Top Thrill Dragster 2022 Status

Jeff noted:
That line was run to feed Wicked Twister and Dragster.

...and as a result (and some other issues as well), you could hear noise in the Dragster PA speakers every time Wicked Twister's motors fired.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



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djDaemon:

You're taking meaningless marketing terms and extrapolating that out to tens of millions of dollars of investment into a 20+ year old ride structure, not because this is the most likely outcome based on evidence and data, but because that's what you would do if you were CEO (or playing RCT).

It is the most likely outcome. The last major roller coaster to be installed was a record breaking multi-million dollar coaster built on a 20+ year structure- so I’d say that’s a great deal of “evidence and data” 😉

djDaemon's avatar

DaveDzRochNY:

"ONLY six years".

At what point does it become a non-problem?

Let's say over the years you've purchased multiple KIA vehicles, and they've all had numerous issues, forcing you to deal with incompetent, argumentative warranty and service departments. In fact, one of those vehicles had to have major components replaced before you could even take delivery of it, leaving you without a vehicle for weeks, forcing you to cancel long-awaited travel plans. These vehicles are so unreliable that they frequently break down, and replacement parts are expensive and hard to come by, leaving you stranded relatively often. One of those vehicles actually fails multiple times, sometimes in ways that endanger your dear family, resulting in medical treatment being necessary.

And it's not just your bad luck - most KIA owners have similar experiences, some far worse, where vehicle occupants are killed through no fault of their own.

Finally, because you're a masochist, you purchase yet another KIA, and not only is the vehicle delivered late, but it never works correctly. You patiently try to work with KIA to make things right, but after some token attempts to fix the car they basically tell you to go pound sand, even after a car malfunction nearly kills you and your family. So you're left with a vehicle so unreliable and dangerous that you have to abandon it after only 15K miles.

Would you purchase a vehicle from that company ever again, much less after "only six years"? I sure as hell wouldn't.


Brandon

Jeff's avatar

Tilt-a-Whirl:

The last major roller coaster to be installed was a record breaking multi-million dollar coaster built on a 20+ year structure...

I had pancakes for breakfast. Does that mean I'll have pancakes tomorrow? You're creating causation that isn't based on anything.


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

More hypothetical spitballing... I wonder what the comparable weights would be for equivalent lengths of B&M, Intamin box track, and Premier track (and anybody I've forgotten).

I know weight is just a single factor that'd have to be considered if you were going to put entirely new track on the existing tower, but Intamin box track has always struck me as slightly overbuilt to put it gently, and I'd be willing to bet it would be the heaviest of said equivalent lengths of track.

For what it's worth, I've also read hearsay on other sites that the 4-way box track allegedly fatigues considerably worse than the triangular/3-way track and that the triangular track holds up worse than the newer, more traditional-ish designs since Intimidator 305 or so. No idea how true this is or isn't since it was very much an anecdotal, "I talked to a guy that totally works for Intamin and not the Dippin' Dots stand" kind of deal.

I could see it being argued that you'd need the redundancy of the Intamin box track to account for both the forces involved and the spacing of the support points of attachment, but then I look at a newer B&M like even Valravn (and yes, I know they're not remotely similar ride experiences or forces involved, but bear with me) and see how much of the track is essentially self-supporting, even and especially for dynamic parts like the inversions.

Just like how you figure there's been close to 20 years of development on launch tech, you figure the same for ride tech, and I wouldn't see any reason why you couldn't completely replace the ride track with the existing support tower via any of the other major coaster manufacturers. Again, this is definitely a place where TCFKATTD's brevity works to its advantage.

Jeff's avatar

Weight is the easy part. The challenge with support structures and the track is how you handle the dynamic forces of a moving thing. If forces place a certain horizontal load on a structure meant to handle a vertical load (arbitrary example), it's gonna eventually break. While I'm not an engineer, it seems visually obvious to me that the Dragster tower is intended to hang a track that consists almost entirely of horizontal motion. You couldn't just wrap track around it without significant modification.

I don't know what it means to "fatigue" but Millennium Force has been running on its four-rail and three-rail track for 22 years, and I'm not aware of any sections that have been replaced. Even the four-rail is still fundamentally a bunch of triangles. (If you look closely, so is the B&M box spine... it's made up of triangular pieces.)


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

Jeff:

I had pancakes for breakfast. Does that mean I'll have pancakes tomorrow? You're creating causation that isn't based on anything.

