Sandusky, Ohio (Abbreviation: CP)
Cedar Fair Entertainment
---- THE LATEST NEWS ----
(5/14/2023) New Dragster Construction Site Update (MORE...)
(5/7/2023) New Dragster Spike Construction Images Appear (MORE...)
(5/6/2023) See the new Wild Mouse in Action (MORE...)
(5/5/2023) Check out the Boardwalk, Wild Mouse and Grand Pavilion (MORE...)
(4/24/2023) Top Thrill Dragster Construction Update (MORE...)
Park News - (4/21/2023) Good news from Cedar Point this week. While The Point has yet to join in with most other Cedar Fair theme parks in putting a Chaperone policy into effect, the park did announced that tickets into the park would be just $80 this season… down from $85 last year. Yes… I said down… you read that right. In an move that almost never happens, Cedar Point has actually lowered their ticket prices at the gate this season.
Of course if you really want to save… be sure to buy your tickets online before visiting the park where you can get them through the official website for just $49.99.
(4/7/23) Cedar Point has released a couple of new videos this week of interest to roller coaster fans. In the first video below you’ll see the paint crew applying fresh multi-color paint to the trains for Raptor for this season. (Note: You’ll looking at the steel that holds the seats upside standing upside down in the video, so the dark grey coat being applied will be at the very top where they mount to the chassis, followed by sections of purple, green and then pink.
Below that you’ll see the first video released of the new Wild Mouse coaster in action. Looks like the first test run was completed on the morning of April 5th.
(3/7/2023) Cedar Point will have one less attraction when it opens this season. According to reports, after just four years, Cedar Point will be closing the “Forbidden Frontier” area on Adventure Island. The land’s interactive features where guests could interact with actors playing parts, intended as a sort of Cedar Point version of Knott’s Berry Farm’s “Ghost Town Alive” concept was re-evaluated and the decision was made to close the book on the concept.
(12/4/2022) Cedar Point has finalized their new agreement with the Sandusky government to have city police handle all issues at the park, and Cedar Point’s former park police group will be disbanded. The Sandusky Police Department will now oversee all law enforcement matters at Cedar Point, while the park will still oversee all security matters, with their own security force. The new deal has been negotiated to remain in effects through to March 31, 2028.
2023 - Boardwalk / Wild Mouse - (5/6/2023) By the way, if you want to see just how much the crazy new Wild Mouse at Cedar Point is spinning, check out this preview video clip from CP’s Tony Clark giving it a test ride ahead of the media day in cold wet weather. Amazing! Want to see it running warmed up? Check out the second video as the Cleveland.com team takes a SPIN on media day. The phrase, “Out Of Control” comes to mind very quickly.
(5/5/2023) A ton of photos from the new Cedar Point Boardwalk can be found over at Theme Park Archive taken during the media preview. This is a HUGE photo update that includes a look at the new Wild Mouse roller coaster and all the other rides in the Boardwalk area that is such a colorful addition to the park. They also show a detailed look inside the new Grand Pavilion restaurant, which honestly looks utterly fantastic. Let us not forget the outdoor deck dining patio with the incredible views of the beach and all your favorite rides.
(3/26/23) Cedar Point has sent out a couple of updates about the park’s new Wild Mouse coaster this month on their official blog. The first one goes into detail about the seven different ride vehicles on the coaster. For those not in the know, the Wild Mouse is the latest in a long line of roller coasters installed throughout the world since the 1950’s under the same name that featured a very compact track layout installed in a rectangular footprint that would traditionally start out with a number of non-banked switch-back turns on the upper level and evolve into a series of repeating dips. The design has evolved over the years, moving from the original wooden coaster designs to use modern steel track, with the layouts sometimes exploding out into not-so-compact versions and eventually turned into the more modern “Crazy Mouse” style design that would feature spinning cars.
Bringing us back to Cedar Point’s new for 2023 “Wild Mouse”, it actually would fall under the Crazy Mouse category, as it features the latest generation of Spinning cars from Zamperla along with a non-traditional “Twister Freeform” layout that will rely more on large swooping banked turns, with only a couple of switch-back turns. In a fun throwback to some of the older Wild Mouse designs of old, six of the seven cars will be painted to look like actual Mice, while the seventh will be painted to look like a giant piece of swiss cheese. While originally we had thought all the mouse cars would look the same, Cedar Point has revealed that each of the six mice themed cars will be painted a different color and given a unique name: Ziggy (pink), Zaggy (purple), Dizzy (green), Mazey (teal), Chase (red) and Larry (blue). (Is it just me, or does this remind anyone else of the Ghosts in the classic video game Pac-Man: Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde?)
