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Industry Manufacturing
Founded June 1967
Founder Robert Spieldiener
Reinhold Spieldiener
Alfons Saiko
Headquarters Wollerau, Switzerland
Number of locations
Area served
Products Amusement rides, roller coasters, transportation
Divisions Intamin Amusement Rides
Intamin Transportation

Intamin Worldwide is a designing and manufacturing company in Wollerau, Switzerland. It is best known for creating thrill rides and roller coasters worldwide. The U.S. division of the company is located in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and is headed by Sandor Kernacs. The Intamin brand name is an abbreviation for: INTernational AMusement INstallations. The company distributes approximately 5–7 roller coasters from their workshops in Switzerland and Glen Burnie each year.

Intamin is a major player in the amusement park attractions industry, supplying some 22 different styles of rides to a variety of parks. Their first roller coaster installation was Jr. Gemini, a roller coaster at Cedar Point in 1979. Since then they have installed a total of 70 coasters in several countries around the globe. They designed and built the first "river rapids ride" known as "Thunder River" based on the idea supplied by Bill Crandall, a past General Manager at the now defunct AstroWorld. Intamin also marketed the first Freefall (developed by Giovanola) experience and the first Drop Tower.

Products and technologies[edit]

Intamin's product range is in two broad categories, Rides and Thrill Rides, and Transportation.

Amusement rides[edit]

Roaring Rapids river ride at Six Flags Over Texas (2007)

Roller coasters[edit]

Intamin was amongst the first to create a magnetic propulsion system (linear induction/synchronous motor) and remains one of only a handful of manufacturers continuing to use such technology on roller coasters. Intamin also created the first hydraulic launch system (also known as the "Accelerator" or "Rocket Coaster"), which is now being used to catapult roller coaster trains from standstill to speeds upward of 240 kilometres per hour (150 mph) in a few seconds before climbing up immense heights. Furius Baco at PortAventura, for instance, is Europe's fastest operating coaster, launching riders from 0–135 km/h (84 mph) in 3.5 seconds.

Intamin is also known for their massive "Mega Coaster", Intamin's term for a hypercoaster, with a height or drop over 200 ft/61 m; "Giga Coaster", a roller coaster with a height or drop over 300 ft/91 m; and "Strata Coaster", any coaster over 400 ft/122 m tall.[citation needed] There are currently only two Strata Coasters in existence – Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point and Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure – both manufactured by Intamin. Giga & Mega Coasters currently occupy the top 2 spots of the Golden Ticket Awards with Millennium Force and Superman the Ride, respectively.[1]

Also drawing much praise is the company's recent foray into the wooden roller coaster business with their "Plug and Play" models, such as Balder at Liseberg, Colossos at Heide Park, and El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure which opened spring 2006. Unlike other traditional wood coasters, these rides use prefabricated track sections made of a high-strength wooden laminate that can be secured on-site when the superstructure is completed. This design enables the coaster to reach speeds and navigate course elements smoothly, like a steel roller coaster, while retaining the look and some of the traditional feel of common wooden coasters.

Kirnu - the first ZacSpin opened in 2007

Another recent roller coaster development by Intamin is the "ZacSpin", a type of 4th Dimension roller coaster that was first seen in 2007. The Green Lantern at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, is the first ZacSpin in the United States and opened July 1, 2011. It has individual cars, each with 8 seats, arranged in two pods coming off the sides of the car, each with 2 seats facing forward and two facing backward. This car is either lifted to the highest point by a conventional chain lift, or propelled around the course at a constant speed by a Linear Motor system.

The company is known for being the original home to the famous (within the coaster world) Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M). The two engineers worked for Giovanola who in turn were frequently contracted by Intamin for their early stand-up roller coasters (Giovanola eventually started producing roller coasters independently). B&M broke away from Giovanola to form their own company which now supplies roller coasters as well. Similarities between the two companies are often obvious, such as the style of track used by B&M, which was used in a number of early Giovanola installations which were contracted by Intamin.

Ferris wheels[edit]

Giant Wheel, a double wheel at Hersheypark

Intamin brokered a number of rides that were manufactured by Waagner-Biro. These included a series of rides for Marriott Corporation, each comprising a vertical column supporting multiple horizontal arms, with each arm supporting a Ferris wheel. The first was Giant Wheel which operated at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania from 1973 until 2004. Similar Intamin supplied Waagner-Biro wheels included Zodiac (Kings Island, Mason, Ohio) and Scorpion (Parque de la Ciudad, Buenos Aires, Argentina). All are now defunct.

