After closing in 2022, Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster will be reborn as the world's tallest and fastest triple-launch roller coaster. Ride manufacturer Zamperla is working with theme park Cedar Point to prepare Top Thrill 2 (working name) to open in time for the 2024 season. The confirmation of Top Thrill Dragster's revamp comes after weeks of rumors and teasing about the infamous ride's future.
Cedar Point Top Thrill 2 Returns in 2024
“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 strata coaster is a complete-circuit roller coaster whose height is between 400 and 499 feet. Aside from Top Thrill, only one other strata coaster exists in the world: Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey.
Top Thrill 2's launches include a forward launch at 74 miles per hour (MPH). This brings the ride into a rollback, a popular element where the coaster trains climb up a hill before falling backward due to not having enough momentum. The second launch occurs backward and reaches a speed of 101 MPH before traveling up a brand new 420-foot tall vertical spike at a 90-degree angle. The train then travels forward again, launching at a speed as high as 120 MPH, and travels over the 420 top hat before diving into a 270-degree spiral before crossing the ride's original finish line.
The new track will be 3,422 feet long, up from 2,800 feet.
“Top Thrill 2 will be the boldest and most advanced roller coaster Cedar Point has ever introduced. It’s another one-of-a-kind that could only be built at Cedar Point,” said Carrie Boldman, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “Our stamp on the industry is in roller coaster innovation, and today, that’s solidified as we redefine the strata coaster into a mega-thrill that our guests will come from far and wide to experience.”
Top Thrill 2 Is Getting More Than a New Ride Layout
Zamperla brings an innovative new train design to Top Thrill's relaunch. The lightning trains feature open seating with comfortable, redundant lap bars to keep riders safe. Zamperla says the design intends to create an ergonomic vehicle that offers open seating. The reimagined train body's chassis is aluminum-milled. This allows the car to weigh less, minimizing costs for Cedar Point.
The new trains also allow for a higher hourly capacity of riders on Top Thrill 2. The original Top Thrill Dragster was notorious for having some of the longest waits at Cedar Point. The new trains will allow guests to enjoy more time on the ride and less time in queue. A maximum of 20 riders per train will be achieved, and Top Thrill 2 will operate with three trains.
Antonio Zamperla, president and CEO of Zamperla, commented on the new ride.
“My sincere congratulations to Cedar Point on the announcement of this incredible project. Today, with pride and excitement, we embark on this collaborative journey together. It is an honor for Zamperla to add our signature on The Roller Coaster Capital of the World®. I cannot wait until next year when we see this record-breaking scream machine come to life.”
The History of Top Thrill Dragster
After Cedar Point debuted Millenium Force, the world's first giga coaster (height between 300 and 399 feet), the park began developing another world-first attraction. Construction started in April 2022 on the massive 400-plus foot structure, designed by Intamin, and an official announcement was made in January 2003. The ride opened to the public on May 4th, 2003, and became the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster. It would lose those distinctions to Kinga Ka a year later.
It wasn’t smooth sailing, but Top Thrill remained operational for nearly two decades. This resulted in Top Thrill Dragster being often closed for the day due to various mechanical problems, disappointing guests. These faults are what likely led Cedar Point to work with a new manufacturer over Intamin, who originally manufactured the ride. Despite the issues, Top Thrill was still a marquee attraction for the park.
However, on August 15th, 2021, a guest in line was struck in the head by a small metal piece dislodged from the train. The guest sustained a severe injury, and the ride was closed pending an investigation by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which oversees attractions in the state.
Informal teasing from Cedar Point for the ride's revamp began in January 2023, when they revealed the tagline “A New Formula For Thrills” on social media.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Jake has covered the entertainment industry for nearly two decades, specializing in video games, TV, and film. He studied Electronic Media and Broadcasting at Northern Kentucky University before freelancing for several publications. He leverages this experience at Wealth of Geeks to help manage the site cover all things geek-related. Jake's work has been syndicated across the Associated Press wire at outlets such as PBS, MSN, and more.