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Top Thrill Dragster “as you know it” has closed permanently

by Susan and Simon Veness

Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio made the announcement today, September 6, 2022, that it’s popular Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster will be “retired,” effective immediately, but left its future open to speculation with the words “new and reimagined experience.”

cedar point with top thrill dragster
Photos courtesy of Cedar Point

Billed as “the world’s first strata coaster,” the ride opened in 2003 and quickly became one of the park’s most thrilling attractions for its 420-foot-high up-and-over hill that was the coasters single “thrill” element. And thrilling it was.

Starting with a powerful launch that propelled the ride vehicle along a flat track leading to the hill, the ride vehicle coursed up and over the massive hill before plummeting back down and into a final straight track to the end. The entire duration of the ride was 20 seconds.

But on August 15, 2021 the coaster went dark during a state investigation into an incident during which a woman waiting to ride was struck in the head by a small metal piece that flew off the coaster. No negligence was found, and the park did not receive any sanctions when the investigation concluded. The ride, however, has remained closed.

top thrill dragster
Top Thrill Dragster at center of photo

In a statement issued on Sept. 6, Cedar Point announced:

“We have an important update to share regarding our Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster.

After 19 seasons in operation with 18 million riders experiencing the world’s first strata coaster, top Thrill Dragster, as you know it, is being retired.

However, Cedar Point’s legacy of ride innovation continues. Our team is hard at work, creating a new and reimagined ride experience.

We’ll share more details and information at a later date.”

For more information on Cedar Point visit CedarPoint.com.


Top Thrill Dragster Front-Row POV at Cedar Point
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