Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point

UPDATE July 31 - It certainly took a while for the dust to settle on the news that Zamperla was the chosen manufacturer for the highly anticipated Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. Just when we had begun to accept that it was Zamperla rather than the more expected Intamin, Zamperla as the manufacturer was brought into question after Director of Communications, Tony Clark posted a somewhat ambiguous quote on a fan page, Point Us. 

Well, in the latest video update from Lake Erie Lifestyles it has now been confirmed from an official page on the Zamperla website that they are indeed working with Cedar Point on the Top Thrill Dragster reimagining. The page read, "Zamperla partners with Cedar Point on the world's tallest and fastest triple launch roller coaster." It appears that this page was then quickly taken down which shows that Cedar Point isn't quite ready for us to have confirmation on this just yet.

Not only do we have confirmation that it is definitely Zamperla who is working on this hugely anticipated project but we also have new confirmed details regarding the layout for the reimagined Top Thrill Dragster which was posted on a page of Zamperla's official website:

"Top Thrill 2 is the world's first reimagined strata coaster and the fastest and tallest LSM triple launch coaster.

Thanks to the all-new linear synchronous motor (LSM) launch system, riders will experience three unique launches:

  • A forward launch at a speed of 119kmh(74mph), which leads into a new crowd favorite - the rollback
  • A second backward launch reaching a speed of 163 km/h(101mph), climbing at a 90 degree angle on the new, 128 meter (420 foot) tall vertical spike.
  • A third launch that clocks in at the ride's top speed of 193km/h (120mph) and speeds over the 128 meter (420ft) top hat before diving into a 270 degree spiral leading to the finish line."

So, we finally get confirmation that there will indeed be a vertical spike which looks to mirror the 420ft of the existing top hat. Many fans are likely to be disappointed that this rear spike will not break the 456ft height record currently held by Kingda Ka or break the 149mph speed record of Formula Rossa but we are in store for a triple launch coaster which certainly appears to take Top Thrill Dragster to the next level including the roll back and spiral leading to the finish line.

In a follow up video posted to YouTube by Lake Erie Lifestyles, we get to see a video which had been uploaded to Zamperla's website showing the Track and Column Manufacturing for the reimagined Top Thrill Dragster. 

We now await final confirmation from Cedar Point tomorrow (August 1) and we will bring you our reaction to this as soon as this is announced.

July 27 - In the latest construction update from Lake Erie Lifestyles we get to see the arrival of large supports which are assumed to be for the rear spike for the Top Thrill Dragster reimagining. Deliveries have been made for the past three days to the Breakers Express Storage lot. 

Not only have supports been arriving but also new track which looks to be tyre drives which looks to be for the brake run. We expect further deliveries to be made over the coming days and will update you when any supports or track are moved to site to be installed. With the amount and size of the supports that are being delivered it looks more and more likely that we could see the rumored rear spike beating the height record. 475ft has been floated as well as others and with the teaser "Smoke The Competition" announced by Cedar Point anything other than a height record will surely come as a disappointment.

It is certainly very exciting times for Top Thrill Dragster fans and with less than a week to go before the official announcement we will continue to update you on any new progress here on Theme Park Tourist.

July 24 - The hype for the Top Thrill Dragster reimagining has gone through the roof over the last few weeks and this has been fuelled in the last few days by the addition of a number of teasers along the midway fence at Cedar Point. The one which has drawn the most attention is, "smoke the competition" which clearly implies that Top Thrill Dragster will become the tallest or fastest or both when it reopens.

With so many speculations continuing to fly, luckily we haven't actually got that much longer to wait until Cedar Point makes the official announcement on August 1, regarding the plans for the Top Thrill Dragster reimagining. According to the new video posted to YouTube by Theme Park Predictions we could see the name including "Formula" with "Formula Racer" being given as a potential contender.

The thing everyone has been most interested in knowing is, will it take the current record of 456ft from Kingda Ka as being the tallest? Will it take the current speed record of 149mph from Formula Rossa as being the fastest? Over the last nine months there has been speculation that the rumored rear spike will be 500ft+. More recently this 500ft mark had been questioned as being unrealistic but now with the "smoke the competition" teaser, hope is well and truly restored of a spike being higher than 456ft.

