SANDUSKY, Ohio, Jan. 9, 2003 – Cedar Point will race full speed ahead toward the future of thrill-riding when the famed amusement park/resort debuts the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world for its 2003 season. Named Top Thrill Dragster, the $25 million steel scream machine will be Cedar Point’s 16th roller coaster – more than anywhere else on Earth – and will be one of the largest single investments in the 132-year history of the park.
Top Thrill Dragster will be a coaster of epic proportions: with an extraordinary 420-foot-tall first hill at a 90-degree incline, speeds of 120 mph over 2,800 feet of track and a twisting first drop of 400 feet at an imposing 90-degree angle, this colossal thriller will wow riders with its dramatic world-record-breaking dimensions. Termed a “strata-coaster” for its monumental height, Top Thrill Dragster will be the first and only roller coaster in the world to break the towering 400-foot-tall milestone.
“Cedar Point has a strong tradition of breaking world records when it comes to roller coasters,” says Daniel Keller, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “Top Thrill Dragster will forever redefine roller-coaster-riding around the globe, while putting an exclamation mark on Cedar Point’s ongoing commitment to being the leading thrill ride park in the world.”
Cedar Point was the first park ever to introduce a roller coaster over 200 feet tall in 1989 with the debut of the venerable Magnum XL-200 at 205 feet; and was the first park to go beyond the 300-foot-tall threshold on a coaster in 2000 with the ultra-popular Millennium Force, which looms 310 feet tall.
Top Thrill Dragster will put the pedal to the metal and challenge passengers to a wild ride that begins by launching out of a “starting line” position using a high-tech hydraulic acceleration system. Riders will then rocket up the 420-foot-tall hill where the train will rotate 90 degrees at the 230-foot height, crest the coaster’s sky-high peak and then plummet down the 400-foot vertical drop where the train will spiral 270 degrees in a free fall starting at the 330-foot level. After twisting for 115 feet, the train will complete the coaster’s dynamic drop, reach speeds of 120 mph for the second time, and cross the finish line before returning to the station.
Located in the center of the park along the midway by Power Tower, Iron Dragon and Magnum XL-200, Top Thrill Dragster’s impressive structure will cover eight sprawling acres. Two spinning rides, Chaos and Troika, will be relocated to the Wicked Twister midway to make room for the mammoth Top Thrill Dragster. A sleek four-tone structure – contrasting a red and white track with bright yellow support columns, along with silver framework – and six trains displaying the metallic colors of cobalt blue, sunshine yellow, sunset red, black cherry, florescent purple and Indy green, will rule the Cedar Point skyline. The six 16-passenger trains will allow for a capacity of approximately 1,500 riders an hour.
Top Thrill Dragster will be the ninth world-record-breaking ride Cedar Point has introduced since debuting the internationally acclaimed Magnum XL-200 roller coaster in 1989. Plus, it will be the ninth roller coaster the park has added during this same time period.
The prominent roller coaster engineering and manufacturing firm, Intamin of Wollerau, Switzerland, and Cedar Point teamed up to create the layout of Top Thrill Dragster.
Construction of Top Thrill Dragster is currently under way and will continue throughout the winter. Guests will be able to take their first ride on this amazing new “strata-coaster” when Cedar Point revs up for the 2003 season in May. In the meantime, roller coaster enthusiasts can get a temporary thrill “fix” by logging on to cedarpoint.com for continual updates.