Dragster leaves coaster enthusiasts grounded

Posted Monday, June 9, 2003 4:58 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A problem with a hydraulic valve on Top Thrill Dragster's launch system disabled the ride on Friday, leaving enthusiasts there for the annual CoasterMania event redirected for other rides in the park's collection.

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Monday, June 9, 2003 6:13 AM
It's funny because I went to Coastermania specifically to ride Dragster.

But I surprised myself because once I arrived at 5am and learned that it would not operate, I was not at all dissapointed.

Sure, I would have liked to ride (I bought a season's pass and will return later and hopefully ride then.) However it wasn't the end-all, be-all to my day.

Truth be told, I had one of the best days I have ever had at CP Friday. The park was pretty crowded, the sun was fierce, but overall the day was not rushed and I did not feel pressured to run around like a mad man to try and ride everything. IMO the best thing about Coastermainia is that it allows you to enjoy the park at a more leisurely rate. Because of the morning and evening ERT's, I was able to knock out several rides that during normal operations would have required tons of que time.

I'll probably write a trip report later, but have to say that the standouts of the day were Magnum and Gemini. I have always loved Gemini, but it was in terrific form Friday. I have never been a fan of Magnum, but it really was giving great rides all day.

Shaggy

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Shaggy

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Monday, June 9, 2003 7:23 AM
I HATED Magnum Friday. They stapled so hard the airtime was PAINFUL.

MF is my new #1, but only in the front row.

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MAGNUM HURTS!!!!!!!
TTD WAS DOWN FOR COASTERMANIA!!!!!!!
I CAN'T MAKE A GOOD SIGNATURE!!!!!!!

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Monday, June 9, 2003 7:49 AM
I was impressed with the park's efforts on Friday. Two exit passes (one good that day on any coaster but Dragster, one good any day on Dragster) plus moving Millennium Force ERT to replace Dragster's. Lights-on ERT on Disaster Transport. Late night Gemini rides with trains filled with handslappers. Overall, I was pretty happy at CoasterMania this year, even without Dragster.

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Mary Jane, don't you cry, you can give it a try, Again when the sequel comes out" -- Weird Al, Ode to a Superhero

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Monday, June 9, 2003 8:30 AM
I attended CP on Wednesday of last week for a Senior school trip, and I was one of very few lucky people who got to ride the coaster within the first 2 hours of the park being open. About an hour after riding the coaster, it was broke down the remainder of the day (approx. 8 hours). I was happy I got to ride it, but feel sorry for those who waited 5 hours outside the line, just in case it was to open again. CP needs to get thier act together on this coaster as many people who drove many miles (ex. Canada) were very angry about it breaking down, and it seems to be happening quite too often.
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Monday, June 9, 2003 9:43 AM
"CP needs to get thier act together on this coaster as many people who drove many miles (ex. Canada) were very angry about it breaking down, and it seems to be happening quite too often. "

I disagree. I guarantee you that Cedar Point, more so than anyone, wants the ride open and reliable. However, I do not think it is at all a matter of "CP needing to get their act together." Apparently it is a manufacturer/part replacement issue.

As for Coastermania specifically, a little birdie told me that maintenance had been working around the clock for days trying to get the ride operational for the event. A part (Valve)was flown in overnight, and arrived the morning of the event. It was replaced and a few trains were lauched, however the ride would not cooperate and the coaster remained closed.

The news articles and news blurbs I have been seeing/hearing are all Marketing driven. The park IS trying to forwarn guests before arrival that the ride is experiencing major downtime issues. I give them props for that.

Anyway, I figure Dragster is a fun ride... but a ride on it would hardly make or break my day. Truthfully, I have seen downtime/closure issues happen at so many new parks with new attractions, that it is pretty much par for the course. I don't attend parks with some single huge expectation. I enjoy the park much more that way, because I am less likely to be dissapointed.

The more I attend CP, the more I enjoy it for it's resort aspect. Yes, the rides are nice... but the overall feel is something totally unique and enjoyable. It's a great park.

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Shaggy
*** This post was edited by Shaggy 6/9/2003 1:47:31 PM ***

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Monday, June 9, 2003 10:55 AM
Didn't the same thing happen last year with Wicked Twister not being opened up again in time for Coastermania?

I'm sure Cedar Point keeps having this event when their new STAR attraction is down, but won't put on the infamous MILLENNIUM MANIA!

Maybe someday they'll bring MM back, but I hope in the future that NONE of the coasters are open for Coastermania and they learn their lesson!

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"I'm starting to doubt your comitment to Sparkle Motion"

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Monday, June 9, 2003 11:40 AM
Draegs's avatar In two separate attempts at holding Millennium Mania it proved to be financially unseccessful both times. Why would Cedar Point, being the business that it is, have incentive to bring it back yet again?

Coastermania has been going on for years now (when was the first event anyway? I know I first attended in 1996). Each of the past couple events have had some major ride down for part or all the day (Magnum, Wicked Twister, Dragster). And yet the crowds continue to grow (on average) despite all of the issues that have arisen.

So regardless of whatever whining and moaning everyone does, I doubt the park is going to move the event (or even cancel it) any time soon.

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James Draeger
"Scroll buttons aww yeah...like that, heart attack."
*** This post was edited by Draegs 6/9/2003 3:42:09 PM ***

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Monday, June 9, 2003 12:09 PM
James,

I believe the first "mania" event at CP was Magnum Mania held back in '89 or '90.

