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Top Thrill Dragster

Top Thrill Dragster Specs
Operating Since:
May 4, 2003
Intamin AG "Rocket Coaster"
Steel Launched (Hydraulic)
2800 ft
420 ft
Largest Drop:
400 ft
Angle of Descent:
90 degrees
120 mph
6 trains
5 cars per train
2 riders in the first car,
2 rows of 2 seats in the
remaining cars
Ride Capacity:
1500 riders per hour
In 2003 Cedar Point added its 16th rollercoaster. Observing past tradition, this new ride once again shattered existing records for height, speed, and thrills.

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. Instead, a single 420 foot tall top hat element brings riders to a pinnacle never before reached on a rollercoaster. To celebrate the achievement of reaching the 400 foot height, the name Strata-Coaster was coined to describe the ride.

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). Trains are launched to a speed of 120 mph in only 4 seconds, along a straight section of track flat to the ground. Trains then turn straight upwards, making a vertical ascent at a 90 degree angle to a height of 400 ft. At the top, the top hat element brings the trains over the top to begin their 90 degree descent toward the ground. The descent, however, features a 270 degree twist that spirals the trains around their axis before reaching the bottom, where another straight run brings them back to the magnetic braking system and back to the station. 6 trains continuously run the circuit, and the station allows two trains to be boarded simultaneously before each is moved forward into the staging area for launch. This helps avoid delays and keeps the flow of passengers moving on this incredible ride.

Top Thrill Dragster's peak now dominates the skyline of the park, hovering above Power Tower. The nicely themed entrance is located in the midway between Power Tower, Mantis, and Iron Dragon. The ride is laid out toward the back of the park, where the vertical spire rises near Gemini and Magnum. An illuminated scoreboard displays the top speed of each train as it reached the vertical tower. A "grandstand" is located near the launch area, allowing guests to sit and watch the incredible launches while evaluating their desire to ride.

Dexter has not had the opportunity to visit nor ride Top Steel Dragster. Given his love of coasters exhibiting speed, acceleration, and height, he anticipates that this ride would clearly become and instant favorite.

Photos, ride details and more info are available at the Cedar Point website.

All pages, images and info © Copyright 1997 - 2009 David W Creighton.
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