Millennium Force vs. Intimidator 305 | Roller Coaster Showdowns
In this edition of Roller Coaster Showdowns one of the most notable roller coasters of the past decade takes on its new red-tracked relative that debuted this year. It’s time for the showdown of the Intamin Giga Coasters. Ever since Intimidator 305’s announcement last Summer I knew that a Roller Coaster Showdown was in the works and now it’s here. I rode Millennium Force back in 2006 and I just rode Intimidator 305 a few weeks ago.

I’ll be honest. I have no idea how this will turn out. They’re both top-notch, world-class roller coasters and I rated them both as 9’s (Excellent). Read my reviews here: Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion| Millennium Force at Cedar Point I’m just going element by element to pick a winner. Let’s see what happens:
Millennium Force's Sign
Theme
I’m really not sure what Millennium Force’s theme is. Intimidator 305 wins this one easily with the Chevy Monte Carlo-themed trains, Dale Earnhardt-themed plaza, and TVs showing NASCAR in the queue.
Edge: Intimidator 305

Trains
There was a loud collective groan when it was announced that Intimidator 305 was going to have over-the-shoulder harnesses which are typically reserved for looping coasters. Thankfully, the restraints are just comfy straps and they don’t limit your upper body at all. You can hold your hands up as much as you like. Although, the ride’s intense g-forces make it tough at times. Still, the restraints are more likely limit the airtime that’s present on the drop, second hill, and the smaller camel back humps.

However, I don’t feel like I would have gotten much more airtime with Intamin’s lapbar restraints. This one’s close in my book, but I’ll give the slight edge to Millennium Force on the conventional wisdom that with more contact points to your body Intimidator 305’s restraints must be restricting even if the effects are minimal.
Slight Edge: Millennium Force

Lift Hill & The View
Both of these roller coasters feature cable lifts that are uncharacteristically quieter than your traditional chain lift system. They’re also pretty darn fast as you climb those 30-stories rather quickly. You seem to almost tear your way up Intimidator’s lift hill and it seems steeper than Millennium Force’s. But, Millie is the winner here as the view it offers is among the best in all of coasterdom. Riders are treated to a breath-taking view of Lake Erie and rest of the Point.
Edge: Millennium Force

The 300′ Drop
After my 5 or so rides on Intimidator 305, I kept remarking how fun the drop was, but it didn’t seem quite as long asIntimidator 305 at Kings DominionMillennium Force’s. The drops are both 300-feet, but Intimidator’s is actually 5 degrees steeper. So, you’d imagine that it would be more intense. I hate to give credence to the crazed coaster enthusiasts out there that won’t shut up about the trims, but I do wonder if they’re the culprit here. I don’t remember feeling them, but I’m not especially good at noticing trim brakes unless they’re really noticeable.
Edge: Millennium Force

The Layout & Thrills – Twisties vs. Hillies
Millennium Force’s layout takes you somewhere and it feels more like a little journey. Also, I’m a sucker for tunnels and if I had my way there’d be a tunnel on 75% of all roller coasters. On the other hand, the hills on Millennium Force were mostly airless (for me) and Intimidator 305’s twisted transitions (or twisties as Robb Alvey dubbed them) are incredible! I give this one to Intimidator for it’s unique elements. But, it’s close.
Slight Edge: Intimidator 305

Get a front seat view of both of these thrilling Giga Coasters. Check out these great POV videos of Millennium Force at Cedar Point and Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion:


Note – These videos were filmed by professionals with permission from the park.
For safety reason, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

AirtimeMillennium Force at Cedar Point
This is a tough one as Intimidator 305 isn’t really designed for airtime in the traditional since. There are three hills that seem like they were made for airtime, but they delivered very little air for me. There were also reports of some riders getting some sudden moments of air during the twisties, but to me it was more akin to being thrown rather by the change in direction than true airtime. Meanwhile, Millennium Force’s layout is packed with hills, but it does not deliver on the promise. So, neither roller coaster wins on this element.
Edge: Neither (Even)

