Carowinds new roller coaster, Fury 325, will be immediately compared to the park’s former marquee ride, Intimidator. It’s a fair comparison as they have the same designer (Bolliger & Mabillard), similar train designs, and are both sky-scraping steel rides visible from miles around. While they are similar, the ride’s differences are in their layouts and the experiences that they aim to give riders.
Intimidator – It’s All About Airtime
Intimidator opened in 2010. It’s Dale Earnhardt theme is perfect for a ride in the Carolinas, the birthplace of NASCAR. It boasts a 232 foot tall lift hill with a 70-degree drop. The ride is 5,316 feet long with a top speed of 75 mph. Intimidator’s key elements are its camel back hills. These hump-shaped hills are built to lift riders out of their seats providing joyful (or terrifying) moments of airtime. Aside from the fun right turn on the second hill, the high, banked turnaround and the helix at the end, Intimidator is really all about those numerous airtime hills. Read my full review of Intimidator.
Here’s a POV video of Intimidator:
Fury 325 – Expect Speed + Wild Elements
Opening in March of this year, Fury 325 will up the ante. Its lift hill will reach 325 feet into the Carolina air, with a steeper 81-degree drop. At 6,602 feet long, Fury 325 will have a blistering top speed of 95 mph. This monster will be among the largest roller coasters in the World. At the time of this writing, it will open as: 5th Tallest, 5th Longest, 6th Fastest and the 4th Longest Drop (Source – RCDB)
Again, while they’re the same type of ride, Fury 325 looks to bring something different. There’s more variety to the elements that riders will experience. In addition to a few camel back hills, the ride will use the speed generated by that insane drop to take you through a variety of wild curves, smaller hills, and an underground dive beneath a bridge. We’ll see how the specifics of each element delivers, but from the ride’s layout, it looks like we’re in for an adventure. And in my experience, adventurous rides make the best kind of rides.
Here’s a POV video of a Fury 325 Test Run:
Another Successful One-Two Punch?
Similar to sister park Canada’s Wonderland, Carowinds will have its own one-two punch of massive steel coasters. It seemed to work well for the Toronto-area park’s tandem of Behemoth (230 feet tall) and Leviathan (306 feet tall). With this designer’s track record of producing exciting, but smooth thrill machines, I have no doubt that Carowinds will have two strong rides for many years to come.