Sunday, September 11, 2022

Top Thrill Dragster "as we know it" Has Been Retired

© NewsPlusNotes
Cedar Point has announced that Top Thrill Dragster has been retired - but also specifically points out that the ride "as we know it" has been retired.  There is some specific wording on the announcement of the ride's end that does hint toward a future for the attraction, but exactly how remains a mystery.  For now, the park also notes that the coaster ran for 19 seasons at Cedar Point and also thrilled 18 million riders during that time.  A considerable amount for sure!

Here is the exact message that the park shared on social media last week:

© Cedar Point
Obviously, adding "as you know it" is important in noting that what we're all used to when we think of Top Thrill Dragster is what is being retired.  Race Theme.  The name.  Yellow tower.  But even more importantly is the next part, highlighting the park's "legacy of ride innovation" with the Cedar Point team currently "hard at work, creating a new and reimagined ride experience."

© NewsPlusNotes
Work walls are already up around the ride with initial work starting on the launch area.  What will happen here is being debated heavily around these interwebs, with theories ranging from removing the coaster portion of the ride and using the tower for a free fall to a new type of launch, colors, name and theme.  In between that spectrum is a lot of other guesses, like adding more track on the center island or even making the ride utilize a chain lift hill.  Obviously some guesses are less practical and less realistic than others.

In the end the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, with some changes incoming to the ride's theme, colors, name, launch mechanics and definitely the queue area and surrounding midway.  But that's just a guess based on what type of cash Cedar Fair is probably willing to spend on a ride with a very troublesome history.

Top Thrill Dragster, as of now, is the world's 3rd fastest roller coaster and the 2nd tallest.  It opened in 2003 and closed last August when a piece of one of the trains came off it and badly injured a guest waiting in line.