Saturday, July 31, 2004

Internet Expert Demands: Top Thrill Dragster, Taer It Down!

Sandusky, Ohio

An emergency executive meeting was called Friday afternoon by Cedar Fair's CEO Dick Kinzel to address the future of Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. ARN&R has learned that the sporadically running ride may be "reimagined" and may not open again as a roller coaster.

In its two seasons at Cedar Point, TTD has been a great success with the majority of the park's guests. "The general public doesn't seem to mind the frequent downtime of TTD. Heck, I've seen families that waited three hours to ride go right on over to a two-hour line Millennium Force without blinking an eye when told the ride will be down for the rest of the day. Regular folks from around these parts understand bad things just kind of happen," said a Cedar Point spokesman.

Coaster enthusiasts, it seems, are a bit harder to please. Over the years, Cedar Point has endured neverending accusations and rumors thrown about by their so-called biggest fans. Usually contained to junior high schools and internet postings, the latest message was delivered straight to the park. Found last week by a four year old in Camp Snoopy, it was made with letters cut from the latest ACE News pasted onto bright red construction paper. It contained just one demand "TAeR DOwn top ThriLL DragStER." It was not clear if the glued on glitter and Cheerios had been added by the child or were part of the original message.

ARN&R has learned that the hard copy of the message was merely a way to deliver the more forceful message found online:

Dismantle Top Thrill Dragster

Those chilling words were the centerpiece of a statement posted on rec.roller-coaster, a known haven for subversive coaster fans, all of whom have enormous expertise in the cost-benefit ratio of maintaining a coaster in its current status.

When asked if the company was taking the posting seriously Kinzel replied, "Goodness yes! How could you not? Someone takes the time to put extra space between words like that, you have to take notice."

Park security (aided by longtime Peanuts favorite Woodstock) is looking into the background of an underground group of rogue yet incredibly intelligent enthusiasts whose leader is known by the codename "ChrisCoaster." The notoriously secretive ChrisCoaster later added, "I will repeat: Dismantle Top Thrill Dragster or use the tallest part of it as an observation tower/restaurant. I for one wouldn't mind dining 40 stories above Lake Erie."

"That's a hell of an idea," said Kinzel in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "Sure, it'd be a little tricky to explain to our investors why we have a $25-plus million restaurant. On the other hand, this guy has visited our park twice in the last four years. Such a huge supporter of the park, with his extensive opportunities to review the engineering specifications, remedial plans, and all other technical information about the coaster obviously knows more about what is really going on than we do."

This same group is believed to be behind the removal of a coaster at another Cedar Fair property in 2003. Dorney Park's Hercules wooden roller coaster was shut down just before the end of the season without notice and dismantled soon after. It is thought that the pieces of Hercules given to attendees of this years Eastcoaster luncheon was to finally prove all the group's demands had been met, hoping that the group would then cease wielding its enormous power to intimidate the park chain.