Sometimes it’s just the little things parks can do that really make a ride stand-out, and adding a little extra personality or flare to the rest of the mice, along with the awesome cheese car, is sure to cause park guests to want to re-ride. Of course it will only be a matter of time before guests pick favorites, or make claims that one mouse provides a superior ride to the rest, though the spinning nature of the ride will always ensure that each ride experience can be entirely unique.
In last week’s update, they also posted a picture of the first of the two mice (Zaggy and Larry) are already loaded onto the tracks to begin testing, along with early work starting to pour the foundations for the Matterhorn and Atomic Scrambler rides. Keep an eye on the park’s Power Tower East webcam, which is focused onto the Wild Mouse and new Boardwalk area to see the latest work taking place on the entire area, and to see if you can spot the Mice testing or the final blue roofing and paint are applied to the Grand Pavilion.
(3/13/2023) The Point has shared a new look at Cedar Point’s Grand Pavilion building, which has risen at the Boardwalk, on the site of the former Wicked Twister roller coaster.
(12/5/2022) The new Wild Mouse at Cedar Point has not only been topped off, but all the track is now fully installed. You can catch a few pictures below that were posted to FB by ACE.
(11/18/22) Our friends at Orlando Experience had a chance to take a picture of the Cheese themed car that will be going to Cedar Point’s new mouse coaster, running along with several other cars themed to mice. A new animation from Zamperla below the photo shows off the new coaster design in action quite well.
(11/15/22) In their latest blog report, Cedar Point shows off how the park is winding down for the off-season and putting the HalloWeekends decor away, but keep on scrolling and you’ll get to see the first images of the park’s new Wild Mouse addition for the 2023 season going up! Lots of bright yellow support pieces and eye-opening orange track.
(10/26/22) A great new look at the construction taking place at Cedar Point can be found on Facebook this week, including what looks like the pouring of the foundation for the new Mouse coaster.
(8/23/22) The Sandusky Register has posted a few pictures they captured of new orange roller coaster track and yellow supports that have arrived for Cedar Point’s 2023 Wild Mouse coaster.
(8/12/22) We’ve got a little more information about the new Wild Mouse coming to Cedar Point in 2023. It has been confirmed to be a new Mouse design from Zamperla, listed as the company’s first “Twister Freeform” coaster. I’ve added a layout graphic from Zamperla showing off what the Twister Freeform layout looks like, which is quite different from your typical Mouse coaster layout, but with the same track length (1,312 ft) as the more standard mouse layout they offer.
You can also watch a video from Zamperla Coasters and Cedar Point’s Tony Clark talking about the new coaster project below.
(8/11/22) Cedar Point has confirmed their 2023 plans to create a new "Boardwalk" area along the former side of Wicked Twister. This will include the two-story Grand Pavilion building where guests can dine as well as enjoy a drink on the patio of the Lakeview Bar.
The Boardwalk will also see the addition of the park's 18th roller coaster, Wild Mouse. This will actually be an entirely new roller coaster, and not the move of the Mad Mouse from California's Great America as previous rumored. The new Wild Mouse will stand 58 feet tall and feature spinning cars. In addition to the new Wild Mouse, the park will also relocate the Scrambler and Matterhorn to the new Boardwalk area, with the Scrambler getting an upgrade and renamed as Atomic Scrambler. The nearby Tiki Twirl will also be renamed to Calypso as a nod to another attraction from Cedar Point's past history.
(7/26/22) A reader sent in some new photos of the Cedar Point construction site showing off the progress on the building now starting to rise.
(7/10/22) It’s hard to say exactly what this is for, Cedar Point has fenced off a small piece of land located between the Cedar Point Express Hotel and the Prayers From Maria Sunflower Field, located on the mainland on Cedar Point Drive. From the look of things, this is likely a new staging area for the park’s 2023 projects. A staging area is essentially a fenced off location used for the delivery, storage and prep of new construction items for the expansion projects. Given that space is limited on the peninsula itself, it would make sense to put something like this here. Though this is hardly out of sight, as everyone coming to the park will drive past here before hitting the Causeway. A couple of pictures of the site were sent in by an anonymous reader.
If this is what the site is for, don’t be surprised if you only see deliveries of normal construction supplies, lumber and framing as they’ve got a pretty big building to put up on the former Wicked Twister site.
Speaking of which, another great construction update showing off the progress on the new restaurant building can be see posted to FB (below) by CP Rundown.
