Top Thrill Dragster 2022 Status

"Why would Wonderland spend money on Leviathan when they've already got Behemoth?"

"Why would Carowinds spend money on Fury 325 when they've already got Intimidator?

"Why would Kings Island spend money on Orion when they've already got Diamondback?"

I could totally keep going, but I'm not gonna.

djDaemon's avatar

Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point, but each of those is an example of a park installing a giga while already having a hyper, so they were filling out their ride lineup by adding a "different" type of coaster. So if these examples are meant to counter or answer BleauxJays' comment, it's not a great argument.


I'll admit it's not a great argument, but then again I also feel like "Why put in X when they already have Y" rarely is as a general rule.

Short of literal off-the-shelf models like Boomerangs and various Wild Mice, I feel like "too similar" can get very subjective. Aside from the height difference, I feel like you could argue that Giga vs Hyper is much more similar in terms of ride experience than a hypothetical retrofitted multi-launching TTD vs Maverick.

Jeff's avatar


...Cedar Point has determined that Dragster is iconic enough and a big enough draw attendance-wise (they surely have numbers to back that up) to sink the money into this redo.

That's a whole lot of assuming stuff. If the ride never came back, attendance wouldn't change. I can promise that. I think far more boring and likely explanations include:

  • They're not ready to fully write-off the ride financially (don't know what the depreciation schedule is).
  • They negotiated something with Intamin that is more favorable than suing them for building a lemon that seriously hurt someone.
  • Considering the above, this is the most economical way to not reduce overall ride capacity.

Unlikely explanations include superlative titles, impact on attendance, anything that enthusiasts think.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Jeff, it’s completely plausible it’s a combination of all that. It’s becoming more and more common for parks to essentially replace an older iconic ride for no other reason than the ride has become what they see as an essential part of the park. Off the top of my head here are some examples:

Incredible Hulk @ Universal

Nemesis @ Alton Towers

Great Nor’Easter @ Morey’s Piers

Python @ Efteling

All of these rides were essentially rebuilt (Nemesis closes soon for a complete rebuild) because the park has deemed them essential to the park’s lineup. So while Intamin might be doing this as part of a settlement after the accident, it’s not a wild idea to think that Dragster also falls under as the same qualifications as the above rides.

Nothing I wrote is fantastical or outlandish.

Why spend half or more of a 20 year old, existing rides original construction budget to simply do bithing other than get new electronics and launch system.

My logic is, if your going to sink half or more the cost of a NEW ride into simy retrofitting and older one with the same if not worse experience. Doesnt it make more sense to add to it and truly change the experience? Business sense? Because then you can market it as a new ride, and you can build in increased capacity and performance?

Jeff and DJ, I can understand your arguments if the discussion was.. soend 15+ million to refab Dragster, or scrap it.

Because in that case, scrapping it is the better alternative, because it probably costs more in maintainance and the extended life wont oay back its investment and the capacity doesnt help the park at all.

In that case it makes business sense to scrap it. Because as you said, attendance wont change, you can make money off the scrap metal, and your getting rid of the maintenance overhead.

But theres no way you basically pay the price of a brand new coaster to update the same 17 second experience.. instead of create a whole new experience. I just cant grasp that logic.

Montezuma's revenge at Knotts is being "Reimagined" and in addition to a launch update they're getting some layout and fucntionality changes as well.

vwhoward's avatar

^I agree with this. But I'm in no position to know what the ROI calculations are. If Jeff is right and removing it wouldn't make attendance drop, then spending millions to give what could be argued as a very similar experience (virtually the same ride with a new launch that the GP would just say, "Oh they painted Dragster a different color" and miss the launch refurb altogether) would be a waste of any money. A refurbished TTD wouldn't dramatically increased attendance just as a demolished TTD wouldn't decrease attendance. I'm not looking for superlatives or outlandish options. But I would agree it's a waste to "just do the minimum".

And That Crazy Dan, Behemoth is way better than Leviathan. Full stop.

Eat 'em up, Tigers, eat 'em up!

