It is not uncommon for theme parks to decide that they want to reimagine or modify an existing coaster. Cedar Point is no stranger to this concept as they currently have what many people consider to be the best roller coaster in the world on their roster with Steel Vengeance, the recreation that came from Mean Streak.
In early 2022, Cedar Point announced it would be reimagining another coaster, but this one isn’t a despised wooden coaster, instead, it is one of their most iconic steel behemoths, Top Thrill Dragster.
With many possibilities speculated, many fans are wondering what will come of Top Thrill Dragster and we are here to break down a number of theories from Blue Sky dreams to more practical changes. Here is what we hope to see with the reimaging of Top Thrill Dragster.
Race for the BLUE Sky
Blue Sky ideas are what the theme park industry calls ideas that have no limit, no budget, and no physical constraints. Are these ideas always very likely to come to fruition? Not as much. But they are fun to imagine for coasters like Top Thrill Dragster. There have been so many rumors flying around about what Top Thrill Dragster could be reimagined into. With much of its track removed as of October 2022, there are definitely big changes coming to this coaster.
1. Increase the height of the top hat
One Blue Sky idea would be for Cedar Point to increase the height of the top hat element of the coaster (the hill) and break the 500 ft mark. While this would be cool, it is unlikely that they will attempt to build onto the top hat. The structure is huge, and the weight distribution and support elements are complex. Increasing the height and adding more track could be much more costly and complicated than it seems. Additionally, there would probably need to be more track in the launch to build enough speed to get the trains over such a tall top hat, and there simply isn’t a ton of space in that area of the park to extend that.
2. A new swing launch?
Another Blue Sky idea that has been circulating is that the launch will be changed to a swing launch. A swing launch is what coasters like Busch Gardens' Pantheon have. The trains are first launched up a tower backward and then forwards until they can gain enough speed and momentum to complete the climb. For Top Thrill Dragster, this element would include a 500 ft tall backward tower that would be used to break the record and propel the trains over the 420 ft tall top hat element. This again seems unlikely due to space constraints and cost, and it would make the ride longer but decrease ride capacity.
While it is always fun to consider blue sky ideas, let's take a look at some more practical possibilities for the reimagining of Top Thrill Dragster...