Intimidator 305 as seen from the Eiffel Tower
|Park section||Safari Village|
|Opening date||April 2, 2010|
|Lift/launch system||Cable lift hill|
|Height||305 ft (93 m)|
|Drop||300 ft (91 m)|
|Length||5,100 ft (1,600 m)|
|Speed||90 mph (140 km/h)|
|Max vertical angle||85°|
|Capacity||1,350 riders per hour|
|Height restriction||54 in (137 cm)|
|Trains||2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 32 riders per train.|
Fast Lane Plus only available
|Intimidator 305 at RCDB
Pictures of Intimidator 305 at RCDB
Intimidator 305 is a steel roller coaster by Intamin at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, United States. Debuted in 2010 as the park's fourteenth roller coaster, Intimidator 305 is located in the Congo section near Anaconda. Standing at 305 feet (93 m) tall and reaching speeds of 90 miles per hour (140 km/h), it is the second Giga Coaster to be built in North America – the first was Millennium Force at Cedar Point. The $25 million investment was the largest of any ride in the park's history. It is named and themed after NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, the Intimidator.
Intimidator 305 has a first drop of 300 feet (91 m), with a maximum descent angle of 85 degrees. Intimidator 305 features yellow supports with red track. The lift hill structure for Intimidator 305 is unique in that the lift-hill and crest only have two main points of support. The overall height of Intimidator 305 is higher than the observation platform of the Eiffel Tower, making it one of the tallest rides at Kings Dominion.
Intimidator 305, the first Giga Coaster built since Steel Dragon 2000 in 2000, was announced on Thursday, August 20, 2009. Local news media, then Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel and Dale Earnhardt Incorporated CEO Jeff Steiner, and Dale Earnhardt's daughter Taylor Earnhardt were in attendance to the announcement. The official announcement, led by Kings Dominion Head Manager Ed Kuhlmann, was accompanied by animation videos of the ride and a working model. The roller coaster is themed to NASCAR racing legend Dale Earnhardt.
Intimidator 305 sits on the former land occupied by the Safari Monorail which closed in 1993. Kings Dominion broke ground on Intimidator 305 on June 1, 2009. The first pieces of track arrived a few days later. On August 19, the first pieces of steel were put into place. The 305-foot (93 m) lift hill was topped off in November 2009. Construction crews continued to construct the ride throughout the winter and the last piece of track was lifted into place on January 9, 2010. Intimidator 305's first test run was on Sunday, March 14, 2010.
Some riders experienced problems due to the G-forces inherent in the ride's original design. Riders reported greying or blacking out after the first drop. Kings Dominion temporarily installed trim brakes on the first drop in order to reduce the speed while a long-term solution could be devised. The brakes were adjusted and positioned by late May 2010.
During the following off-season, Kings Dominion replaced three sections of the roller coaster's track, widening the radius of the first high-speed turn to reduce friction and impact on riders. With this improvement, the trim brakes on the ride's first drop were removed, returning the ride to its original speed.
Summer 2013 Closure and Present Day
During the early morning hours of July 8, 2013, while performing a test run prior to the park opening, the silver train became stuck approximately 3/4 of the way up the lift hill. There was no way to bring it back down due to some sort of malfunction, so the ride was closed for the day while a solution was discovered. The ride would remain down for subsequent days, as there was no way to bring the train back down, and due to the extreme height, it was speculated that a special crane would need to be rented to remove the train from the track.
After nearly one week, the train was finally brought down. It is thought that this occurred by somehow releasing the tension on the lift cable, allowing the train to slide back down to the launch station. As of August 29, 2013, the ride remains closed, the entire front of the entrance plaza is barricaded with metal barriers and trash cans, with no ETA on when or If the ride will become operational again (the ride is reopened as of October 2013, but may have been reopened September 14th).
Popular amusement park fan websites such as http://www.kdfans.com and http://www.screamscape.com/html/kings_dominion.htm have stated that it is speculated that a problem with the gearbox is what has kept the ride down the entire summer. The part that is needed is apparently a non-stocked, regular item, and instead Kings Dominion must go to the trouble to have the part custom fabricated, as there are no replacements on hand. During the duration of the train being stranded on the lift hill, King's Dominion security was also threatening to remove anyone from the park who took pictures of the helpless ride. It is alleged that the lookout binoculars at the Eiffel Tower were also disabled for this same reason, leading many to speculate that a far more serious problem exists with the ride rather than just being down for repairs.
As it became clear that the ride would be down for a serious length of time, possibly the end of the summer, and possibly (although unlikely) for good, Kings Dominion finally released a statement on their official Facebook page on August 28, 2013, stating that a problem with the weight distribution on the gearbox caused a part to warp and fail. They did confirm that the part must be custom built in another country, then shipped back to the park for installation. They stated that they anticipated, but could not guarantee the ride would be open in time for the "Halloween Haunt" Season.
On September 11, 2013, Intimidator's silver train went up the hill for the first time by the winch since being stuck on July 8, 2013. On September 13, 2013 at 3pm, Kings Dominion announced that Intimidator 305 will reopen for the weekend of September 14, 2013 via their Facebook page and website.
Intimidator 305 has been described as a mix of both Millennium Force and Maverick, both located at Cedar Point. Intamin designed the ride to feature the high lift hill like Millennium Force. Following the lift hill are low-to-the-ground tight turns and hills, similar to Maverick. The ride features six air-time humps and three near-ground-level high-speed turns over 5,100 feet (1,600 m) of track.
While the train is being loaded in the station, the catch car of the cable lift is latched onto the middle car of the train. Before the train leaves the station, a recording of Earnhardt's son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., shouting "GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES!!!" is played, followed by a loud revving sound. Once the train is dispatched, the train ascends the 45-degree lift hill at 15 miles per hour (24 km/h) to a maximum height of 305 feet (93 m). Once the train crests the top of the lift, the train descends down the 300-foot (91 m), 85-degree drop, reaching speeds up to 90 miles per hour (140 km/h). The drop is steep enough and sudden enough that riders towards the back of the train are thrown out of their seats into the restraints, so that during the 300-foot near-vertical drop they feel as if they're about to fall out of the ride. The train turns right into a 270-degree turn, reaching a little over 6Gs before ascending the 150-foot (46 m) airtime hill. The train then descends into a high-speed bunny hop before entering another high-speed turn. The train then maneuvers 3 sharp twists before entering the final high-speed turn. The train then climbs another airtime hill, followed by another airtime hill before entering a final twist and then climbing a small, twisty bunny hop into the magnetic brakes. One cycle of the ride lasts about 3 minutes.
Trains and theme
Intimidator 305 features two trains themed as Dale Earnhart's black number 3 car. The trains feature headlights at the front of each train as well as advertisement stickers that are found on NASCAR cars. One train is red with the other being silver. Each train has eight four-passenger cars, allowing thirty-two passengers per train. The trains are arranged in stadium-style seating with overhead lap bars fitted with soft, padded over-the-shoulder straps. In early July 2010, the ride received a unique new restraint design. The over-the-shoulder part of the harness now resembles a padded seat belt rather than the typical over-the-shoulder restraints used by Intamin. Some rides that use typical Intamin over-the-shoulder restraints include Maverick at Cedar Point and Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure.
- Intimidator 305 won the Golden Ticket Award for "Best New Roller Coaster in 2010" by Amusement Today.
|Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters|
|Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster|
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