Thu. May 30th, 2024
alert-–-cedar-point-amusement-park-abruptly-shuts-the-world’s-tallest-and-fastest-triple-launch-rollercoaster-top-thrill-2-just-days-after-opening-following-‘mechanical’-issueAlert – Cedar Point amusement park abruptly shuts the world’s tallest and fastest triple launch rollercoaster Top Thrill 2 just days after opening following ‘mechanical’ issue

A rollercoaster billed as the tallest and fastest in the world was abruptly shut down just a week after it opened at an Ohio theme park.

Top Thrill 2 debuted on May 4 when Cedar Point opened for the season, but it closed on Sunday while the ride’s manufacturer completes a ‘mechanical modification.’

After the maintenance is done, teams from the theme park as well as an outside observer will review the fix before the ride is deemed ready to reopen.

‘We know our guests are excited to experience this incredible roller coaster, and we share your disappointment that we are not able to operate it this weekend,’ Cedar Point said in the statement. 

‘We will do everything possible to reopen Top Thrill 2 as soon as we are confident we can deliver the ride experience that our guests deserve.’ 

Top Thrill 2 sent riders 420 feet into the air before falling backwards and then forward once again at speeds of 120mph but has abruptly shut a little over a week after opening

 Top Thrill 2 sent riders 420 feet into the air before falling backwards and then forward once again at speeds of 120mph but has abruptly shut a little over a week after opening 

Cedar Point didn’t reveal the exact modification that needs to be made nor did it say when the ride could be expected to reopen. Updates will be posted to Cedar Point’s website. 

It was reported last year that Cedar Point would bringing back a revamped version of Top Thrill – once the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster  – after the original was closed when a failure injured a waiting guest.

Before its closure, Top Thrill 2 was able rocket revelers 420 feet into the air before falling backwards and then forward once again at speeds of 120mph.

Themed to Top Fuel drag racing, the ride – which has three segments and is classed as a ‘triple-launch’ coaster – also featured a launch track designed like a dragstrip.

Apart from its speed, the ride was set to break records for its stature, park officials said, touting how it would be the second tallest ‘strata roller coaster’ – one over 400 feet – behind only Six Flags’ Kingda Ka, which opened in 2005 and tops out at 456 feet.

The roller coaster will undergo a 'mechanical modification,' the park said, but is expected to reopen at a later date

The roller coaster will undergo a ‘mechanical modification,’ the park said, but is expected to reopen at a later date

The Ka also beat the Thrill in terms of speed by a mere 8mph – though the new ride was still set to be the fastest among all triple launch coasters, and the third-fastest overall, park boss Carrie Boldman announced last year.

‘Top Thrill 2 will be the boldest and most advanced roller coaster Cedar Point has ever introduced,’ the vice president and general manager of the Cleveland park said last summer of the anticipated attraction.

‘It’s another one-of-a-kind that could only be built at Cedar Point,’ said Boldman of the ride, whose also 420-foot predecessor consistently ranked as one of the world’s top steel coasters in prominent amusement park publications. 

In 2021, a guest was severely injured by a metal bracket while standing in line outside the coaster and the park’s previously unmarred reputation took a hit. 

At the time, Rachel Hawes, then 44, was waiting in line to ride the coaster – erected in 2003 by Swiss-based rollercoaster manufacturer Intamin –  and was suddenly hit by a random object, which was later identified as a proximity flag plate from the ride. 

The Swartz Creek resident was seen in footage after the apparent accident being tended to by park staff, before being carted off to a hospital with an apparent head injury.

Top Thrill 2 was supposed to replace Top Thrill Dragster, which opened in 2003 as the tallest and fastest coaster in the world

Top Thrill 2 was supposed to replace Top Thrill Dragster, which opened in 2003 as the tallest and fastest coaster in the world

In a suit filed in Erie County Common Pleas Courthouse in Ohio on July 12, 2023 Dawes claimed to have suffered several severe injuries from the falling bracket, including permanent head trauma that resulted in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

She says she suffered a brain hemorrhage and hematoma as a result of the incident, as well as a head fracture associated with a cerebral laceration that resulted in the loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours.

After being hit by the fallen metal object, Hawes said she racked up a medical bill of over $2 million, with future costs expected to reach in excess of $10 million.

The suit claims that ‘The Cedar Park defendants were negligent with failing to protect individuals, such as Rachel Hawes, from being injured from parts, debris, and/or objects falling from Defendant’s rides,’ and sought the sum in damages.

Days after that suit demanded that sum in damage, Cedar Point issued its statement announcing the ride’s replacement.

Pictured is the metal bracket said to have stuck Hawes during the 2021 incident

Pictured is the metal bracket said to have stuck Hawes during the 2021 incident

The modified version, the park made clear at the time, would be worked on by a different manufacturer, but will utilize much of the architecture from the original – including the 420-foot tower that for more than a decade stood as the tallest in the world.

Boldman and other park organizers revealed the ride will add two more launches – hence the ‘triple launch’ categorization – as well as a second tower that also measures in at 420 feet.

Park officials last year provided a virtual rendition of the ride before it was constructed to show how riders would be shot into the sky up the original 420-foot-tall ‘top hat’ tower, before dropping back down, in reverse, after failing to traverse the first 420-foot tower.

At this point, officials said, the coasters top speed would have reached 101mph.

Then, the ride would begin its second launch – this time with enough force to traverse the tower, before racing forward to its third launch, up the second tower at the ride’s max speed of 120mph.

Kingda Ka at Six Flags New Jersey

Formula Rosse in Abu Dhabi

The new ride’s top speed was only be bested by the Kingda Ka and the 171-foot-tall Formula Rossa, found at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi – both of which are considered single-launch coasters

A statement from the park describing the ride’s track-like trajectory added that guests will then cross over the tower, before deaccelerating momentarily – before diving into a 270-degree spiral and crossing the finish line. 

Boldman further touted how attraction was set to put ‘our stamp on the [roller coaster] industry… as we redefine the strata coaster into a mega-thrill that our guests will come from far and wide to experience.’

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