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Intimidator (roller coaster)

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Intimidator
Intimidator sign and lift hill.jpg
Lift hill and entrance for Intimidator
Carowinds
Park sectionCelebration Plaza
Coordinates35°06′11″N 80°56′22″W / 35.10306°N 80.93944°W / 35.10306; -80.93944Coordinates: 35°06′11″N 80°56′22″W / 35.10306°N 80.93944°W / 35.10306; -80.93944
StatusOperating
Opening dateMarch 27, 2010
CostUS$ 23,000,000
General statistics
TypeSteel
ManufacturerBolliger & Mabillard
ModelHyper Coaster
Track layoutOut and back
Lift/launch systemLift hill
Height232 ft (71 m)
Drop211 ft (64 m)
Length5,316 ft (1,620 m)
Speed75 mph (121 km/h)
Inversions0
Duration3:33
Max vertical angle74°
Capacity1,600 riders per hour
G-force4.3
Height restriction54 in (137 cm)
Trains3 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Fast Lane Plus only available
Intimidator at RCDB
Pictures of Intimidator at RCDB

Intimidator is a steel roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard at Carowinds. The roller coaster is located in the Celebration Plaza section of the park. Intimidator is the thirteenth roller coaster installed at Carowinds and is located on the site of the former Carowinds River Adventure near the entrance of the theme park.[1] It is currently one of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coasters in the Southeast with a 232-foot (71 m) lift hill, a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and a track length of 5,316 feet (1,620 m).[2] It was announced on August 26, 2009 and opened March 27, 2010.[1][3][4] The roller coaster's name comes from the nickname of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.[1][3]

History[edit]

Construction on Intimidator began during the summer of 2009 with land clearing and footings being constructed.[5] Track pieces first began to arrive at Carowinds on August 7, 2009.[6] About 3 weeks later, Intimidator was officially announced on August 26, 2009 by Carowinds. Along with the announcement, Carowinds reached a licensing agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to utilize the Dale Earnhardt brand as part of the ride.[3] One of Earnhardt's sons, Kerry Earnhardt, was on-hand for the press conference announcing the attraction and endorsed the ride on behalf of the family.[1] The first supports and track for Intimidator were installed on September 1, 2009.[7] The lift hill was erected on October 1, 2009 and was completed on October 13, 2009. In order to install the last lift piece, 3 cranes were required.[8][9][10] Construction on the roller coaster layout continued through November and December with the final track piece installed on December 21, 2009.[11] Construction on the station, mechanics, and landscaping of Intimidator took place during the months of January and February.[12] On February 4, 2010, testing of Intimidator commenced with the new roller coaster officially opening to the public on March 27, 2010.[2][4][13]

Seat belts were added to the ride in the spring of 2014 as a supplement to the original lap-bar restraint system.

First Rider Auction[edit]

On January 14, 2010, Carowinds launched a "First Rider Auction" in which people from anywhere in the world would bid against each other in order to be one of the first public riders on Intimidator, with ninety–six seats being made available to bid on. The bidders that fell in the top 96 were given the opportunity to be the first public riders on Intimidator on March 27, 2010, before the ride opened to the general public. All money raised during the auction went to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation.[14][15] The highest bid for a single seat was US$500.[16]

Ride experience[edit]

Train passing by the queue

Intimidator features eight drops, seven camelback hills, a panoramic u-turn, and a diving spiral. One cycle lasts about 3 minutes and 33 seconds.[3][17][18]

