Review: Twisted Cyclone Strikes Six Flags Over Georgia
Rain dotted my windshield as I drove to the media preview of Six Flags Over Georgia’s new-for-2018 Twisted Cyclone, the latest hybrid steel coaster from Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC). Earlier in the morning, I nervously watched the weather radar as a glob of rain spun appropriately like a cyclone just south of Atlanta — alarmingly close to the park.
I hoped for the best. Fortunately, the rain stayed away for most of the day. But the misty atmosphere early in the morning was fitting for a roller coaster themed to a tropical storm.
While it probably wasn’t what kept the rain away, Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags over Georgia is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Standing roughly 10 stories tall, Twisted Cyclone doesn’t dominate the Six Flags Over Georgia skyline. In fact, much of it is hidden by a lush barrier of tall trees that parallels a parking lot.
But the coaster’s electric blue steel track cuts through the air like a bolt of lightning.
Its bright gray supports blended with the dreary overcast sky.
Twisted Cyclone anchors the new “Coastal” section of the park, which replaces the “British” area.
All of the buildings in the area received beachy new color schemes. The vibrant pops of color have turned an overlooked area of the park into one that you can’t miss (having an RMC coaster helps, too).
Let’s first address the history of Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia.
Again, it is an RMC hybrid roller coaster, which means that steel “IBox” track was built on the wooden (or sometimes steel) supports of a former wooden coaster. In this case, Twisted Cyclone utilizes portions of the structure of the former Georgia Cyclone, which opened in 1990 and closed in July 2017.
Make no mistake though, Twisted Cyclone borrows little more than some of its predecessor’s wooden supports.
Gone is the (moderately rickety) wooden track. In its place, RMC’s iconic IBox track twists and turns over, under and through the intricate wooden support structure.
The coaster features a pair of RMC’s new second-generation trains. I couldn’t tell a major difference from Twisted Cyclone’s trains from those found on Storm Chaser, Lightning Rod and other older RMCs I’ve ridden (if you can, leave a comment).
Update: Twisted Cyclone is using the first-generation RMC trains, which explains why I wasn’t able to notice a difference. Thanks, Jason in the comments section!
Only the red train was running for this event — the black was tucked away in the storage shed, which is adjacent to the brake run.
Georgia Cyclone’s relatively nondescript station was given a fresh coat of paint and reused for its successor.
The nautically themed queue building is equipped with lockers. Warning: loose articles will not survive the ejector air that is found throughout Twisted Cyclone. Store them in a locker or in one of the bins in the station.
After months of anticipation, my time to ride had come ashore.
Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia Review
The sleek train rolls out of the station and veers slightly to the left before entering the first pre-lift dip. It provides a small pop of air if you’re sitting in the back of the train.
RMC’s flagship pre-lift shenanigans follow.
A miniaturized “wave turn” offers a very small taste of its larger sibling that lies ahead.
Twisted Cyclone’s lift hill reaches just under 100 feet into the sky.
The loud RMC anti-rollback “click-clack” provides hard-to-talk-over background noise as you admire the view of the treeline that surrounds Six Flags Over Georgia.
The train slows to a crawl as it crests the lift. Don’t let the innocence of this 96-foot-tall drop fool you.
The 75-degree plunge packs a punch, especially if you’re seated in the second half of the train. At the base of the drop, the train reaches its top speed of 50 mph.
Next, the train enters one of my new favorite RMC elements: the reverse cobra roll. It contains the first and second of Twisted Cyclone’s three inversions.
The first half of the reverse cobra roll feels similar to the entry of a traditional zero-g roll, but the second half mimics the sensation of RMC’s trademark inverting barrel-roll drop found on other hybrid coasters like Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom.
Now let’s talk about that wave turn.
It’s bonkers. Absolute bonkers — that’s the only word I can find to describe it. My seat and I parted ways for a solid two or three seconds.
This sustained airtime is something only the great minds at RMC can concoct.
While I loved the reverse cobra roll, the wave turn is by far my favorite of RMC’s invented elements. And while each wave turn that I’ve experienced is similar, they’re all unique. Twisted Cyclone’s is small, but that sustained airtime through the entirety of the maneuver is magical.
The first pop of right-side-up ejector air follows the wave turn.
The first over-banked turn is snappy as the train turns 180 degrees toward another onslaught of ejector airtime.
That over-banked turn is followed by — surprise — another pop of air. I left my seat (for the umpteenth time) as the train lurched back toward the ground.
Lesson learned: don’t get too comfortable in your seat on Twisted Cyclone. You won’t be in it for long.
That drop leads into the zero-g roll, which is shrouded within the support structure.
After the zero-g roll, you’re treated to two back-to-back small bunny hills. Yes, more negative Gs.
The final over-banked turn is again nearly hidden within the park’s support structure. The train then navigates through a trick-track-like segment and one last banked turn before rushing into the brake run.
Twisted Cyclone is a relentless storm full of sustained airtime, a beautiful wave turn, three inversions and incredible pacing.
After Twisted Cyclone was announced last year, I read some concerns online about the ride’s relatively short, roughly 2,400-foot-long track length. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice Twisted Cyclone’s pacing and adrenaline-infused finale for an additional 200 feet of track.
From dispatch to brake run, the ride lasts about 1 minute and 12 seconds. Aside from the lift, no time is wasted.
I try to avoid pitting RMC’s creations against each other. I’ve only ridden one of their other hybrid coasters: Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom. While it is longer (2,744 feet), it loses some of its momentum toward the end of the course. Twisted Cyclone, on the other hand, maintains its hurricane-strength momentum from start to finish. The turn into the brake run is just as powerful as the twist out of the reverse cobra roll.
After you exit the ride, you’ll pass through a gift shop where you can pick up your on-ride photo and some Twisted Cyclone gear.
Watch an on-ride video (and a reverse POV of yours truly riding with the wonderful Sharon from Six Flags Over Texas) below:
While Twisted Cyclone is certainly the star attraction at Six Flags Over Georgia in 2018, I can’t forget about this hilarious sign on the coaster’s queue building:
I’ll be running — back to the park soon to ride Twisted Cyclone again. I forecast that it will be a sleeper hit of 2018. Many thanks to the team at Six Flags Over Georgia for the invitation to this event!
Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia opens to the public on Saturday, May 26, 2018. On Friday, May 25, the park is holding an exclusive preview for Six Flags member and season pass from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. More information is available on the park’s website.
Additional photos from the preview are available on our Facebook page.
Have you ridden Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia yet? Share your thoughts about RMC’s newest coaster in the comments section below.