(7/1/22) A number of fun new posters have arrived on the construction walls at Cedar Point this week that definitely seem to be promoting the area as a new “Boardwalk” themed area. Amusement Park Portal posted several photos of them this week to their FB page (see below) which includes a few worth noting.
If you carefully read the Troika one, the text says “More Fun, Fun Fun Joins Troika in 2023!” which seems to be a clear indication that at least one new ride may be coming to the area. In addition to mentioning Troika, other posters promote the continued existence of rides like Giant Wheel and Windseeker to the area, align with some hinting about the restaurant to come with lines like, “Lakeside Views Boardwalk News”, “We’re Building A Better Boardwalk” and “We’re Making Some GRAND Changes”. The use of the word “GRAND” in the one may also tie into another rumor claimign that the new restaurant structure may be called the Grand Pavilion. The park’s original Grand Pavilion structure was built in 1888 and has been changed and expanded over the years to the point that it no longer looks the way it used to. What remains is now part of the park’s existing Cedar Point Convention Center structure building.
Back to the subject of that new ride… I dropped this rumor in the latest update about the fate of California’s Great America, but I’ll mention it here as well. According to a rumor sent in earlier this year that contained a bunch of information that is appearing to be very accurate thus far about the 2023 Boardwalk project, our source also mentions a new small coaster being brought to the park that could possibly be named after one of the park’s older lost coasters, such as the Wildcat.
At the time our source suggested that the new coaster coming to Cedar Point could be one transferred over from another Cedar Fair theme park. At the time an actual coaster was pointed out to me, but I wasn’t sure I believed it at that point in time, so I kept that ride’s identity to myself. Given the surprising news just released that California’s Great America will eventually be closing down, I will now share that I was told that CGA’s Psycho Mouse coaster (a rare Arrow Mad Mouse) might make the move to Ohio from California. While Cedar Point has many roller coasters, the currently lineup actually does not have any kind of “mouse” coaster, so the arrival of Psycho Mouse would fit right in to the new Boardwalk setting if they choose to go that route.
(6/18/22) Some new construction photos were posted to FB by CP Rundown now include a bit of interesting “themeing” on the construction wall as well as a look at the foundation footers being formed.
The walls now include a small logo that simply says CP 1870, along with a larger logo for the G.A. Boeckling Company. CP Rundown did the initial search on this and discovered that G.A. Boeckling is the name of the park’s newest engine on the railroad, named in 2013 for the 50th anniversary of the park’s railroad. As for who “G.A. Boeckling” is, apparently he was the general manager of “Cedar Point Pleasure Resort Co.” in 1897.
Now with a beach-side location, I’m assuming the building under construction here won't be themed to the railroad, plus the other logo mentions 1870, the opening year for Cedar Point itself. Under Boeckling’s leadership of the resort from 1897 to when he passed in 1931, saw the property transformed from a simple picnic property into a well known amusement park and beach resort. This era saw the addition of not only rides and roller coasters, but also the opening of the Hotel Breakers in 1905, followed by Hotel Cedars, White House Hotel, Crystal Rock Castle and the Crystal Gardens Ballroom.
While Cedar Point still isn’t saying what they are working on here, the latest permits discovered do back up the rumor from last month that we will see a two-story restaurant structure built here that will offer views of Lake Erie to diners. The permit itself describes the structure as a two-story “food building” featuring 25,700 sqft of space, at a cost of $12 million.
So while the mention of Boeckling on the wall may seem a bit odd at first, Boeckling’s era was defined by promoting the property as a resort destination featuring all the various things you can do at Cedar Point, while never highlighting it as an amusement park. So while the construction of what may become a landmark new dining destination for the park along Lake Erie isn’t going to be what the ride lovers want, it does fall in line with the old concept of ensuring that Cedar Point has far more to offer than just being a top tier amusement park.
(6/13/22) A series of new construction pictures of what is taking place at Cedar Point around the former Wicked Twister site was posted to FB by CP Rundown.
(5/29/22) Today we have another look at the construction progress taking place in the beach area where Wicked Twister used to be. Looks like they’re preparing to pour some large foundation pieces in the sand, which makes sense as any building placed here would likely be elevated slightly to rest above the surface to stay above any rising water.
(5/21/22) A reader sent in some incredible pictures of the former Wicked Twister construction site at Cedar Point, where the construction walls have been expanded not only further into the park, but also out onto the beach and down around the former site of the old Extreme Sports Stadium / Oceana Stadium location that I believe closed way back at the end of the 2017 season.
