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Encyclopedia > Top Thrill Dragster
Top Thrill Dragster

Top Thrill Dragster
Location Cedar Point
Park section Top Thrill Dragster Midway (near Power Tower)
Type Steel - Launched
Status Open
Opened May 4, 2003
Manufacturer Intamin AG
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Stratacoaster
Track layout square-boxed structure with red and white paint and yellow supports.
Lift/launch system Hydraulic Launch
Height 420 ft (130 m)
Drop 420 ft (130 m)
Length 2,800 ft (850 m)
Max speed 120 mph (190 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 17 sec.
Capacity 1,051 riders per hour
Cost US$ 25,000,000
Acceleration 0 to 120 mph (0 to 193 km/h) in under 4 seconds
Height restriction 4 ft 4 in (130 cm)
Top Thrill Dragster at RCDB
Pictures of Top Thrill Dragster at RCDB
Portal:Amusement parks Amusement Parks Portal

Top Thrill Dragster is a steel, hydraulically-launched roller coaster located at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. It was the first "Strata Coaster," loosely defined as a complete circuit coaster that is 420 feet tall. It was built by Intamin AG and debuted to the public on May 4, 2003. It is one of only 2 stratacoasters in existence, the other being Kingda Ka (2005) at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 458 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1037 × 1356 pixel, file size: 722 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... This article is about the amusement park in Ohio. ... This article is about the amusement park in Ohio. ... The Dueling Dragons, the worlds only Dueling Steel-Inverted roller coaster located at Islands of Adventure in Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando, Florida. ... The launched roller coaster is a modern form of roller coaster which has risen to prominence within the last decade. ... is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Expedition GeForce, Germany Intamin AG is a designing and manufacturing company in Wollerau, Switzerland. ... Werner Stengel is a notable German roller coaster engineer. ... Image File history File links Roller_Coaster_Icon. ... A typical roller coaster The roller coaster is a popular amusement ride developed for amusement parks and modern theme parks. ... This article is about the amusement park in Ohio. ... Location within the state of Ohio Coordinates: , Country State County Erie Founded 1816 Government  - Mayor Area  - Total 22. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Expedition GeForce, Germany Intamin AG is a designing and manufacturing company in Wollerau, Switzerland. ... is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Kingda Ka is a roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey, USA. At its opening on May 21, 2005 it became the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, claiming the title from Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. ... Six Flags Great Adventure is a theme park in Jackson Township, New Jersey, located 67 miles from New York City, 60 miles from Newark and 50 miles from Philadelphia, consisting of a theme park area, a Wild Safari area, and a water park, Hurricane Harbor. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ...


Top Thrill Dragster was the second hydraulically-launched roller coaster built by Intamin AG, following Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm, and it was the last one to use lapbars instead of over-the-shoulder restraints due to mechanical problems. Xcelerator is a steel launched roller coaster at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. ... Knotts Berry Farm is a brand name of two separate entities: a theme park in Buena Park, California, and a manufacturer of food specialty products (primarily jams and preserves) based in Placentia, California. ...

Contents

Records

When Top Thrill Dragster first debuted, it set five new records:

  • First continuous-circuit roller coaster to go beyond 400 feet in height
  • First roller coaster to reach 120 mph using a hydraulic launch system
  • Highest drop of any coaster
  • Fastest roller coaster in the world
  • Tallest roller Coaster in the world

Top Thrill Dragster was the fourth roller coaster to break the 100 mph speed barrier. It was preceded in this feat by Tower of Terror at Dreamworld, Australia, Superman: The Escape at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California and Dodonpa (located at Fuji-Q Highland). The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, more commonly known as Tower of Terror, is a theme park ride erected at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida in 1994 and at Disneys California Adventure in Anaheim, California in 2004. ... Dreamworld is a theme park situated on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. ... Six Flags Magic Mountain is an amusement park located just west of the Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles. ... The Dodonpa rollercoaster, left, with Mount Fuji in the background. ... Fuji-Q Highland (富士急ハイランド) is an amusement park in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. ...


The previous record holder for overall height was Superman: The Escape at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California (415 feet tall). Top Thrill Dragster broke this record at 420 feet. Top Thrill Dragster's record was broken in 2005 when Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure, standing 456 feet tall. Six Flags Magic Mountain is an amusement park located just west of the Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kingda Ka is a roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey, USA. At its opening on May 21, 2005 it became the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, claiming the title from Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. ... Six Flags Great Adventure is a theme park in Jackson Township, New Jersey, located 67 miles from New York City, 60 miles from Newark and 50 miles from Philadelphia, consisting of a theme park area, a Wild Safari area, and a water park, Hurricane Harbor. ...


