Top Thrill Dragster 2022 Status

I dunno... slingshot from that angle looks like a crane getting ready to tear it down...

Didn’t a woman die on Texas Giant? Wasn’t she thrown from the ride? I understand it may have been a situation where she should’ve never been permitted to ride, but the ride killed her nonetheless (I do remember a lengthy lawsuit with Six Flags and the train manufacturer).

Texas Giant is still up and running. I guess my point is what is the criteria to respect victims of past accidents? I think that the park has gone above and beyond to respect what has happened, and I do not think reopening the ride next year somehow disrespects what took place.

Last edited by Tilt-a-Whirl,
MichaelB's avatar

Raptor killed someone and they never even modified the fence. Re-opened fairly soon after, iirc.

djDaemon's avatar

Still poor comparisons.

The NTG was a case of operator error, since she should not have been allowed to ride, or at the very least her lapbar should have been secured beneath her stomach such that it secured her legs properly. EDIT - perhaps I forgot the details, it may have been partly blamed on the train manufacturer because the system gave a "go" light and operators weren't trained properly regarding oversized riders.

Raptor's an even worse comparison, since that guy jumped two fences to go into a prohibited zone, so he's at fault there. And why add another fence? Someone who will ignore warning signs to jump two fences to retrieve their hat will jump N number of fences to retrieve their hat.

The woman in the TTD was simply waiting in line.

Last edited by djDaemon,


TwistedCircuits's avatar

Brandon I'm curious. What's the line in your mind between assumed risk and park responsibility.

When I go to the park I do expect a certain level of safety, but I'm also internally assuming some risk, just like when I drove to the park, even if my vehicle is in perfect condition and I'm driving immaculately, semi breaks fail (weirdest one of heard of is a deer getting wrapped up in the break drum rendering them useless) of no fault of the owner or operator and I'm squashed like a bug under that rig. Does the company take that rig out of service because of it? That's likely a bad comparison but I think it makes the risk point I'm trying to.

I guess my question is (and I want to be very clear in saying I'm not blaming the victim for this incident), by standing in line near, or riding a ride, are we accepting some level of risk that's outside of our or the parks control? I imagine that's buried somewhere in some legal fine print if so. But if that's the case. And we and the park have agreed somewhere (either in entering the property, or purchasing that ticket, I think likely the latter) that we're accepting X level of risk. How obligated are they to treat this any different than other incidents that you've rightly pointed out are different based on a lot of details. But weirdly in my mind may not be different legally?

Still haven't been able to uncross these circuits...
DJ Fischer

djDaemon said:

From the fan perspective, they'll always have memories of the ride, and that's the legacy for them. And I suppose in a world where StR, which nearly drowned multiple occupants, has a tombstone, sure, put one up for TTD during HW to appease those who miss it. And maybe in a few years sell vintage apparel.

Thanks for the perspective and sorry if my last post was putting you on the spot. Agreed that if the park went that way, you'd want to have a couple of years of breathing room before putting out anything that could be construed as cashing in on a tragedy. Even if any prospective vintage merch was okayed by the family beforehand, doing it too soon you'd probably still get some folks, online or otherwise, willing to be outraged by proxy for them.

There aren't any that I can think of, which is my point when responding to people making comparisons to other situations, and predictions based on those comparisons. The park is sort of in uncharted territory here.

We've gone from comparing apples to oranges to apples to zucchinis in this thread, but now I'm starting to wonder if a more apt comparison re: acceptable risk in a pay-to-enter public setting might be incidents that have happened at stadiums and race tracks, from pucks and baseballs all the way to race car debris and tires.

Again, it's something that's subjective because of the varying magnitude of individual incidents, but if nothing else, the language of how the ticket disclaimers are written, for instance, might be of interest here.

