Cedar Point Announces the End of Top Thrill Dragster - Sort Of

September 6, 2022, 9:56 AM · Cedar Point's tallest coaster will not reopen - at least not in its present form.

The Ohio park announced on its social media this morning that it has retired Top Thrill Dragster "as you know it." The troubled - but record-setting - Intamin Accelerator coaster has been standing but not operating for the 2022 season.

With its zero-to-120mph launch in four seconds, Top Thrill Dragster once was the fastest and tallest coaster in the world. Cedar Point closed the 420-foot-tall Top Thrill Dragster after an August 2021 accident that seriously injured a 44-year-old Michigan woman. [Ohio Releases Top Thrill Dragster Investigation Report] A fastener on one of the coaster's trains failed, leading to a plate flying off the train and striking the woman while she waited in the queue.

"Cedar Point's legacy of ride innovation continues," the park said in its post. "Our team is hard at work, creating a new and reimagined ride experience."

Details on whatever that might be will be released later.

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Replies (10)

September 6, 2022 at 10:37 AM

Top Thrill Dragster's "Museum of Borked Intamin Products" will include pieces of Volcano: The Blast Coaster, the original first turn of I-305, a boat from Perilous Plunge, and LSMs from Wicked Twister.

September 6, 2022 at 10:45 AM

Intamin's Carnival Of Carnage is going to be an incredible Halloween Haunt attraction at Cedar Point next year.

September 6, 2022 at 1:02 PM

I think if its just a new launch system and retheme that will be a let down.

It would be awesome if CF went all out and re-did the launch to LSM and made the coaster taller and faster so once again it would be the tallest and fastest coaster in the world. TTD's launch track is significantly longer than Red Force's, so I think it could be possible if they were willing to spend the $ (obviously they would also have to spend money on making modifications to the tophat structure).

While this sounds totally crazy I look at it through this lense: CP is CP, people expect them to build the worlds tallest and fastest coaster again at some point, this may be a way to do it for cheaper than building a whole new massive coaster.

Thinking like this may be setting ourselves up for option 1 and a huge disappointment however haha.

September 6, 2022 at 2:34 PM

All this dumping on Intamin! Intamin was my favorite ride manufacturer until RMC came on the scene and while they've made some mistakes, notably the aforementioned one with I-305, they've also produced a number of coasters which are remarkably good. What happened with TTD could be partly a maintenance failure although the coaster did experience an inordinate amount of downtime. Its counterpart, Kingda Ka, which I rode yesterday, is running well. The other notable Intamin in the park, El Toro, is obviously SBNO at present but that's not attributable to any flaw in design.

September 6, 2022 at 2:59 PM

let's check in on xcelerator, which is also standing but not operating, surely through no fault of the manufacturer!

September 6, 2022 at 3:20 PM

I doubt it's going anywhere. If I had to guess I'd say they are planning to move the queue from the middle of the track to the outside and do a new launch system. That part of the ride was always temperamental and the primary source of maintenance issues

One can only hope anyway, because it's certainly an incredible ride, especially with only the lap bar restraints. For a while now it's just the worlds tallest Happy Halloween sign.

If they wanted to put out some real CP vibes, they'd add 50 ft and take back the record.

September 6, 2022 at 4:39 PM

"El Toro, is obviously SBNO at present but that's not attributable to any flaw in design."

IDK, some pretty informed coaster people have noted that all of the Intamin wood pre-fabbed installations around the world have had similar issues at about the same point in their lifespan. While there have been some accusations about SF's maintenance, it would seem that Intamin's engineering shares some blame for El Toro's current SBNO status.

Intamin brings this on themselves, and while I applaud them for pushing the envelope in terms of design, they've done so at their peril and not without issues. Compared to the other major coaster manufacturers, they have had a litany of problems with their designs. Let's not forget Maverick's removed inversion, Superman Ride of Steel's (SFNE) collisions (with some similar "love taps" on their other mega and giga coasters), or other less publicized issues that are a direct result of their poor design. Intamin delivered a coaster earlier this year that can't operate in winds >15 MPH (Pantheon) - that's a pretty big failure in design and engineering IMHO.

$#IT happens, but it doesn't seem like casual happenstance that incidents and engineering defects occur so frequently with Intamin installations.

September 6, 2022 at 4:55 PM

My best guess is they're replacing the launch system with an LSMs and getting new trains that will likely be lower capacity. The wording implies that the attraction will remain in some form, and given how iconic it is with Cedar Point visitors, I think it would be crazy for the park to simply tear it down without warning when there isn't anything catastrophically wrong with it. Would these change make it less intense? Yes. Would they generally be disliked by enthusiasts? Yes. But would it keep a popular attraction running in a more reliable state for a fraction of the investment removing and replacing it would cost? Also yes.

September 6, 2022 at 6:44 PM

@Russell Meyer. I read your review of Pantheon and knowing your opinion of Intamin fully expected you to slam it so was surprised by your favorable take. However, if it can't operate with winds over 15mph I would have to agree that Intamin was short sighted. Kingda Ka can't operate in high winds but I wouldn't expect a 456 foot coaster going 128 mph to do that. With Pantheon's more modest stats I would expect it to be less sensitive to weather conditions.

September 8, 2022 at 7:07 PM

@Bobby running well? I've had less shaking and rumbling when I've had seizures.

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