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 Review of Cyclone @ Astroland
4 Rating Posted by: biosciking on 2/24/2007 9:49:00 PM
Im not going to be able to wax poetic about the Cyclone like a native New Yorker could. Living my entire life in Southern California, I didnt conquer my first coaster with the Cyclone, nor go on my first date at Astroland. However, knowing of the worlds most famous coaster from afar for so many years, and then finally being able to ride, I can sing this coasters praises from a different perspective. I dont want to sound too ridiculous, but getting a glimpse of the coaster from the subway as we pulled into the Coney Island station was almost a religious experience. After seeing countless pictures and videos of this coaster, I was finally here to ride in person. (I have previously ridden two Cyclone copies, Psyclone at Magic Mountain and Texas Cyclone at Astroworld. What a testament to this classic that, while those two have both been sent to roller coaster heaven, this one is still going strong.) Approaching the ticket booth, my group got to see a train run through the course. My brother (not a coaster enthusiast, though hes been on a good share of coasters) commented that it looked pretty weak. He he. What a surprise waited in store for him. The first thing I noticed was the lack of any organization in the station. There was really no line, and the returning train had the option of re-riding, so some seats were taken and some werent. It was just sort of a free-for-all to find a spot. The seats and lap bars were in pretty bad shape--very torn up. The ride attendants (the term used loosely here) didnt check us at all. I assume they must have given everyone a once-over, but I felt like it was our responsibility to sit down and secure ourselves in, for as soon as everyone was seated, the train was dispatched. Creaking up the lift hill, I noticed a very warped feel to the whole thing, like the seats and the train were not shifting in sync with each other or with the track. But you know what--none of this bothered me at all. I knew we were riding a coaster from a day and age long gone, and this was all part of the thrill of that experience. We were riding toward the back of the train, and as we reached the top, the slow creakiness of the initial ascent changed into the outright insanity that is Cyclone. I just couldnt believe that the first drop was as intense as it was, and as a perfect take-that, someones hat toward the front of the train flew off and smacked my brother in the face, only to fly off him as well. We then got to enjoy/endure all the rest that Cyclone has to offer. All of the hills and turns were executed so classically, with g-forces every which way. There was so much out-of-your-seat time, slamming-back-into-your-seat time, and slamming-side-to-side-in-your-seat time, and just as you start to get the hang of one maneuver, it launches into a different one. The speed felt relentless, and the old-fashioned ricketiness of the whole thing is capable of drawing very mixed emotions. I was loving the blast-from-the-past sensations that it provided, while the friend riding next to me swore we were going to die! Though we all try to praise the Cyclone as best we can, and provide all the details of our exceptional experiences, none of that can really do the coaster justice. You just have to ride the beast to know, and Im so glad to finally have had the chance to do so.

Review Comments

B&M Fan on 2/24/2007 10:07:57 PM said:
Very good review. I must agree, this is a classic, and one of the best. I do like the cushion seats though, they make it just a little more comfortable. But even with its age, and rickety-ness, its still a classic.
Timberman on 2/25/2007 1:25:44 PM said:
Nice review, biosciking. One aspect of the Cyclones tracking that Ive found to be unique is the way the front end of the car seems to bounce off the tracks at the apex of the hills. I know this cant be the case, but Im wondering if anybody else has experienced this sensation and can shed any light on what causes it. I also agree that the first hill has to be experienced to be believed. Its like driving a truck off a cliff.
coasterf42 on 2/25/2007 1:37:17 PM said:
Good review. I am hoping to go up to Astroland this year for myself, and let me say that this site is a big reason why. So many have raved about it here and it deffinitely seems like a coaster that would be up my alley considering Thunder Run and Hurler are in my top 10. Again, very nice review.
ginzo on 2/25/2007 1:37:54 PM said:
All the crazy reviews of this ride really pique my interest in it. This ride stirs sentimental responses more than any other. Though I pretty much never get emotional about rides, apart from thoroughly enjoying the really good ones. I hope this classic weathers the current development storm surrounding it. What a bad example of American decadence it would be for condos to cover the grave of this unique piece of American history. The last thing we need is more condos.
hrrytraver on 2/25/2007 7:08:12 PM said:
the warped lift hill is the perfect tension building preamble to cyclone. i love taking cyclone virgins on it and observing the inevitable "o god" when they first look straight up the warped lift. btw, one thing i enjoy about reviews is odd details about extraneous elements of rides - for example describing the station and the impressions one gets before riding - and how these details accumulate in the overall experience.
larrygator on 2/26/2007 10:44:22 PM said:
nice review and excellent comments hrrytraver, so true
RCGenius on 2/27/2007 8:19:04 AM said:
Extravagant review as always. Cyclone definitely looks like a great masterpiece that should be appreciated each & every day. Id also like to ride this beast one day as it seems to be my type of woody. Also, its the pinnacle coaster that started the crazed arms race of revolutionizing wooden coasters & many more.
biosciking on 2/27/2007 9:14:40 PM said:
Thanks everyone. Timberman, I must say your comment on the first drop--driving a truck off a cliff--is a perfect description. And ginzo, while I completely agree that it would be an outrage to have the Cyclone lost to development, it sounds like we dont really have to worry about that. It seems currently that no matter what happens to Coney Island, the Cyclone will remain.
larrygator on 2/28/2007 10:52:54 AM said:
^unfortunately in New York that is not necessarily true. There are many suspicious fires that happen "accidentally" when urban development is involved. Developers have been known to be brazen enough to knock down structures even after the courts have said no. developers might be hit with a $10,000 fine on the way to making millions.
B&M Fan on 2/28/2007 12:48:26 PM said:
The Cyclone is a historical landmark, I dont think that its going anywhere unless it became unsafe and is warranted as a safety hazard or something to that affect.
ginzo on 2/28/2007 5:05:37 PM said:
I really disagree with the idea that the Cyclone is untouchable. Like Larry said, motivated developers could eat the Cyclone for breakfast. Im not a NYC resident, but I do know that shady landlords have been known to torch their own buildings there to get rid of rent controlled tenants. The fact is theyre building expensive condos there, and rich people dont like loud old roller coasters running near their luxury homes. I really hope it stays. There are so few golden age coasters left.
B&M Fan on 2/28/2007 5:10:05 PM said:
No, the Cyclone was declared a Historical Landmark by the city of New York, I extremely doubt it will be gone anytime soon.
B&M Fan on 3/2/2007 2:58:58 PM said:
Thought some of you would like this.

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