Obviously sometimes the response to a fatality is straightforward, e.g. hockey goal area netting after the Blue Jackets incident or tire tethers after the two separate tire-launching-into-grandstand incidents in CART and Indycar in 1998 and 1999, and obviously in pretty much every case there's going to be a financial settlement that's neither here nor there. I'd be very curious though, to see what if any changes in the legal "by entering this facility..." disclaimers there were after those events, or more recent incidents like the various catchfence crashes at Daytona that've sent debris into the stands. (though that they'd also mitigated to a point by simply getting rid of the lowest tiers of seating, but now I'm getting super duper off-topic and I digress.)

Last edited by That Crazy Dan,

MichaelB said:

Raptor killed someone and they never even modified the fence. Re-opened fairly soon after, iirc.

This is probably the worst comparison I’ve seen so far. The ride didn’t malfunction. The guys common sense malfunctioned and he got himself killed. Two completely different scenarios.

djDaemon's avatar

The CBJ incident is a good example. Hockey existed for over 100 years before players and equipment became advanced enough that errant pucks began regularly traveling at speed high enough to inflict lethal damage. So that's analogous somewhat to roller coasters. If CCMR lost a component from a train, that component would be unlikely to do nearly the same damage the TTD flag plate did.

So as far as responsibility is concerned (more on that below), as parks install faster, more extreme rides, they bear the added responsibility of keeping guests safe around these extreme machines.

TwistedCircuits said:

What's the line in your mind between assumed risk and park responsibility.

It's not really possible to draw a line on something with so much grey area and so many variables. It's more like a spectrum, with the Raptor incident on one end and the TTD incident at, or at least near, the other end, in my opinion.

The former can be completely blamed on the person who ignored several warning signs and climbed multiple fences into a dangerous area to retrieve his phone.

The latter cannot be blamed at all on the victim, as she was simply standing in line. The only thing she did that led to her injury was to enter the park and get in line for a ride. Is she supposed to know that standing in line for TTD put her at greater risk than queuing for CCMR?


It’s also worth pointing out, as many others have, that if a decision to remove TTD is made, it’ll be not just this single incident that was the only factor.

GL2CP's avatar

Yeah but if Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down the pirates don’t eat the tourists…

First ride; Magnum 1994

TwistedCircuits's avatar

Brandon I think you make a great point, Dan as well.

I think the conversation here is not the comparison to other incidents, but a spectrum of legal responsibility (in my mind acknowledging that's different than moral responsibility unfortunately). And in the specific case of TTD, collectively over the years and the considering in cost, is this most recent incident far enough down the spectrum towards guest innocence (because park liability seems to be a weird dimension on this scale in another depth) that it warrants the rides removal.

Still haven't been able to uncross these circuits...
DJ Fischer

MichaelB said:

Raptor killed someone and they never even modified the fence. Re-opened fairly soon after, iirc.

Incorrect. The previous chain link fence was indeed removed and replaced with the current taller, black, anti rust fencing for the 2016 season. This modification happened even though it was no fault of CP’s at all.

I agree if it comes down it is the ride’s overall 20 year history than it is this isolated incident.

If what happened last year happened in 2004 there’s no way the ride would be coming down. It’s just the final nail.

Last edited by Tilt-a-Whirl,
Kevinj's avatar

If a life-threatening accident happens due to absolutely no fault on the part of the guest and the operators, with the blame placed 100% on the ride itself (as Brandon alluded to above), that's a special category of bad.

The Raptor incident should not even be mentioned in the same sentence.

I think of this more along the lines of Shoot the Rapids. Charged with 7 counts of attempted manslaughter, it's actually astounding to me that it was allowed to continue operating after that. The ride was also a money pit that never really functioned properly (as in ever), and as far as we know only had one real incident of consequence. But no one would ever (I would think) question it being even remotely in an "iconic" category, especially since the ride experience itself just sucked so much.

If I am remembering correctly, STR more or less went quietly into the night, with its demise only really confirmed at Winter Chill Out.

But point being, the TTD incident (and literally every other TTD incident) and the STR near-tragedy had nothing to do with guests or the operators, which is at least somewhat of a variable in many well-known incidents. Unlike STR, though, TTD actually delivers on its ride experience, and many do consider it iconic.

