
This was the first negative review of Outlaw Run that I have read. I visited SDC for the first time last September. I totally agree about what you said about Powder Keg, Wildfire, and Thunderation. I was impressed with the front seat on Powder Keg, loved the back seat on Wildfire, although the front seat gives you the most beautiful view of any coaster I've ridden, and Thunderation is probably the best mine train in the US. I personally loved Outlaw Run. I rank it as my 2nd favorite wooden coaster out of the 93 wooden coasters that I've ridden. The restraints didn't bother me at all, and I felt it had incredible air time, on the same level as El Toro. I also can withstand aggressive wooden coasters. The Voyage and Hades are in my top 5. I could marathon The Voyage in the back seat, in fact I have. Some of the more aggressive coasters like Hades and Shivering Timbers are in my top 10, but I only ride them in the front seat. I also have ridden The Texas Giant, Rattler, and Texas Cyclone. They were all good coasters, especially Texas Cyclone, but I did prefer the front seat. I'm not challenging your opinion, by any means. I just found it interesting that your evaluation of Outlaw Run was complete opposite of mine.

* This post was modified at 6/25/14 3:58:09 PM *

Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by Frontrider Frontrider Profile at 6/25/14 4:13:11 PM
frontrow said:

I'm not challenging your opinion, by any means. I just found it interesting that your evaluation of Outlaw Run was complete opposite of mine.

I'm sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not been (painfully) stapled, and the ankle restraints just seemed to put my discomfort over the top. I seem to recall reading on Screamscape that the ankle restraints caused more discomfort for tall people, so maybe this was a big factor since I'm pretty tall.

That's from a comfort point of view. From the airtime point of view that you discussed, I didn't experience any, because I was pinned tightly to the seat by the restraints. (The same thing happens to me on El Toro, but at least on Toro, I can at least get a *hint* of the amazing airtime others have described, because I am usually not stapled as tightly as I was on Outlaw Run.) I guess I am just used to roomier restraints where I can really float up off of the seat. (like I can with PTCs, GCIs, Gerstlauers, B&M hypers, etc)

Although I know I'd prefer Outlaw Run without the inversions (particularly the ones right before the brake run) it would be fun, hypothetically, to see how much more I would enjoy the overall ride if I could try it in trains/restraints that work better for me (like PTCs, GCI's or Gerstlauers).

Thanks for being understanding, because it wasn't my intention when first logging in to bash Outlaw Run, and I am sensitive to the fact that when being critical of something, it will be something other people love. (just like I sometimes cringe when people bash rides I love, but hey, different strokes)

I think I went off on that tangent because, in the big picture of SF going on a woodie tear-down spree, the trend seems to be replacing them with RMCs, so my experience with the one RMC I had ridden is definitely a factor in my lack of enthusiasm for RMCs replacing traditional woodies. (besides the obvious factor of these classic woodies being lost)

So for the record, by my count SF has torn down (or will tear down) a whooping EIGHT woodies in recent years (TEN if you count the racers as two), and the pace of these removals is escalating with no sign of stopping, with FIVE meeting the wrecking ball in just the past 3 seasons. I really hope my beloved Boss and Georgia Cyclone don't meet this fate anytime soon (or ever).

SF recent woodie teardowns (with final season)

Texas Cyclone (Astroworld, 2005*)
Psyclone (Magic Mountain, 2006)
Texas Giant (Over Texas, 2009)
Rattler (Fiesta Texas, 2012)
Rolling Thunder (Great Adventure, 2013)
Medusa (Mexico, 2013)
Cyclone (New England, 2014)
Colossus (Magic Mountain, 2014)

* In Texas Cyclone's case, this was due to SF tearing down the ENTIRE park it stood in. Truly a dark day in the amusement industry

PS. The Miami Heat have their "Big Three" and the 2014 NBA Champion Spurs have their "Big Three".

