I grew up going to Kings Island constantly during my summers and I'll never forget when a friend's family invited me to go along with them to Cedar Point for a weekend. It was probably 2002 and we had a great time. But Disaster Transport sticks out because my friend and I loved dark rides and coasters and we thought this was going to be phenomenal, based on the long line and the theming. When it was over, we were both like, "What the hell was that??" We had no clue what the story was, what the scenery even looked like or why the line was so long. Definitely the biggest letdown of the weekend by a mile.

I loved this article (as well as the others in the series) and it brought back memories. I live near the former Arrow Dynamics and a coworker of mine brought a picture of the Magnum XL200 into the office saying 'Look what my wife's company built'. I decided that I had to go ride it and that was my first of many (nearly yearly) visits to Cedar Point.

I enjoyed Disaster Transport, but like others have said, the sound was bad, making the theming hard to understand. I always felt the 'Welcome to Alaska' bit was humorous. That said, I liked their attempt at a dark ride. When I first visited Cedar Point, they had the Pirate Ride, which was a classic dark ride. They also had an aquarium with a water show above it. Both were later turned into arcades. They had Jungle Larry's, which was like a small zoo with some white tigers and some snakes and such. For me, it was a fun diversion from the coasters to visit these other attractions. I do like the new rides, but I also miss the old attractions. I guess that's the way it is. I believe that Jungle Larry's was where the Power Tower is. There was also a small log flume near the front of the park where Raptor is as well as the larger one where Maverick is.

One small correction, I believe, is that SaltAir in Utah had a rollercoaster over 100 feet tall back in the 1920's

In reply to by TARDIS (not verified)

No way. 1800 riders per hour with 10 person cars would have required one car dispatched every 20 seconds. In reality it was closer to a minute per car, and that's being generous, for a total of 600 riders per hour or so. That's fairly low capacity, although not terrible.

Apparently I rode it for the first time the same week it closed. I know it was a bad ride, but the retro feel of the queue had an impact on me. There's something about that glow-in-the-dark 90s feel that you just don't see anymore. I think it just makes me nostalgic for my local laser tag place, now that I think about it.

Correction: Disaster Transport did NOT have a low capacity. It was capable of running 5 cars at once for 1800 riders per hour. That made it one of the highest capacity rides in the park. Greater than or equal to Blue Streak, Corkscrew, Gatekeeper, Maverick, Millennium Force, Raptor, Rougarou/mantis, Dragster, Wicked Twister,and Mean Streak.

Originally the first of the three rooms had posters on the walls showing other potential destinations that had been closed for a variety of reasons. One of them was for Disney World and it was marked out saying that the magic is gone. Alaska was the destination because it was the only place in the world left to go. One year all of the posters disappeared and were replaced with generic travel posters.
Legend has it that the unmentioned in the article middle room with Dave the robot and the space pirate video lost it's theming when a laser disc was lost.
The original theming was very nice and somewhat entertaining.

Loved Disaster Transport, the story was pretty clear, you are taking a trip from Sandusky to Alaska through space to make it super quick.

This was a good article, as are the other comments so far. But you've missed two key points. The first year there was a VERY detailed story line, told partially by the robots and partially by a LIVE ACTOR with a microphone. However, the acoustics in the room were so poor it was almost impossible to hear or understand what was said. Because of that, many people did not understand the story line. The first years had great props during the show scenes such as an attacking space pirate ship shooting lasers. But one day some of the props on the ride fell and if my memory is right a rider or two were injured. Those props were never replaced and marked the end of much of the story line during the ride. There is no way to compare the ride the first year with the ride during the last year. However, on a scale of 1 to 100 I would have given the ride a decent score of about 85 on the first year. For comparison, during the final years I would have given it a score of 5 out of 100. We all agree that it stunk in the final years. But please remember that in the first years it was a really good ride - and for a non-Disney ride it was FANTASTIC. I rode several of the similar bobsled rides (such as the Screamin' Delta Demon at Opryland). Disaster Transport was the best of the batch of similar rides. It was WAY beyond what the other parks were doing. I have often wondered what it would have been like if they had fixed the acoustics problem in the show room so people could understand the "plot" of the story and what would have happened if the accident with the falling props had never happened. And of course - what would it have been like if the park had bothered to take care of it properly? I don't miss the ride the way it was - but I miss the way the ride used to be in it's first year. I'm a great coaster fan, and I really regret the loss of a bobsled coaster. They are an endangered species. I assume many of the riders of Disaster Transport will be able to tell their children and their grand children that there used to be such a ride as a bobsled coaster. I just hope that when they tell that story they will be able to tell them about the first years of this ride, and not about the years when the ride had lost its story and its very soul.

My friends tell a story of riding DT in the mid-90's. After the ride they overheard a parent asking their boy of 7 or 8 what he thought of the ride. His response "That bit my left nut!" That's become a permanent part of our lexicon. I finally rode it myself a few years later, and I couldn't agree more with that little guy.

Disaster Transport left such a little impression on me, I had completely forgotten about riding it once in 1990 or '91 until reading this article. I now remember the ride queue and waiting a very long time for a ride that did little to impress. It was truly forgettable.

I live in the Detroit area, about 2.5 hours from Sandusky, so Cedar Point has always been my "home" park. Disaster Transport, along with the Iron Dragon, was one of my first "big" roller coasters. This was back in the early and mid-90s, when the ride was relatively new. And the theming was much different than in its final days.

There was an actual storyline: if I remember correctly, you were on a cargo route to Alaska, shooting through the stars to get there from Sandusky in record time. There were no glow-in-the-dark handprints in the queue. In fact, there were two large showrooms that used video and animatronics to set up a story. One was a control room (in the last few years, this was shuttered and used as Halloweekends storage)and the second room, The Repair Bay, had some robots doing some sort of shtick. As a kid, this was all great and entertaining. Even going up that final flight of stairs, there was some "pre-flight" safety video, and I even remember the tag the spokesperson would use: "At Dispatch Master Transport, we get you there on time, or we don't get you there at all."

The ride experience was also less cheesy (again, to a kid). I feel like the red chaser lights were added late in the ride's run. Originally, you'd have some sort of implement come down and "fuel" your car before starting the lift. I can't remember what sort of lighting was used, but I think it was just the star field. But the ride itself actually used quite a bit of theming in its heyday -- giant props, stars. There was even a video projector that had an explosion as you rolled by. Probably the most famous part is that, at the midpoint, your "onboard computer" would shout "I'm losing control!" and there'd be flashing lights and a few wild turns before ending. As a kid, it was great.

But your article really hit the nail on the head. In the last year's, this was a mess. The theming wasn't kept up and it just got worse and worse, until it was just a ride in the dark with no storyline and very few effects. I believe Kinzel actually called the ride "a dog" in an interview once. And the box it was in was horrendous. The last time I went to CP was actually in 2012, just a few days before the ride was demolished (it was already closed), and I have to imagine the view is so much nicer without it.

And it's extremely sad that CP has no dark rides. That wasn't always the case. In their early days they had Earthquake and, I believe, Noah's Ark. And growing up, they had a pirate ride that we loved. It basically used the track of a carnival haunted house, but as a kid I thought it was fun. It's now the arcade that looks oddly like a castle right next to Blue Streak.

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