Kings Dominion has removed a section of track from the Intimidator 305 rollercoaster, fueling speculation that the park intends to adjust its layout to reduce the number of "blackouts" experienced by riders.
As seen in pictures on KDFansite.com and in the video embedded below (courtesy of CoasterCrew), a portion of the hill that runs under Intimidator 305's lift hill has been dismantled. This may indicate that the park will attempt to re-profile the coaster's circuit, to try and reduce the extreme forces exerted on riders during its first turn.
A number of Kings Dominion guests complained of the blackout sensation following Intimidator 305's opening on April 3, leading to the installation of trim brakes on the coaster's 300-feet, 92mph first drop. However, many riders have since claimed that the extreme forces exerted on them during the ride's first turn are still enough to cause blackouts.
The addition of the brakes has proven controversial among coaster enthusiasts, who have called into question Kings Dominion's original claim that Intimidator 305 is "the fastest gravity-driven rollercoaster in North America". The ride had initially drawn rave reviews, with favorable comparisons being drawn to Cedar Point's Millenium Force, the only other Intamin Giga Coaster in the US.
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.
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