As a coaster starved New Orleanian in the 90's who often looked west to Texas for the thrills I desperately longed for at home (before Jazzland), my "Big Three" were Texas Giant, Texas Cyclone, and Rattler. Whenever I could ride all three in the same year (or same trip), it was a Very Good Year for me. I did this as recently as 2005. If somebody had told me then that in just 7 short years they would ALL be gone, I'd have thought they were crazy. On the bright side, at least Texas now has the butt-kicking Boardwalk Bullet to lure me west on I-10 again.

PPS. out of curiousity, I did a little searching and found a few other reviews of Outlaw Run by people around my height for whom the ankle restraint seriously tarnished their ability to enjoy the ride (scroll down to the comments section to see them):

http://www.thecoastercritic.com/2013/03/early-outlaw-run-reviews.html

* This post was modified at 6/25/14 5:20:12 PM *

"If it isn't wood, it's not as good!"
Favorite wood and overall favorite - Voyage, Holiday World. Favorite steel - Nitro, Great Adventure
"Voyage To Paradise" - http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/profiles/frontrider/blog/340
Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 6/26/14 1:16:54 AM
^^^ I enjoyed the commentary between yall two front train fans :). I haven't rode Cyclone, but it's POV looks like it has a curvy dipping 'outta control' type of layout. I heard you say that in twenty years there won't be any woodies in SF parks.

That brings up the question, can you even count on one hand the decent SF woodies? Obviously El Toro is awesome. Here's how I have it with the SF woodies that I've experienced.

El Toro is the top of the SF woodie heap, then there's a lil' gap, then Apocalypse which I like, then there's IMO a huge gap with old woodies like GASM, Colossus, the old Rolling Thunder etc. Even the SF woodies that I haven't been on, the reviews aren't exactly though the roof. I dunno why, but more than not small parks have the best woodies ratio-wise.

* This post was modified at 6/26/14 1:47:59 AM *

Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/26/14 2:43:27 AM
Overbanked said:

^^^ I enjoyed the commentary between yall two front train fans :). I haven't rode Cyclone, but it's POV looks like it has a curvy dipping 'outta control' type of layout. I heard you say that in twenty years there won't be any woodies in SF parks.


That brings up the question, can you even count on one hand the decent SF woodies? Obviously El Toro is awesome. Here's how I have it with the SF woodies that I've experienced.

El Toro is the top of the SF woodie heap, then there's a lil' gap, then Apocalypse which I like, then there's IMO a huge gap with old woodies like GASM, Colossus, the old Rolling Thunder etc. Even the SF woodies that I haven't been on, the reviews aren't exactly though the roof. I dunno why, but more than not small parks have the best woodies ratio-wise.

Six Flags St. Louis has a great collection of wooden coasters. American Thunder is exceptional, in my top 10 favorite wooden coasters. Screamin Eagle is a great wooden coaster also; on of my favorite John Allen coasters. The Boss has one of the best first drops of wooden coasters. Six Flags Over Georgia has 2 good wooden coasters in Great American Scream Machine and Georgia Cyclone. The Wild One at SF America is very under rated, and a really great coaster. Six Flags Great America has Viper, which is fantastic, not in my top 10, but just outside. Six Flags does have some great wooden coasters. I agree with Frontrider. I really hope this trend of altering wooden coasters stops. I enjoy the Rocky Mountain coasters. I just wish they would build new coasters, like they did with Outlaw Run and Goliath, instead of messing with existing coasters. I didn't get to ride the wooden coasters at SF New England during my last visit. Cyclone was down and Thunderbolt had a huge line, so I opted for more rides on Superman ROS/ now Bizarro. I plan on riding both in about 2 weeks.

Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by Frontrider Frontrider Profile at 6/26/14 2:45:46 AM
Overbanked said:

^^^ I enjoyed the commentary between yall two front train fans :). I haven't rode Cyclone, but it's POV looks like it has a curvy dipping 'outta control' type of layout. I heard you say that in twenty years there won't be any woodies in SF parks.

