Disaster Transport

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Disaster Transport
The exterior of Disaster Transport in 2001
Cedar Point
Location Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Coordinates 41°28′50″N 82°40′45″W / 41.480597°N 82.679142°W / 41.480597; -82.679142
Park section Lakeside Midway
Status Defunct
Operated 1985 to July 29, 2012
Cost $3,400,000 to build (1985)
$4,000,000 to renovate (1990)
Rider height 46 inch minimum
Replaced by GateKeeper
Manufacturer Intamin
Product Swiss Bob
Type Steel - Enclosed - Bobsled
Hourly capacity 1,800
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 63 feet
Drop 50 feet
Top speed 40 mph
Length 1932 feet
Inversions 0
Drop angle 27°
Duration 2:32
G-Force 2.7

Disaster Transport (formerly Avalanche Run) was an enclosed bobsled roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, USA. It was mostly notable as the park's only enclosed roller coaster and the only bobsled roller coaster in the Midwest at its debut.[1] Before the 1990 season, the ride was outdoors, and had blue track and supports.[2]

The name of the ride stems from Dispatch Master Transport. The origin of the name could be seen in the ride's logo[3] and a pre-ride film explained it (although this was turned off years prior to the ride closing).


The attraction was built as Avalanche Run, an outdoor bobsled roller coaster. It was located beside the beach, on the site of the former WildCat. Many other rides also had to be relocated.[4] The original ride cost $3.4 million: $1.9 million to manufacture and $1.5 million to install.[5]

On October 19, 1984, Cedar Point announced that Avalanche Run would be added to the park.[6] It was expected to open on May 11, 1985 but this was pushed back following a delay in the arrival of parts.[7][8]


On October 22, 1989, Cedar Point announced that Avalanche Run would receive a major refurbishment and be renamed Disaster Transport for the 1990 season.[9] ITEC Productions, Inc. was chosen to renovate the ride, completely enclosing it in a show building. The renovation included the addition of a space-themed queue and special effect lighting and sound throughout the ride. The special effects and construction cost approximately $4 million. On the front of the building, "12 E" was written, which has caused numerous rumors as to its meanings. On August 3, 2005, it was revealed that it stood for the 12th ride designed by the ITEC employee, Eric.[10]


Not long after the initial changes to the ride, the special effects were not maintained and began to deteriorate. The building was air-conditioned, but Disaster Transport could not run in the rain, as the roof was susceptible to leaks. Rain would pool inside the ride's track, requiring it to be cleaned out, which was expensive and an inconvenience.[11] At its closure, most of the effects were not active, or had been covered up.[12] Blacklight reactant paint lined the walls, mostly in the form of handprints or outlines of scenes. These gave a 3-D appearance when the rider wore special glasses purchased at the beginning of the queue.[13]


Demolition of Disaster Transport in August 2012

After Matt Ouimet took over Richard Kinzel as the CEO of Cedar Fair in 2012, he decided that Disaster Transport could no longer be salvaged. The ride was becoming an outdated attraction, as well as an eyesore. On July 13, 2012, Cedar Point announced that Disaster Transport would close on July 29, 2012.[14] A charity auction was held for the final riders, benefiting the Give Kids the World charity foundation. The last ride was given at 11:53 PM on July 29, with the lights turned on. Demolition began on August 6, using almost 400 trucks to transport scrap materials. The ride was replaced by GateKeeper,[15] a Bolliger & Mabillard wing coaster which opened in May 2013. Space Spiral, an observation tower, also closed along with Disaster Transport, however, it did not close until shortly after Labor Day.[16] A portion of track, two cars and the main entrance sign were donated to the National Roller Coaster Museum along with parts from the former WildCat, which had closed in 2011.



Disaster Transport was a bobsled roller coaster, meaning the wheels were not attached to the tracks as on standard roller coasters. The cars — resembling bobsleds — operated within a steel trough, on which they were allowed to run freely. This allowed the ride to slide from side to side when turning sharp corners, as an actual bobsled would. Guests would enter 10-passenger bobsleds, secured by a lap bar. After leaving the "launch area", the bobsled traveled up the 63-foot-tall (19 m) lift hill, which featured red and blue blinking lights on the sides. After reaching the top of the lift hill, it curved to the right, dropping 50 feet (15 m). After that, it curved to the left into a mid course brake run. After the mid course brake run, the bobsled turned left followed by several banked turns turns and curves and two more brake runs.[17]

Color scheme

Black track and supports. The ride originally opened with white track and blue supports.


5 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 5 rows, for a total of 10 riders per car.


After the ride was renovated in 1990, a new space theme was given. The ride's story was that the passengers were to deliver cargo from a suborbital factory to a station in Alaska. Large screen projections, simulated lasers, mist, and sound recordings were added to the ride. In the queue, guests would go through three rooms: the Rocket Recovery, Mission Control and Repair Bay. The original entrance to the ride was located next to the Troika ride. During HalloWeekends, the park would change the entrance of Disaster Transport to under the lift hill, leaving the one next to the Troika to be used for the Halloween Haunt. For the 2009 season, the entrance was permanently changed to under the lift hill,[18] closing off the Rocket Recovery and Mission Control rooms, and leaving the Repair Bay the only room guests still walked through.[19][20]


The building viewed from above

The building was also used as a storage facility for the park. During HalloWeekends, much of the original queue area was used to house a haunt attraction. It was first used in 1997 for the haunt, Cedar Point Cemetery. In 2000, it was transformed into the Egyptian themed, Pharaoh's Secret haunted house. In 2009, it was transformed into Happy Jack's Toy Factory, a haunted toy factory.[21]

Oddly, the ride would close in any type of rain. Because of leaks in the structure, water pooled in the trough, forcing a shutdown. Typically, the ride would remain shut down after a period of rain as the crew would have to cycle several trains through the circuit in order for it to dry. Although the ride was enclosed, the transfer track remained outdoors with a large door that opened when it was needed.[22]



  1. Avalanche Run Fact Sheet - PointBuzz
  2. Disaster Transport photo - CoasterGallery
  3. Disaster Transport Logo - Coaster-net
  4. Cedar Point History - PointBuzz
  5. Avalanche Run Fact Sheet - PointBuzz
  6. "New ride brings winter fun to summer". News Herald.
  7. "The faithful flock to theme parks". Detroit Free Press.
  8. "Northern Ohio a merry-go-round of mirth". The Akron Beacon Journal. May 23, 1985. p. B1. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  9. "Midwest Theme Parks Building for the '90s". The Star Press.
  10. 12 E Revealed! - Cedar Point Official Website (WayBack Archive)
  11. "Top 10 Most Missed Removed Roller Coasters". Theme Park Crazy.
  12. Disaster Transport - The Point Online
  13. Cedar Point virtual tour - Tour-the-Point
  14. "Cedar Point to close two rides".
  15. Gatekeeper to be Cedar Points 1st new coaster since 2007 - Indystar
  16. Fans say goodbye to Disaster Transport - WKYC
  17. Disaster Transport POV - YouTube
  18. Disaster Transport Entrance - Flickr
  19. Disaster Transport old queue - YouTube
  20. Disaster Transport new queue - YouTube
  21. Happy Jack's Toy Factory with lights on - YouTube
  22. Disaster Transport storage track - PointBuzz

External links

The category Disaster Transport contains additional media.

Articles on Cedar Point