The previous record holders for the highest drop were theTower of Terror and Superman: The Escape with 325 feet, also Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Nagashima, Japan, with 307 feet. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, more commonly known as Tower of Terror, is a theme park ride erected at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida in 1994 and at Disneys California Adventure in Anaheim, California in 2004. ... Steel Dragon 2000 is a roller coaster at Nagashima SpaLand Amusement Park in Nagashima, Japan. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The previous record holder for speed was Dodonpa, at 107 mph. This record was broken by Top Thrill Dragster, which reaches speeds in excess of 120 mph (depending on wind and other factors). This record was broken again in 2005 by Kingda Ka, which reaches a top speed of 128 mph.


The ride

Top Thrill Dragster dominates the Cedar Point skyline today, and is easily seen from nearly anywhere in the park, as well as surrounding locations near the Cedar Point peninsula. The towering structure consists of red and white Intamin 4 rail track that is affixed to a bright yellow support tower.


The entrance to the queue is a concrete gateway that leads underneath the launch track. The queue itself, however, never crosses under either side of the ride. Rather, it consists entirely of the space between both tracks. This makes for an interesting experience as trains speed by either side of the people waiting in line. Along the left wall of the queue area, facts about the ride are posted and compared to similar statistics on an actual drag race car.

Queue sign.
Queue sign.

Near the end of the queue, the queue branches off into two sides. Riders may choose to follow the queue to the front or rear station. The two stations are connected, but riders are prevented from entering the other side of the station by a barrier. In the stations, two trains are loaded at the same time before both are dispatched into the waiting area outside of the loading area. There, the front train is launched first, and the second after that. While this is occurring, two more trains have entered the station and loading has begun again. Very rarely does loading take long enough to create a situation where there is no train ready to be launched. By the time two loaded trains have been dispatched, two more have already been filled to follow them. Because of this set up, the line moves rather steadily. Whenever it does stop, it often means that a rider has failed to meet the requirements necessary to ride, and loading was temporarily delayed, or the ride has broken down, in which case the line will not move for possible hours. Such pauses in queue movement are often followed by large moments of progress as two more trains are launched once things are sorted out. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,024 × 768 pixels, file size: 274 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,024 × 768 pixels, file size: 274 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ...


Once riders actually enter the station, they will be asked to choose a secondary queue to wait in which corresponds with the position in the car where they wish to ride. Often, the longest queue is for the front seat, though many enthusiasts insist that the second is the best due to the possible discomfort from wind or bugs. When the riders are next in line, they are quickly instructed to enter the train as the gates before them open. There, they must fasten their seatbelt in such a way that at least a half an inch of slack in the belt can be exposed. If a rider is unable to do so, they are declared unable to ride. The seats are exactly the same as the ones used on Millennium Force, and the exact same policy is enforced at both coasters. For those that fear being unable to ride after waiting in line, sample seats are provided at the entrance to both of these rides. While in the station the ride's theme song is played, which is "Republica - Ready to Go". Millennium Force is a steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and was built by Intamin AG. The fourteenth roller coaster built at the park, its royal blue track stands 310 feet (95 m) tall at its highest point. ... Republica was an English band formed in 1994. ... Audio sample Info Ready To Go (help· info) Ready To Go was a single released on 8 July 1996 by the British pop-rock band Republica. ...

Drop

After all guests are fully secured by a seatbelt and lapbar, the two loaded trains roll forward to the launch area. To the left of the track is a "Christmas tree" light, similar those employed at a drag strip. At this time, a brief message is played to the riders: "Arms down, head back, and hold on!". Due to the unsafe nature of raising one's hands on such a roller coaster, the ride host will not launch the train if any riders are holding their hands up. The host may replay the "arms down" part of the message repeatedly until the guests lower their arms, and stop the ride altogether if a guest persists. Once the ride is prepared to launch, a motor revving sound effect begins. At this time, the magnetic braking fins lower from the launch track, and the train rolls backwards a slight amount in order to connect with the launch car below the tracks. The lights on the tower itself and the small light fixture to the left of the track cycle from three yellows to a green light. A Christmas tree is a festive decoration. ... Top Fuel dragster Drag racing is a sport in which cars race down a track with a set distance as fast as possible. ...


