Walking down the long concrete path leading to the thrill ride, it’s difficult to discern exactly what it is.
The new Cyborg Cyber Spin at Six Flags Great Adventure’s Jackson, NJ, theme park is now up and running for its first weekend. But the new attraction bares very little resemblance to your usual Tilt-a-Whirls or high-speed roller coasters. It looks more like something you’d view in a museum, or perhaps in miniature on a science teacher’s desk.
The Cyborg Cyber Spin is basically a giant gyroscope. Really giant. As in: seven stories tall! It puts riders inside three square frames, each of which rotates on its own axis. As the Cyborg gears up, the squares start flipping and pivoting, sending riders in seemingly a zillion different directions.
Early reactions from those riders are raves.
Devanie Shirley, a 17-year-old high school senior from Pitman, NJ, proclaims she felt like she was flying, while Daniel Holstein, a 25-year-old Arby’s manager from Hamilton, NJ, says he felt like he was inside a washing machine. And 14-year-old Gianna Nakopoulos of Cinnaminson, NJ, compares it to rolling down a hill (an experience with which she admits she’s familiar).
“When we were upside down, there was a lot of pressure, and I felt like my brain was coming out!” the ninth-grader says.
With its gray and red coloring, the ride is loosely themed after DC Comics superhero Cyborg, who appears as part of the Justice League alongside his flashier friends Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. A large cutout of the character greets guests above the ride’s entrance as they line up.
When it’s time to board the gondola, 24 people file in, choosing seats and lowering their chest restraints. A couple of days ago, I was one of them. Moments later, the machine rises as everyone’s feet dangle helplessly, higher and higher. Dramatic, movie-scorelike music playing on the promenade ups the urgency.
Then, with no warning, the tumbling begins. We’re rotating up and over, forward and backward, around and around — really, it’s impossible to know which way we’re going. Even a GPS would wouldn’t be able to help. The movement speeds up and slows down unexpectedly, so I can’t even figure out how long we’re hanging in each position. Experiencing negative and positive gravitational forces makes me lose all sense of place, and I’m overcome with the peculiar joy of having my stomach drop, twist and drop again.
A little more than a minute later, we’re back on the ground, bewildered by what just happened. But I’m certain I want to do it again (OK, maybe I’m lying).
Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527; 732-928-2000; SixFlags.com/GreatAdventure. For travel from Port Authority, take the 308 express NJ Transit bus with a round-trip bus and park ticket package ($79.50 for adults, $58.90 for kids).
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