Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Wow. There's just no other word for it.
OK, coaster freaks, you are NOT going to want to miss this one. It's one of the few things in our world of over-hyped madness that lives up to its name. It's Kings Dominion's Intimidator 305, the only roller coaster of its kind on the East Coast, only the second "giga-coaster" in North America.
I've ridden my share of roller coasters, but when my friend Felicia, her daughter Bryton and Bry's friend Claire went to the park on Memorial Day, we experienced a ride like I've never taken before.
The Intimidator is named after Dale Earnhart and has a NASCAR theme. Entering the ride there is all sorts of information about Dale, NASCAR and the coaster. There are even multiple warnings that the ride can hurt or even kill you. All part of the show, right? Most of the rides in the park have some version of the warning, but they were really driving the point home with this one. I chuckled a bit at the marketing that must be behind it all. Then, I got on.
The positive and negative "G" forces at play on this ride are not for the faint of heart, and I mean that literally. When I got off the coaster, the pressure in my chest wasn't unlike a panic attack. Hills, twists, turns, upside-down craziness, it's all here. The ride was physically challenging. Even bigger is the mental challenge of getting on in the first place. What a rush. The 305' drop at the beginning took my breath away. Just when your body thinks it's time to level out, you keep falling. Then, you feel the momentum and force like running into a wall.
It's a 3-minute ride that reaches speeds of around 90mph. It was the 4th coaster of the day for us, and the only one that left my mind scrambled. I wasn't sure if I liked it. It took 45 minutes for my chest to feel normal again and a few hundred yards before I was sure of my legs again.
Yeah, I liked it. Up hill, breathe in, down hill, breathe out. It was exhilarating and at the same time more relaxing than yoga. I slept like a baby last night.