The video gives ideas regarding the potential location of the queue lines and layout. Whilst a more modest prediction of a 375ft spike and top speed of 123mph is firstly offered, the possibility that Top Thrill Dragster will become the tallest at 475ft and fastest at 150mph definitely gets our hearts pumping? Although taking the height and speed records would add significant stress to the 20+ year old track and supports it would certainly make for a fantastic Top Thrill Dragster 2.0.

Finally, details regarding Zamperla as the manufacturer have been brought into question after Director of Communications, Tony Clark posted a somewhat ambiguous quote on a fan page, Point Us. We will update you with the official announcement and our reaction to it on August 1! We are hoping to finally get confirmation on the layout, height, speed and name for Top Thrill Dragster and really hope that we aren't disappointed.

Top Thrill Dragster, Escape Designs
Image: Escape Designs

June 28 - There has been a frenzy of speculation over the last couple of weeks regarding the highly anticipated reimagining of Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point.

A rumor floated by Theme Park Predictions last week was that the most likely ride layout for Top Thrill Dragster will include a 500ft rear spike to break the record and will include a forwards launch (105mph) where the train will not quite make it over the apex then will fall back, followed by a backwards launch (132mph) up the 500ft rear spike, followed by another forwards launch (120mph) where the car will go over the crest of the top hat. This concept can be seen in the video below by Escape Designs.

Although this layout would surely thrill any theme park fan, we questioned its feasibility as it still remains unclear whether a 500ft rear spike could be supported using the current footers and whether the current top hat would be able to cope with the stress this would put on it. We would certainly be expecting further footers to appear if this plan were to be a possibility.

Well, now with the news that Zamperla rather than Intamin has been put in charge of the reimagining of Top Thrill Dragster, the rumor of a 500ft rear spike appears even less likely to become reality. However, there does appear to be a lot of new track in the staging area which if the rumors are true and it is all for the rear spike then we could still be looking at seeing an impressive rear spike emerging over the coming months at Cedar Point.

Another recent rumor regarding the layout was that Cedar Point may be looking to add another top hat meaning that there would be two in total. Now, this indeed seems slightly far fetched and based on the position of the new footers seems unlikely. Check out the video below which was posted by Theme Park Predictions regarding the rumor of two top hats.

This rumor of two top hats is thoughts to have come from a keychain which was handed out at a Q&A with Director of Communications, Tony Clarke which appears to resemble two top hats. It could however, just be a cool design to represent Cedar Point (CP).

To cover all bases, here is a link to yet another rumor which had been floated for you to check out if you haven't already done so, Rumor - Top Thrill Dragster To Get A NEW Top Hat Hitting 500ft!

On a separate note and as seen in the video above, the keychain brought speculation of a new color scheme for Top Thrill Dragster which was initially thought to be red for the track and dark gray for the supports. We now know that the track will be white but are unsure if red will feature at all.

This week we have seen footage of the supports being prepped, primed and painted. Initially we thought the dark gray could just be the primer but perhaps dark gray will actually be the new color to replace the iconic yellow on the new reimagined Top Thrill Dragster. We will keep you updated on this.

We also see that the original track on the top hat is being pressure washed which although further led us to believe that it would be Intamin rather than Zamperla has now been disproved as we have confirmation from the newly delivered track on site that it will indeed be Zamperla who is taking on the task of reimagining the mighty Top Thrill Dragster.

Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point
Image: Cedar Fair

We still don't have any official confirmation from Cedar Point as to what their exact plans for the layout of Top Thrill Dragster are but it is certainly fun to continue to speculate the host of possibilities. We will be sure to bring you the official updates as soon as they are announced.

Will Top Thrill Dragster reopen at the start of the 2024 season? Well, there are already rumors floating that the project is behind schedule. We are expecting it to be ready but like with any large project we have to expect that we could see an opening in the summer rather than the originally slated Spring debut.

Do you think there will be a 500ft rear spike? Do you think there could be two top hats? Do you like the newly rumored red and dark gray color scheme? Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll or by leaving us a comment. For further updates and rumors from the last few months continue reading...

Super Survey



While the spike would be cool, to me that’s not the big story. The much bigger story is that the swing launch would basically result in EVERY launch including a deliberate “roll back”!

This is all great, but it still doesn't address the fact they were using low-grade bolts without the proper tensile strength for repairs, which inevitably led to the accident.

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