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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster

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Published: January 8, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Got a need for speed? Then hop aboard today's spotlight attraction, Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster, the 12th seed in the Best Roller Coster bracket in the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament.

This Intamin AG Accelerator was the world's tallest and fastest coaster when it debuted in May 2003. It's since been "topped" by other coasters, but remains Theme Park Insider readers' favorite "top hat" accelerator coaster, earning it its place in the tournament.

Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster

The ride on Top Thrill Dragster is straight-forward, literally. You launch from zero to 120+ miles per hour, then scrub off that speed as you travel up a 400-foot tower. You pick up the speed again as you plunge straight back down, finally hitting the brakes for a turn-around back in to the station. No dips, wide sweeping turns, or inversions. Just speed, baby, speed.

And, oh yeah, an awesome view of the entire Cedar Point at the top. If you have your eyes open, that is.

What do you think of Top Thrill Dragster? Tell us in the comments. Then be ready to vote when the Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament gets started in March.

Update: I forgot to mention the other Intamin Accelerators out there: Six Flags Great Adventure's Kingda Ka, of course, followed Top Thrill Dragster and beat its height and speed records, though not its view. Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm preceded Top Thrill Dragster, though the California version is just half the height and speed of its Ohio sibling, offering similar specs to Hersheypark's Storm Runner.

Readers' Opinions

From Larry Zimmerman on January 8, 2010 at 10:17 PM
I finally got to ride this creature last summer, and it was worth the hour or so wait to experience it. The gut-wrenching, eyeball-spinning, vertigo-inducing launch throws you screaming up the tower, and then sends you racing back to the load platform with a little twist on the way down.

I agree with Robert -- don't blink, or you'll miss the great view at the top.

Top Thrill Dragster and its clones will rate high in the competition this year, I'm sure of it!

From 174.96.189.208 on January 9, 2010 at 9:13 AM
Beautiful at night especially because MF is lit up and it looks beautiful! Then look as far out as you can....AMAZING! I LOVE this ride! I have waited up to 2 hours, I heard opening day 2003, up to 9hrs wait. It is worth a bit of a wait!!! I have also heard that TTD is much smoother than Kingda Ka at 6 Flags too!
From Ryan Sanford on January 9, 2010 at 10:10 AM
Go Dragster'!! it will bring the upset.
Even though the ride is about 10 seconds long.. its worth the wait.
From ryan huffman on January 9, 2010 at 1:43 PM
I've been going to Cedar Point every year since 2004,been on top thrill over 100 times! I live 3hrs away,lol. My wife and I for Xmas got Platiuem Passes. Summer of 09 we were getting burned out on CP,decided to go to jersey and ride Kinda Kar, had 3 day passes plus stayed at their resort. WHAT A WASTE.kinda da was closed,copied of cp ne ways. My Family had the worst time ever, every ride you rode u had to pay a dollar to use theirs lockers not to mention 4hr waits 4 everything! o ya if ur wernt their when ur locker ticket told u 2 be, it automatically OPEN. My family was sooo upset my wife went to the maneger office and demanded to reinburst us! we checked out of the resort and went to NYC. Now I see why they went bankrupt.... I've been to CP on a 4th of July, waited 2hrs for top thrill! RIDES,STAFF,ROOMS,FOOD WE LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT CEDAR POINT!
From James Koehl on January 9, 2010 at 5:02 PM
Notice on the POV, while waiting for the ride to launch, the grandstand? There are usually dozens of people sitting there, watching TTD over and over. It's that good! I saw a kid, after getting off the ride, excitedly run over to his mother (who waited in the grandstand)and loudly announce, "That was CARTOON-fast!!".
From Derek Potter on January 9, 2010 at 5:10 PM
Although I'm not sure I would put this in my top 15, it is still an absolute blast to ride. 0-120 mph in 4 seconds is indeed an experience that only one other coaster (which is pretty much a clone) can offer.

Was that one post real?

From Joshua Counsil on January 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM
^I asked myself the same question, Derek. I thought it might be a site jokester. I once pretended to be Jake Rivers, returning from the land of wind and ghosts, and got quite the reception.

I'd give this coaster an 8-Commendable, but I find it has more bark than bite. I much prefer Millennium Force and Magnum XL-200. I think that a straightaway at the top section for the purpose of enjoying the view would have improved the ride. You fly so quickly over that hill that I never have time to appreciate the scenery or the upcoming drop.

From Will Chilcote on January 10, 2010 at 1:42 PM
I'm probably in the minority on this but, I wasn't all that impressed with this coaster. I did ride Millennium Force, my top steel coaster, only like 45 minutes earlier though. I would give dragster like a 6/10
From Erin B on January 11, 2010 at 12:05 AM
I just realized that's one of my photos and I may have geeked out a little bit inside ;)

While I enjoy Dragster, it's not something that I make a point to ride every time I'm at the park. I love the speed & the rush, but it's just too short of a ride experience for the general wait time. Now, I do take full advantage of my pass and get all my riding in early in the season or on Fridays during Halloweekends when crowds are small. Definitely fun & thrilling, but not a top ride for me.

From Sean McAvella on January 11, 2010 at 7:11 PM
I love Cedar Point and everything about it! Can't wait until I'm there again!! Sigh, it's only January :( I love Dragster. Every time I ride it, it's a rush! The extra wait time for the front seat is definitely worth it! It really does make a difference when you can see the track, eat some bugs, get sprayed with oil/water combination! Not to mention the ride photo you'll create! Talk about a distorted face! YIKES! Ride On!!!

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