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: 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
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 asMillennium 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
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.
Airtime 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:
Lift Hill & View
Layout & Thrills
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″]