Sky Whirl, the world's first triple Ferris wheel, which debuted at both Marriott's Great America parks (now Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois, and California's Great America, Santa Clara) in 1976, was also manufactured by Waagner-Biro and brokered by Intamin. Also known as a triple Ferris wheel,[2] Triple Giant Wheel,[3] or Triple Tree Wheel, it was 33 metres (108 ft) in height.[4] The Santa Clara ride, renamed Triple Wheel in post-Marriott years, closed on 1 September 1997. The Gurnee ride closed in 2000.[5]

The Orlando Eye, which opened in April 2015, was designed and built by Intamin.[6]


Outside the amusement realm, Intamin supplies monorail transportation systems which are used in both public transport networks and at tourist attractions across the world. Intamin was responsible for the design and building of the Moscow Monorail System. The Moscow Monorail (Russian: Московская Монорельсовая Транспортная Система (ММТС)) is a 4.7 kilometres (2.9 mi) long monorail system located in the North-Eastern Administrative Okrug of Moscow, Russia which runs from the Timiryazevskaya metro station to Sergeya Eisensteina street. The monorail line has 6 stations. Planning of the monorail in Moscow started in 1998. In 2016 was opened Ashgabat Monorail in Turkmenistan.[7]

Safety incidents[edit]

Intamin has been in the news for a number of safety-related incidents.

  • In February 1978, a young man was killed and his wife seriously injured when a sky-ride gondola on Eagle's Flight at Magic Mountain detached from the cable and fell 50 feet to the ground. State engineers traced the accident to a loose clamp that held the gondola on its cable.[8]
  • In 1984, three passengers riding The Edge at Six Flags Great America were injured and briefly hospitalized. The ride experienced a malfunction that caused it to fall backward down the wrong shaft.[8]
  • On June 9, 1991, 32-year-old Candy Taylor of Toledo, Ohio, fell to her death from Flight Commander, an Intamin Flight Trainer, located at Kings Island. Investigators determined that a design flaw in the seat divider could allow a rider to slide into an unoccupied seat and become free from the restraint. A coroner's report later revealed that the victim had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30 which may have also contributed. Speculation suggests the rider lost consciousness during the ride and slid out from the restraints.[9][10]
  • On May 16, 1999, a 365 lb (166 kg) guest was unable to close his lap bar on the Ride of Steel roller coaster at Six Flags Darien Lake. As a result, he was ejected, fell approximately 9 feet as the ride went over a camel hump hill, and suffered serious injuries. He sued the park and the ride manufacturer for negligence and was awarded US$3.95 million.[11]
  • In August 1999, a 12-year-old mentally disabled boy fell from the Drop Tower: Scream Zone at California's Great America and died. The victim's family claimed his harness was not locked properly. An investigation was inconclusive and no charges were filed.[12][13]
  • In September 2001, a 40-year-old woman fell from the Perilous Plunge attraction at Knott's Berry Farm into the water, was hit by the boat, and died. An investigation showed that the 300 lb (140 kg) woman had loosened the safety restraints so she could fit more comfortably into the ride.[14]
  • On April 16, 2004, a 16-year-old girl from Pontypool was killed after falling approximately 30 m (100 ft) from the top of the Hydro (now called Drenched) ride at Oakwood Leisure Park, Narberth, Pembrokeshire.[15] During a trial brought by the victim's family against Oakwood, a jury returned a narrative verdict stating that the victim died due to being improperly restrained.[16]
  • The second incident of 2004 was on one of Intamin's mega coasters, Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England in Massachusetts. The ride, again with lap bar restraints, was dispatched with a cerebral palsy sufferer in the front seat, who died after being ejected from his seat. According to an investigation,[17] the ride operators were primarily to blame for not ensuring the rider was properly secured. Intamin was also partially blamed because the ride's safety system allowed the train to be dispatched without all the restraints properly secured.
  • The third incident of 2004 happened on July 14 and involved one of Intamin's launched stratacoasters. Four people were injured while riding on Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster. The riders were struck by metal debris that sheared off the coaster's launch cable during launch. They were treated at the park's first aid station. Two were further treated at Firelands Regional Medical Center.[18]
  • In June 2007, a 13-year-old girl lost both feet at the ankles on Superman: Tower of Power at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom when a ride malfunction caused a cable to snap. She was brought to the hospital in critical condition [19] but survived and doctors were able to re-attach her right foot. The park was later fined $1,000 for not properly maintaining the ride. A settlement was later reached with Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom that will provide for her throughout her life.[20]
  • On September 16, 2009, two guests were injured when a cable snapped on the Xcelerator roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm. The 12-year-old victim had lacerations on his leg, while the adult victim complained of back injuries.[21]
  • On April 29, 2010, a ride train on Expedition GeForce partially derailed from the track, fully occupied with passengers. Riders were stranded 20m in the air, with eight of them complaining of nausea and bruising.[22]
  • On July 8, 2011, a 29-year-old guest was killed when he was ejected from the Ride of Steel roller coaster. The rider, an Iraq War veteran whose legs had been amputated, was on the front row of the roller coaster when he was thrown from the train during the course of the ride. Park officials stated that the ride was in proper mechanical order and that the various safety restraints were also working normally at the time of the incident, but that the attraction would remain closed pending an investigation.[23][24]
  • On February 24, 2012, a 14-year-old girl died in an accident at Hopi Hari, Vinhedo, São Paulo State, Brazil. She fell from the La Tour Eiffel drop tower ride, suffered cranial trauma, and died on the way to hospital. Initial investigations suggested the possibility of mechanical failure in a restraint latch.[25]
  • On July 24, 2012, the launch cable of the accelerator coaster Rita at Alton Towers, Staffordshire, UK, snapped during a morning test run. There were no passengers aboard at the time and no injuries occurred.[26]
  • On July 19, 2013, a boat on the Shoot the Rapids log flume at Cedar Point, rolled back down the ride's lift hill and flipped over, injuring seven, and was said to leave them stranded under water for a few minutes before park employees could get them out. Six were cleared by park medical staff, and one was examined at a local hospital before being released. The ride closed during the investigation. Cedar Point reopened the ride in May 2014.[27]
  • On July 7, 2014, a teenager was killed after his harness sprung open on Inferno, a ZacSpin coaster at Terra Mítica in Benidorm, Spain.[28]

