Members, Log In. Not a member? Sign Up

August 26, 2009

The Intimidator Racing At Carowinds In Roller Coaster Form For 2010

Charlotte, N.C.Carowinds today announced that they will build the Southeast's tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster for 2010. This $23-million, racing themed roller coaster will be named Intimidator in honor of NASCAR®'s most beloved driver, Dale Earnhardt, "The Intimidator."

Intimidator Roller Coaster Carowinds Theme Park
This $23 million roller coaster with a racing theme that will be the single largest capital improvement project in the Carowinds' 37-year history. Enlarge

Standing 23 stories tall, Carowinds guests will be put in the driver seat for a wild ride that begins with a 211-foot drop at 74-degrees. Like "The Intimidator", the ride will speed through the park at speeds in excess of 75 miles per hour.

The more than mile long ride will feature high-speed twists and turns, including seven steep drops – one for each of Earnhardt's NASCAR® championships. Intimidator will conclude with a diving high-speed spiral helix finale. In total, the 5,316-foot long coaster will last more than three minutes.

"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 a premier regional amusement park."

Intimidator Rollercoaster Eight Drops
Intimidator will feature a total of eight drops, including a 232-foot tall lift hill with a 211-foot drop at 74-degree. Enlarge

Designed by Bolliger & Mabillard of Switzerland, the $23 million attraction will be the single largest capital improvement project in Carowinds' 37-year history. It will also be the third roller coaster at the park from the renowned Swiss designers.

"We're excited to see this new roller coaster celebrate the speed, excitement and the 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™."

Carowinds plans to extend the racing theme to the roller coaster's trains that will be designed to look like Dale Earnhardt's 1998 RCR No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

The three, 32-passenger trains will feature a unique, open-air stadium style seating design with T-bar style restraints that extend from the floor between the rider's feet with the bar resting across the rider's lap.

Referred to as "side-less", the Intimidator trains will take away the sense of protection that traditional roller coaster trains offer. Further enhancing the experience, the stadium-style seating gives riders an unobstructed view of the thrills.

Construction has already begun on a 10-acre site across the midway from the entrance to Nighthawk.

Carowinds said Intimidator will race over the skyline of Carowinds from the north main entrance to the south entrance, paralleling the guest parking lot. The ride will be on display from both inside and outside the theme park and dwarf its neighboring roller coaster, Afterburn.

"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."

Carowinds plans to post regular updates on the construction of Intimidator on the ride's website

Intmidator is anticipated to open to the public in Spring of 2010.

See related: Intimidator, Carowinds,

Intimidator artwork courtesy of Carowinds. All rights reserved.

Talk About This Article

Share your thoughts about this story Add Your Comments now.

Number of Comments: 1

Comment by scottspanoz on October 22, 2009 at 6:46:06 pm

At the end where the coaster turns around there should be a wall the train slams into to relive the whole "intimidator" experience! they should also have open face helmets to wear and add a steering wheel in front of your face so you can take all your teeth out just like good ole #3!lol