I’ve devised a scoring system as some of these elements are more important than others. Each element gives the winning roller coaster 1 point except for the Layout/Thrill & Train elements which are most important. For those elements the winning coaster gets 2 points. No points were awarded for Airtime as neither won that element. See the scoring table below:

Elements
Intimidator
Intimidator 305
Theme
0
0
Trains
2
0
Lift Hill & View
0
1
Drop
1
0
Layout & Thrills
0
2
Airtime
1
0
Total
4
3
So, Millennium Force is the winner! Although, again, I gave them both 9’s and Intimidator 305’s twisties are intense and a lot of fun. They just have to be experienced. But, Millennium Force appears to be the better overall roller coaster in my book.

What’s Your Take?
Use the same elements I did and pick winners for each. Which comes out on top for you? Which of the two giga coasters do you pick? Leave a comment below and vote in the poll. Images courtesy of CoasterImage. [poll id=”17″]

61 Responses

  1. Quil

    Although I did think I305 would win, i can see why MF did. You described MMillenium's drop as: " the BEST and most intense drop" you had ever ridden, with an element like that, it's hard to loose.

    Reply
  2. Hoss

    This one isn't even close ( as long as I-305 is trimmed I never did it untrimmed). MF gives a better sensation of height. Atleast on MF the cable isn't so fast that you never get to appreciate just how high you are. I-305 does have the better themeing but MF has the better scenary. MF also has the better first drop (best moment of any roller coaster in the world IMO). I-305 does win the overall sustained G-force contest but not by as much as i thought it would. Lap bars are better than over the shoulder restraints all the time in my book. But the number one reason that MF is better is quite simply that its longer! from lift to brakes your looking at 45 seconds vs almost a minute! Having said all this I-305 was an unbelieavable ride. Its in my top 3; its just that nothing compares to MF for me.

    Reply
  3. Merle

    lots of people acclaim mellinuims drop as the best on earth i havnt rode intimadtor but i cant imagine mellinuims bieng topped. also i am the exact same way with tunnels i get off ride and find mysely wondering were they could hve incorparated a tunnel

    Reply
  4. Quil

    I don't see how having better trains was worth 2 points, especially especially if CC was right in saying there wasn't much of a difference, and that Mill. only had a slight edge.

    Reply
    • The Coaster Critic

      Quil, for future roller coaster showdowns I think that trains should get 2 points because they really can make or break a coaster. Millie won that element so it gets all of the points. It's a new system and maybe I'll tweak it, but I think it works for now.

      Reply
      • Nut

        MF only has lap bars making it the best ride ever.

  5. DC

    Intimidator won hands down. I've ridden MF since it's opening and yes, it's an incredible ride and it was tied with Superman @ SFNE as my number one for nearaly a decade. Superman, or Bizarro as it's now called, may be 100' shorter but has an amazing layout, totally different form the other Superman coasters at other Six Flags parks. The tunnels and airtime made up for the height difference in my book. MF HAD the most intense drop ever, followed by that sweeping over-banked turn. The airtime on the hill just before the second tunnel was some of the sweetest ever experienced.

    Then I rode Intimidator. The first drop into that washer/dryer curve resulted in no loss of intensity whatsoever, followed by that second great hill. That alone put it over the top for me. Then came the "twisties". MAN! Never have I been so smoothly or happily thrown about like a rag doll. No abuse but, again, extremely intense. Intimidator did not let up until the final brake. I vaguely remember a mid-course brake, but I don't even think it was on.

    I'll gladly claim Intimidator is my firm #1. Not to detract from MF, as Intimidator is the natural descendant of that beauty. Bravo, Intamin, on yet another masterpiece!

    Reply
  6. Hoss

    DC just curious: did you ride Intimidator before or after the trim brakes were added? And I totally agree with you on the air time that MF prodcues right before the 2nd tunnel. Its very sweet, and as nice as any airtime hill I have ever experienced on a steel roller coaster..and that even includes Bizzaro.

