By Daniel Westfall
Although I'd love to do a real ride review or news article about the ride, I'll leave that to those who rode it more, listened to the opening ceremony and conducted all the interviews. COASTER-net was well-represented at Media Day yesterday, and because of that, we got to get interviews with most everyone you would want to hear from...though I'm sure all you want to hear right now is about the ride.
I got to ride a few times myself...first time front-middle, second time first row (which I highly recommend) and the third time a few rows from the back.
If you like a coaster with a lot of g's, you've definitely got it in this coaster. If you are sitting in the front row (or in the front of the coaster in general) you may THINK you are graying out or blacking out when it is just the 94+ mph winds hitting you in the face (this ride definitely won't be open during any rain at all), but if you sit more towards the back where the g-forces are more intense, you might ACTUALLY black out at one or two points--most people that had an issue had it at the bottom of the second drop. There is no issue if you are "fighting it," the issue is if you just relax and don't clench your muscles at all.
Another issue that I specifically had is that I am "long-waisted" meaning that most of my height is in my legs and not in my torso, which put me in the position of getting me head tossed around in the restraint. If you don't get stapled (which most people did), you would have enough space to lean forward and get your head out. For some reason, I had no problem with this on the very front row, so if you find you have an issue with this, it'll be worth the wait to ride in the front just so you will have the room to stick your head out a bit and not get it thrown around (and the g's are less intense in the front too, though the wind in your face makes up for it).
Another thing we heard everyone say in the interviews and I agree that makes the front row worth the wait (well, I hope you will agree when the wait is longer) is that the bottom of the first drop can't be seen from the top of the drop because of the steep angle, so it looks for a second or two like there is no track below you.
I do have to say that I am glad that this is not 100% NASCAR themed, as you do get to turn to the right as well as to the left. Some of the turns, like the one right before the camera are rather rough (in my opinion), but overall the ride was pretty awesome and intimidating.
I'm not going to try and rank it in any other way other than what my favorite coaster in the park is, because I don't have enough ride time on it or at other parks to really say, but I believe that honestly my favorite ride at Kings Dominion will still remain Volcano: The Blast Coaster until some of the equipment and/or procedures are reviewed and upgraded. It will easily beat Volcano then, but for now, it is too violent a ride for me, as I prefer smooth coasters, and I personally don't want to have to worry about blacking out (though I'm sure some of you love the sound of that). The only place I think I would consistently ride Intimidator 305 right now would be the front row. That's my opinion, and again, it is only based off of me riding a few times.
Keep an eye out for some more ride reviews in our Galleries, on our Forums, some video of the many interviews we conducted yesterday, and any news from our news writers and bloggers as they go to Opening Day today, and get their first rides on I-305.