And you’re creating causation that because you had bad pancakes, you’re never eating pancakes again.

Just because Cedar Fair hasn’t worked with Intamin in 12 years (and 3 CEOs ago) doesn’t mean they’ll never work with them again.

If Intamin was a manufacturer on the verge of bankruptcy, no other park was using them, and they weren’t still spitting out industry leading attractions- maybe you could claim I have no “causation” to work with. But the fact of the matter is that Cedar Point is reimagining a new ride experience for one of the most marquee attractions they’ve ever built, and although you may not prefer Sandor or whoever is running the place now- the most logical choice is that the original ride manufacturer is the one completing this work.

e x i t english's avatar

"Bad pancakes" don't kill, maim, break cables, throw parts at people and need constant replacement - only to have Mrs. Butterworth come forward and talk about "acceptable loss".

Something I have to wonder, what is the logistics of trying to use Intamin track, with a train from another manufacturer. I know that on occasion, parks will switch manufacturers. I would guess that Intamin would try to absolve themselves of any issues that would occur if Cedar Point put someone else's train on the track. Not that this means much, as there has already been a catastrophic failure involving an Intamin train on Intamin track. If Cedar Point does switch things out to go with someone else, the maintenance team will probably be glad to get rid of a perpetual Intamin headache.

cedarpoint2000:

Before, it was mentioned that Wicked Twister’s LIM system required a direct power line from the main land. Does anyone recall if a similar line was routed for the LSM launches on Maverick? Perhaps if such a line exists to supply power for Maverick, they could tie into it for a potential LSM launch for TTD? I’m certainly no electrical engineer, but it’s just a thought.

The feed for Maverick was run along perimeter road and originates from several intermediate transmission lines at the front of the parking lot just past the main gate. Driving along perimeter road you will notice many equally spaced electrical vaults where those feeds were run. I highly doubt these would have the capacity to run both an LSM on TTD and Maverick.

The feeds for WT on the other hand are a potential source of power, although they might not be enough either. The required power for the new Grand Pavilion and Wild Mouse would most likely be tapped off of that feed but those combined would not come close to equaling what was required for WT. I have never installed an LSM launch before so all of this is just guessing, it'll be fun to see how far off all of it is from what actually transpires!

Kevinj's avatar

While not the sexiest or most wild, if I was actually placing a bet on the end result I would put that money on the simplest; new launch system (LSM, I guess, somehow pulled off), new paint, new theme, and obviously new trains. To really jazz it up maybe add a tunnel. Or fog. Or a tunnel with fog. Or a tunnel with fog and some cool lighting.

If I had to bet on just how "crazy" TTD 2.0 could get, the idea (posted somewhere) of adding a back spike and doing the launch Wicked Twister style (with LSM's) up and over the top hat after a backwards launch seems somewhat reasonable, but that's about as far as I think it would get taken.

I don't understand why the moving of Matterhorn and Scrambler would even get brought up, unless someone is grossly mis-remembering where those rides were in relation to TTD.

I cannot fathom a reality where any significant amount of new track is added. Finances aside, there's just too much in the way. The footprint for TTD is pretty constrained.

I would be pretty shocked if Intamin has anything to do with the redo, unless there has been some significant personnel turnover over there. Brandon's (DJ) analogy above tells the whole story pretty well.

Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

Finally Kevinj shows up with some balanced insight, articulates his reasoning behind the possible options, avoids attacking someone else’s theory, and tells us what he could see happening.

Augustmueller's avatar

Another good reason to remove Wicked Twister, for the TTD project. Inch the probability meter of reimagined (LSM) launch up a little higher.

Maybe you could do dueling launches that dont quite get to the tophat. Say 115 mph with LSM to get you up to 380 feet or so. One forward one backward.

PyroKinesis09's avatar

I know we like to joke about people planning park projects like they were playing RCT, but retheming the ride and changing nothing too major after it injures someone is a very RCT move.

Wicked Dragster 😉

Kevinj's avatar

^^ And I think completely re-doing the launch system alone would be something major. That would need new trains, so adding those makes it even more major, and then anything else (paint/theme) is just icing on the cake.

It would look different, sound different, and feel significantly different with just those alterations alone.

Even the simplest change I mentioned above is major.

From my perspective, adding a significant amount of track and making some kind of coaster-to-end-all-coasters is about as RCT as it gets. In Sandbox Mode. With $$ turned off.

Would I welcome that with open arms? Of course. I just don't think it makes sense.

Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

Yeah unlimited money, unlimited space is more RCT than anything

Since the question was asked (the quote feature didn’t work right on my iPad…)—

ASTM F770-21a:7.3 [Footnote 1] states that replacement parts shall be procured from the original manufacturer; or procured or produced using appropriate original manufacturing drawings and/or specifications; or procured or produced using specifications dreived from sufficient analysis to ensure parts of equivalent function and quality.

So while the manufacturer is, as usual [Footnote 2], considered the preferred supplier, the standard recognizes that it is sometimes desirable to obtain parts in other ways. Also, provided the ride manufacturer provides the specifications, it would allow for the use of OEM parts or possibly even OEM-equivalent parts. When Sellner specifies a Grade 2 bolt for the old style platform hinge in a Tilt-A-Whirl, you need only procure a Grade 2 bolt of appropriate dimensions; you don’t have to get it from Larson [Footnote 3].

—Dave Althoff, Jr.

Footnote 1: “Standard Practice for Ownership, Operation, Maintenance and Inspection of Amusement Rides and Devices”, ASTM International, 2021.

Footnote 2: Throughout the ASTM Committee F24 standards, the manufacturer is consistently treated as the ultimate authority on the safety related aspects of the ride. Bear in mind, however, that the Manufacturer for this purpose may not be who you think it is, and is often tied up with the entity which did the design and engineering work on the amusement ride or device. In particular, Disney and Universal often take on the role of manufacturer for their attractions which might be built by other companies.

Footnote 3: The Tilt-A-Whirl platform hinge bolt is the famous contra-example to the general rule that bolts used on amusement rides are Grade 5 or better. This is so that the bolt will wear out before the hinge does, as bolts are cheaper than hinge plates. Also, Larson bought Sellner a few years ago.

—DCAjr

Last edited by RideMan,


/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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It’s hard to invest that kind of money in new trains (music and lights), new launch, and not get a different “ride experience” that can be marketed as new (but if this is what we get, I hope Kevinj gets his tunnel and fog).

Sure- they can market a new ride, ala Rougarou, but did Rougarou really make a difference on ROI? It’s still a walk-on attraction (I am still glad they made the change!)

I think of the story of Magnum where it was actually a board member that proposed the ride be pushed over 200’.

If I’m a non-enthusiast investor on the board and I’m presented the new trains, new launch, new color, new name for $15 million I’m saying “That’s Dragster with a different color.”

(not worth the investment)

If I’m seeing all of the above + a new layout for $30-40 million - I’m green lighting what would be the most epic coaster they’ve ever created.

And why not? Disney launched Rise of the Resistance as a statement to the industry and world “we build the best immersive ride experiences in the world” and people come to pay a premium to see it. They supplement it with Olga’s Cantina, and the endless merchandise options- but there’s no doubt- Rise is the star ⭐️ attraction that keeps them pouring in (thank God I’ve stayed a loyal pass holder through COVID)

I think the park has done an outstanding job rounding out the offerings since Kinzel left. I am all for every single restaurant (we loved our breakfast at French Quarter this summer), the new shows and parade, Forbidden Frontier, Snake River Expedition (one of my former theatre students starred in the attraction this year!), Breakers refurb, and I am absolutely ecstatic about the new Boardwalk next year. But all of these attractions serve one purpose- they supplement what Kinzel built, and the attractions that had similar ‘89-‘07 DNA (Gatekeeper, Valravn, Steel Vengeance).

I take my kids to the park every single summer and spend crazy amounts of money on food and lodging- I am the ultimate Breakers fanboy (this year’s standout meals were actually Bay Harbor and Tomo- they were both right up there with Disney, just make sure you get a reservation for Tomo 😉). My daughter also convinced me to take her parasailing 🪂 and it was amazing seeing the park from that vantage point (I slid the card and looked away)!

Cedar Point is the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. They will never deliver that dark ride we all hope for, they don’t have the team to maintain it- nor the capital to make it worth it. America’s RollerCoast resides in a small little town on Lake Erie- and while yes, most of the folks come from the midwest, unlike it’s sister parks in the chain, it’s still a good 90 minute drive for the vast majority of its daily attendance- and it is imperative they make investments that continue to convince folks to drive that 90 minutes (I have an essay in me somewhere that argues Top Thrill Dragster is what killed SFWoA, but I’ll save that topic for another day).

They have an amazing opportunity with the potential of that 420’ tower- and I believe they’re going to make the most of it.

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