    Reply
  7. CFC

    You know, I really didn't expect you to pick MF over I305. The way you put it, MF did not impress you, expect for the first drop, and you had several times where you said "I liked this" or "this was great". I expected you to pick I305 over MF!

    Reply
  8. CoasterDude

    I agree with DC on this one. I just rode MF for the first time this past weekend. Amazing ride. Nearly flawless. Best first drop on any coaster. But Intimidator 305 literally had me screaming out of terror. After the 1st drop on MF, it was just like a magic carpet ride, full of soaring heights . On 305, I was plastered to my seat, screaming like I never had before due to the insane g-forces. And yes, this is POST-trim. The twisties were incredible sensations I'd never before experienced, and that turn after the first drop? Speechless.

    MF is my new #3 favorite coaster (Maverick beat it out for #2). But 305 is my hands down #1.

    Reply
  9. Noone

    This really isnt even a Competition, MF Really has a great view. And if im correct, Its also taller. The Drop on MF is incredible and when you take that turn after the lift hill, Its like your flying. Also the Restraints on it are amazing, Its like your Skydiving. It will get your Stomach EVERY time. It was voted 1 best Coaster for a while now. Also Its incredible to See Canada Once your at the top. If your sitting on the Left side you feel like your going to Fall into the water. I can never walk straight After i get off that ride Because of all the Little Hills that get my Legs and Stomach. Every time you ride it, It only gets Better and Better, It Almost NEVER breaks dow either. Plus its in CP, The roller coaster Capital of the world! Maverick, Magnum, Mantis, Raptor, Gemini, TTD, Wicked Twister, Almost Every ride there is built for your Thrill. And coming in 2011 The WINDSEEKER! Nothing below your Seat but air.

    Sorry to get off topic. But Hands Down. Millenium Force.

    Reply
    • Roberto

      Have you even been on I305? Because if not, this comment is pretty useless. The visuals and restraints on MF are better, but it can't match the raw power of I305. I rode them in late 2011 within a few weeks ago, and I305 was the clear winner here. MF is still great, but I305 blew me away.

      Reply
  10. TG

    I think that Intimidator definitely beats MF in the airtime category. Each of the three hills delivers incredible airtime, and you even get a small pop of air going over the top of the lift due to the lift's speed. Each time I rode MF, I experienced very little, if any, airtime. CC, you gave the tie because Intimidator had unexpected airtime and MF was a letdown. That doesnt make sense to me.

    Reply
    • The Coaster Critic

      TG, I re-read that point and it probably wasn't too clear what I meant. I re-wrote it. Basically neither ride delivered enough airtime to me. Granted I305, gave me a few brief moments. But overall neither are airtime machines so, neither got a point.

      And I definitely didn't experience as much airtime as you did. If I had then the point would have been easily awarded to I305.

      Reply
      • Trevor

        CoasterCritic, have you been on Intimidator without the trims, and the modifies turn? It is insane ejector airtime machine! You need to Ride Intimidator 305 again, then do another showdown, 305 shouldve MOST DEFINITLY won the airtime category.

    • Mike

      I have a feeling this should be a draw. Although not a lot of airtime on Intimidator the 3 moments of airtime are insane. The 2nd hill has some of the best ejector airtime of any coaster on the planet. I'm going to be riding Millineum this year so I'll definitely check back and cast my vote and MF is one of my most anticipated coasters to ride. I hate to say it but because of the "T" word the ride really wasn't expereinced the way it was meant to be. Anyone rode the new reprofiled version? From all the reports grey outs are still there so this suggests the "T's" were never for rider comfort.

      Reply
      • Nut

        Ride the middle car for the most airtime on MF.

        It will lift you out of your seat. The front is for the drop and the middle is for the air!

      • Trevor

        Yea, I went on the reprofiles Intimidator 305! It was alot better than when it was trimmed, and so much ejector air! The ride speeds through the second hill at breath taking speeds! An the trims, they were for the cost of wheels, the wheels were burning up way to quick.

