Top Thrill Dragster 2022 Status

vwhoward's avatar

^^I wish there was a laugh react next to the vote up . That was some serious crazy right there.


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

Cartwright- I agree 100%, however I am not confident in Cedar Point’s ability to produce a quality dark ride.

Maybe it’s because I’m spoiled living in Orlando and can ride the best Dark Rides in the world, but I feel like Cedar Fair tried the dark ride thing with Triotech, Plants vs Zombies, etc. and it failed. Look at even Busch Gardens DaKastle (it was a fantastic ride, but again the maintenance team at that park couldn’t make it work). I don’t think seasonal amusement parks can do the Dark Ride thing successfully- they require expensive equipment, audiovisual engineers, etc. which is honestly why Disaster Transport failed- they didn’t have the Human Resources to maintain it. I’ve wanted a dark ride at Cedar Point for years- but if you can’t deliver Orlando level quality, why try?

Stick to the coasters. It’s their bread and butter.

With that being said, I love the new Snake River Expedition, Adventure Island (my kids had Fast Lane + this summer, but wanted to play on the playground for 2 hours- I of course wanted to ride, but settled for a beer in a chair watching Millennium Force)- I am super excited about next year’s Boardwalk.

But the main reason people go to Cedar Point is for the roller coasters. Go back and read John H’s book- he talks extensively about the various attractions that were installed over the years and his job in marketing them. The successful seasons with strong attendance were always when they put in a record breaking roller coaster. It’s why Kinzel did it year over year- it wasn’t to appease us here- it was to make $$$.

Cedar Point is a mature park. We may never see the park boast 20 coasters, but we will continue to see the lineup change (Rougarou, Steep Vengeance, etc).

A dark ride, a Soak City refresh- sure all welcome additions. They aren’t going to move the attendance needle. Not one bit.

wwhoward- I make you laugh, you call me crazy- but you yourself stated that people are looking for the latest and greatest to capture their attention.

I’m selling Cedar Fair’s board Top Thrill Dragster attached to Velocicoaster.

What are you selling?

Last edited by Tilt-a-Whirl,
XS NightClub's avatar

Hildebrandt’s book is probably the most gospel truth you’re gonna get about CP recent history.

It’s a great read with awesome insight.

God I wish he was GM again.

so sad to see how far the park has gotten from their former core values.


Missed a full season at CP for the first time since 2007, maybe Sandusky will be back on my travel list next year.... Depends what CP has up their sleeve for 2023.

Let's also keep in mind that Cedar Fair is a business. It is no longer the school of thought that the coasters bring in people as ticket sales have not evolved into the core of the business model, but that of internal consumer park spending which includes resturants, games and gift shops.

Gold passes do not make the money as much as in park spending. I am sure CP would consider reducing gold passes to fifty dollars each if they knew they would make it up in "in park revenue" because that would be the business model that creates the revenue to build on for the future.

With topthrill dragster, it is an assest that is getting close to it's final depriciation and no longer has an asset expense on the balance sheet, and the infastructure budget would only allow that to make the ride safe and somewhat reliable to create more "in park spenders", I am sure the expensive retrofit would not pass the board of trustees as a responsible way to generate a profit. My bet is that the trains will be rebuilt to eliminate the risk involved with past issues and the cue line moved to bring risk to a negligible level. The elimination of teh ride would be an expense that would not be justified with the infastructure already there.

...in my opinion!


Sorry for the mess. Signature under construction.

vwhoward's avatar

Tilt-a-whirl, I'm personally not selling anything. But I didn't realize you worked in the sales department at Intamin. Good on you! And good luck with that sale. It'll be a tough one.


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

Rusty's avatar

Was at the park one evening earlier this week walking up the Gemini midway coming from Frontier Town. Two young men were walking behind up to the side discussing TTD. One of them made a comment (paraphrasing here):

"I'm definitely going to ride it if they open it back up next year - because I don't think it's going to be around very much longer after that."

??? If it is destined for the scrapheap due to safety/liability/PR issues, I am sure the powers that be at CF are thinking: "but let's go ahead and open it up one more year just for all of the people who want to experience it before we tear it down."


Proud to have fathered a second generation coaster enthusiast destined to keep me young at heart and riding coasters with a willing partner into my golden years!

Maverick00's avatar

If this is to be an accurate rumor, wonder what the implications are for TTD.


Enjoy the rest of your day at America's Rockin' Roller Coast! Ride On!

Jeff's avatar

Intamin's reputation is **** in the US. And everyone hates Sandor.


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

djDaemon's avatar

XS NightClub said:

so sad to see how far the park has gotten from their former core values.

I legitimately thought this was satire when I first read it. The core values of the company during his reign were "people gotta eat" and "guess we should build another coaster, since that's the only move we know", so I feel like this is a wild romanticization of that era. Obviously operations are in a bleak state currently, which is a big problem, but since JH's retirement the park has been revitalized in ways that were fantastical to imagine back then. Does the Breakers renovation happen under their watch? Or Grand Pavilion? Doubtful, at best, given their reputation and record.


