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A New Thrill in Sandusky

Cedar Point just released a new ride to their thrill seeking visitors, Top Thrill 2. The new coaster replaces the previous Top Thrill Dragsters which had to be shut down due to an injury. It incorporates many new features that are recently discovered in the coaster industry. 

The ride is designed to resemble a drag strip, a race track used to test acceleration of automobiles or motorcycles, and is the world’s tallest and fastest coaster to date. 

Due to the recent injury from the Top Thrill Dragster, there is a whole new que area where visitors can safely wait for the ride. It has a shaded roof over the wait line which allows shade for riders.

Werner Stengel is the man behind how this ride came to be. He designed the ride and eventually got it to become a reality. He is German and works as a roller coaster designer and engineer. He first began working on roller coasters back in 1963 and now has around 500 coaster creations under his belt.

The ride is best known for its three launches, which hasn’t been seen before on a “strata coaster”. A strata coaster is a ride which has a vertical climb of over 400 feet. The ride has a unique touch to it because of its thrill and intensity.

You begin the ride at the first launching site which has you facing the large, 420 foot tall hill directly ahead of you. You are launched and experience a 0-74 mph acceleration right from the start. Once you make it half way up the first part of the hill, the car is then put into reverse and a rollback occurs. The car is then launched backwards to reach 101 mph. While going backwards you pass the initial launch zone and back to another 420 foot, 90 degree tower. Right before you are launched forward again, riders feel a weightless sensation. As the car rolls down the second hill, now going forward, you experience your third and final launch and reach top speeds of 120 mph. You climb up the iconic upside down “U” shaped, this time, roll over the hill completely, and start your fast descent of the hill.

Compared to the original Top Thrill Dragster, the new Top Thrill 2 is longer, but also more intense and unique.

Riders experience multiple occasions of weightlessness through the ride. The first is when you almost go over the hill but don’t. Then when you are at the top of the backwards tower, right before you go forward again. Then the last and longest time is when you climb the sky over the iconic 420 foot tall hill. The weightless feeling causes riders to feel like their “stomach dropped” which is a strange sensation that is felt on coasters like Top Thrill 2.

The name Top Thrill 2 derived from the original coaster that stood in its place, Top Thrill Dragster. The creators decided to name the coaster this because it is the second generation of the ride and also because of its dual hill feature.

With Top Thrill 2 being so intense and fast, the management at Cedar Point decided to have lockers available at the entrance of the ride for riders to put their belongings in. Phones or other loose articles aren’t allowed in the line or on the ride, riders are instructed to pass through a metal detector to ensure all items are accounted for to keep everyone, and thing, safe. This wasn’t a rule or mandate on the previous Top Thrill Dragster.

There is a new “formula” used in the coaster. It is driven by a linear synchronous motor (LSM) technology. This relatively new technology allowed riders to experience a smooth and fast ride that also remained quiet. The ride also features a dual-tower experience that is unique to only Top Thrill 2. The base of the chassis, the car, is made from aluminum and has a fiberglass feature along with a carbon fiber body. All of these pieces work together to create the high boost of speed the ride reaches.

The ride had its debut on April 24th to all Cedar Point employees. Then they progressively started opening the ride up to different groups of people to test out the ride for the first time. They first allow those with the Prestige Pass to ride April 28th and 30th. The ride was then opened to Gold Pass owners to ride May 1st and 2nd. Top Thrill 2 was finally released to the public on May 4th.

The ride being the very center, heart of the amusement park won’t be easy to miss. This brand new, thrilling addition to Cedar Point will be popular among those looking for a unique thrill to their Cedar Point visit. 

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About the Contributor
Sarah McHolm
Sarah McHolm, Copy Editor
My name is Sarah and this is my first year on staff! I enjoy researching and writing about topics I’m interested in. I am involved in lacrosse, tennis, and choir here at the high school!