Disaster Transport

This is a previously featured article
Click here to watch the on-ride POV
Disaster Transport
roller coaster
Cedar Point
Location Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Status Defunct
Operated May 11, 1985 to July 29, 2012
Cost $3,400,000 to build (1985)

$4,000,000 to renovate (1990)

Height restriction 36 inches (117 cm)
Manufacturer Intamin
Type Steel - Enclosed - Bobsled
Model / product Swiss Bob
Hourly capacity 1,800
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height63 feet
Drop50 feet
Top speed40 mph
Length1932 feet
Steepest drop27°
G-force2.7 g
Disaster Transport logo.gif

Disaster Transport (formerly Avalanche Run) was an enclosed bobsled roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, USA. It is notable as the only enclosed roller coaster at the park, and the only bobsled roller coaster in the Midwest at its debut.[1] Before 1990, 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 movie explained it (although this was turned off years prior to the ride closing).

History[edit | edit source]

Disaster Transport originally opened on May 11, 1985 as Avalanche Run and was entirely outdoors. It was built beside the beach, on the site of the former WildCat. Many other rides also had to be relocated[4] Cedar Point Timmeline - PointBuzz]. The original ride cost $3.4 million: $1.9 million to manufacture and $1.5 million to install.[5]

Rennovation[edit | edit source]

Veiw of the building.

In 1990, 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 approximently $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.[6]

Neglect[edit | edit source]

Not long after the initial changes to the ride, the special effects were not maintained and began to deteriorate. At its closure most of the effects were not active, or had been covered up.[7] 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.[8]

Closure[edit | edit source]

On July 13, 2012, Cedar Point announced that Disaster Transport would close on July 29, 2012. 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 is to be replaced by GateKeeper,[9] 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.[10] 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 closed in 2011.

Design[edit | edit source]

A video showing the old queue line

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 swing 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.[11]

Train capacity[edit | edit source]

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

Theme[edit | edit source]

After the ride was renovated in 1990, a new space theme was given. The ride's story was that the passengers had been 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 Troika. During HalloWeekends, the park would change the entrance of Disaster Transport to under the lift hill, leaving the one next to Troika to be used for the Halloween Haunt. For the 2009 season, the entrance was permanently changed to under the lift hill,[12] closing off the Rocket Recovery and Mission Control rooms, leaving the Repair Bay the only room guests walked through[13][14]..

Building[edit | edit source]

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[15]

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 opens when it is needed.[16]

Photo Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]