So what’s the future plan for this location? The more confirmed whispers indicate that a nice bar and restaurant with views of the beach and water is the most likely addition for the narrow strip formerly occupied by Wicked Twister. As for the rest, the rumor is that we may see a collection of small rides come here to fill in the gaps the same way that Tiki Twirl and Troika do. There is also a rumor that one of these rides could be a Wild Mouse style coaster that could be branded as a throw-back experience to one of The Point’s lost attractions, The Wildcat.
2023 - Cedar Point ESports Arena - In Development - (7/31/21) The local news reports that Cedar Fair is making plans to build a 1,500 seat E-Sports Arena site near their Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky. If all goes as planned, construction on the $28 million facility will begin before the end of the year that will feature 200 gaming stations and able to host gaming tournaments year-round once it opens in mid-2023. The design of the site will also allow it to be used for concerts and other large events.
2024 - Reformulated Top Thrill Dragster - (5/14/2023) A fantastic new construction update from Cedar Point has been posted this weekend to Facebook, with an assortment of photos of the new footers as seen from the Iron Dragon side.
(5/7/2023) Cedar Point is open for the season and of course everyone decended upon the former Top Thrill Dragster site to get a first hand look at what’s going on. From what I understand, the park kept Iron Dragon closed, which would have been the place to get some of the best views of what appears to be site prep for a rear-spike structure. It mattered not however, as eagle-eyed guests were able to spot a set of brand new footers now in place on the site, ready and awaiting whatever The Point has planned to install there for 2024.
Meanwhile the latest fly-by video of The Point from Lake Erie Lifestyles youtube channel also shows work is under way to create two more large footers on the Dragster side of the Iron Dragon track that line up perfectly with the new triangle formation.
(4/24/2023) A new video featuring some drone footage shot by flying near Cedar Point has been seen below, giving us a look at the updated Boardwalk area under construction, as well as the latest look at what’s going on by Top Thrill Dragster. As they note, the Iron Dragon track is already back in place, and that steel triangle form has been mostly surrounded by dirt, and filled in with what looks like a grid of rebar.
It is possible that the park is trying to wrap up the heavy digging and disruptions as we approach the start of the Cedar Point season. Once the season starts, there is a chance that the pace of visible construction may slow considerably.
(3/29/2023) Remember how we mentioned that some of Iron Dragon’s track had been removed just behind the former Top Thrill Dragster station? All the rumors for months now have claimed that the big change coming to Dragster when it reopens would be to build a rear-spike and turn the ride into a swing-launch creation, though Cedar Point denied this work was anything to do with the 2024 Dragster project. But as I said at the time… they were probably lying.
Like Pants-On-Fire Lying! Big Time… because check out the awesome new aerial photo of this same area of the park posted on Twitter by ElToroRyan and you’ll clearly see work taking place in the drained lagoon to create a positively huge triangle-shaped form, likely to make a large concrete pad that will be used to support the rumored rear-spike. You’ll also see how the triangle aligns perfectly with the station and the former Dragster launch track.
(3/7/2023) While i don’t have any pictures, during a Winter enthusiast event at Cedar Point it was noticed that sections of Iron Dragon’s track located just behind the Dragster station has been removed. According to CPs Tony Clark, this has nothing to do with the Dragster project, and was just needed to move heavy equipment into place for something else. Iron Dragon will be put back together in time to run by this May.
While I don’t doubt Iron Dragon will be back, and I have no doubt that there is work taking place that needs to allow access by heavy equipment. But I think they may be fibbing a bit when they say that this doesn’t involve what they’re doing with the former Top Thrill Dragster. Especially as a good number of rumors have suggested that the new version of the ride may receive some kind of swing/launch system that would require the installation of some kind of rear-spike track behind the station. The biggest problem with that rumor’s concept was that Iron Dragon’s track was in the way, so any construction to this site would have to take place in the off season to allow for some temporary track removal. Like… what they are doing at this very moment.
Makes you go, “Hmmm…. “ doesn’t it?
(2/13/2023) It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any news about what’s happening at Cedar Point with the former Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster, but based on the new aerial photo seen below, it looks like nothing at all is left other than the track on the tower. The station has been gutted completely, leaving over the overhang, the entire area around it has been dug out, and the old center track-storage area has also been dug out, leaving a trench filled with rain water at the moment. At this point, about the only thing left here are the old supports from the brake run.
(1/10/2023) For all those who have been in denial that the former Top Thrill Dragster coaster would be rebuilt, “reimagined” and returning in the future, Cedar Point just confirmed that the new version would return in 2024 with a new video on YouTube yesterday which you can see below. Also interesting is a great new aerial shot showing off the current state of construction from the station side of the project area, giving us a much better look at just how much land has been cleared out, including everything under the station canopy.
