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Hotel Breakers

The classic beachfront Hotel Breakers offers deluxe resort accommodations flavored with incomparable turn-of-the-century ambience.
Hotel Breakers Learn More and Book Your Reservation

Sandcastle Suites

Located at the very tip of the Cedar Point Peninsula near Soak City, Sandcastle Suites is bordered by Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay.
Sandcastle Suites Learn More and Book Your Reservation

Lighthouse Point

You don't have to go to Nantucket to experience the charm of a quaint waterfront community with cozy cottages and cabins!
Lighthouse Point Learn More and Book Your Reservation

Camper Village

Do you enjoy the great outdoors? Campers can take advantage of Cedar Point's Camper Village RV campground nestled between Lake Erie and the park's roller coaster hills.
Camper Village Learn More and Book Your Reservation

Breakers Express

Breakers Express is just a short drive from the Main Entrance to Cedar Point and offers great accommodations at a great price.
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Castaway Bay

Escape to Cedar Point's Caribbean paradise right here in Sandusky! It's a year-round indoor waterpark resort that caters to families.
Castaway Bay Learn More and Book Your Reservation

Opened in 2005, maXair provides the amazing sensation of airtime. 50 riders strap in with their feet dangling below as the giant ring they're seated in starts to spin. Then, the ring is set into a pendulum motion, reaching a height of 140 feet! Fly back and forth during this 2-minute, 30-second ride.

Click here to take a virtual ride on maXair

Riders must be 52" tall to ride. Located near Kiddy Kingdom.

maXair View All Rides

Swoop down on the midway on the world's tallest swing ride. Two giant arms with 20 riders each, swing opposite of each other, reaching a height of 125 feet! Powered with pneumatics, Skyhawk swings smoothly and comfortably at speeds of 60 mph in both directions.

Riders must be 48" tall to ride. Located in Frontiertown.

Skyhawk View All Rides
You can't help but notice Raptor, standing guard near the Main Entrance. Take a flight on Cedar Point's suspended looping thrill machine.
Raptor View All Rides
Wicked Twister launches you forward. Then launches you backward. And forward again. Enjoy an exhilarating thrill on the park's twisty impulse coaster, the tallest of its kind in the world!
Wicked Twister View All Rides
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Cedar Point Year in Review

Making of a HalloWeekends Screamster

Making of a HalloWeekends Screamster

Cedar Point View From a Blimp

Cedar Point View From a Blimp

Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair CEO, comments on WindSeeker at Cedar Point

Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair CEO, comments on WindSeeker at Cedar Point

John Hildebrandt, CP GM, comments on WindSeeker at Cedar Point

John Hildebrandt, CP GM, comments on WindSeeker at Cedar Point

WindSeeker - New at Cedar Point in 2011

WindSeeker - New at Cedar Point in 2011

Millennium Force's 10th Anniversary

Millennium Force's 10th Anniversary

Celebrating Snoopy's Birthday at Cedar Point

Celebrating Snoopy's Birthday at Cedar Point

2010 PointCast #2

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Official Shoot the Rapids POV in HD

Official Shoot the Rapids POV in HD

Shoot the Rapids Opening Day

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Official Power Tower (shot side) POV in HD

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Official Power Tower (drop side) POV in HD

Official WildCat POV in HD

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Official maXair POV in HD

Official maXair POV in HD

2010 Opening Day Ceremony

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Sir Rub-a-Dub's Tubs Official POV

Sir Rub-a-Dub's Tubs Official POV

2010 PointCast #1

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Jennie Goes To Cali

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Ladies (And Guys) of Clean

Ladies (And Guys) of Clean

Official Maverick Reverse-Reverse POV

Official Maverick Reverse-Reverse POV

Official Maverick POV in HD

Official Maverick POV in HD

2009 PointCast Episode Six

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Official Millennium Force Reverse-Reverse POV

Official Millennium Force Reverse-Reverse POV

Official Millennium Force POV in HD

Official Millennium Force POV in HD

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OnPoint! - The Cedar Point Blog
Inside Curve

ONPOINT! - THE CEDAR POINT BLOG

Behind The Rides: Top Thrill Dragster, Part Two

Friday, June 16, 2006 12:37 PM

Welcome to part two.

Continuing on with the launch sequence.

We’re going to try to keep this simple, as it is extremely complicated.

Inside the hydraulic room, a giant drum spins and reels in two cables that are attached to the catchcar.

Once the catchcar is pulled fast enough, magnetic brakes stop the catchcar and the train continues on its path.

But how do you propel a really heavy train to 120 mph in less than 4 seconds?

Simple.

Hydraulics. More specifically, pressurized hydraulic fluid.

