Kings Dominion’s newest rollercoaster, the Intimidator 305, is nearing completion. The track is complete, but the site itself as well as the mechanicals and electrical system are still a work in progress. I had an opportunity to visit the park to view the site as well as see the Planet Snoopy transformation of the old Nickelodeon Central. I must say, the rollercoaster is one impressive piece of work. The coaster and the site it sits on, is themed after one of the most popular NASCAR drivers ever: Dale Earnhardt. There will be a stock car themed queue line, gift/photo area, a tribute to Earnhardt and more. The trains themselves will resemble the famous black number three that Earnhardt drove for Richard Childress Racing. Right now, however, it is one messy place. The weather has slowed the pace of the construction, but they are making progress and say that the ride WILL be open on time.
The rollercoaster, the tallest of its kind on the East Coast and one of the tallest in the country, tops out at 305 feet on a piece of land that is 20 feet lower than the entrance to the park. The peak can be seen from almost anywhere in the park and from Interstate 95.
Planet Snoopy still looks pretty much like the old Nick Central, which looked allot like the Hanna Barbera Kidzville before. The names will change and any references to either the HB or Nick properties will disappear. In most cases, however, the main ride name will remain, only the licensed name will go away. For example, the wooden family coaster once known as The Scooby Doo Ghoster Coaster will be called, simply, the Ghoster Coaster. Clever, huh? One thing that kind of saddens me about the change was seeing the Rugrats Toonpike barren of its Nick properties. I have many fond memories of watching my son drive the little cars around the highly themed track. There will be one new ride added to the area.
Intimidator 305 is going to be one heck of a rollercoaster. It lives up to its name, just by its appearance alone. It will be a great addition to an already fine collection of rollercoasters. It also makes, in my humble opinion, Virginia one of the best places to visit if you want terrific rollercoaster thrills. Kings Dominion’s 14 coasters, three of which are just awesome (Intimidator, Dominator and Volcano) coupled with Busch Garden’s Griffon, Apollo’s Chariot and Alpengiest, make the state one the best places to go for thrills, and that’s from an unbiased person…who lives in Richmond.
Catch you at the park!