Cedar Point's Newest Roller Coaster Was Already Controversial, And Now It's Closed After Barely A Week

 Top Thrill 2 concept art of riders on caoster.
Top Thrill 2 concept art of riders on caoster.

Normally, a new attraction at a major amusement park is met with great excitement. New state-of-the-art rides and experiences are great, and who doesn’t love a brand-new roller coaster? When Cedar Point announced plans to completely overhaul the Top Thrill Dragster coaster, which was popular despite a serious issue that forced a redesign, fans were cautiously optimistic. But now that optimism is being put to the test, as following some controversial decisions, the ride is already down for a significant mechanical update after only eight days of operation.

Yesterday, Cedar Point announced that Top Thrill 2 would be closed, as manufacturer Zamperela needed to perform modifications to the ride vehicles. Exactly how long this update will take is unclear. No reopening date was given, so it appears that nobody on the park side of things knows when Top Thrill 2 will be back in working order.

The technical issue for Top Thrill 2, whatever it is, is just the latest for what has otherwise been seen as one of the top roller coasters in the world. In August 2021, a guest waiting in line for Top Thrill Dragster, the ride’s original name, was hit in the head by a piece of metal that had dislodged from the coaster. The ride would close and be redesigned into Top Thrill 2.

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Last month, ahead of the coaster's grand opening on May 4, the ride became the target of online frustration after the safety rules for Top Thrill 2 were released. It was decided that no loose items would be allowed, meaning guests would have to leave everything, including phones and keys, either with a non-rider or in a locker. However, as the queue was not designed with lockers, as many coasters with similar requirements are, guests would potentially have to pay for locker use in order to ride Top Thrill 2 at all.

Now, after only a few days Top Thrill 2 is closed and with no indication when it will reopen. It’s not necessarily unheard of for brand-new roller coasters to go through these sorts of growing pains. Top Thrill 2 is the tallest and fastest triple launch coaster to date, and when you’re dealing with a coaster that is so unique, there isn’t necessarily a way to prepare for every possibility.

Clearly, there was an issue that was only discovered after the coaster had been in operation. Video from a few days before the closure showed the coaster doing a full launch rollback. While rollbacks can be fun and are often sought out by coaster enthusiasts, they are not supposed to happen. It's unclear if this is related to the closure.

Hopefully, this closure won’t last too long. Cedar Point certainly doesn’t want its new coaster closed a second longer than necessary. Six Flags, who is merging with Cedar Fair, the owner of Cedar Point, would probably love to have this headache behind them before the merger is complete. But just as true, everybody wants to be sure the coaster is safe for all riders. Serious injuries on roller coasters do happen, and nobody wants to see that here.