Carowinds – page 2

Moving further along, you reach the newest coaster in the park:

Intimidator sign and lift

Back in 2010, Cedar Fair opened two coasters themed to NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. Virginia’s Kings Dominion got a 305 foot Intamin gigacoaster, while Carowinds had to settle for a measly 232 foot B&M hypercoaster.

Intimidator wide

Now, you might read that last bit and think I’m saying that Kings Dominion came out of this deal with a better coaster. I’m not saying that at all (and considering I’ve ridden neither, who would believe me?).  All I’m saying is Carowinds got the better part of the deal, and that will be crystal clear next year.

Intimidator lift and second train

I’ll get into why I haven’t ridden this in a little bit. It’s not a story I’m necessarily excited to tell, but if we can’t be honest with each other, what are we doing here?

first drop

I’m not going to be a coaster nerd and talk us through the entire ride experience. Let’s just cover the basics here. The ride starts out with a 211 foot, 74 degree drop.

intimidator first drop profile

This first drop propels trains at speeds up to 80mph.

Turning on the second hill

Following that drop, riders are put through a series of camelback hills, and I would imagine they probably get some decent pops of air as they go through that.

Hill 2 maybe

So fine, I’ve teased it enough. Media Day for Intimidator was really cool. I was planning on riding the coaster (multiple times) but there was a problem.

hard turn

Actually, I guess it was two problems. My fat freaking upper thighs. I’m not a skinny fella – and I’m totally comfortable with that – but I didn’t think I’d have to do the walk of shame for Intimidator.

Third hill

But here we are, having this conversation. I do want to clarify that it was my legs that screwed me up, not my belly. I watched guys who were easily north of 300 pounds ride with no problems – they just slung their gut over the restraints and they were okay to ride. And yes, it was almost exactly as attractive as it sounds.

Closer shot of third hill

So yeah, I spent the entire Media Day watching other people ride Intimidator. The crazy thing is I still had a decent time, so props to Cedar Fair for that.

Horseshow 2

And isn’t that ultimately the thing? I could be a ragezombie and blame the park for my own shortcomings, but I recognize that it’s not the park’s fault. It’s mine.

Backside 2

The funny thing is I had no problem riding Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia the very next day. Intimidator uses a newer train design that necessitates different restraints.

backside 1

People who did ride gave the coaster pretty solid reviews, although it does sound like the first half is far better than the back end. I’m working on getting some firsthand experience, incidentally. Not quite there yet, though. Remember kids: fried rice is delicious, but it is NOT a good breakfast food.

Oh, and don’t do crack. It’s a ghetto drug.


New to this area is Ripcord – this upcharge attraction was initially set up back in the Action Zone area of the park, but it was relocated before the 2014 season. Ripcord is a 153-foot-high skycoaster. Price varies depending on how many riders you have.

Harmony Hall

Directly across from Ripcord you’ll find the new restaurant/show venue Harmony Hall. Inside there are several different food stations selling BBQ, pizza, and the like.

Harmony Hall interior

The seating area has an open design and can hold several hundred people. There’s also a stage in there, so I guess if you time it right you can catch a show as well.

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