Unlucky Cyclone Roller Coaster Riders Get Stuck 85 Feet in the Air


On Sunday, Brooklyn’s oldest roller coaster ride gave out at the top of its track, forcing 12 riders to hoof their way to safety—nearly 85 feet down.

“It was terrifying, because I was up there and everything was spinning,” Gabriella Centeno told NBC after taking the long climb down. “I’m scared of heights.”


It’s an “isolated mechanical issue,” according to the New York Times, but it also happened on opening day of Brooklyn’s Luna Park on Coney Island—which I guess is a good reminder of what we’re dealing with. The Cyclone was built in June 1927, so it’s 87 years old. It’s no spring coaster.

I experienced its terror personally a few years back, after my daredevil of a mother saw the Cyclone on television and became dead set on riding it when she came to visit. I am not a big fan of heights—I like my Converse on the ground—but mama gets what mama wants. Boarding the coaster, I was acutely aware of how old the thing was, like the Grizzly coaster at Great America theme park back home in California, which seemed to break every time I went to that place growing up. Yet, here I was, rolling over the Cyclone’s rails as my mom screamed with glee and I grimaced, praying that the ride would act right, not break and just get us to the bottom safely. We made it off alive, moms hopping around exuberantly as she disembarked, me clutching the railing trying to re-center myself. I made it through the Cyclone smoothly and was still rocked; I can’t even imagine being one of Sunday’s unlucky dozen.

Remember this cautionary tale when you’re trying to recreate Beyoncé’s “XO” video.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin