Thunder Striker

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Thunder Striker
Location Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Coordinates 35°06′11″N 80°56′22″W / 35.103111°N 80.939566°W / 35.103111; -80.939566
Status Operating since March 27, 2010
Cost $23,000,000 USD
Rider height 54 inch minimum
Replaced Wild Thornberry's River Adventure
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Product Hyper Coaster
Type Steel - Hyper
Track layout Out and Back
Riders per train 32
Hourly capacity 1,600
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 232 feet
Drop 211 feet
Top speed 75 mph
Length 5316 feet
Inversions 0
Drop angle 74°
Duration 3:33

Thunder Striker is a steel hyper roller coaster located at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. The ride was originally known as Intimidator. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, it was the park's thirteenth roller coaster when it opened on March 27, 2010. It was the tallest roller coaster at the park until the opening of Fury 325 in 2015.

The attraction was built on the former site of the Wild Thornberry's River Adventure log flume, which was closed in 2008.


At the end of the 2008 season, Carowinds took down Wild Thornberry's River Adventure. At that point, it was decided that the ride had reached the end of its service life and it was time for something new.[1]

Carowinds announced the addition of Intimidator on August 26, 2009. At a cost of $23 million, it was the most costly project in the park's history.[2] Earlier that month, track pieces had arrived at the park.[3]

On October 13, 2009, the lift hill was topped off.[4] The final piece of track was installed in December 2009.[1] Testing began on February 4, 2010.[5]

Intimidator opened on March 27, 2010.[6]

Seat belts were added to supplement the lap-bar restraints in 2014.[7][8]

The coaster was given a new paint job in 2020.[9]

On February 28, 2024, it was announced that Intimidator would be renamed Thunder Striker.[10][11] This coincided with the announcement of a retheme of Intimidator 305.



Ride experience

As the train is dispatched, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" is played on the speakers. Riders begin to climb up the 232 foot tall chain lift hill before dropping 211 feet. The train then heads through a 178 foot tall banked hill. This is followed by a 151 foot tall hill and a 121 foot tall horseshoe. Riders go pass a hill, which is 105 feet tall. A 90 foot tall hill leads into the block brake. After this, the train goes through a 62 foot tall hill and a helix. The last two hills lead into the final brake run. Riders turn left and return to the station.


When known as Intimidator, the ride ws named after NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt and the trains were designed to look like his 1998 No.3 car.[2] Another roller coaster with the same theme, Intimidator 305, opened in the same year at Kings Dominion.


3 trains with 8 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 4 across in a single row, for a total of 32 riders per train. The trains employ staggered seating and riders are held in by lap-bars and seat belts.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Stilwell, Andrew (July 30, 2020). "Celebrating 10 Years of Intimidator at Carowinds". Coaster101. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Intimidator Racing At Carowinds In Roller Coaster Form For 2010". Ultimate Rollercoaster.
  3. "B&M track arrives at Carowinds".
  4. "Carowinds Tops Off Intimidator". NewsPlusNotes.
  5. "Intimidator completes first lap".
  6. "Carowinds' new roller coaster The Intimidator opens today". Herald Online. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |archive= ignored (help)
  7. "Cedar Fair Parks- Seat Belts Added to Rides". Insanity lurks inside. 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  8. "Seat belts on Intimidator". Carowinds Connection.
  9. "2021 Park Improvements". Carowinds.
  10. "Carowinds renames iconic 'Intimidator' coaster".
  11. "⚡ Rev up your engines and get ready to race into an exciting new chapter for one of ' iconic attractions. Introducing Thunder Striker, The Carolinas' fastest, meanest hot rod!". Facebook. Carowinds. 2024-02-28. Retrieved 2024-02-28.

External links

Articles on Carowinds