Notable Intamin rides[edit]

Year Accomplishment Ride Location Notes
1979 Intamin's first roller coaster Wilderness Run Cedar Point
  • Steel children's coaster
  • Formerly Jr. Gemini
1981 First wooden coaster built by Intamin American Eagle Six Flags Great America
  • Was the fastest, highest and longest coaster in the world; still is the fastest, highest and longest racing roller coaster
1985 First (and only) Spacediver coaster Z-Force Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Over Georgia
  • Opened in '85 at Great America, was relocated to Over Georgia in '88, then to Magic Mountain and opened there as Flashback in '92; demolished and scrapped in mid-December 2007 after sitting idle since 2003
  • First coaster to feature four-abreast seating
1997 First coaster to go above 300 ft (90 m)
First coaster to go 100 mph (160 km/h)
Tower of Terror II Dreamworld
  • Not a complete circuit; the train does not reach the top of the vertical spike
1997 First coaster with a structure to reach beyond 400 ft (120 m) Superman: Escape from Krypton Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Not a complete circuit; the train does not reach the top of the vertical spike; formerly Superman: the Escape
1998 First LIM launched inverted coaster Volcano, The Blast Coaster Kings Dominion
  • Fastest inverted coaster at 70 mph (110 km/h) when first opened
2000 First Giga Coaster (over 300 ft)
First coaster to drop 300 ft (90 m)
Millennium Force Cedar Point
  • First complete circuit coaster to stand over 300 ft (310 ft)
  • Drop is exactly 300 ft (90 m)
2000 First LIM Twisted impulse coaster Possessed Dorney Park
  • Previously operated at Geauga Lake as Superman: Ultimate Escape and Steel Venom
2001 First coaster to utilize a LIM launch hill California Screamin' Disney California Adventure Park
  • Has a magnetic launch followed by a magnetic non-cable/chain lift hill (this along with "scream tunnels" was done to reduce noise)
  • Currently the longest coaster with inversions
2001 First wooden coaster with prefabricated track Colossos Heide Park
  • Currently the tallest continuously-running wooden coaster in the world
2002 First coaster to do 10 inversions Colossus Thorpe Park
  • Has 10 inversions - in order: 1 Loop, 1 Cobra Roll (counts as 2), 2 Corkscrews, and 5 barrel rolls
2002 First hydraulic catapult launch coaster Xcelerator Knott's Berry Farm
  • Accelerates from 0 to 82 miles per hour, covering 157 feet of launch track, in just 2.3 seconds
2003 First Strata coaster (over 400 ft) Top Thrill Dragster Cedar Point
  • Tallest and fastest coaster in the world when opened at 420 ft (128 m) and 120 mph (190 km/h)
2004 First accelerator coaster to feature inversions Storm Runner Hersheypark
  • Reaches a height of 150 ft and catapults riders from 0 to 72 mph in 2 seconds
  • Features a top hat and three inversions
2005 World's tallest coaster (2005–present); was world's fastest coaster (2005–2010) Kingda Ka Six Flags Great Adventure
  • 456 feet high; launch speed 128 mph (206 km/h)
2007 First 4th Dimension design Zacspin Coaster by Intamin
First Intamin coaster to include curved hydraulic chain lift hill
Kirnu Linnanmäki
  • First compact 4-D coaster in the world
  • Features redesigned restraints (lapbar with safety belt shoulder harness system) and non-friction magnetic brakes
2007 Intamin's first Wing Rider[29] coaster Furius Baco PortAventura
  • Fastest coaster in Europe
  • Accelerates from 0 to 135 km/h (84 mph) in 3.5 seconds
2008 At 97 degrees, steepest drop of all Intamin coasters Fahrenheit Hersheypark
  • Ascends chain lift hill at a 90 degree angle
  • Features a 121-foot Norwegian loop and six inversions
2008 Record holder at the time for the steepest wooden coaster in the world
Currently the highest, fastest, longest coaster in South Korea
T Express Everland
  • Maximum 77 degrees
  • Height 183.75 ft (56.01m)
  • Top speed 64.6 mph (104 km/h)
  • Length 5383.10 ft (1641m)
  • 12 airtime hills
2008 Denmarks fastest and tallest coaster, chosen as world's 5th best coaster Piraten Djurs Sommerland
  • Mega-Lite Coaster[30]
  • Maximum 70 degrees
  • Height 104.99 ft (32m)
  • Top speed 56 mph (90 km/h)
  • Length 2477.04 ft (755m)
2010 World's first freefall drop coaster Thirteen Alton Towers
