Home » Everything We Know (Or Think We Know) About The Reimagined Top Thrill Dragster!

    Everything We Know (Or Think We Know) About The Reimagined Top Thrill Dragster!

    Top Thrill Dragster

    Next year, guests at Cedar Point will be treated to an exhilarating and groundbreaking experience with the reimagined version of the iconic Top Thrill Dragster. This legendary roller coaster originally opened two decades ago, is set to undergo a thrilling transformation that hopes to leave riders awe-inspired and adrenaline-fueled.

    However, Cedar Point has remained tight-lipped on what is to come for the original strata coaster. All we have been told is that it will be something never done before. So what can we expect from this reimagining? Let’s take a look at all we know, or think we know, about the reimagining of Top Thrill Dragster.

    Spike? Top Hats? Height Records?

    Top Thrill Dragster
    Image: Cedar Point

    The reimagined Top Thrill Dragster promises to take the coaster experience to new heights, quite literally. This revamped version is suspected to feature a rear spike. Footers in place directly behind the former station add weight to this theory.

    While some have speculated that the spike could reach 500 feet tall, it seems unlikely because Cedar Point has yet to file any permits for a structure over 200 feet tall as Lake Erie Lifestyles pointed out in a recent YouTube video. While this could still happen in time, it seems more likely that the rear spike will be shorter. The spike only needs to be tall enough to allow for a swing launch that would propel the trains over the 420ft top hat element. If the new coaster utilizes a rear vertical spike and swing launch it would be the first strata coaster with a reverse spike and could also boast the title of the first multi-launching strata coaster.

    There has also been recent speculation that the coaster could feature two top hats. This is due to the design of a key chain that was handed out at Coaster Mania at Cedar Point. The design features an oval shape that is half red and half grey and resembles a racetrack. This key chain may be just the new logo for the new coaster. The theory of two top hats doesn’t hold much water. First, the cost of constructing another top hat would be very high, and it is unlikely to fit in the space provided due to Iron Dragon. Additionally, YouTuber Coaster Legend stated in a video that the footers that are currently in place are not spaced appropriately to accommodate a second top hat.

    Finally, many have speculated that the top hat element on the coaster will be increased in height by about 40 feet to break the height record set by Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure. This is also rather unlikely due to not only costs but the fact that it wouldn’t add much to the ride itself. The only thing the coaster would gain from this modification is a new title which may only be short-lived anyway as work is currently underway for a 500ft+ tall coaster called Falcon’s Flight at Six Flags Qiddiya in Saudi Arabia. It doesn’t seem likely that Cedar Point would find this to be a worthy investment.

    A New Formula for Speed

    Top Thrill Dragster
    Image: Intamin

    Another modification to the iconic coaster that is highly likely is a new launch system. Top Thrill Dragster featured a hydraulic launch system. This type of launch system features many moving parts and hundreds of sensors that all must collaborate for the coaster to run smoothly. Unfortunately, with so many different factors that need to align, hydraulic launches, while powerful, are not the most reliable. Top Thrill Dragster and the similarly designed Kingda Ka have both featured frequent downtime with the latter recently closed for over three weeks due to a launch malfunction.

    With advancements in technology and engineering, it is widely believed that the new coaster will utilize a Linear Synchronous Motor or LSM launch system. This system utilizes electromagnets and is known to be more reliable than hydraulic launch systems. We have even seen this type of launch used on a strata coaster. Red Force at Ferrari Land launches its trains using an LSM launch system. These trains are sent from 0-112 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. It is possible that the new Top Thrill Dragster could also break the LSM launch speed record as the technology of LSM launches is continuously evolving.

    We recently heard that it will be Zamperla rather than for many the more expected Intamin who has been put in charge of this highly anticipated reimagining of the legendary Top Thrill Dragster. This has inevitably led to some scepticism amongst Dragster fans. But we must still remember than this reimagining promises to deliver an unforgettable and one-of-a-kind experience.

    Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point
    Image: Cedar Fair

    We can likely expect a new launch system and rear vertical spike, however breaking the 500ft record and the presence of two top hats seem unlikely. Whether you are a roller coaster aficionado or a casual rider seeking an adrenaline rush, this revamped attraction will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. As always, we will keep you up to date with the latest information on this project!