Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point

It was only just last week that we were talking about the large crane that had appeared onsite at Top Thrill Dragster near to the Top hat and we were speculating what it may be used for.

Although it was suggested that the most plausible idea was for this huge crane to be used to build a tower crane for use in the reimagining of this iconic coaster, it has now been confirmed that this was not the case at this point as the huge crane has already been taken down.

Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point
Image: Cedar Fair

We can now only assume that the crane was in place to either take measurements or test welds or a combination of the two. This information will be needed to make an application to file for a permit from the FAA.

According to the latest update posted to YouTube by Lake Erie Lifestyles on May 21, there appears to have been nothing obvious done to the Top hat whilst the crane was in place. It is thought that it was taken down between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning. 

From the FAA's database it currently looks like there are no permits on file from Cedar Point to build any structures. It is Federal Law to file if you want to build or alter any structure 200 feet or higher above ground level, meaning the Top hat on Top Thrill Dragster. This revelation seems quite odd considering we are certainly expecting something to happen on Top Thrill Dragster with a vertical spike still seemingly being the most likely.

It is certainly puzzling and leaves us to ask, why hasn't Cedar Point filed any permits for Top Thrill Dragster as of yet? Is it to keep everyone guessing and to build suspense further or is it simply that they haven't got all the measurements needed hence the large crane that was in place last week.

We will update you with further information as soon as we have it. We expect there to be news on the filing of permits for Top Thrill Dragster in the coming weeks if it is going to be checked and authorized and give Cedar Point enough time to complete the work ready for an opening in 2024. 

On another point, it is now believed that the objects in the parking lot are actually hydraulic accumulator tanks from the old hydraulic launch from Top Thrill Dragster.

Now, regarding the excitement there has been surrounding the speculated track for Top Thrill Dragster seen on Google Maps at an Intamin Manufacturing Plant in Europe. Well, there has been further speculation this week that this blue and orange track could well be for the new Fast and Furious roller coaster being built at Universal Studios Hollywood and slated to open next year.

In the video below posted by Zero-G Coasters it is considered that the footage of the blue and orange track shows single spined track which seems unlikely as double spined track would be expected considering the amount of stress it will be put under. Also if this is indeed for a vertical spike the pull out would be way too sharp giving off too much positive G-Force.

As with everything surrounding this hugely exciting Top Thrill Dragster reimagining, nothing has been confirmed or denied by Cedar Point and we still await news of which manufacturer is taking on this high profile project. Recent thoughts have been swaying more towards Intamin but it could still be Zamperla. We will investigate further and update you as soon as possible.

In the update from May 18, Lake Erie Lifestyles we get to see a close up view of the large footer which we assume is for the rumored spike and it certainly does look big from ground level.

The exciting news is that the large crane appears to be doing work on the upper third of the Top hat. A manned basket is hanging from the crane basket so workers can access that upper third of the Top hat. Currently the crane reaches slightly below the height of the Top hat.

There could be a number of possibilities for what the workers are doing including; prepping the metal for painting, inspecting welds, taking measurements or perhaps the most plausible is that the crane will be used to construct a tower crane. 

Tower cranes have become standard operating equipment on massive construction projects. It could be used to do all the construction for the new coaster including necessary track removal on the Top hat, work on the substructure as well as building the rumored spike.

Although we are still not clear exactly what Cedar Point has planned for Top Thrill Dragster it looks like their budget is pretty sizeable if they are hiring a crane this big and with it now in place, we are expecting things to start moving very quickly, meaning we should get to know sooner rather than later more information regarding this highly anticipated project.

Theme Park Predictions has also released a recent video on YouTube which shows blue track and orange supports sitting outside an Intamin fabrication plant in Europe that is believed to be destined for Top Thrill Dragster. That's right, Intamin! 

The ongoing question has been Intamin or Zamperla and although, like with everything Top Thrill Dragster, nothing has been confirmed from the rumors online it appears Intamin could be the more likely. For an exact answer on this we are just going to have to continue to wait patiently.

From the Google street view images shown in the video, there seems to be a large amount of straight track which could be for the spike or launch for Top Thrill Dragster. We will keep you posted on further news regarding Top Thrill Dragster. 

Let us know what you think about the potential blue track and orange supports by voting in our poll or by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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