Kings Dominion to open 305-foot coaster in 2010

August 20, 2009, 10:23 AM · Intimidator 305 is a new giga coaster opening in April 2010 at Kings Dominion.

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.

At top speed the $25 million coaster will go about 92 mph, following an 85-degree, 300-foot initial drop. It will contain three high speeds turns and six air time humps. There is a small lake in the middle of the coaster. The trains will be black, with the red Chevy logo upfront, have about 16 rows of two across, and overhead restraints.

The concept art shows the coaster stretching from the anaconda station to beyond the Rebel Yell turnaround. The brake run will take place on a downward slope with what is probably magnetic brakes.

Replies (16)

August 20, 2009 at 10:33 AM

So it looks like this will start making use of the property they own that used to hold the Safari Monorail.

August 20, 2009 at 11:15 AM

If the folks at Kings Dominion are smart they'll team up with Richmond International Raceway to promote this. Could bring a lot of race fans into the park on the 2 Nascar race weekends there.

August 20, 2009 at 1:59 PM

They are mentioning this on the local news tonight. There is a site just for the ride which is Intimidator305. They even have a webcam set up to view the progress.

August 20, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Ugh, do we really need the number in the title? Isn't Intimidator a good enough name? Why do they feel the need to further distinguish the name with the height (especially when it's not a particularly amazing number. It's not like Cedar Point has Millennium Force 310).

Unless, of course, they have to use the number to differentiate this ride from a coaster with the same name but a different height...will "Intimitador 250" be announced next week?

August 20, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Looks like a awesome and original coaster they're bringing to the park. My only complaint is the themeing, but, I don't ride a coaster for the theme, although a good theme could make it better. I also think the 305 tacked onto the name is a little odd, but a coaster is a coaster.

August 20, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Don't worry about the "305" on the name- nobody will use it. I don't know of anyone who calls Magnum XL 200 by it full name. All you hear at Cedar Point is "Did you ride Magnum yet?"

August 20, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Am I the only one looking at this design and thinking that the G-Forces on the first couple of turns are going to be right on the edge of painful?

August 20, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Looks fun, cannot wait to ride.

I am also glad Cedar Point still has the tallest Giga. Would not want a second tier park to take that mantle from the Coaster Capital of the World! Noting against KD, but come on, there is some symmetry in having Orlando and Ohio at the top of the Theme and Iron Ride Park Universes, respectively.

August 20, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Looks like fun. So let's get this straight....Busch Gardens is tearing down Big Bad Wolf, and it's ownership is up in the air, and Kings Dominion is building this.

There's no doubt that Busch Gardens is and will still be a world class theme park (hopefully), but despite it's somewhat cornish name, this is the kind of ride that changes things up. If it's as good as Millennium Force, Kings Dominion will have the attention of the marketplace next year. Of course, time will tell what Busch opens up in the next couple of years, and what will happen with Nickelodeon and the childrens area in Kings Dominion.

August 21, 2009 at 5:58 AM

I will definitely be planning a trip to KD next spring. I went last year with Dominator opening, and thought it was okay.

I think it's easy to look at KD and say what a great park it is with all the coasters, but many of them are pretty lousy. Dominator, FoF, Volcano, and Stunt Coaster or whatever they are calling it are pretty much it. The wooden ones haven't held up well at all.

This coaster seems like it will head to the top of the class so it definitely closes the roller coaster gap with BGE. BBW was a nice kiddie introduction coaster, but of the 5, I'm glad that's the one that's leaving.

August 21, 2009 at 7:13 AM

This is a game changer in the DC/Maryland/Virginia market. BGE is world class but very thin when it comes to actual quality rides (Curse of DC, Griffon, AG, AC, LNM, Pompeii Corkscrew, BBW...ah oh take one away = 7). KD was already superior in the rides department. Adding Dominator and now Intimidator moves KD to the top tier of amusement parks anywhere! Volcano is a world class coaster as well. Flight of Fear and Stunt Coaster are both unique and enjoyable launch rides and Avalanche, Rebel Yell, Anaconda and Ghoster Coaster have stood the test of time and are all classics! I count nine outstanding roller coasters (out of 14).

Now add in seven additional quality rides or attractions: the drop tower, the top spin and unique attractions like the Rugrats Toonpike, Space Surfer, Americana and the Eiffel Tower - that's 15 exciting or unique attractions.

This competition is turning into a rout!

August 21, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Looks pretty ... generic.

Big drops, lots of airtime, high-speed turns ... Is anyone else with me when I say that too many modern coasters are near-identical?

August 21, 2009 at 8:00 AM

The competition? Granted, KD is developing a pretty bad ass ride package, but I think that the end of the day, from the perspective of the owners and leadership team (Which, when talking about parks, is also my perspective), that the competition is about numbers and such.

August 21, 2009 at 1:31 PM

To be honest, I don't think I've visited KD since the Cedar Fair purchase. Nor have I worked ... in Williamsburg ... since that purchase. But I can tell you that never in my time ... in Williamsburg (which was 9 years) ... did I once hear anyone discussing KD as competition. Granted, my roles were such that I never spent a lot of time in Sales & Marketing meetings, but still.

I've worked in the industry in some form or the other since I was 17, and I have been in plenty of situations where it seems like all we ever did was discuss market position and competition. Granted, I would assume in that, in today's economy, that my experience wouldn't necessarily be the same.

That being said, BGW (because I'll never get used to calling it BGE) has never, thankfully, been caught up in the coaster wars, instead focusing on providing the complete package of an amusement park, combining a good ride package with great entertainment options, some of the best food and retail options in the industry, and probably the most beautifully themed/cleaned park without the name Disney in it. Granted, there is some professional bias in the statement, but considering I live on the other side of the country at this point, it is sincere praise.

August 21, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Being a great theme park with a complete experience doesn't necessarily guarantee market share in the seasonal states...especially when your competition is aggressively expanding and improving itself. 2008 brought a top shelf B&M floorless to the park. 2010 will bring the giga coaster. All one has to do is look at the company flagship Cedar Point to see how well the thrill ride formula can work (consistent 3 million plus attendance with about a 120 day Sandusky, Ohio). If the rides (and management) are good, the fanbase will grow, as will the list of passholders each year.

That takes nothing away from the quality of Busch Gardens. It's one of the best, but it's not bringing anything new to the table. People like to be thrilled by new coasters, and they will come to ride Intimidator because most (at least in that part of the country) will have never ridden a coaster with this kind of size and speed. The competion in this market is now very real, especially if the expansion of Kings Dominion continues at this rate under Cedar Fair.

August 21, 2009 at 10:20 PM

I've said it before, and I will say it again: if more coasters = more ticket sales, Kings Dominion would already be winning the Virginia Theme Park War, as they lead Busch Gardens Williamsburg by a 3 to 1 edge in coasters. Yet, BGW almost doubles KD in attendance every year.

I love KD, and have been visiting at least once every other year since I lived in Virginia in the early 80's. But even with all those coasters, the park pales when compared to the complete immersive experience offered by BGW.

KD will definitely experience some temporary attendance gains when the new coaster is added. But if the infrastructure for a high quality park experience to rival what is offered by Busch Gardens is not in place, repeat business will be unlikely.

KD needs more than a new Giga to make a real, long term dent in the Virginia Theme Park War. They need more whole-family attractions, better food, better customer service, and of course, a much cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing park.

In short, there is a lot more to running a successful theme park than building roller coasters.

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