Intimidator 305 To Tower over Kings Dominion in 2010 Today, Kings Dominion (Doswell, VA) finally revealed the details of their 2010 roller coaster. It will be called Intimidator 305. It’s a fitting name because it will be more than 30 stories tall at 305′. Furthermore, the Intimidator 305 name reflects the ride’s NASCAR theming as its name is borrowed from “the most beloved and tenacious driver,” Dale Earnhardt Sr. The ride’s red steel track will change the skyline of Kings Dominion with a lift hill taller than the 275′ observation deck of the park’s Eiffel Tower replica. Intimidator 305 will feature:
The trains, fashioned after Dale Earnhardt’s signature black car, will roar through six airtime humps plus three high-speed turns and the experience will have guests screaming for another lap around the track.
The $25 million roller coaster will open in April of 2010. Visit Kings Dominion’s Intimidator 305 site for more information. Also, check out this video of Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion. Nice how the camera pans up from the now dwarfed Anaconda lift hill.:
Coaster Geek Analyis: Intimidator is Millennium Force’s New Kid Brother
Cedar Fair decided to leave their flagship park, Cedar Point, with the tallest and fastest Giga Coaster in the U.S. They stopped within 5′ of Millennium Force’s peak when designing Intimidator. The 300′ drops are the same height, but Intimidator’s will be 5 degrees steeper. After that, the similarities end. Millennium Force was the world’s first giga coaster (roller coasters 300 to 399 feet tall) when it opened in 2000. It’s a fan favorite mainly for its height and speed. Read my full Millennium Force review.
Packed with high speed, heavily banked turns, Intimidator looks to mimic those steep turns found on some NASCAR tracks. It’s a neat way to reference the theming, but I’d prefer airtime hills. According to the press release, Intimidator promises six airtime hills, with the last one ending with the magnetic brakes right before the station. I hope that they really do have some airtime, but I’m skeptical after my airless ride’s on Millennium Force. As long as half of them offer a brief pop of air, I’ll be happy.
Overall, Intimidator’s layout is a good 1,500 feet shorter than Millennium Force’s but it’s used pretty well. I am a sucker for tunnels, but that wouldn’t really go with the them. I would have like to have seen a long straight away at some point. The first hill could have dropped into a long straight away where you really feel the speed and then it could have thrown you into that first banked turn. But these are minor gripes. The layout doesn’t blow me away, but if you’re going to build a 5,100 long NASCAR-themed giga coaster that’s about the best you can do.
UPDATE – Over-the-Shoulder Straps = Good News!! So ScreamScape has gotten to the bottom of the over-the-shoulder-restraint controversy. Early pictures and animations showed what everyone believed to be dreaded over-the-shoulder restraints. Lance called John Pagel from Kings Dominion and Pagel described the restraints as “over the shoulder straps”. Here’s a screen capture (to the left) of the straps restraints on Intamin’s Tornado at Bakken. It’s a pretty new system so I can see why there was so much confusion. I don’t think these will be half as bad as real over the shoulder restraints. The main issue with those is of course the head banging. That doesn’t look possible with these straps. Lance also speculated a while back that using a different restraint system than Millennium Force’s lap bars may allow for more larger riders. No one likes to be turned away from a roller coaster. Especially after facing the insanely long waits Intimidator will likely have.