View the official press release from Carowinds:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 26, 2009) — The skyline of Carowinds will drastically change for what will be a historic and record-breaking 2010 season, as the amusement park announces plans to debut the Intimidator™, the Southeast’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster, in the Spring of 2010. Topping the list as the largest single capital investment in Carowinds 37-year history, the Intimidator™ is named in honor of NASCAR®’s most beloved driver, Dale Earnhardt, “The Intimidator.”
This massive attraction will stand 232-feet (23-stories) tall at its highest peak and send guests plunging down a 211-foot first drop at a 74-degree angle, reaching speeds in excess of 75 miles per hour. The second (178-feet) and third (151-feet) hills are also taller than any roller coaster at Carowinds. With 5,316 feet of track the Intimidator™ will feature high speed twists and turns including seven steep drops – one for each of his NASCAR® championships — and an intense finish through a diving spiral. The ride experience will last more than three minutes, and replicate the speed and intensity of a fast-paced NASCAR® race.
“The Intimidator™ will dominate the skyline and strongly position Carowinds as the thrill capital of the Southeast — the statistics speak for themselves,” said Bart Kinzel, Carowinds’ vice president and general manager. “This unprecedented addition represents the sizable commitment of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company toward building and expanding the product offering at Carowinds and solidifying us as the premier regional amusement park.”
The trains on the Intimidator™ will feature unique, open-air stadium-style seating with a simple T-bar style restraint that extends from the floor between the rider’s feet with the bar resting across the rider’s lap. These ‘side-less’ trains take away a feeling of protection for the riders and allows them to experience an unobstructed view of all the thrills and excitement of this record-breaking roller coaster. The trains will also be fashioned to mirror Dale Earnhardt’s 1998 RCR No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
“We’re excited to see this new roller coaster celebrate the speed, excitement and legendary career of Dale Earnhardt,” said Jeff Steiner, executive vice president and general manager of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. “There are millions of fans that still honor their racing hero and this is a very engaging and interactive way for them to connect with the spirit and passion of the Intimidator™.”
The 10-acre attraction will be located on the midway across from the entrance of Nighthawk and will race over the skyline of the Park from the north main entrance to the south entrance paralleling the guest parking lot. Featuring a bold red track and grey support structure, the Intimidator’s™ 232-foot lift will overshadow the Park’s skyline, dwarfing its neighboring roller coaster, Afterburn at 144-feet.
“The name Intimidator™ is significant of the most exciting, aggressive, and skilled driver to ever race on a NASCAR® track, Dale Earnhardt,” Kinzel said. “There is no better way to communicate the enormity of this ride than to give it a face that its riders can truly connect with. The Intimidator™ will include a heavily-themed midway, complete with a Victory Lane and a video tribute to Dale Earnhardt’s racing accomplishments.”
Guests will have the opportunity to see this historic ride being built from the ground up as they attend on operating days throughout the Fall. Those who cannot wait until 2010 may take a virtual ride on the Intimidator™, access exclusive updates, features, virtual renderings, ride statistics, and more at intimidator.carowinds.com.
Construction has already begun on this world-class roller coaster and will continue throughout the winter months. The Intimidator™ is expected to open to the public in the Spring of 2010.
The Intimidator™ is designed and manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland, a recognized industry leader in roller coaster development and the same firm that brought Afterburn to Carowinds in 1999 and Vortex in 1992.
Carowinds is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.” In addition to Carowinds, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, six water parks, one indoor water park resort, and five hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, CA under a management contract.