Cyclone at Six Flags ends 31-year ride - CBS 5 - KPHO

Cyclone at Six Flags ends 31-year ride

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The Cyclone (top right) sits on a large plot of land alongside Route 159 in the north end of Six Flags New England. (Google) The Cyclone (top right) sits on a large plot of land alongside Route 159 in the north end of Six Flags New England. (Google)
The Cyclone at Six Flags New England. The Cyclone at Six Flags New England.
A classic image of the Cyclone and Black Widow during the Riverside Park years. A classic image of the Cyclone and Black Widow during the Riverside Park years.
AGAWAM, MA (WSHM) -

The Cyclone at Six Flags New England will go for its last ride on July 20 after park officials have decided there are more efficient ways to use the large plot of land it sits on alongside Route 159.

The wooden roller coaster opened 31 years ago today - June 24, 1983 - and has entertained thrill-seekers at Six Flags and Riverside since day one.

Park spokeswoman Jen McGrath told our media partners at MassLive that are no immediate plans to demolish the attraction and that there were no safety issues with the ride. The ride will likely remain untouched for the 2014 season.

The giant coaster has a large land footprint in the north end of the Six Flags, and park officials have decided there are better ways to use that land, according to McGrath.

With more than 3,400 feet of track the Cyclone is one of the biggest wooden roller coasters in the world. While the current frame is different than the old attraction, the massive white roller coaster quickly established its fan base and has remained a popular coaster for more than three decades.

The concept of the attraction was based off of a popular ride at Coney Island that provided high impact thrills in a small footprint. Twenty-four riders board each Cyclone train and climb more than 100 feet, then plunge at speeds over 50 mph.

Details of a new attraction at some part of Six Flags New England will be released in August, but it is not apparent whether that ride will be in place of the Cyclone.

"It is always difficult whenever we say goodbye to a classic attraction, especially one that is so beloved like the Cyclone," said John Winkler, Six Flags New England's park president. "As the 'Thrill Capital of New England,' we are always searching new ways to provide thrills and enhance our guests' experience and sometimes retiring older attractions is part of the process. Our wheels are always turning as we think of new and innovative attractions to bring to the park in the future."

The Cyclone is one of two wooden roller coasters at Six Flags, the other being the Thunderbolt. It will join the list of retired rides alongside the Black Widow, the Rotor and Colossus, a 150-foot tall Ferris wheel.

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