Once the green light displays a tire-screech sound is heard and the train begins its acceleration to 120mph in just 4 seconds.[1] Near the end of the track is a sign which displays the speed that the ride was able to reach at that particular launch; it is usually a number between 120 and 124 miles per hour. Shortly after reaching its maximum velocity in less than four seconds, the train begins its ascent up a 90-degree incline that has a 90-degree counter-clockwise twist that takes the train straight over the top of the 420 foot hill, where riders will experience significant airtime (zero g-forces). On the way down the other side, there is a 270-degree clockwise twist that leads into the magnetic braking section that brings the train to a swift yet comfortable stop. The riders exit the train to their right, and the empty train proceeds into the loading area to be refilled.

Top Thrill Dragster's logo and tower

As Top Thrill Dragster grows older, Cedar Point is learning how to operate the coaster more efficiently and to minimize downtime. Even though there are six trains, usually only five are being used. The increase in operational efficiency is proven in the increased throughput since the ride debuted:[2]

  • Riders in 2003: 562,438
  • Riders in 2004: 943,313
  • Riders in 2005: 953,945
  • Riders in 2006: 994,531
  • Riders in 2007: 1,082,218

Dispatch Interval: 1:03; Load and Unload time: 4:15; Ready and Idle time: 1:35; Trip Time: 16.8 seconds; Cycle Time: 10:27 seconds; Capacity Per Train: 18; Trips Per Hour: 58.4;[citation needed]


Theme

Although the theme of the roller coaster is based on the Top Fuel Drag Racing motor sport, many riders state that this ride feels exactly like a dragster starting to accelerate, even though the actual acceleration of a Top Fuel Dragster is far more significant than that of the ride. A real Top Fuel dragster usually weighs about one ton, while each empty train on Top Thrill Dragster weighs 5.3 tons. The ride opened with a Drag Racing theme. While braking during its inaugural year, one of the decorative wheels came off of the train and rolled into the adjacent lagoon.


Rollbacks

The speed of Top Thrill Dragster is controlled by a computer which regulates the speed of the launch in order to minimize forces as the train crests the hill. Occasionally, a train is not launched with enough speed to clear the crest. This tends to happen in cool, wet or breezy weather, when the wind is working against the train. When the track is wet or the weather is cold, the standard launch speed is typically not enough to force the train over the hill. The train's momentum can also be hindered by a good headwind. When this happens, the train will climb the hill, stop just short of the apex, and roll back down the hill in reverse, hence the name "rollback". To avert disaster, the launch track is equipped with retractable magnetic braking fins. After every launch these fins are quickly and systematically deployed, as if chasing the coaster train, to make absolutely sure to slow down a train that happens to roll backwards afterward to stop it safely and comfortably.


A sign near the split in the queue line warns that rollbacks are expected and safe, as systems are set in place to bring a rollback to a safe and comfortable stop.


These "rollbacks" are something that many Cedar Point fans look forward to, and hope to receive at some point. Since the launch is arguably the most exciting and intense part of the ride, a rollback means you get the option to either ride it again without waiting in line, or exit the ride. A rollback occurs on a launched roller coaster when the train is not launched fast enough to reach the top of the tower. ...


Intamin's term for this phenomenon is "short shot" rather than "rollback", but the term "rollback" is used almost exclusively in the parks that operate Accelerator Coasters, as well as in the coaster enthusiast community.


On Friday, June 24, 2005, the green train was launched with exactly enough momentum to bring it to rest at the top of the tower. It remained balanced there for nearly fifteen minutes with 16 passengers on board until a maintenance worker arrived via elevator, gave it a push, and sent it on its way.[3] is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Weather

Top Thrill Dragster does not operate in any form of precipitation. The ride's control system operates via a series of proximity sensors that relay the location of the train by magnetic contacts, and the trains are propelled through flat sections of the track by friction wheels. Rain, or any other form of precipitation impedes the safe and efficient movement of trains through the holding and station positions. To re-open the ride, all precipitation must have stopped. Depending on the temperature, how long the ride was down, and how wet the tracks, trains, and friction wheels are, ride hosts determine how many test trains to send. Many times each train is sent around until it makes it over, however, in many instances once one train has gone over the tower the ride may be re-opened with riders. The determining factor in re-opening the ride to guests is how long the train takes to go over the tower, and the speed reduction on the ride's touch-screen. If trains are making it over the tower, but the speed reduction is still too high, trains will be loaded with fewer rows closed off from the back, normally the ride is re-opened with the last four rows closed, this is to ensure that the ride does not rollback, or rolls back fewer times than when sending full trains.


