Top Thrill Dragster marketing focus for 2004 season

Posted Tuesday, December 2, 2003 10:29 AM | Contributed by Gemini

Top Thrill Dragster will anchor Cedar Point's 2004 marketing campaign, with park officials promising the coaster will run consistently next season. Maintenance VP Monty Jasper explains some of the problems they encountered.

Read more from Virtual Midway.

Link: Cedar Point Virtual Midway

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 10:54 AM
Good, that damn thing hardly ran last year, and of course I didn't get to ride it because of the lack of operation.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 11:31 AM
"Hardly ran"? In 5 trips to the Point last year, it was only down for the day once. They had some downtime with it, but hardly to the point of saying "hardly ran".
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 11:35 AM
Beat me to it, Greg. "Hardly ran," yet I was able to ride it within 48 hours of the May cable snap.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 12:05 PM
Seems like the leap in reliability from Xcelerator to TTD was pretty noticeable to me....

Gotta wonder if Hershey's will make *another* quantum leap forward and be downright trustworthy...:)

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 12:12 PM
I don't know... I went on August 14th & after 4:15pm, TTD was down the entire freakin' day!! I mean, they didn't even bother to test it.

...oh, but I also forgot to mention, the rest of the park didn't have any power as well... so I guess that was understandable ;)

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 12:17 PM
I think TTD got ranked number 11 has nothing to do with the coaster not being open for Coastermania.

It's a fantastic ride, but there's just not enough "standard" coaster elements in it to justify ranking it with other coasters. It's far and away different from anything else I've ridden. Is it even ranked in my book? No. How can you? It's a sensory overload experience. One I'd do a million times again with a big ol' smile on my mug, but never will it be "ranked" with coasters.

Not that that matters. Anyone else's rankings are purely subjective anyway. JMO.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 12:18 PM
Yeah, let me chime in on the "hardly ran" thing too - I made it to CP 4 diferent days in 2003 and it was up and running every time. I think considering the problems the ride had, I'd actually say it was "hardly down".

Another thing that struck me as funny from that story:


He also told the Register that he wants the ride to be open for CoasterMania 2004, something that did not happen in 2003. "I think that's one reason Top Thrill Dragster got ranked 11th [in the Golden Ticket Awards]," Jasper said.

Well, isn't that kind of smug? Our new coaster only ranked 11th in the GTA's - so clearly there was a reason.

Here's the reason - it's not a top 10 coaster. I think 11 was generous. Don't get me wrong, the ride was a ton of fun - truly an amazing experience, but if we're breaking it down to great coaster rides (as is the point of the GTA) then I have a hard time putting it alongside coasters like S:ROS.

I don't know - somehow that quote amused me in that:

1. They do concern themselves with the Golden Tickets that much

and

2. They're clearly wigged that TTD only came in at #11

I know those ranks make up some of their marketing approach (especially in the Getaway Guides), but I think CP has gotten a little to used to the "slap up a huge coaster and wait for the rave reviews to follow - oh gee, we have the #1 rated coaster in the world again" thing and this time it didn't happen so clearly there's a reason...and it certainly isn't the ride itself.

I find amusement in weird places...

EDIT - I was typing as Homey G posted - same ideas :)

*** This post was edited by Lord Gonchar 12/2/2003 12:20:28 PM ***

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 12:22 PM
I'm a season pass holder, and "hardly ran" isn't all that far from the truth. It just depends on how many times you went to the park and how lucky you were. Apparently I wasn't as lucky. I got four rides the entire season, three of those on media day (in the span of 12 hours). I missed my last opportunity with an exit pass closing weekend when it broke down Saturday night, and I was tired from dealing with the rain so I didn't even bother to try Sunday. I bet Dan enjoyed my exit passes. ;)
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 12:35 PM
I know the frist part of the season was a mess, but I was under the impression that after they made the "if it isn't working by mid-july" announcment and it was fixed enough to stay up, that it actually ran pretty consistently for the rest of the year.