Jeff's avatar

Y'all keep getting stuck on words like "iconic" and various superlatives that don't mean anything to the business. Cedar Point has a ton of rides. The removal of one doesn't matter. No one in the market is gonna be like, "Cedar Point sucks! It only has Millennium Force and Magnum and Steel Vengeance and Gatekeeper and..."

So why build anything? For the sake of capacity first. Second is to replace aging rides or fill in gaps (like a family friendly mouse).

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music


Y'all keep getting stuck on words like "iconic" and various superlatives that don't mean anything to the business. Cedar Point has a ton of rides. The removal of one doesn't matter.

I’d be curious to hear why you think these parks replaced:

A 16 year old B&M looper

A 37 year old Vekoma loopscrew

A 21 year old Vekoma SLC

A 28 year old B&M invert

End of service life

Crappy ride

Crappy ride

End of service life

You missed my point. They were replaced with the same ride. If parks don’t care about rides being “iconic” or whatever other superlatives and guests don’t care if rides leave then why replace a ride with the same ride?

Last edited by CPVet,
Jeff's avatar

I don't know which "these parks" are, but at least in the case of IOA, let me think... no construction or reconfiguration of the park, no new expense on design and engineering. If anything, building the same ride again is another reason why it doesn't matter. You can't simultaneously argue that they need the new bestest ride to attract customers and argue that they need the same one the most people won't even know was replaced.

The removal of any ride will not materially affect Cedar Point's attendance. Wicked Twister, Space Spiral, Shoot The Rapids, Snoopy Bounce... folks are still going to show up in the same numbers that they did before.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

GL2CP's avatar

Let’s all take a ride on the Roller Coaster of Love.

First ride; Magnum 1994

(Say what?) ooh ooh ooh ooh…

(insert murder scream)

ooh ooh ooh oooh…


folks are still going to show up in the same numbers that they did before.

And if you put in Steel Vengeance, which is arguably the best, and definitely among the best coasters in the world, it's still not going to move the needle any more than another BBQ joint.

I can't see them ever beating 1994 numbers. Even with all of the special events and extended operating calendar.

Thats my biggest beef right now with Cedar Point actually is operating hours.

I LOVED the nights they were open until midnight in August. Thats when I would always schedule my trips.

Im a night person, and I loved the lights and riding in the dark.. and nowadays during summer when tue sun doesnt even fully set until 9 at times, you almost never get the riding at night experience outside of 1 or 2 per trip depending on the lines.

I loved getting that 10am-12pm (getting into the last line at 11:59pm) day at Cedar Point where I would ride every rollercoaster and maybe 1 or 2 twice.

That was the best

I loved getting into a line 10 mins after closing. Or getting into a line an hour after closing on extended ride nights. At least they're back to closing on time now, past few years the early closings were getting bad.

I may be jumping back a couple of days with this post.

I would love to see Dragster modified to include most of the suggestions that people have made. Reverse spike, large airtime hill, a few twists and turns, etc... However, from what I have seen them do so far, I just don't think that is going to happen. What we have seen so far - all the "flat" track has been removed - everything except the tower and the curve into and out of the tower, while all the supports for the removed track remains. It appears that this track is being shipped to Italy, which is a fairly close port to where Intamin (and others) manufacture track. The simplest explanation that I can think of is that Intamin is going to be modifying the track segments to support a new launch system.

Yes, this track is fairly old. As I have noted above, the curved track gets much more wear than the flat track. I would bet that the flat track (launch, station, brake) on Dragster as well as the coasters that Universal removed and replaced was in descent condition too. Its the curved track with all the forces that wear out first. Since the transfer and holding track have been removed, that would seem to indicate that they may be getting new trains. Although I wouldn't rule out that they may still find a way to rework the old trains.

The queue in the station has been removed. That makes me think that they may be "flipping" which side of the station passengers load from.

I think we will have more answers as the off season progresses. “If” there is significant tower work coming it was never going to happen when the park was open. Now we will see, but I think the removal process is likely done. It is odd to me that they’d modify the old track rather than just manufacture new track. But if the goal is to minimize costs, which given the reason why this is all taking place to begin with is super ironic, then I guess we will see track shipments show up in the spring.

I do not think this will be ready by opening day though.

Anyone that thinks this ride is going to be open before 2024 is kidding themselves.

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