Neha Patil (Editor)

Intimidator (roller coaster)

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Park section  Carowinds Plaza
Opening date  March 27, 2010
Type  Steel
Status  Operating
Cost  US$ 23,000,000
Manufacturer  Bolliger & Mabillard
Intimidator (roller coaster)

Intimidator is a steel roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard at Carowinds. The roller coaster is located in the Carowinds Plaza section of the park. Intimidator is the thirteenth roller coaster installed at Carowinds and is located near the entrance of the theme park. It is currently one of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coasters in the Southeast with a 232-foot (71 m) lift hill, a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and a track length of 5,316 feet (1,620 m). It was announced on August 26, 2009 and opened March 27, 2010. The roller coaster's name comes from the nickname of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.



Construction on Intimidator began during the summer of 2009 with land clearing and footings being constructed. Track pieces first began to arrive at Carowinds on August 7, 2009. About 3 weeks later, Intimidator was officially announced on August 26, 2009 by Carowinds. Along with the announcement, Carowinds reached a licensing agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to utilize the Dale Earnhardt brand as part of the ride. One of Earnhardt's sons, Kerry Earnhardt, was on-hand for the press conference announcing the attraction and endorsed the ride on behalf of the family. The first supports and track for Intimidator were installed on September 1, 2009. The lift hill was erected on October 1, 2009 and was completed on October 13, 2009. In order to install the last lift piece, 3 cranes were required. Construction on the roller coaster layout continued through November and December with the final track piece installed on December 21, 2009. Construction on the station, mechanics, and landscaping of Intimidator took place during the months of January and February. On February 4, 2010, testing of Intimidator commenced with the new roller coaster officially opening to the public on March 27, 2010.

Seat belts were added to the ride in the spring of 2014 as a supplement to the original lap-bar restraint system.

First Rider Auction

On January 14, 2010, Carowinds launched a "First Rider Auction" in which people from anywhere in the world would bid against each other in order to be one of the first public riders on Intimidator, with ninety–six seats being made available to bid on. The bidders that fell in the top 96 were given the opportunity to be the first public riders on Intimidator on March 27, 2010, before the ride opened to the general public. All money raised during the auction went to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. The highest bid for a single seat was US$500.

Ride experience

Intimidator features eight drops, seven camelback hills, a panoramic u-turn, and a diving spiral. One cycle lasts about 3 minutes and 33 seconds.

Before the train leaves the station, a short message is played, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" After departing from the station, the train heads straight to the chain lift hill. Once the train reaches the top of the 232-foot (71 m) lift, it drops back down to the ground at a 74 degree angle reaching speeds of up to 75 mph (121 km/h). Following the first drop, the train then goes over the first camelback hill which stands at 178 feet (54 m) tall. After the camelback hill, the train makes a sharp right hand turn back to the ground followed by a left hand turn. After the turn, the train goes over the second camelback hill which is 151 feet (46 m) tall. Following the hill, the train enters a 121-foot (37 m) panoramic u-turn. The train then goes over a third 105-foot (32 m) camelback hill, immediately followed by another camelback hill at 90 feet (27 m). Next, the train makes a left hand turn into the mid-course brake run which slows the train down. After the train exits the brake run, it goes over the fifth camelback hill which stands at 62 feet (19 m) and makes a sharp right hand turn into an element known as a Diving Spiral. The train goes through two more camelback hills standing at 52 feet (16 m) and 48 feet (15 m), respectively, before entering the final brake run which leads into the station.


Intimidator operates with three open-air stadium style steel and fiberglass trains. Each train has eight cars that have four seats each for a total of 32 riders per train. Additionally, the trains are themed after Dale Earnhardt’s 1998 RCR No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.


The steel track is 5,316 feet (1,620 m) in length and the height of the lift is approximately 232 feet (71 m). The angle of the first descent is approximately 74 degrees. Also, the roller coaster includes trim brakes and magnetic brakes for speed control.


  1. ^ No Steel Roller Coaster Poll was held in 2011.


Intimidator (roller coaster) Wikipedia