Just before each launch, here’s what happens:

1. Hydraulic fluid is moved into tube-shaped canisters called “accumulators.”

2. Inside each accumulator, there’s a disc that serves as a barrier between hydraulic fluid and nitrogen gas. This disc can move back and forth, but does not allow the fluid and gas to mix. They hydraulic fluid is pumped into the accumulators at a pressure of 4700 psi.

3. When the system is ready to launch, a valve opens. The hydraulic fluid that was stored in the accumulators is forced out of the accumulator (very quickly via pressure built up by the nitrogen gas), distributed through a maze of hoses and then turns 32 smaller motors (16 on each side of the drum).

4. The smaller motors turn the giant drum, thus “reeling in” the cables and catchcar, train and all.

This sequence happens every 60 seconds or so.

Sounds like fun, huh?

Trip To The Top

When looking up…



…you may get a little dizzy. But you may have noticed the catwalks on several levels of the tower. These catwalks allow our maintenance teams to inspect the ride’s structure (and change light bulbs – really, really BIG light bulbs).

There’s an elevator that takes them to the top, so we thought, “Why don’t we do that?”

So up we went with Eric.

We stopped at the last “catwalk level” at 360 feet into the air.

The morning we journeyed up the tower, it wasn’t very warm. And when you’re 360 feet into the air, it’s even breezier.



Small word of advice when you’re up that high - don’t look up!



And now, some breathtaking photos of the park. First, looking east.



Now, over to Millennium Force – look how tiny it is!



And over to Magnum XL-200 and Soak City.



Ok. Enough fun. Back down we go.

The crew of Top Thrill Dragster gets ready for opening by transfering trains from the storage track to the main track:



Then, the crew cleans each train:



And then, it’s time to test ride:



We hope that all made sense. It’s not an easy ride to explain.

We’ve got one final surprise for you, but you’ll have to wait until Monday…

Meet the man behind the voice…

“Keep arms down, head back, and hold on!”

“Arms Down!”

That’s right! Meet the voice of Top Thrill Dragster. See you Monday!

Tony & Tyler
Last entry: Behind The Rides: Top Thrill Dragster
Next entry: The Man Behind The Launch

Rich writes: 6/17/06 - 8:52 AM

Love the official CP jacket you guys are sportin' in the photos. Are those available at any of the stores, or are they employee-only garb?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Rich, those are year-round employee jackets - but you never know when something similar will show up in one of our gift shops.


Ryan writes: 6/17/06 - 8:54 AM

How do the catchcar brakes stop the catchcar and not the train? And how in the WORLD does the catchcar release so cleanly from the train when it's going that fast?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    The catchcar brakes are set inside the trough, not above it - preventing the train from stopping.  To answer your second question, the train dog doesn't actually "latch on" to the catchcar.  It merely sits inside a small notch in the catchcar.  When the catchcar ends its course, the train then continues on, and the train dog lifts off of the catchcar.


Kevin writes: 6/17/06 - 8:56 AM

How long does it take to test the ride?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Kevin, as soon as all trains are cycled with and without test riders (the crew).  It usually takes about 15-20 minutes.


Eric writes: 6/17/06 - 8:58 AM

You said that the trains are transferred from the storage track to the main track. Why do they put them on the storage track instead of keeping them on the main track and how do they get them onto the main track from the storage track?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Eric, the trains are kept on a storage track so that night maintenance teams can inspect the trains.  Underneath the station, there is not enough room to inspect the trains.  Right before the launch position, there is a piece of track that moves side to side.  A train is positioned on it, and then moved to the side where it joins up with a section of storage track.


Derek writes: 6/17/06 - 9:00 AM

Hey guys!! I love Dragster! How come you guys didn't go all the way up to the top of the 420 ft. tower?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Derek, at the top, we were unable to exit the elevator and walk around freely, as the catwalk and track are curved. 


Jeff writes: 6/17/06 - 9:02 AM

Were is the elevator to get to the catwalks?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Jeff, the elevator is "hidden" at the base of the tower.  You can't actually see the car until it rises above ground level, as it's surrounded by a wall.


Dan writes: 6/17/06 - 9:14 AM

Are you able to show any of the motor room or is that totally off limits?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Dan, at the request of the manufacturer, the hydraulic room is a restricted area.


Jamie writes: 6/17/06 - 9:13 AM

Hey, just a question. How many trains can TTD have on its track at once?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Jamie, Dragster can have 6 trains in operation at once.  However, the ride is run more efficiently (for capacity purposes) when only 5 are on.


Ashley writes: 6/19/06 - 4:30 PM

Just a question, why does fluid sometimes squirt up above the track occasionally after the train launches?

  • From Tony & Tyler:

    Ashley, the liquid you see is actually water that's fed into the cable trough to keep the cables cool.