Cedar Point’s replacement for its Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster will feature three launches and a second 420-foot tower.
Dubbed Top Thrill 2, the new coaster will debut in 2024 — three years after the original Dragster closed when a piece of metal flew off a coaster train and seriously injured a Michigan woman standing in the queue. (Cedar Fair is currently facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over the accident.)
The new Top Thrill ride experience will start with a 74 mph launch that sends riders partway up the original top hat — offering every ride a “rollback” which was once coveted by coaster enthusiasts. You’ll then be sent backwards with a second launch at 101 mph up the new 420-foot tower at a 90-degree angle. When you come back down, the third and final 120 mph launch will send you up and over the top hat and the 270-degree spiral on the other side.
The queue area will now be covered, according to renderings from Cedar Point.
“Top Thrill 2 will be the boldest and most advanced roller coaster Cedar Point has ever introduced. It’s another one-of-a-kind that could only be built at Cedar Point,” Carrie Boldman, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point, said in a statement. “Our stamp on the industry is in roller coaster innovation, and today, that’s solidified as we redefine the strata coaster into a mega-thrill that our guests will come from far and wide to experience.”
The whole ride will last roughly two minutes, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer — a major change from Dragster’s 17-second ride time.
The enhancements for the coaster will be built by Zamperla, the amusement firm behind Coney Island’s Luna Park and Cedar Point’s new-for-2023 Wild Mouse coaster. Along with the new spike, the ride’s old hydraulic launch will be replaced by a magnetic linear synchronous motor, or LSM, launch system that is more widely-used on coaster these days and is considered more reliable. Top Thrill 2 will also sport new trains built by Zamperla, similar to what it showed off at the IAAPA Expo last year.
This is, by far, the largest coaster the Italian company has ever designed.
“It is an honor for Zamperla to add our signature on The Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” Antonio Zamperla, president and CEO of Zamperla, said in a press release. “I cannot wait until next year when we see this record-breaking scream machine come to life.”
Top Thrill 2 is being dubbed a record-breaker by Cedar Point as “the world’s tallest and fastest triple-launch strata roller coaster.” However, it is not the tallest and fastest coaster overall; both records will remain held by Six Flags Great Adventure’s Kingda Ka, which had taken both records from Top Thrill Dragster.