you might even just want to run something simple like a couple of towels or something if you haven't seen what that spin cycle is like. i can't imagine it would say that it is just like hand washing and have a spin like it does all other cycles.
my front load can be opened any time through the cycle as long as it isn't in the process of spinning. once it gets to spin it stays locked for a few minutes after it comes to a complete stop. all machines are different.
felting is harder in the front loads but i gotta say, i LOVE mine. i had one of those big 300 oz bottles of detergent and it lasted me THREE years....and i do about 5-10 loads of laundry a week (just saying i DO was my clothes in case you were wondering! :rofling: ) LOVE THAT!