Brandon

Jeff said:

Intamin's reputation is **** in the US. And everyone hates Sandor.

Maybe 5 years ago. But I'd say Busch Gardens and Islands of Adventure are very happy with their latest installs.

I'd be very curious to see what all was in the CP master plan when Kinzel turned over the reins to Ouimet. I know there was almost a two year delay from when Kinzel said he was retiring to when he officially retired, but I also don't know how or if Ouimet was involved with anything at all prior to the hand-off. Like, Gatekeeper I could see having been on the books prior to Ouimet coming in, but the new entrance just really doesn't sound like something Kinzel would've signed off on at all.

My thoughts in hindsight regarding the late Kinzel era and supposed 'core values'... yes, park operations and ride operations specifically were amazing and still probably the gold standard for non-Disney parks, and I'd love to get back to that era of crazy fast ride hosts. But outside of operations, a lot of the late Kinzel era just feels like literally everything else to do with the park was treated with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" to a fault, and the response to something breaking was to either remove it or begrudgingly fix it with like the bare minimum effort.

It also in hindsight felt like there was almost a Roller Coaster Tycoon-esque approach to adding new things. Which is to say, it's like rides were being added in a vacuum. You'd have decent theming for the immediate surroundings of the ride... without much consideration for how it integrated with the rest of the park. I was about to say that Dragster was the worst about that, but then I remembered that Disaster Transport happened under his watch too. For a non-ride example, Breakers Tower.

Aaronosmer's avatar

I don't know if it was ever publicly confirmed, but the general rumor/assumption was that Gatekeeper happened because Ouimet was appalled with some of the areas of the park. One of those being the front gate, and the other being the disaster that was Disaster Transport. I also think the fact that John Hildebrandt was given more input/freedom into changes that were happening made a difference as well. Compared with Kinzel who had to "sign off" on everything, down to day to day operations stuff.

It really is amazing to think of how the park changed during that time.

  • Every entrance to the park got redesigned.
  • Gemini midway refreshed (sans blacktop).
  • Celebration Plaza (while it's a bit of a cluster, at least it got rid of the hideous screen that blocked MF.)
  • Gatekeeper, Valravn along with a refresh of those areas (There's no longer a dead end at Blue Streak).
  • Gold/Cedars Dorms torn down.
  • Breakers refresh

I'm sure there's other things I'm forgetting to list, but with the exception of maybe Kidde Kingdom and what's left of the picnic pavilion, all of the eyesore areas of the park have been greatly improved since Kinzel left. The only thing they've lost since then is operations. It's painful to watch Gemini and Iron Dragon stack with only 2 train operation every single cycle.

operative_me's avatar

Jeff said:

Intamin's reputation is **** in the US. And everyone hates Sandor.

Jeff (or anyone), I have read about Sandor's bad reputation for years, but never really got a story on why. My Google abilities are failing today, can you or anyone point me to some sort of summary of what this is all about?


-Craig
Lifetime Laps on Woodstock Express: 0

DragsterD- please figure out a way to respond to the previous post without quoting the whole post just to make a “yeah me too” response. Don’t get in trouble.

PyroKinesis09's avatar

"yeah me too" is literally what the "vote up" button is for.

In this Era of deteriorating ops and uptime, I want to shout out this year's Raptor crew. They've been flying on my visits, next train usually out as the prior one is entering the final inversion. Especially with the bin placement on that platform, that's impressive. SV station crew also fast, although the TSA metal detection process can still bottleneck the line.


CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (40 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (191 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Magnum XL 200 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. Raptor 7. GateKeeper 8. Valravn 9. Rougarou 10. Gemini

Steel Vengeance was dispatching trains like Cedar Point of the 90s last week, and they were pulsing the line from the lockers so there was no issue with station management. I was incredibly impressed.

JK125's avatar

I'll second that on Steel Vengeance. They are really hustling. I am a single rider and they usually look for a single rider if they have a slot to fill a train. That wasn't the case in previous years. A few ops would do it but it is much more consistent this year. I haven't seen the metal detectors be a holdup this year. They get people through quick enough to have enough on the stairs to load a train.

Jeff's avatar

Tilt-a-Whirl said:
Maybe 5 years ago. But I'd say Busch Gardens and Islands of Adventure are very happy with their latest installs.

IOA didn't have to deal with Sandor.


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

As Jeff noted above, I think I read somewhere that Universal worked directly with the engineers in Europe. I think it was on coasterbuzz, but I'm not terribly certain.

I seem to recall that Hagrid's had a pretty rough opening. Not as bad as Dragster's first year. There were many days when the ride wouldn't open at all, and days with delayed openings or early closings to give maintenance more time with the ride. So, maybe like Dragster's 3rd season or so.

As a side note, I highly doubt that it will impact Cedar Point's decision for Dragster's next season, it looks like Intimain has had yet another significant failure on one of their rides (El Toro) where riders were injured.

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