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Rich Genthner / PTC99

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Monday, June 9, 2003 12:21 PM
Last year when I went to con out in Cali and Knotts was having problems with getting Xcelerator open, people whined and moaned about it.

I figure this.. new rides almost always need time to have the bugs worked out. I think Cedar Fair goes beyond the call of duty to help make up for it but I also think people that went with "the sole purpose" of riding TTD took their chances ... and lost. When you take a gamble, you don't always win. At least CP gave you something to make up for it (just as Knotts did last year).

Living thousands of miles away, I've said all along I wouldn't go back to CP until Con 2004 to give them times to work the bugs out of TTD.

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Panther Modern
SixFlagsHouston.Com
An Astroworld Tribute Site

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Monday, June 9, 2003 12:55 PM
I had a great time @ CoasterMania. However, it was my first full day @ CP, and my first rides on everything except for millenium. The whole TTD thing makes me feel really lucky I went on Tuesday and got my pass processed rather than waiting until Wednesday night!
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Monday, June 9, 2003 1:12 PM
if it were any other park it would have been complained about constantly now

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[link]http://www.randomcenter.com [/link]

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Monday, June 9, 2003 1:36 PM
GregLeg,

From what I was told, both passes are good any day. No single pass was specific for that day.

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Jim Hansen
Number of coasters ridden: 244

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Monday, June 9, 2003 2:08 PM
I saw quite a few people at SFWoA with Coastermania buttons, must have taken a trip to SFWoA during the day so they could come back later to experience the night time rides at the point. It looks like they made the best of their day if they were disappointed, getting to 2 parks.
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Monday, June 9, 2003 3:26 PM
I had a good time at coastermania which is #2. Back for #3 in 2004. Despite Dragster was down. Fun thing was 8 ERT Raptor flights in the morning :). All in the 3rd seat from the front row.

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9 Years working at Valleyfair ! Club member 437.

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Monday, June 9, 2003 3:46 PM
Perhaps CM is too early in the season? Or maybe it should be pushed back to May?

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2002/2003
KWTM

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Monday, June 9, 2003 4:01 PM
Jim,

When we were handed the passes, we were told the one that was good for any ride except Dragster, was good on Friday only. Reading the fine print, we noted that sure enough, it excluded Dragster, and said "good only on date issued." However, there was nothing on the pass to indicate when it was issued. We figure one of two things:

1. It's actually good any day (no matter, we used it on Friday anyway).

2. The serial # on the back encodes the date issued. How ops would know to enforce that is a different question.

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Mary Jane, don't you cry, you can give it a try, Again when the sequel comes out" -- Weird Al, Ode to a Superhero

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Monday, June 9, 2003 4:42 PM
I went to WOA friday between ERT's because CP is my home park and I am not about to spend a day that will be that crowded when i can spend any other day there I want.

The choice to head to WOA is an easy one. Just purchase a Q-Bot and have your way with the place. Head back to CP at around 7 when all the kiddies have left on your busses and have the park practically to yourself and then enjoy ERT on the best coaster in the world. You know the orange one by the lake.

The addition of DT and Gemini was great IMO. I never realized DT's main room was so immense. Did anyone else notice dragsters missing tires and such in there?

Gemini was delivering the best rides I have experienced in 20 years of going to CP.

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UnfrigginbelievablyIncredible

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Monday, June 9, 2003 5:12 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

I arrived there Thursday night so the shock was not so terrible Friday, even though I was bummed. At least CP went out of their way to make it up to us with the "ride passes" for future use. :-) I had a blast though! My friends and I rented out one of the Lighthouse Point cabins for Friday night! Friday night ERT was a blast, even without Dragster. I even managed to do the Ripcord again for the hell of it.......weeeeeeee!

Oh well, I will get back to CP soon. I must admit that I miss seeing the tires on the trains, but what can you do right? I just hope the ride works out it's glitches. You can only expect this from new coasters.

<-------looking forward to a week of rest before Coaster Con

-Tina

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Feel The DragsterGasm....
www.intenserides.com*** This post was edited by coasterqueenTRN 6/9/2003 9:15:12 PM ***

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Monday, June 9, 2003 6:02 PM
As a veteran Coastermania attendant (9 of the last 15) this is extremely disappointing. Last year we had to sit on the sidelines for Wicked Twister. Now, we had to sit on the sidelines for the NO THRILL DRAGSTER. While this ride looks awesome, it is disappointing to see people traveling from all over country (and yes the world) to ride this new ride.

Ok, I hear you now... Cedar Point is one of the best parks and it has great rides. BUT, they are marketing this new $25 million machine and people are going just to ride the NO THRILL DRAGSTER. How many times can you realistically get beaten up on Mean Streak and the Mantis? Magnum and Millennium Force are top rides, but MF has a 2-hour wait.

Cedar Point needs to strive for operational excellence. If the ride is not ready to be open consistently, then they should wait to the bugs are worked out. They should wait to start marketing it.

How would you look to be an investor of this company? Attendance is down 6% and they have their largest capital expenditure to date? Doesn't take a lot of genius to figure out that there are problems here....Dick Kinzel is a big talker about ROI on his new rides, but it's not happening.By the way - substituting Gemini and Disaster Transport for ERT? Give me a break. Why not the Cedar Downs and the Mine Ride?

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