Might just be me, but with 4 days at CP this year I kept a pretty close eye on the CP site and webcams hoping I'd get a 2003 ride and it seemed to be running quite a bit - especially considering the problems. Was anyone actually geeky enough to keep track of uptime vs downtime? Those would be some interesting stats.

Consider me another member of the uninformed GP. All I know is that I got to ride twice in 2003 :)

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 12:42 PM
I was told what the park-wide uptime was this year, but I don't think it was meant for public consumption. I will say that it was just a little lower than last year, but far from horrible and still better than most parks.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 1:33 PM
I was there on two days in September and got one ride in each day. I might have gotten more, but I felt there were better things to do with a day at the point than spend three hours queueing for a ride, which, frankly, didn't do all that much for me.

Regards,
Richard

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 1:35 PM
Quite honestly, the only time the ride really ran even "fine" was during the weekends. We all know about the issues of opening with one less car, the cable, the hydraulics, the catch car, etc like were mentioned in the article. But the ride was down for nearly the entire month of June during which the theming was removed, two seats were added to the trains, and the platform gates in the station were at least partially redone. Then it opened up for a bit only to go down again so that the garden hose cooling system could be installed.

There were days here and there late in the season where the ride ran well, but I'd be amazed if the ride actually ran much more than say 60% of the parks operating hours throughout the entire summer. At one point during July, Super Himalaya had given more rides than Dragster. Some people got lucky when they visited. Others did not. I managed 23 rides, but I was there a ton and many of them I caught it with short waits after breakdowns. I love the ride and I love CP, but let's not kid ourselves - Dragster had much more than "some" downtime. If you went to the park 5-10 times throughout the summer, I'm sure you scored some rides, but I'm sure there are a good number of people who went 1-3 times and can't say the same.

Here's to hoping 2004 is a much improved year for Dragster! :) And here's to hoping Monty's estimate of 10,000 rides per day is way low because Magnum and Raptor give that many by 5 o'clock most days! ;)

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 1:49 PM
I consider myself pretty fortunate since I was able to get 8 rides on TTD this summer. I'd say TTD was running on 14 of the 20 or so times that I was at the park this summer. Looking forward to the ride being more reliable next summer!
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 3:06 PM
I would say "hardly ran" applies to my visits. I went three times last summer, and it was down all day once, and running very sporadically the other times (up maybe half the time, rollbacks, etc.).
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 3:28 PM
At the beginning of the summer, "hardly ran" was certainly true, but starting in Aug. I could ride the ride at will. I don't keep count, but I would guess I got about 20 or 25 rides in during Aug., Sept. and Oct. So, while the early season was a disappointment as far as Dragster goes, the last part made up for it, and I got lots of rides on a truly fun ride.*** This post was edited by Pete 12/2/2003 3:28:29 PM ***
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 4:06 PM
How do you know the uptime percentage for CP was higher than most parks when it's likely you don't know this for most parks yet alone many (or maybe even any other) parks? I'm sure every park is urgent in wanting to let CB know these things and you have them all right in front of you.

-Danny

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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 4:10 PM
PEOPLE,,,,, new technology requires patience!!!!!!this is a one of a kind (in height only)and something this big and fast , and tall, is going to have problems.Even though it should have run flawlessly... and its unfortunate that many were disappointed , but, the park has 30 other there coasters that are way better. ( just kiddin on the high number of thirty).... this is life....We will givem a second chance in 2004 , and then we can get seriously critical...
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 4:20 PM
Gee I must hit the park on the right days. I was there 8 different days and only 1 of those days (Coastermania) Dragster was down. Even had 3 rides in one day once and I know there are people who rode it a lot more than I did.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 4:26 PM
And Titan is one-of-a-kind with a height of 245 feet, so what's your point? S:TE has been over 400 ft. tall for years. Not directly responding to you, but height isn't innovative no matter how high you go.

Dragster was up and down randomly when I was paying attention to it when we went in late August. I definitely wouldn't call it consistant(ly up) from that day by any means.

-Danny

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