Six Flags Over Georgia’s next big ride is a new kind of roller coaster

6:47 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 Atlanta Summer Guide

The Georgia Cyclone may be gone at Six Flags Over Georgia, but it sure won’t be forgotten. Coming in its place in 2018 is Twisted Cyclone, a new ride combining a classic wooden structure with a modern steel track designed for a smoother, more thrilling ride experience.

Six Flags Over Georgia announced this week the next big ride is a hybrid roller coaster, which brings together old and new elements of a coaster for a sleek and intense ride.

Construction for the new coaster is underway, and it is expected to be open for Memorial Day weekend in 2018. In some ways, the Twisted Cyclone will resemble its predecessor. The new ride will reuse part of the existing structure of the Georgia Cyclone. But for the most part, this is very different from the Georgia Cyclone.

This artist’s rendering shows the coaster train on the Twisted Cyclone ride. Twisted Cyclone features trains that look like convertible sports cars. The ride is replacing the former Georgia Cyclone coaster. CONTRIBUTED BY SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA

The new ride is roughly the same height (about 100 feet) and reaches about the same speed (50 mph), but the first hill will be much steeper (75 degrees compared with about 50 degrees). Twisted Cyclone will turn riders upside down three times, while the Georgia Cyclone had no inversions. Twisted Cyclone will have new highly styled trains with different restraints. And steel rails will provide a smoother ride with more acrobatics.

“Six Flags was the first in the industry to introduce this hybrid technology, and Twisted Cyclone is a shining example of Six Flags innovation at its very best,” said park President Dale Kaetzel. “Year after year, our park keeps delivering unique thrills for all ages, and this state-of-the-art hybrid coaster is an absolute game-changer.”

Twisted Cyclone’s custom coaster trains are modeled after a classic 1960s sports convertible and will provide a wild ride that includes 10 airtime moments (that sensation riders feel when they rise off of their seats; for coaster fans, airtime is pure joy) along 2,400 feet of track.

This artist’s rendering shows the Twisted Cyclone coaster descending the ride’s first drop. Twisted Cyclone will incorporate the structure of the former Georgia Cyclone ride. CONTRIBUTED BY SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA

RELATED: Six Flags Over Georgia: Decades of thrills

Roller coaster enthusiasts have been speculating about what would replace the Georgia Cyclone and likely will be pleased with news of Twisted Cyclone. Several other Six Flags parks have taken aging wooden coasters and similarly converted them with the steel-rail treatment, resulting in rave reviews of the new rides. Six Flags pioneered the technology, debuting it on the New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas in 2011.

Gene Petriello, spokesman for Six Flags Over Georgia, said the Twisted Cyclone ride is the culmination of a five-year plan for the park that has included the additions of a string of big attractions, including Hurricane Harbor in 2014 and Justice League Battle for Metropolis, a virtual reality ride, this past year.

“We listen to our guests, and everyone has been asking when is the next roller coaster coming to Six Flags,” said Petriello.

Petriello expects this coaster to be a big hit with park enthusiasts.

“This roller coaster has the personality of a classic wooden coaster but the innovation and modern technology of a steel track, which allows for a more intense, thrilling ride like never before.”

In July, Six Flags Over Georgia announced that its iconic Georgia Cyclone wooden coaster would go away forever.

RELATED: Flashback Fotos: Six Flags Over Georgia through the years

The Georgia Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia closed at the end of the July.  TOM KELLEY/TKELLEY@AJC.COM

The classic ride had given nearly 8.7 million rides since opening in 1990. Many coaster enthusiasts made special trips to Six Flags Over Georgia to ride the Georgia Cyclone one last time before the park shuttered the ride on July 30.

The Georgia Cyclone was a mirror image of the legendary Coney Island Cyclone. Over the years, generations of families had ridden the Georgia Cyclone together. The ride was extremely popular when it first opened, but it has been overshadowed by more modern rides including Goliath and Superman.

While the Georgia Cyclone may have “gone away forever,” its spirit, as well as part of its structure, will live on in its successor. Twisted Cyclone looks like it should live up to if not exceed the high standard the older wooden ride had set. Everyone will find out in 2018.

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