  • Horizontal track falls vertically down in the crypt
  • After being dropped you are flung into a backward helix
2010 Current record holder for the world's fastest coaster Formula Rossa Ferrari World
  • Top speed 150 mph (241 km/h)
2011 First ZacSpin built in the USA Green Lantern: First Flight Six Flags Magic Mountain
2013 Fastest Double Launch-Coaster in Europe. Longest coaster in Denmark Juvelen Djurs Sommerland
  • Top speed 52 mph (85 km/h)
  • Height 12m
  • Length 1000m
2014 First Special Effects Coaster/Dark Ride Hybrid Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Universal Studios Florida
2014 First Drop Tower to tilt riders 90 degrees toward the ground Falcon's Fury Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
  • Currently North America's tallest freestanding drop tower
  • Tilts rider face down and drops them at speeds of 60 miles per hour (27 metres per second)
2016 Fastest Multi-Launch-Coaster Worldwide Taron Phantasialand
  • Multi-Launch-Coaster
  • Holds four world records: Fastest multi-Launch-Coaster, fastest LSM launch, longest multi-Launch-Coaster, greatest number of intersecting track points at 58.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top 10 Steel Roller Coasters of 2015". Golden Ticket Awards. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Need Six Flags Great America Tickets?
  3. ^ "Theme Park Timelines". 
  4. ^ Zoning Board Minutes - 10-25-00 Archived March 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "SKY WHIRL at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA parks". 
  6. ^ 360: Construction continues on the Orlando Eye
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b "EVOLUTION OF CALIFORNIA'S AMUSEMENT RIDES SAFETY LAWS". California Research Bureau, California State Library. 1997-08-01. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  9. ^ "DESPITE RECENT DEATHS, PARKS SAY RIDES ARE SAFE". Deseret News. 1991-08-06. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Ride-Related Fatalities" (PDF). Emerson Associates. 2006-10-03. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Theme-park patron ejected from roller coaster". 2004-03-12. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  12. ^ "Thrill ride lawsuits". Courier-Journal. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Drop Zone death: no charges, no explanation". 5 November 1999. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Ergonomics and a Deadly Ride on the "Perilous Plunge"". 2001-11-06. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 
  15. ^ "Girl dies in 100ft rollercoaster fall". BBC Wales News. 2004-04-16. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  16. ^ "Family unhappy after ride inquest". BBC Wales News. 2006-05-19. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  17. ^ "Coaster riders question safety steps". 
  18. ^ "Riders Injured on Top Thrill Dragster". WTOL-TV. July 13, 2004. Retrieved July 31, 2006. 
  19. ^ "Teen's feet severed while on thrill ride - US news - Life - NBC News". 
  20. ^ Gordon Gibb (14 March 2011). "Aftermath of a Horrific Amusement Park Accident". Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  21. ^ Scott Weber (2009-09-18). "Caught on Tape: Coaster Attacks Two at Knott's Berry Farm". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2009-09-18. [dead link]
  23. ^ "Iraq War vet dies on Darien Lake Rollercoaster". 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  24. ^ "Double amputee Iraq war veteran dies after he was flung off roller coaster at 50 mph". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 2011-07-09. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  25. ^ "Adolescente morre após acidente em parque de diversões no interior de SP". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  26. ^ "Rita Launch Cable Snaps -> Amusement Park and Roller Coaster News, Information, Photographs, & more!". 
  27. ^ Kara Sutyak (July 19, 2013). "Person Released From Hospital After Cedar Point Ride Malfunction". Local TV, LLC. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  28. ^ Gerard Couzens (8 July 2014). "Teenager killed after being thrown from roller-coaster called Hell at Benidorm theme park". mirror. 
  29. ^ "Wing Rider Coaster". 
  30. ^ Datasheet for Mega-Lite coaster Download

External links[edit]