New ‘Top Thrill’ Coaster Will Not Feature Seatbelts

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A thrilling view from the Top Thrill Dragster at its peak, overlooking an amusement park filled with various attractions and excited crowds.

Credit: Cedar Point

A new giga coaster next summer will not feature seatbelts, which will up the wow and thrill factor for this mammoth roller coaster.

Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.
Credit: Cedar Point

The Coaster Incident Heard Around the World – Cedar Point

On August 15, 2021, an incident involving the Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster occurred at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Unfortunately, a metal piece dislodged from the ride and struck Rachel Hawes while she was in line with her father. This unfortunate incident resulted in significant injuries for Ms. Hawes, including a traumatic brain injury encompassing a right-side open skull fracture, cerebral laceration, contusions, and loss of consciousness. Regrettably, these injuries have led to her being classified as “permanently disabled.”

In response to the incident, the state authorities initiated a thorough investigation. The study revealed concerning findings, including loose bolts, signs of wear, deformation, and impact marks on both the train cars and sections of the track directly above the area where the metal plate dislodged from the ride. The gravity of the situation prompted an in-depth examination to determine the root causes and ensure the safety of future park visitors.

The woman struck in the head ended up filing a lengthy lawsuit against Cedar Point and Cedar Fair.

Top Thrill Dragster's hill at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Credit: Cedar Point

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Michigan Woman Suing Cedar Fair

Rachel Hawes, a resident of Michigan, has taken legal action against Cedar Point, filing a lawsuit based on allegations of negligence stemming from an incident in August 2021. While waiting in line for the Top Thrill Dragster, Hawes was struck by a metal plate, prompting her to be admitted to intensive care.

According to the lawsuit, the incident was attributed to a “proximity flag plate” that had become loose and detached from the body of the coaster’s cars. The legal claim contends that proper maintenance procedures could have prevented the accident. The legal suit is what ultimately shut down Top Thrill Dragster.

Ms. Hawes sustained severe injuries, including head trauma resulting in traumatic brain injury (TBI), subarachnoid hemorrhage with cerebral edema due to traumatic head injury, cerebral venous thrombosis of the sigmoid sinus, and a right subdural hematoma. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, the specific amount of which is undisclosed, on behalf of Ms. Hawes, her father, and her husband.

In light of the incident, Ms. Hawes has incurred medical expenses exceeding $2 million, with projections indicating that the total may surpass $10 million due to additional necessary treatments and surgery. The legal action aims to address the financial and emotional toll on Ms. Hawes and her family, holding Cedar Point accountable for the alleged negligence that led to these unfortunate circumstances.

But Cedar Point made it clear that the shutdown of the ride would eventually lead to something bigger, better, and safer for all guests.

Top Thrill 2 coaster train revealed at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando, Florida.
Credit: International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

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The New ‘Top Thrill 2’ Roller Coaster Train Unveiled at the IAAPA Expo 2023

Yesterday, at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando, Florida, Cedar Point and Cedar Fair unveiled the new train design for the upcoming Top Thrill 2 roller coaster that will take the place of the former Dragster coaster that was shut down a few years back.

But the biggest reveal from this Expo was Cedar Fair’s decision not to include seatbelts for the Giga coaster. According to @ElToroRyan on X, formally Twitter, the new Top Thrill 2 will feature a new lap bar rather than having seatbelts installed within the coaster.

Top Thrill 2’s trains will not feature seatbelts! This will immensely help with speeding up operations to ensure the ride can operate as close to its theoretical capacity as possible! All while remaining perfectly safe!

According to Cedar Fair, the decision not to include seatbelts on the ride is primarily due to ensuring operations are sped up and running smoothly throughout the time the coaster is in full swing. Cedar Fair also hopes to keep capacity as close to their desired number as possible next year at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Guests ride Top Thrill 2, set to open in 2024 at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.
Credit: Cedar Point

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Cedar Point made an exciting announcement on August 1, 2023, revealing the highly anticipated Top Thrill 2 roller coaster. Slated to open in the summer of 2024, this thrilling new attraction is set to replace the beloved Top Thrill Dragster.

Top Thrill 2 is poised to become the world’s tallest and fastest triple-launch strata coaster, boasting impressive features, including a second 420-foot-tall (128-meter) tower spike, three exhilarating launches, a top speed of 120 mph (193 kph), and a duration of 2 minutes.

Built on the foundation of Top Thrill Dragster, the ride will maintain its essence while introducing a fresh design that extends the overall ride time. This evolution promises an enhanced experience for visitors, combining the familiarity of the original ride with new elements that will surely captivate thrill-seekers. Cedar Point looks forward to welcoming guests to this exhilarating addition to its world-class attractions.

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