Kings Dominion acts to slow down Intimidator 305 after "blackout" reportsBy Nick Sim, Monday, May 24, 2010 07:01
Kings Dominion has acted on reports of "near-blackouts" on its $25 million Intimidator 305 rollercoaster, with the park adding trim brakes to the ride's first drop to reduce its speed.
The Intamin Giga Coaster has received rave reviews from coaster fans since opening on April 3, with favorable comparisons being drawn to Cedar Point's Millenium force, the only other Giga Coaster in the US. However, a number of riders complained that the corner following the ride's first drop was too intense, causing the blackout sensation. The addition of trim brakes to the 300-feet, 92mph first drop is designed to overcome this - although early reports suggest it may not have been entirely successful.
The artificial slowing of Intimidator 305 has caused some controversy among coaster fans, and calls into question Kings Dominion's original claim that the ride is "the fastest gravity-driven rollercoaster in North America". Some have complained that the reduced speed results in a loss of "air-time" during the sequence of bunny hops later in the coaster's course, but the park will be keen to prevent negative word-of-mouth from impacting on its latest addition. It is likely that further adjustments will be made, with the park having reportedly removed some trim brakes from a smaller, 75-feet hill mid-way through the circuit.
The high speed and intense twists and turns of Intimidator 305 are designed to mimic the experience of NASCAR driving, with the coaster's name being a tribute to 7-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt. It was the second NASCAR-themed coaster to open at a Cedar Fair park in 2010, with Carowinds opening its B&M-designed sister coaster, Intimidator, in March.