Top Thrill Dragster is a roller coaster opening May 2003 at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. This "strata-coaster" is already causing world records to tremble with the immense statistics associated with it. Cedar Point press releases discuss this ride as using a hydraulic launch system designed to blast riders from 0 to 120 mph in approximately four seconds. Riders will leave the station and race straight up at that max speed reaching an astounding height of 420 feet. After cresting the top the riders not only get to the plunge down a 400-foot drop back to Earth but they get to do it while experiencing a 90-degree drop with a simultaneous 270-degree spiral.

Top Thrill Dragster (some are calling TTD already but we shall see…) was designed by Intamin and cost $25 million to construct. Crews faced many new challenges and face many more to meet the planned opening day of May 4th, 2003. The designs for Top Thrill Dragster were developed for over three years and involved over 1,300 blueprints. 149 footers using over 9,000 cubic yards of concrete anchor the structure itself. Each of the six trains weighs five tons but that still seems minute when compared to the total weight of Top Thrill Dragster tipping the scales at 1,150 tons. Five cranes were used in construction, two of which breached 480 feet (a rarity in the United States since there are only four available). The construction required 90 truckloads of steel from Europe, 5,400 bolts, 94 pieces of acceleration track, and 151 support columns. The 200-worker crew had opposition from the weather as well facing hurricane force winds, snowfall breaching 60 inches, and -30-degree temperatures.

Top Thrill Dragster
Open May 4th, 2003

  • Length: 2800 feet
  • Height: 420 feet
  • Drop: 400 feet
  • Max Speed: 120 mph
  • Angle of Ascent/Descent: 90-degrees

Resources include, but are not limited to: rec.roller-coasters, Cedar Point press releases, and the roller coaster database.