From this angle, it kind of makes me think... you know... there may actually still be room to put in that rear-spike we’ve all been dreaming about.
(12/31/2022) With Cedar Point closed, it has been awhile since we’ve seen any good updates about what is going on with Top Thrill Dragster. A new aerial pic of the site taken earlier this month and posted to Reddit however gives us a great look at the Dragster site.
As we saw in the fall, just before the park closed in late October, all of the track from the brake run, the turn through the station and all the launch track down to the building that houses the actual cable launch system are still removed. Since then however, it appears that work crews have also begun to entirely gut the interior of the station itself, leaving only the roof in place. They’ve got an excavator on site here as well that has removed the rising pathways that would lead from the queue up to the station itself as well as the entire exit platform guests would use to leave the coaster and return to the midway. Excavators have also dug up the entire area where the maintenance / transfer tracks once sat, including all the footers in the space between the bleacher seats and the station building. While those transfer tracks and supports were already removed in the fall, this area has now been completely dug out. You’ll also notice that the entire inner courtyard queue for Dragster has also been completely removed. Every railing… every shade structure… all gone.
So at this point the only thing that seems to have remained untouched has been the 420 foot tower and track itself. Otherwise, it is also worth noting that nothing really beyond the scope of the original ride area is being touched as well. While a lot can change between now and when they open what they have planned, the lack of any work outside the existing area would seem to be an indicator that the rumored and wishful thoughts hoping for some kind of expanded layout, such as the addition of a rear spike, is now less likely to be happening. Or at least, nothing on a scale that would change the footprint of the ride.
(11/6/22) The latest rumor slowly leaking out about Top Thrill Dragster is about what company was hired to do the work on the ride. While I was asked not to say anything a couple months ago other than that Intamin wasn’t involved, the trail of breadcrumbs have started to reveal a connection with Italy (some of Dragster’s removed track pieces have been shipped overseas) and the rumored involvement of Zamperla.
Now I’m not saying 100% that it is Zamperla just yet, but that is indeed the rumor that was sent my way months ago. In an interesting coincidence, a poster in the same Reddit threat mentions that Zamperla was also rumored to be moving and providing a new launch system and trains to the closed “Senzafiato” coaster at the now closed Miragica park in Italy that was another one of Intamin’s Accelerator style launched coaster projects. I believe the park opened in 2009 but then the entire park failed to open in 2019 due to financial issues and then of course remained closed in 2020 when Italy was hit hard by the pandemic and has never reopened.
It’s clear that Zamperla has been pushing their coaster division hard over the past year or so. The company has always been a huge provider of other riders with a good reputation for quality products purchased by about every major theme park chain across the globe, including Disney. Zamperla has always made roller coasters as well, though has never reached the success of reputation level of the giants like B&M, Intamin or even Vekoma, but they seem poised and determined to change that going forward. Tackling a project of this kind of magnitude for Cedar Fair would certainly go a long way towards achieving that goal, so stay tuned!
(10/3/22) Things are getting more serious over at the Top Thrill Dragster work site at Cedar Point. Based on the latest photos sent in to Screamscpae you can now see that not only has even more launch track been removed from the supports, but if you look in the background you can also see that the returning / brake track run is also being rapidly removed all the way from the station back to just past the “Finish” line sign. It also looks like all the transfer/maintenance tracks that used to sit between the launch track and the inner queue have also been removed.
(9/28/22) Another video shot at Cedar Point takes a peek over the construction walls to see what’s going on with all the track removal happening around the station and the start of the launch track.
(9/25/22) It didn’t take long for work crews to descended upon Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point it seems. A reader sent in some pictures shot around Sept. 11th showing that the launch cable and most of the retractable brake-fins on the launch track were in the process of being removed.
Jump ahead to this week and some welders were spotted in this same general area working on the track yesterday morning, and according to a Facebook post, the track was reported to be removed from the unloading area through to the loading station. While work on the launch track isn’t surprising given the speculation that Dragster will likely be updated with a magnetic launch system. However the removal of the load/unload station track is much telling that we will see some major changes take place here. Suddenly the concept of remodeling the station track to allow for a switch-track and dedicated multi-launch track segment, complete with a rear spike structure doesn’t quite seem so far fetched.
