Top Thrill Dragster

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Top Thrill Dragster
Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point.jpg
Top Thrill Dragster launching
Cedar Point
Coordinates41°29′2.25″N 82°41′10.38″W / 41.4839583°N 82.6862167°W / 41.4839583; -82.6862167Coordinates: 41°29′2.25″N 82°41′10.38″W / 41.4839583°N 82.6862167°W / 41.4839583; -82.6862167
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateMay 1, 2003 (2003-05-01)
Opening dateMay 4, 2003 (2003-05-04)
CostUS$25,000,000
ReplacedChaos, Troika
General statistics
TypeSteel – Launched
ManufacturerIntamin
DesignerWerner Stengel
ModelAccelerator Coaster
Lift/launch systemHydraulic Launch
Height420 ft (130 m)
Drop400 ft (120 m)
Length2,800 ft (850 m)
Speed120 mph (190 km/h)
Inversions0
Duration0:30
Max vertical angle90°
Capacity1,000 riders per hour
Acceleration0 to 120 mph in 3.8 seconds
Height restriction52–78 in (132–198 cm)
TrainsSix trains, with five cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows (except for the first car), for a total of 18 riders per train.
RestraintLap bar
Fast Lane Plus only available
Top Thrill Dragster at RCDB
Pictures of Top Thrill Dragster at RCDB

Top Thrill Dragster is a steel accelerator roller coaster built by Intamin at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. It was the sixteenth roller coaster that was built at the park. It was the first roller coaster to be over 400 feet (120 m) tall and was the tallest roller coaster in the world before its record was broken by Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure when it opened in May 2005. Top Thrill Dragster, along with Kingda Ka, are the only strata coasters in the world.

The ride[change | change source]

Top Thrill Dragster's launch area

After it leaves the station, the train enters the launch area. To the left of the launch area is a "Christmas tree" light, which is similar to a Christmas tree light at a drag strip. A message is then played to riders: "Keep arms down, head back, and hold on." Once the train is ready to launch, a motor revving sound effect is played and its magnetic braking fins are lowered from the launch track. The train is then launched from the track at a speed of 120 mph (190 km/h) in 3.8 seconds. After it reaches its top speed, it goes up at a 90 degree angle and climbs a 420-foot (130 m) hill, or top hat element. Once it goes down, the track twists 270 degrees before it levels out, and then it is stopped by magnetic brakes.[1]

Problems[change | change source]

Sometimes, a train does not have enough speed to go over the 420-foot (130 m) hill. This is known as a rollback, and it usually happens during cool, wet, or breezy weather. It can also happen when the wind is blowing against the train. In these conditions, the launch doesn't give the train enough speed to go over the hill, which causes it to stop before reaching the top of the hill and then roll back down the hill, which is why it is called a rollback.[2]

Sometimes, the train may stop at the top of the hill. When this happens, a mechanic takes an elevator to the top of the hill and pushes the train down the hill.[3] This has only happened three times with passengers on board the train, June 24, 2005,[4] October 25, 2008,[5] and May 25, 2009.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Top Thrill Dragster POV". 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  2. "Top Thrill Dragster rollback review". Thrill Network. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  3. "Top Thrill Dragster elevator". CoasterGallery.com. 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  4. "Top Thrill Dragster Stuck at Top". Xtreme Coastin. June 24, 2005. Retrieved July 7, 2012.[dead link]
  5. "Top Thrill Dragster stuck October 31, 2008". October 31, 2008. Archived from the original on October 31, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  6. "Top Thrill Dragster stuck May 25, 2009". May 25, 2009. Archived from the original on May 25, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2012.

Other websites[change | change source]