November 7, 2003
Announced in the December issue of Popular Science, the 16th annual "Best of What's New" awards recognize the top 100 innovations in science and technology. The awards are divided into 12 categories, with Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster "strata-coaster" earning honors in the "Engineering" category.
Founded in 1872, Popular Science is the world's largest science and technology magazine with a circulation of 1.45 million subscribers and a readership of more than 7 million people.
Standing 420 feet tall and reaching speeds of 120 mph, Top Thrill Dragster debuted at Cedar Point in May as the tallest and fastest scream machine on the planet. Riders begin their epic journey aboard this whopping 42-story screamer by securing themselves into ultra-cool trains that resemble top fuel dragsters. The train then moves into a "starting line" position where it is launched forward, reaching speeds of 120 mph in approximately four seconds. The train then rockets straight up the 420-foot-tall hill on track that rotates 90 degrees, crests the coaster's apex and then free falls back to Earth. The ride concludes with an amazing 270-degree spiral and reaches a speed of 120 mph for the second time before crossing the finish line.
Top Thrill Dragster was manufactured by Intamin AG of Wollerau, Switzerland.
"We are extremely proud of this award and the recognition Top Thrill Dragster has received," stated Daniel Keller, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. "This award is a testament to the creative minds at Cedar Point and at Intamin who made this amazing coaster a reality."
Top Thrill Dragster is the fourth scream machine built since 1978 at Cedar Point that has held the title of the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. The other record-setters were Millennium Force (310 feet tall, 93 mph, 2000); Magnum XL-200 (205 feet tall, 72 mph, 1989); and Gemini (125 feet tall, 60 mph, 1978).
In its first season of operation, Top Thrill Dragster was voted No. 11 in the "Best Steel Roller Coaster in the World" category in a poll conducted by Amusement Today, a newspaper that covers amusement and waterpark news and trends. Top Thrill Dragster is one of 16 roller coasters at Cedar Point – home to more rides (67) and roller coasters than any other park in the universe.