Thanks :) I was just speculating about the 20 years. I hope it isn't true, but at the rate they are going...

I haven't made it to SFNE yet either, and in hindsight I really wish I would have on the one trip that I made it as far northeast as Boulderdash...

Of course, I would have made it a point to visit on my last road trip last October, had I known then about the closure. I could have possibly even made it this spring had it been announced then. But with my current summer schedule, visiting before July 20 is simply impossible for me.

So Cyclone will be another one I don't get to experience, and I have heard so many great things about its opening sequence.

Overbanked said:
(That brings up the question, can you even count on one hand the decent SF woodies?

For my tastes, they're all "decent". If you mean the ones still standing I'd truly rave passionately about, I have a VERY high opinion of Boss and Georgia Cyclone, for completely different reasons.

Boss has that classic CCI combo of intense speed and airtime, on an epic, massive scale. The opening sequence of the double down, speeding through the structure until the bottom suddenly falls out when the train dips again, launching you out of the seat, is mind-blowing and sublime. It is also a great night ride featuring FOUR drops of at least 100 feet (or close to it) into a dark ravine.

I had no issues with alledged roughness and no problems with the Gerstlauer trains, as I was used to them due to my SBNO home woodie, Mega Zeph, also formerly running "Gersties"

Georgia Cyclone simply has the most breathtaking and brutal "slammer" backseat ejector air I've ever experienced. There are SEVERAL moments where for a split second, you think you really will be ejected (and if it weren't for the restraints, you would be). When I hear the words "physical" and "aggressive" used to describe a woodie, the G-Clone immediately comes to mind.

I was pretty impressed with the two woodies at Great America that I experienced. Viper is not AS physical or aggressive as Georgia Cyclone, but it still has great air and, for those who care about such things, is smoother.

American Eagle is probably my favorite of the large regional theme park painted-white woodies built in the 70's/80's, if you know what I mean. It has a nice sense of speed and some surprisingly good moments of air.

In St Louis, Screamin' Eagle is a fun John Allen and a great night ride, and American Thunder is a solid GCI with fun little pops of air throughout the layout. Neither reach "Boss" levels for me (see above), but the 3 woodies give St. Louis a nice 1-2-3 punch as they are all different.

I haven't been to all the US SF's so I can't comment on anything at Discovery Kingdom, America, Great Escape, or the former SF Kentucky Kingdom. I was really impressed with the wood at former SF Geauga Lake (especially Villain and Big Dipper) and I rather liked Predator at former SF Darien Lake, due to its aggression and strong air in the first half of the ride.

I dunno why, but more than not small parks have the best woodies ratio-wise.

I agree with that. 4 of my top 5 woodies are in small parks, with Holiday World IMO being the "gold standard"!

* This post was modified at 6/26/14 3:07:22 AM *

"If it isn't wood, it's not as good!"
Favorite wood and overall favorite - Voyage, Holiday World. Favorite steel - Nitro, Great Adventure
"Voyage To Paradise" - http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/profiles/frontrider/blog/340
Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/11/14 11:22:38 PM
We rode Cyclone for the first time yesterday. We got 3 rides, 2 in the front and 1 in the back. It was solid. It was smooth, with a few moments of air time. My one complaint is how slow it struggles through the turns. I was starting to wonder if it was going to valley, it was so slow. Overall, it's a fun coaster, nothing great, but its sad to know that we will never ride it again. Hopefully SF New England puts something in that's much better, in its place. Really glad we got to ride it, before they close it for good.
Re: Goodbye SFNE Cyclone by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 7/16/14 4:18:14 PM
I actually really liked that ride! glad I got on it in 2011. If I remember correctly, it had a bunch of signs with facts on them in the line.

That ride was crazy. I had never been on a wood roller coaster where it was up high for so much of the ride.

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv