Intimidator 305 is a steel roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, United States. Manufactured by Intamin, Intimidator 305 opened to the public on April 2, 2010, as the park’s fourteenth roller coaster. The roller coaster is located in the Safari Village section of the park near Anaconda on the former site of the Safari Monorail ride. Standing at 305 feet (93 m) tall and reaching speeds of 90 miles per hour (140 km/h), it is the second Giga Coaster to be built in North America – the first was Millennium Force at Cedar Point. The $25 million investment was the largest of any ride in the park’s history. It is named and themed after NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, who was also known as the Intimidator.
Intimidator 305 has a first drop of 300 feet (91 m), with a maximum descent angle of 85 degrees. Intimidator 305 features yellow supports with red track. The lift hill structure for Intimidator 305 is unique in that the lift hill and crest only have two main points of support. The overall height of Intimidator 305 is higher than the observation platform of the park’s Eiffel Tower replica, making it one of the tallest rides at Kings Dominion.
Intimidator 305, the first Giga Coaster built since Steel Dragon 2000 in 2000, was announced on Thursday, August 20, 2009. Local news media, then Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel and Dale Earnhardt Incorporated CEO Jeff Steiner, and Dale Earnhardt’s daughter Taylor Earnhardt were in attendance to the announcement. The official announcement, led by Kings Dominion Head Manager Ed Kuhlmann, was accompanied by animation videos of the ride and a working model. The roller coaster is themed to NASCAR racing legend Dale Earnhardt
Intimidator 305 sits on the former land occupied by the Safari Monorail which closed in 1993. Kings Dominion broke ground on Intimidator 305 on June 1, 2009. The first pieces of track arrived a few days later. On August 19, the first pieces of steel were put into place. The 305-foot (93 m) lift hill was topped off in November 2009. Construction crews continued to construct the ride throughout the winter and the last piece of track was lifted into place on January 9, 2010. Intimidator 305’s first test run was on Sunday, March 14, 2010
Some riders experienced problems due to the G-forces inherent in the ride’s original design. Riders reported greying or blacking out after the first drop. Kings Dominion temporarily installed trim brakes on the first drop in order to reduce the speed while a long-term solution could be devised. The brakes were adjusted and positioned by late May 2010.
During the following off-season, Kings Dominion widened the first high-speed turn to lower the amount of G-force experienced on the ride. The park’s goal was to reduce the number of blackouts some riders were experiencing. The modification allowed them to remove the trim brakes on the ride’s first drop, making it possible for the roller coaster’s maximum speed to return to original specifications.