SharkTums wrote:Robb rode around 50 times today in different areas on the train and says he didn't even notice the headbanging. So I'm guessing that it's the kind of ride that throws you around a bit, but not actually into the restraint.
Now, this could obviously change based on your height and build and how you fit in the restraint, but for Robb it wasn't a problem.
Today, I was finally able to let the cat out of the bag.
I had been invited by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous a week ago go to Intimidator 305’s Media Day today. I’ve been psyched all week but I also was invited on the condition that I kept it on the down low until today too.
For those of you who saw me at the park with this particular person, please do not give up his/her identity. Thanks! =0)
After getting off work at midnight last night, I went home and couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned all night long and not quite sure if I ever really fell asleep.
Being that I live about 15 miles southeast of Baltimore City, I had to get up early to get through DC before the morning’s rush began.
I’ve been battling flu like symptoms all week and when I got out of bed this morning, I felt worse than I have all week. But this wasn’t going to stop me from riding I305.
I left the house around 6am, fueled, Red Bulled up and was on my way. I hit some traffic in the DC area but was very fortunate that traffic wasn’t much worse.
I arrived to Fredericksburg VA around 8am and I was meeting my friend there at 8:45am. Had a quick bite to eat at Sonic (we don’t have Sonics in Baltimore) and waited.
My friend picked me up and we were at the park by 9:30am.
We signed in, received Media Day “Pit Passes” with an I305 lanyard and a commerative pin. We were also giving a coupon for a complimentary first ride photo.
I’ve was stoked. I’ve been to Media Days at Six Flags America before but never King’s Dominion. King’s Dominion pulled out all the stops for this event.
We stood around and chatted with several friends who were also in attendance (it was so good to see you guys/gals again).
At 10am, our Pit Pass gained us entry into the park.
We walked along International Street and turned left at Berserker and headed down the path to the right of Dominator. We continued on over to the far side of Planet Snoopy before walking into Congo and on into the Flight of Fear plaza.
Much of Planet Snoopy received a fresh coat of paint. In the distance towards the Eiffel Tower there was a large inflatable Snoopy parade floating looking object.
When we arrived to Flight of Fear plaza, there were two tents. One tent was the set up for the lunch that the park provided. Lunch featured ribs, chicken, steamed shrimp, salad, beans, potato salad, and a dinner roll.
In the other tent was a mammoth cake created by Duff and his team from Ace of Cakes. Duff was present and his film crew was filming the goings on for an upcoming episode! The cake itself was a three tiered cake and featured a Coaster Dynamics model tunneling through the cake. Everything on the cake was edible except for the coaster model. There were two wooden roller coasters smaller in size, an Eiffel Tower, Volcano the Blast Coaster, an oval water ride, a circus tent looking building, a few houses, trees, people, and Intimidator 305 signs.
The park did not serve the cake with the lunch that they provided but as the event was wrapping up they cut the cake and passed out slices. Cake from Ace of Cakes was provided at lunch, just not from the Intimidator Cake. The Intimidator cake itself, at least the portion that I had, was chocolate cake with mint frosting. I later found out the Volcano “cake” was actually a Rice Krispie treat molded into a volcano.
The opening ceremony started promptly at 11am. Dick Kinzel as well as several other Cedar Fair dignitaries were on hand. Two of Dale Earnhardt’s children were on hand (Kerry and Taylor Nicole) and some Commonwealth of Virginia’s politicians.
The ceremony itself lasted about fifteen minutes and many of us slowly inched towards the I305 queue as the ceremony was going on.
All of the dignitaries went over to the queue for the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon and they took the first official train out on I305. Some coaster enthusiasts and media members who were not worried about seat location filled the middle to the back rows.
The photo contest winners were in the last two rows and since I was towards the front of the line, I decided that my first ride was going to be in the first row.
I was on the third train out of the station.
I climbed in and my riding partner wanted to be on the left in the event that we had to do an emergency evacuation since the steps were on the left. I wanted the right side to experience the lower end of the turn around.