(9/16/22) Remember how I described one possible idea to update Top Thrill Dragster would be to add a switch from the station over to a dedicated launch track where a new LSM powered launch system would turn the coaster into a Multi-Launch attraction, shooting up the tower first, giving every train a roll-back experience, back through the launch and up a new rear-spike track that would feature a twisted spirl track, not unlike Wicked Twisted, before falling back down and through the launch for a full powered run up and over the Dragster tower as normal?
I guess I wasn’t alone in envisioning that concept, as an awesome animated concept of exactly what I described has been posted to YouTube by Savage Coasters, who are calling the concept Dragster 555. Check it out below, but keep in mind this is just fan-speculation and blue-sky dreaming… and not anything official from the park.
It sure looks like a lot of fun though!
(9/11/22) The rumor mill is suddenly very loud with ideas as to how Cedar Point will re-invent Top Thrill Dragster for the 2024 season. As I previously suggested myself, if Cedar Fair is going to be pumping money into revising the coaster, there is no way they are going to drop several million on it only to promote it as being a slower or shorter experience than it was before. As Captain Marvel said it best, “HIGHER, FURTHER, FASTER BABY!”
For starters, there was no love lost between Six Flags and Cedar Fair when just two years after Top Thrill Dragster opened in 2003, Six Flags Great Adventure opened Kingda Ka in true one-upmanship fashion, with a 128mph launch (8mph faster than Dragster), and a 456 foot tower / 418 foot drop compared to Dragster’s 420 ft tower and 400 foot drop. To make Kingda Ka a little more fancy, they added in a fun air-time hill after the drop just to rub it in.
Footprint wise, both of these massive Stratacoasters fit into about the same size footprint, with Dragster said to hit 120mph in 4 seconds, but Ka hitting 128mph in just 3.5 seconds. Based on some very approximate measurements from Google Maps, the launch track from the station to where the track rises up the tower on both Dragster and Kingda Ka is about 800 feet. By comparison, Intamin later built Red Force at Ferrari Land in Spain (attached to PortAventura) in 2017 using modern LSM technology which hits a top speed of just under 112mph in 5 seconds, using only approximately 550 to 600 feet of launch track.
I’m no physicist or engineering student, but thank the internet for making awesome calculator tools to figure some of this stuff out.
Top Thrill Dragster, going from 0 to 120 in 4 seconds = acceleration of 44 ft/s.
Kingda Ka, going from 0 to 128 in 3.5 seconds = acceleration of 53.64 ft/s.
Red Force, going from 0 to 112 in 5 seconds = acceleration of 32.85 ft/s.
What I can’t quite exactly figure out, and I’ll leave this to those in the proper fields of science to determine, is if it is possible for Dragster to hit a higher top speed than Kingda Ka while switching to an LSM launch system. Since Red Force hits a top speed of nearly 112mph with a much shorter launch track than Dragster, it seems to be a safe bet that Dragster could still reach the required 120mph speed (just 8mph faster than Red Force) with an LSM system with it’s longer length launch track. I’m just not sure if it could reach a speed of, say… 130 to 135mph for example, just enough to take the North American record back from Ka.
Of course, if Cedar Fair were able to make the new version of Dragster go faster, than of course they would also likely be willing to go a little taller. If the support system could handle it, I can imagine ride designers coming up with a way to take the top section of Dragsters tower off and re-engineering it all to possibly allow for a slightly taller tower. They wouldn’t have to increase the height to be taller than KA entirely, as long as the drop was increased from 400 feet to be higher than Ka’s 418 ft. Of course some of the height modifications could also be done by lowering the bottom ends of the track at the base of the tower into a below-grade trench.
We could be looking at the possibility of other track modifications, such as the addition of an Ka style air-time hill after the drop, maybe even with some kind of prolonged roll-over inversion built into the hill, which is something we’ve been seeing Intamin doing a bit of lately on their newer coasters. Of course there may also be a way of incorporating another one of Intamin’s latest coaster trends with the holy-grail of Top Thrill Dragster ride-moments… the roll-back. By rebuilding the station and the use of a switch-track from the station onto a dedicated launch-track featuring a rear-spike track, what if the new Dragster was converted into a multi-launch coaster? Launching first at a fairly strong speed up the tower, but not quite fast enough to hit the peak, falling backwards and up the rear spike and then forwards again, through the launch track that would boost the top speed fast enough to allow the train to climb over the top of the tower and complete the circuit.
In many ways, not only would this concept provide every riders with that rare-feeling of a roll-back experience on Dragster but could also bring back the lost sensation of rising backwards up a spiked piece of track, possibly one that spiraled, that was lost when the park removed Wicked Twister. The multi-launch system would also likely provide the ability for a new LSM launch system to reach whatever new speed that Cedar Fair wanted to achieve with this new creation.