Before the train leaves the station, a short message is played, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" After departing from the station, the train heads straight to the chain lift hill. Once the train reaches the top of the 232-foot (71 m) lift, it drops back down to the ground at a 74 degree angle reaching speeds of up to 75 mph (121 km/h). Following the first drop, the train then goes over the first camelback hill which stands at 178 feet (54 m) tall. After the camelback hill, the train makes a sharp right hand turn back to the ground followed by a left hand turn. After the turn, the train goes over the second camelback hill which is 151 feet (46 m) tall. Following the hill, the train enters a 121-foot (37 m) panoramic u-turn. The train then goes over a third 105-foot (32 m) camelback hill, immediately followed by another camelback hill at 90 feet (27 m). Next, the train makes a left hand turn into the mid-course brake run which slows the train down. After the train exits the brake run, it goes over the fifth camelback hill which stands at 62 feet (19 m) and makes a sharp right hand turn into an element known as a Diving Spiral. The train goes through two more camelback hills standing at 52 feet (16 m) and 48 feet (15 m), respectively, before entering the final brake run which leads into the station.[18][19]

Characteristics[edit]

Trains[edit]

Intimidator operates with three open-air stadium style[2] steel and fiberglass trains. Each train has eight cars that have four seats each for a total of 32 riders per train.[2][3] Additionally, the trains are themed after Dale Earnhardt’s 1998 RCR No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.[3][17]

Track[edit]

The steel track is 5,316 feet (1,620 m) in length and the height of the lift is approximately 232 feet (71 m).[2][3] The angle of the first descent is approximately 74 degrees.[2][20] Also, the roller coaster includes trim brakes and magnetic brakes for speed control.[21][22]

Awards[edit]

Entrance sign
Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Ranking 21 (tie)[23] 19[24] 7[25] 8[26] 10[27] 7[28] 8[29] 19[30] 22[31]
Golden Ticket Awards: Best New Ride for 2010
Year 2010
Ranking
4[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Foster, Jason (August 27, 2009). "Carowinds gets intimidating". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Marden, Duane. "Intimidator  (Carwoinds)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Carowinds announces new ride - "The Intimidator" - to honor legendary NASCAR driver". Gaston Gazette. August 26, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Carowinds' new roller coaster The Intimidator opens today". Herald Online. March 27, 2010. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  5. ^ "Land Clearing & Footers". Carowinds. August 11, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  6. ^ "Coaster Track Arrives". Carowinds. August 7, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  7. ^ "First Supports Installed". Carowinds. September 1, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  8. ^ "Lift Hill Erection". Carowinds. October 1, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  9. ^ "Lift Hill Capped". Carowinds. October 13, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "10-13-09 THE LIFT HILL CAPPING". Carowinds. October 13, 2009. Archived from the original on August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  11. ^ "Last Track Piece". Carowinds. December 21, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  12. ^ "1/20/10 DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS". Carowinds. January 20, 2010. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  13. ^ "2.04.10 FIRST Train test run". Carowinds. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  14. ^ "Carowinds auctions first ride on Intimidator coaster". wcnc.com. January 25, 2010. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  15. ^ "Carowinds launches charity auction for first Intimidator rides". Theme Park Tourist. January 14, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  16. ^ "Carowinds First Rider Auction". Carowinds. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Intimidator thrills coaster fans at Carowinds debut". The State. March 27, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Intimidator Layout". Carowinds. Archived from the original on June 7, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  19. ^ "Intimidator Front Seat on-ride HD POV Carowinds". wwwCOASTERFORCEcom (YouTube). January 28, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  20. ^ "Intimidator Hits the Track Tomorrow at Carowinds". Fox Charlotte. March 26, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  21. ^ "Intimidator Friction Brakes". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  22. ^ "Intimidator Track Pieces Onsite". Roller Coaster Database. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  23. ^ "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  24. ^ "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  25. ^ "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  26. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  27. ^ "2014 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 18 (6.2): 46–47. September 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  28. ^ "2015 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 19 (6.2): 49–50. September 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  29. ^ "2016 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 20 (6.2): 50. September 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  30. ^ "2017 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 21 (6.2): 46. September 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  31. ^ "2018 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 22 (6.2): 45. September 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  32. ^ "Amusement Today — Golden Ticket Winners 2010" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2012.

External links[edit]