The cable lift on I305 moves fast! Someone said the lift climbs the hill at 16 miles per hour but I don’t know the accuracy of that statistic. At any rate, I thought I’d be intimidated by the lift since there are only the two supports but honestly the lift moves so fast there really isn’t much time to worry about it. As the train approaches the top, the cable lift slows down just enough that it’s noticeable before regaining speed to throw the train over the lift.
Let me say this…I was really critical on the first drop of the ride when the coaster was announced last August. I didn’t like that the drop didn’t go straight to the ground and into the turn around but instead as we all know by now the drop gradually bottoms out as the track goes into the turnaround. The front seat, make no mistake, experiences ejector air on the drop! Speaking of being critical, at first I was critical also of the over the shoulder restraints and became less critical as this became the topic of the off-season. I’ll go on record by saying that I’m glad they put over the shoulder restraints on this ride because of how intense the airtime is on this monster. I couldn't imagine riding this coaster with only a lap restraint because of the INSANE ejector air time!
Down the first drop, which feels like ninety degrees to me even though it isn’t, and into the turnaround. Pure speed kicks in and the announced speed during the ceremony was 94 miles per hour. Through the turn around and into the second hill.
For those of you familiar with the third hill on SFA’s and Darien Lake’s Superman, you’ll know the feeling of being launched up out of your seat…well let me say this…I305’s is way more intense of ejector air. My body came up out of the seat and my shoulders were resting on the over the shoulder restraints. Phenomenal!
We turned to the left and started the first series of transitions. Ejector air runs amuck on the transitions as you are jolted up out of your seat and into the restraints again and again. The transitions for the first part of the ride weren’t as painful as I thought they would be. They’re violent and aggressive but not painful, at least up front. =0)
The train careens through the back part of the layout by the first drop. Wicked head chopper was you weave between the lift hill and into the back turnaround. Again, pops of air loaded in the transitions as the train changes vertical direction in those transitions.
Now for third hill which has the magnetic brakes permanently installed. Again I was critical of these brakes and let the two other instances above, I was wrong! The brakes on the third hill doesn’t decrease the ejector air you experience but it prolongs the ejector air you experience.
A couple more transitions and the second to the last transition (counting backwards, not the one right before the final brakes but the one before that, EDIT: If you look at Robb's reverse direction POV this is the 2:36-2:38 moment in the video) is freaking nasty. Nasty in a good way.
We hit the final brakes on my first ride and I had tears coming out of my eyes.
There is absolutely no doubt about it. Of the 125 steel coasters I’ve been on, Intimidator 305 is absolutely the best steel coaster I’ve been on. Montu was my first B&M in 1996 and blew my mind but Intimidator 305 took the steel coaster to the next level in my opinion.
I’d ride somewhere between 12-15 rides totaling two in the first row, one in the very last row (16) and the rest in rows 7-10.
A couple of things that surprised me about this ride. First while sitting in the very last row, the train doesn’t experience the normal whipping of the last row over the top of the lift hill. The train is released from the cable after the last row goes over the top of the lift. Also in the back, I felt that the ride was violent and painful in the transitions as it relates to the over the shoulder harness. I couldn’t ride in the back again. It was way too rough for me and I’m a masochist when it comes to coasters and pain. I305 is everything that I hoped it wouldn’t be in the back.
Rows 7-10 experienced almost as much ejector air as the front row but the front row’s air was far more plentiful and powerful than 7-10. Rows 7-10’s airtime on the first drop also throws you into your over the shoulder harness.
But the front row is where this coaster really delivers.
What Other Enthusiasts Said:
Many people shared the sentiments that I’ve typed here both in comparing the front to the back. While I did not personally experience it, some claimed to have “grayed” out in the turn around. Some enthusiasts worried that I305 would have to be dulled down and worried about the General Public’s perception of the ride. I think the coaster is perfect the way it is and hope the park continues to operate it as such.
The pre-boarding instructions tell you if you have any doubts about riding this coaster, you shouldn’t ride. I forget the exact verbiage they used but they make no bones about it that Intimidator 305 is an intense thrill ride.
The park also opened the Eiffel Tower so anyone in attendance could get shots from afar.
As I wrap up this Trip Report, I’d like to once again say THANK YOU to King’s Dominion for first class event and for everything they provided for us today.
Last edited by JEAPUgrad on Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:58 pm.
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