Again this is just mostly speculation here as to how Cedar Point could turn the retirement of Top Thrill Dragster into a win-win situation for the park, by turning it into something even more thrilling, and potentially taking the record back for having the tallest and fastest Stratacoaster in the world.
(9/6/22) Cedar Point has finally released a statement on social media regarding the future of Top Thrill Dragster. After 19 seasons and 18 million riders, “Top Thrill Dragster, as you know it, is being retired.”
You’ll be quick to pick-up on the “as you know it” part of the line, which is followed up later in the post with the following statement, “Our team is hard at work, creating a new and reimagined ride experience. We’ll share more details and information at a later date.”
So… Top Thrill Dragster is done… but it definitely sounds like the ride will be modified, rebuilt and changed in some fashion to reopen as something else in the future. I’d say that it’s pretty much a given that Cedar Point will take this opportunity to scrap the troublesome launch system and replace it with a modern LSM launch system, though the downside is that it may be a little less intense than what Dragster fans were used to experiencing. I’d also expect changes to the queue to move the guests waiting in line further away from the tracks, or placed within covered structures, but otherwise there is no telling just how far Cedar Point may be willing to go to change the experience.
After all, while Top Thrill Dragster may have been the first “strata coaster”, it wasn’t long until Six Flags made Kingda Ka, which was a little taller and a little faster. It wouldn’t surprise me if they took this opportunity to try and take those records back from Kingda Ka in some fashion if possible.
I’d also expect that we wont see the new version of the ride ready to open until at least 2024, so we’ll probably be waiting quite awhile for the next update.
(8/5/22) It’s safe to say that a lot of the coaster fans out there in the world have been waiting patiently to find out what will happen with Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. At one point the rumors did not look good for the ride, but according to new pictures posted to Facebook, a large numbers of markings have now been added all around the Dragster area which seem to indicate that some kind of work project is getting ready to start.
Dragster has been closed since late Summer 2021, after a guest in the queue was struck by a piece of metal that flew off from one of the roller coaster trains. With the majority of Dragster’s queue area positioned in between the launch and return tracks, with an open air queue, the best way to prevent this from possibly happening again would be to either enclose the queue, or move it to a new location further away from the tracks. With that in mind, the markings could possibly be an indicator that the ride queue may be moved by the start of next season if they are planning to reopen Dragster.
As an interesting side note, it was reported on social media that the lighting package in space that normally lights up the massive 420 foot Top Thrill Dragster tower was turned on again for the first time this year. While this simply could have just been a test to make sure that the lights are still functional, many have taken it as a sort of silent “Bat-Signal” style sign from Cedar Point that Dragster will return.
(5/29/22) Screamscape has been sent some unsettling potential news about the fate of Top Thrill Dragster. Now given the whole Kumba debacle that took place earlier this year when someone intentionally spread false news claiming that particular roller coaster was to be closed, I’m going to be a little more cautious here. That said. there really is no easy way to say this, other than to say that the fate of Top Thrill Dragster may have been decided.
On a related note, a source claims that little in the way of Dragster specific themed merchandise is being sold in the park this season. You may find some items that show off the park’s skyline that show Dragster, but SOME new specific merchandise items that list the park’s coasters no longer include both Wicked Twister and Dragster, so these are new items where the omission was made on purpose. Otherwise if you find something that lists Dragster, it may be leftover merchandise from last season.
It is also worth noting that no trains for Dragster have been returned to the coaster’s main or transfer tracks in the park, and a few comments on Twitter also claim there have been no signs of the trains anywhere visible backstage either. So where are the trains? As I recall, Top Thrill Dragster opened with six trains, but we’ve also heard a very strange and unverified rumor claiming that up to three of Dragster’s trains may have been loaded up and shipped off to Knott’s Berry Farm in California, possibly for use as spare parts for Xcelerator.
Again, all rumors are unverified at this time, but hopefully some hard truths will come out about the fate of Top Thrill Dragster before too long. Specifically, it sounds like we may have to wait until at least August until The Point is ready to confirm anything.
(2/19/22) Ok folks, we got some bad news this week from Cedar Point, as the park has officially confirmed that Top Thrill Dragster will remain closed for the 2022 season. Not just the start of the season… but the whole season. Ouch!
