Number of locations
|Products||Amusement rides, roller coasters, transportation|
|Divisions||Intamin Amusement Rides
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 The 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
Intamin's product range is in two broad categories, Rides and Thrill Rides, and Transportation.
Intamin was amongst the first to create a magnetic propulsion system (Linear induction motors/Linear Synchronous Motors) 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 upwards 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 second fastest 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; often considered over 200 ft/61 m) and "Giga Coaster" (over 300 ft/91 m) coasters. They have also created the "Strata Coaster" (Any coaster over 400 ft / 122 m tall). 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. Mega/Giga Coasters currently occupy the top 2 spots of the Golden Ticket Awards with Millennium Force (Giga) and Bizarro (Mega). 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.
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 forwards and two facing backwards. 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.
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 Astrowheel, which had two arms and wheels with 8 passenger cars each, and operated at the former Six Flags Astroworld, Houston, Texas, from 1968 until 1980. Similar Intamin/Waagner-Biro wheels included Giant Wheel (Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania), Zodiac (Kings Island, Mason, Ohio), and Galaxy (Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California). 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, Triple Giant Wheel, or Triple Tree Wheel, it was 33 metres (108 ft) in height. The Santa Clara ride, renamed Triple Wheel in post-Marriott years, closed on 1 September 1997. The Gurnee ride closed in 2000.
Another Intamin/Waagner-Biro collaboration was an eccentric (sliding) wheel at Disney California Adventure Park. Modelled on Wonder Wheel, it was built in 2001 as Sun Wheel, and became Mickey's Fun Wheel in 2009.
Other types of amusement rides
Intamin is responsible for a large number of other thrill rides, including various types of observation towers, and currently holds the record for the world's tallest and fastest freefall ride (Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom) at Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey.
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.
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.
- 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 backwards down the wrong shaft.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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 , 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.
- 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  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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- On July 7, 2014, a teenager was killed after his harness sprung open on Inferno, a ZacSpin coaster at Terra Mítica in Benidorm, Spain.
Notable Intamin roller coasters
|1979||Intamin's first roller coaster||Wilderness Run||Cedar Point||
|1981||First wooden coaster built by Intamin||American Eagle||Six Flags Great America||
|1985||First (and only) Spacediver coaster||Z-Force||Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Over Georgia||
|1997||First coaster to go above 300 ft (90 m)
First coaster to go 100 mph (160 km/h)
|Tower of Terror II||Dreamworld||
|1997||First coaster with a structure to reach beyond 400 ft (120 m)||Superman: Escape from Krypton||Six Flags Magic Mountain||
|1998||First LIM launched inverted coaster||Volcano, The Blast Coaster||Kings Dominion||
|2000||First Giga Coaster (over 300 ft)
First coaster to drop 300 ft (90 m)
|Millennium Force||Cedar Point||
|2000||First LIM Twisted impulse coaster||Possessed||Dorney Park||
|2001||First coaster to utilize a LIM launch hill||California Screamin'||Disney California Adventure Park||
|2001||First wooden coaster with prefabricated track||Colossos||Heide Park||
|2002||First coaster to do 10 inversions||Colossus||Thorpe Park||
|2002||First hydraulic catapult launch coaster||Xcelerator||Knott's Berry Farm||
|2003||First Strata coaster (over 400 ft)||Top Thrill Dragster||Cedar Point||
|2004||First accelerator coaster to feature inversions||Storm Runner||Hersheypark||
|2005||World's tallest coaster (2005–present); was world's fastest coaster (2005–2010)||Kingda Ka||Six Flags Great Adventure||
|2007||First 4th Dimension design Ball Coaster by Intamin
First Intamin coaster to include curved hydraulic chain lift hill
|2007||Intamin's first Wing Rider coaster||Furius Baco||PortAventura||
|2008||At 97 degrees, steepest drop of all Intamin coasters||Fahrenheit||Hersheypark||
|2008||Record holder at the time for the steepest wooden coaster in the world
Currently the highest, fastest, longest coaster in South Korea
|2008||Denmarks fastest and tallest coaster, chosen as world's 5th best coaster||Piraten||Djurs Sommerland||
|2010||World's first freefall drop coaster||Thirteen||Alton Towers||
|2010||Current record holder for the world's fastest coaster||Formula Rossa||Ferrari World||
|2011||First ZacSpin built in the USA||Green Lantern: First Flight||Six Flags Magic Mountain|
|2014||First Drop Tower to tilt riders 90 degrees towards the ground||Falcons Fury||Busch Gardens Tampa Bay||
- SixFlagsHouston.com - Rides - Astrowheel
- Need Six Flags Great America Tickets?
- Theme Park Timelines
- Zoning Board Minutes - 10-25-00[dead link]
- Sky Whirl at Marriott's Great America parks
- 360: Construction continues on the Orlando Eye
- "EVOLUTION OF CALIFORNIA'S AMUSEMENT RIDES SAFETY LAWS". California Research Bureau, California State Library. 1997-08-01. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
- "EVOLUTION OF CALIFORNIA'S AMUSEMENT RIDES SAFETY LAWS". California Research Bureau, California State Library. 1997-08-01. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
- "DESPITE RECENT DEATHS, PARKS SAY RIDES ARE SAFE". Deseret News. 1991-08-06. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
- "Ride-Related Fatalities" (PDF). Emerson Associates. 2006-10-03. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
- "Theme-park patron ejected from roller coaster". 2004-03-12. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
- "Thrill ride lawsuits". Courier-Journal. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Drop Zone death: no charges, no explanation". RideAccidents.com. 5 November 1999. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- "Ergonomics and a Deadly Ride on the "Perilous Plunge"". 2001-11-06. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
- "Girl dies in 100ft rollercoaster fall". BBC Wales News. 2004-04-16. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- "Family unhappy after ride inquest". BBC Wales News. 2006-05-19. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- Teen’s feet severed while on thrill ride - Life - MSNBC.com
- Gordon Gibb (14 March 2011). "Aftermath of a Horrific Amusement Park Accident". lawyersandsettlements.com. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- 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]
- Bild.de (29 April 2010). "FULL STEAM OUT OF THE TRACK POPPED: AGONY IN THE ROLLER COASTER".
- "Iraq War vet dies on Darien Lake Rollercoaster". 9WSYR.com. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
- "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.
- "Adolescente morre após acidente em parque de diversões no interior de SP". Retrieved 2012-02-24.
- Rita Launch Cable Snaps
- Teenage boy killed after restraints springs open
- Datasheet for Mega-Lite coaster Download
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Intamin AG.|
- Intamin (official site)
- Amusement Division
- Transportation Division
- Intamin Bahntechnik (official site of Intamin's factory in Germany)
- Accidents involving amusement roller coasters manufactured by Intamin
- Alton Towers Secret Weapon 6 believed to be built by Intamin