TwistedCircuits; you brought up an interesting point. And frankly this is something that never really crossed my mind until this incident with TTD happened.

When I go to a Guardians game, I am fully aware that a baseball could be hit in my general direction, and I need to at least somewhat pay attention if I am somewhat close to the infield. That's just common sense. But if it did happen, while it would suck, I would consider that a reasonable risk I took by walking into the ballpark.

When I go to Cedar Point, I would not ever expect to get struck in the back of the head by an object so large that somehow dislodged itself from an attraction while I was waiting in line with enough force to completely alter the rest of my life.

If it did happen, I would absolutely not consider that a reasonable risk I took by walking into the park. That's on the park, the ride manufacturer, or both. Not me.

Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

At the end of the day it is all about managing risks. The severity of an individual event does not automatically correlate to the magnitude of the actions that need to be taken to mitigate the risk of the event in the future.

For example, employees at a park deliberately bypass ride safety systems to dispatch a train on the circuit which causes the train to impact another train that had valleyed on the track. It is rather easy to determine the cause of this incident and therefore what can be done to prevent it going forward. Since this particular scenario can be easily mitigated the risk of a similar event happening in the future is very low after mitigations have been implemented. Smiler stays open.

A company does not adhere to its own maintenance procedures and preventative maintenance schedules. As a result a train wheel mount fails causing the front car to de-rail. The front car then impacts the car behind it causing severe injuries and a fatality. The cause of this is known and once again mitigations can be implemented. Big Thunder Mountain remains open.

As far as TTD goes, has a root cause been determined? If so can it be mitigated? If it can be mitigated are the costs worth the investment? While we may never know the exact cause or details to any of these questions the action the park takes will tell us part of the story. If CP/CF feels they have determined a cause, are able to mitigate that cause, see value in paying for the mitigations, and are comfortable with the remaining risk then TTD will open again. If the answer to any of those questions is a no then TTD will never re-open.

The webcam is currently showing a lit up Top Thrill Dragster on the eve of the ‘23 announcement. A webcam which has not shown the ride for the better part of a year.

At any rate- whatever happens today (whether TTD is mentioned or not) I always enjoy coming back to this corner of the internet and listening to everyone’s thoughts and speculation. I never thought the day would come where we would be arguing for the removal of a ride that back in 2002-2003 had the entire coaster world drooling. From the mystery surrounding the yellow structure rising in the fall sky of 2002, (LTHB anyone?), its unreliability, and now the unfortunate accident of last August- Top Thrill Dragster certainly holds the title as most talked about coaster on the planet.

Last edited by Tilt-a-Whirl,

I remember watching the mysterious yellow tower rise in the fall of 2002 like it was yesterday! That’s when the CP fan within me was born.

I hope TTD’s yellow tower will be given new life tomorrow. I don’t consider myself overly conspiratorial, but I think it’s awfully coincidental that on the eve of CP’s 2023 announcement, TTD appears on the webcam fully lit (and with its station speakers reportedly playing music) for the first time in nearly a year.

My prediction shortly after TTD’s 2022 closure was announced was that TTD would reopen in 2023 with significant improvements. I’m sticking to that. I think CP will promote TTD as being “back safer and better than ever.”

I only hope the new trains still come in red, gold, blue, green, purple, and black cherry.

And if I’m overly wrong, I guess I’ll have to change my username…

Thrills Around the Corner!

djDaemon's avatar

Tilt-a-Whirl said:

The webcam is currently showing a lit up Top Thrill Dragster on the eve of the ‘23 announcement. A webcam which has not shown the ride for the better part of a year.

There are reports that the station is also lit up for the first time this year. Assuming that's accurate, that points pretty strongly toward very good news for Dragster fans, I would say.


DRE420's avatar

Top Thrill 182 said:

I think CP will promote TTD as being “back safer and better than ever.”

If it does indeed open next season, I highly doubt there will be this grand announcement where they tout the ride being "back safer and better than ever". As mentioned above many times, that would be extremely distasteful and disrespectful to the injured and her family.

That type of slogan would be in really poor taste imo

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