Now I can’t say that I didn’t expect there to perhaps be at least some kind of delayed opening. After all, this is all fallout from the incident last August that saw Dragster get shut down for the remainder of the season after a piece of metal broke away from one of the trains and struck a guest in the queue, causing severe injury. Fans have been waiting for some kind of status update on the coaster ever since, and following the release of the state’s accident report yesterday, confirming the shut down of Dragster for the season was Cedar Point’s official response.
So what did the accident report say? After six months of investigation, the investigation determined that “'after examining the documentation provided and conducting interviews of Cedar Point staff, ODA found no evidence that Cedar Point had knowledge of or reason to believe that the Top Thrill Dragster was in an unsafe condition that could cause a hazard to riders, employees, or the public on Aug. 15, 2021.”
So this appears to officially release Cedar Point from any kind of accusation of negligence regarding the accident. This isn’t surprising, as this is Cedar Point we’re talking about, and no one knows more about taking care of their fleet of rides than they do, plus the park has a fairly impeccable safety record for the most part. On the other hand, this is Top Thrill Dragster we are talking about, and this isn’t the first time that something has broke free from a train and been thrown. Anyone remember Dragster in the first season, back when the tail of the train still looked like the backside of a Drag Racer car, giant tires and all? Much of that theming vanished after one of those tires ended up in the bushes between the base of the tower and Camp Snoopy.
Those big hunking tires were all quickly removed from trains, leaving them running with just the tail of the dragster. About a season or two later the back car was entirely transformed to look like a regular coaster car, adding an extra row of seats to the back car in the process for extra capacity, leaving the front car as the only remaining piece of Drag Racer theming on the trains.
So let’s get back to the decision to close Dragster for the entire 2022 season. While the report clears the park of blame for the incident, the closure seem to indicate that Cedar Point is planning to take some kind of action to further prevent this kind of thing from happening. This could take the form of something simple, such as an internal assessment regarding the long-term feasibility of keeping the ride in operation, but following the removal of Wicked Twister I would think that the last thing they want to do is to remove another major piece of the park’s iconic skyline. So with that in mind, we have to think along the lines of what else the park can do to further protect guests from harm? Compared to other similar coaster designs that have followed, one of the unique things you could say about Dragster would be the placement of the ride’s queue in the center of the ride, with guests entering this area about half-way down the launch track where the trains roar by at extreme speed on both the launch and return trip down the tower. If Cedar Point has a failing, it would be a general rejection of the idea of building solid roof structures to cover their ride queues. Instead the park’s standard design is to use large cattle style switchbacks mostly left wide open to the exposure of the sun. On the longer queues, about the most you can expect is some soft tent-fabric style coverage over certain queues (like Millennium Force) which would do little to stop a stay piece of metal from ripping right through them. So with this in mind, the safest solution to add another layout of protection to the guests in the queue would be either to move some of the queue away from these high-speed areas, or to construct a more solid building to enclose the queue in these areas. Maybe with Air Conditioning? Ok that last part may be asking too much, but you get my point. They could also perhaps install some kind of barrier walls, or tunnels along these points of the ride as well as an extra protective measure.
However it plays out, Cedar Point is putting Dragster operations on hold this year, so keep your eyes open to see if the landscape around the coaster begins to change this season.
(8/25/21) According to a local news article, they have discovered a little more information about the accident that took place on Top Thrill Dragster. The piece that struck the woman in the queue was confirmed to have come off the Green Train and not from the coaster structure itself, and was identified as a “flag plate”. The Flag Plate is an L-shaped piece of metal, roughly the size of an adult hand, and is attached to the back of each train where it acts as a sensor to help the coaster’s operating system monitor where each train is on the track.
The Green Train has been out for further inspection, but where the bracket was missing they report that roughly half of the bolts designed to hold the flag plate to the train were still in place. There were signs of impact and deformation reported to the ‘finish line’ area of the ride, as well as signs of impact on the “horizontal track beams” 25 feet away from the brake area. Currently they have not determined how or where the piece broke off from the Green train.
(8/18/21) Another bit of bad news this week as various reports confirm that a woman waiting in line for Top Thrill Dragster was struck by a falling metal object that came off the ride. The park’s EMT team responded and transported the woman out of the park for medical treatment and for the time being Top Thrill Dragster is now closed to investigate what happened.
The story got a little more complicated a couple of days later amid some claims about improper care of the woman by the park’s EMTs. BodyCam footage of the medical responders can be seen here, where a bystander who was there at the scene claims that the woman was ‘inappropriately placed on a gurney” and they did not use a Cervical Collar. Also according to the report, it is believed the piece of the ride that struck the woman was a large bolt (described as being about the size of a soda can!) which was found by an employee and handed to a maintenance worker.