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Carowinds Races to Build New Coaster

Preview of the Intimidator Coaster Debuting at Carowinds in North Carolina

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Carowinds Races to Build New Coaster

Intimidator, the massive coaster debuting at Carowinds in 2010.

Cedar Fair, 2009. Used with permission.
Updated August 26, 2010
Intimidator is now open. Read my Intimidator Coaster Review.

It won't go quite as fast as the speed demons driven by racing car legend, Dale Earnhardt, but the new coaster coming to Carowinds that bears his nickname, the Intimidator, will race at speeds up to 80 mph. The hypercoaster will also soar 232 feet in the air and offer loads of airtime.

Intimidator at Carowinds Stats

  • Type of coaster: Hypercoaster
  • Height: 232 feet
  • First drop angle: 74 degrees
  • First drop: 211 feet
  • Top speed: Up to 80 mph
  • Track length: 5316 feet
  • Ride time: 3:33

See Carowinds's Intimidator

The Intimidator Hypercoaster Will Have Riders Hyped Up--Way Up

Like all great hypercoasters, Intimidator will focus on height, speed, and airtime. When it opens in 2010, it will be the tallest, fastest, and, um, airtimiest coaster at Carowinds. It will not include any inversions. But it will include eight drops, many of which will be one right after another, that will deliver the sweet elixir that coaster junkies crave, airtime.

The first drop will descend 211 feet at 74 degrees and will reach speeds up to 80 mph. It will then navigate a helix and drop 178 feet for its second hill. Even Intimidator's third hill, at 151 feet, will be, well, intimidating--and airtime heaven.

And speaking of intimidating, the coaster's trains will strip away the front and sides of the cars to leave passengers exposed. Each car will include two rows of two bucket seats. The only safety restraint will be an unobtrusive lap bar. The seats in the back rows will be elevated and offset at the outer edges of the cars so that all riders will have unobstructed views of the hypercoaster mayhem.

Carowinds' new coaster appears to be quite similar, right down to the bright red track, to the wonderful Diamondback that debuted in 2009 at Kings Island. If it performs anything like Diamondback, expect a super-smooth ride with intense, delirious bouts of floating airtime.

Other than the name, and trains designed to resemble Earnhardt's black Monte Carlo, it doesn't appear that Intimidator will have much in the way of themeing. While it will assume the mantle of the tallest, fastest coaster in the Southeast U.S., the new ride won't break any world records. But it will take its place among the world's fastest and tallest coasters.

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