  11. Brendan Robertson

    Think I305 is definitely better than MF. Should've beaten MF on MItch Hawker's Coaster poll and Golden Ticket Awards. The high speed turns and the first turn out of the drop deliver awesome g's, and I love massive g's. Agree with Coaster Critic though; didn't get much air time:(

    Reply
  12. Matt

    Ok I will use the same criteria:

    Theme- Intimidator 305's theming is great and it even has a replica of Dale's number 3 car! Millennium Force has a "future" theme, but doesnt stand up to Intimidator. Edge: Intimidator

    Trains: Intimidator 305's straps aren't hard, but can hurt if your neck bashes into them. Millennium's restraints are harmless and give you a free feeling. Edge:Millennium Force

    Lift and View: Intimidator's lift hill is steeper, and it travels up much faster. However, it is in the back of the park and you don't have a great view of anything. Millennium Force goes fast enough to make going up it fun and intense, but also gives a great view and suspense. Edge: Millennium Force

    The drop: Intimidator 305's drop is steeper and perhaps more intense than Millennium's because of the quick turn below it. However, Millennium's drop looks like you are going to plummet into Lake Erie, and is more spaced out at the bottom. But, we are talking about the drop itself. Edge: Intimidator 305

    Layout: When I rode 305 i was a bit disappointed. The first hill and drop, and next hill was very good. However, after that all it did was just turn and twist alot close to the ground. When I ride coasters I like to spend most of my time in the air. Also, the "twisties" that everyone loves hurt going through at such a high speed. I bashed my head against the straps and it hurt. Millennium Force's layout is much better in my opinion. It has very minimal time on the ground becasue it has overbanked turns and lots of hills. It is also longer and more exciting than Intimidator's layout. Edge: Millennium Force

    Airtime: Ok, both coasters have little airtime. But, at least Millennium tried to have airtime with all those great hills. I didn't even see an effort with 305, and the hills are smaller and less fun on 305.

    Slight Edge: Millennium Force

    Intimidator 305: 2

    Millennium Force: 6

    Winner: Millennium Force Intimidator 305 provided great intensity and G-Force, but it had no chance against Millennium. Millennium Force has everything that is essential for a good coaster: smoothness, good height and speed, big drop, many hills and overbanked turns(elevated turns that turn you almost upside down, and length.

    Reply
    • Quil

      I don't think "trying to make airtime" is at all equal to actualy having airtime, and definiteley not worth a point.

      Reply
  13. Matt

    quick correction: there should be a comma between Millennium Force and Intimidator 305 in the last paragraph. Sorry for any confusion.

    Reply
  14. Matt

    Thats true quil. I should've probrably stuck to the ride's actual airtime (which was hardly any). So it should be 5 to 2, with neither winning in that category. I just enjoy Millennium's hills and was dissappointed 305 didnt have many hills.

    Reply
  15. Mike

    Well for my non expert opinion I305 absolutely decimates MF. MF has great restraints and a great first drop but after that it doesn't much compare to I305. Just like CC I didn't experience much air on MF except when I rode near the front where there was some good air on the hills. I will once again annoyingly say the trims destroyed the air on 305. The 2nd hill on I305 is one of the best airtime hills I've ever experienced. You get ejected then you are out of your seat for the entire length of the hill. The 3rd and immediately 4th hill also have good airtime. MF also has no intensity to it (at least compared to 305) So for those reasons I go with 305. 305 just seems to be a one of a kind ride. Also as far as first drop goes although it isn't nearly as big I like El Toro's drop better than MF. I do think a draw is more than fair though.

    Reply
  16. tim

    Are you serious you can't tell the theme for mellenium?

    it's in the friken name….. mellenium?….it was built in 2000 to break all world records the best coaster in the world… tallest and fastest for the new mellenium…geezeeee wat are you thinking?

    Reply

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