Intimidator 305 reviews
Theme Park Insider readers offer their ratings and reviews for Intimidator 305, a roller coaster at Kings Dominion. (The minimum height to ride is 54 inches.)
Written by James Rao
A $25 million Giga Coaster from Intamin, Intimidator 305 is named after the late Dale Earnhardt's stock car. The name of the coaster references Earnhardt's nickname, his car number (3) and the height of the coaster, 305 feet. I305 includes three high speed turns and five air time humps. The trains are black, with the red Chevy logo, Dale Earnhardt's signature, and the Intimidator 305 logo on the front.
When the ride first opened, it reached a top speed of almost 95 mph following an 85-degree, 300-foot initial drop. However, frequent "blackout" complains and other issues led engineers to install trims on the freefall resulting in reduced speeds. A significant redesign of the first 1/3 of the coaster to address these problems has resulted in removal of the trims. The revamped ride opened during the 2011 season.
I305 is currently rated as the 13th best steel coaster on the planet by Amusement Today (2011).
I had been looking forward to riding this Intamin giga coaster and refused to be intimidated by the size and speed. You can see Intimidator 305 in the background as you enter the Kings Dominion parking lot and it strikes a mighty pose. It also delivers one hell of a punch. The 300-foot first drop was, as I had anticipated, awesome. Although there are no sizeable drops after this one – there IS one good airtime hill – there are other elements which make this ride noteworthy. The most remarkable aspect of the ride – other than the first drop, of course – is the number of twists in the track. The sharp twists in an otherwise flat track were amazing, like nothing I had ever experienced. Guy in the seat behind me yelled “Holy s--t!” and that pretty much sums it up. It’s quite a ride. Comparisons between Intimidator 305 and Millennium Force are inevitable, as they’re the only 2 coasters with a 300-foot drop at the time that I am writing this, both were built by Intamin and both use cable lifts. Both coasters have outstanding features and I can’t say that one is better than the other although I am leaning slightly in favor of Millennium Force because of the scenery (breathtaking view of Lake Erie from the lift hill) and diversity (e.g., overbanked turns and tunnels). I did think that the first drop on Intimidator was a little more intense, possibly because of the slightly steeper angle of descent (85 degrees as opposed to 80 degrees). The ride duration, however, is shorter - just over a minute, but it's about as action-packed a minute as you're going to get on any coaster. There are two things I didn’t much like about I305: 1) the time from loading to dispatch struck me as inordinately long; and 2) the harnesses struck me as cumbersome and probably unnecessary on a coaster with no inversions. When I rode, there was a definite lag before we heard the recorded “Gentlemen, start your engines!” and off we went. As for the harnesses, although they’re soft – unlike those on many coasters – these contraptions were a pain in the neck to get in and out of with little room for sliding the head out at the end of the ride. Despite the drawbacks mentioned above, I liked Intimidator 305 enough to ride it 7 times and hope that I will have the opportunity to go back for more. It’s a gem. 5 out of 5 stars. - Bobbie Butterfield
Amazing. Very Smooth. Blacked out at the bottom but was fine after 2nd hill. A 10/10 on intensity rating. A little short but an overall great ride. I think it was a bit too intense. The transitions were too tight as if the ride forgot that it was going 90 mph. Caused some pretty bad headbanging. Still good. 8/10 - Edward Morgan
This coaster is very underrated. Great speed and airtime. Love the transitions. My #2 coaster behind Maverick. Has much better airtime than Millennium Force. Also didn't black out which is a plus. 10/10 - Will Gibson
Up until 2 days ago, Millenium Force was my favorite coaster. Intimidator 305 is my new #1. I love this ride! I really like the intensity of the quick turns, and it has much better airtime than MF. The shoulder harness did start to irritate me a little after a while, but maybe that's because I rode it 15 times in 3 hours! (The lines were very short 5-8 p.m. early June. We never waited longer than 10 minutes during that time, except for one 25-minute wait for the front car.) There doesn't seem to be a bad seat on the train, but the front is simply incredible. However, I didn't like the fact they were running only one train until early afternoon. Why not run both from the start of the day? - Roger S
amazing - bryan shepard
The day I was at Kings Dominion, and it came time to ride the Intimidator 305 I had a terrible stomach ache. For that reason I decided to be one of the few in the group I was with not to ride. 5 Of the 12 people in my group that were riding, blacked out on the ride. 3 of them counselors, 2 of them kids. I've heard at least 25+ people getting of the ride talking about blacking out. It was insane! Even though everyone seemed to think the ride was absolutely amazing, with the number of people who blacked out I don't think it's safe. If you are extreme with thrill rides, this is a good one, but there are risks. Blacking out, loosing oxygen in your brain, does not seem that bad. But it is in no way healthy and is a lot worse than some think. Even capable of causing brain damage. - Gina Kim
I thought it was great, I didn't black, grey, or otherwise go out. Maybe because I always stand up a bit to take the pressure off my back. Also managed not to bang my head on the restraints -- but I noticed they had a little bit more padding than the Maverick. 2011 update: Love the new restraints, and now that it's back up to speed, it's outstanding again. All in all, an excellent coaster, one we will ride quite a few times I imagine. - Charles Reichley
Opening day the ride was undoubtingly the best coaster on earth. But as time went along and the additions of trims the ride slowly crumbled. 6/10-end of 2010. In 2011 the removal of trims and redesign of the second hill greatly improved it. 8/10 - Christian Bull
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