Top Thrill Dragster can not operate in winds exceeding 35 mph.[citation needed] An anemometer on top of the tower relays wind speeds to the rides computer. Wind speeds above 35 mph for approximately 5 seconds will disrupt normal operation of the ride, placing the ride into Manual mode. This is called an Auto Mode Stop. The ride's control panel notifies ride hosts of this and other faults by a trouble light, which is a red flashing or solid push button and light. The ride also has a high wind speed indicator that illuminated along with a warning on the rides touch-screen that alerts the ride host in the controls position that the ride has detected wind speeds greater than 20-34mph. High winds that cause the ride to stop, are usually reset and a timer is started for approximately fifteen minutes, if within that fifteen minutes winds go above 35 again, the fault is reset and the timer is re-started. After fifteen minutes the ride is re-started however if wind speeds are persistently high, ride hosts may close off rows in the back of the trains to ensure the wind, and speed reduction will not cause rollbacks.


Awards

Golden Ticket Awards: Best Steel Coaster
Year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Ranking
11
7
7
10
9

The 2006 GTA logo The Golden Ticket Awards is an annual set of awards given out by Amusement Today, a newspaper published for the amusement industry. ...

References

  1. ^ "Top Thrill Dragster", Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. 
  2. ^ "Top Thrill Dragster", Cedar Point. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. 
  3. ^ "Top Thrill Dragster Stuck at Top", Xtreme Coastin (2005-06-24). Retrieved on 2007-12-20. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • CedarPoint.com - Top Thrill Dragster Official page
  • ThePointOL.com - Top Thrill Dragster Unofficial Page
  • PointPics.com - Top Thrill Dragster Photo Gallery
  • PointPics.com - Top Thrill Dragster Construction Photo Gallery
Preceded by
Steel Dragon 2000
World's Tallest Complete Circuit Roller Coaster
May 2003 – May 2005
Succeeded by
Kingda Ka
Preceded by
Dodonpa
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
May 2003 – May 2005
Succeeded by
Kingda Ka


Coordinates: 41°29′18″N, 82°41′34″W Steel Dragon 2000 is a roller coaster at Nagashima SpaLand Amusement Park in Nagashima, Japan. ... While there have been hundreds of different roller coasters built, there have been just a few that were notable for specific reasons. ... Kingda Ka is a roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey, USA. At its opening on May 21, 2005 it became the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, claiming the title from Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. ... The Dodonpa rollercoaster, left, with Mount Fuji in the background. ... While there have been hundreds of different roller coasters built, there have been just a few that were notable for specific reasons. ... Kingda Ka is a roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey, USA. At its opening on May 21, 2005 it became the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, claiming the title from Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. ... A typical roller coaster The roller coaster is a popular amusement ride developed for amusement parks and modern theme parks. ... This article is about the amusement park in Ohio. ... Blue Streak is a wooden roller coaster following the out and back design. ... Cedar Creek Mine Ride is a roller coaster operating at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio in the Frontiertown section of the park. ... The Corkscrew is a roller coaster at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Disaster Transport is a steel enclosed roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Gemini is a hybrid wood and steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Iron Dragon is a steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Jr. ... Magnum XL-200 is a steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Mantis is a steel stand-up roller coaster at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Maverick is a linear synchronous motor-launched steel complete-circuit roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Mean Streak is a roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Millennium Force is a steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and was built by Intamin AG. The fourteenth roller coaster built at the park, its royal blue track stands 310 feet (95 m) tall at its highest point. ... Raptor is a steel inverted roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Wicked Twister is a steel roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... WildCat is a roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Woodstock Express is a steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Coasterdom » Joel (820 words)
Top Thrill Dragster opened to the public in 2003, and shocked the world smashing both the speed and height records, and definitely lives up to that reputation.
To top it all off, the launch sequence is led by a “Christmas tree” setup on both the tower, and right in front of the train.
As said before, Top Thrill Dragster is an experience, everyone should try at least once in their lifetime, especially for any avid coaster enthusiast.
Rollercoasters: Cedar Point Top Thrill Dragster Specs (440 words)
Top Thrill Dragster is a launched coaster using a hydraulic launch system to propel trains around a closed circuit.
Designed to provide the ultimate thrill of speed and height, the layout of the coaster is a simple oval, forgoing any traditional hills, curves, or inversions.
Top Thrill Dragster marks the fourth time that Cedar Point has obtained the title of opening the worlds tallest rollercoaster, following Gemini (125 ft), Magnum XL-200 (first hypercoaster at 205 ft), and Millennium Force (first gigacoaster at 310 ft).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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