Number of locations
|Patrick Spieldiener (CEO)|
Intamin Amusement Rides is a design and manufacturing company in Schaan, Liechtenstein. It is best known for creating thrill rides and roller coasters worldwide. The Intamin brand name is a syllabic abbreviation for "international amusement installations". The company has offices throughout the world, including three in Europe, three in Asia, and two in the United States.
Intamin supplies numerous styles of roller coasters, vertical rides, water rides, immersive rides,[clarification needed] swing rides, and observation attractions to amusement parks. The company has installed scores of roller coasters in several countries. Intamin designed and built the first river rapids ride, known as Thunder River, and marketed the first freefall ride (developed by Giovanola) and drop tower.
Products and technologies
Intamin's product range spans two broad categories: rides and transportation.
Intamin created the first hydraulic launch system (known as the Accelerator Coaster), which catapults roller coaster trains from standstill to speeds upwards of 240 kilometres per hour (150 mph) in a few seconds before climbing to immense heights. Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure, for instance, is North America's tallest and fastest coaster, launching riders from 0–128 mph (206 km/h) in 3.5 seconds.
Intamin is also known for its massive Mega and Giga Coasters, Intamin's terms for a hypercoaster. Intamin Giga and Mega Coasters currently occupy three of the top five Golden Ticket Awards with perennial favorites Millennium Force, Superman the Ride and Expedition GeForce.
Intamin uses computerized and industrialized engineering and manufacturing methods for its wooden coasters, rather than traditional on-site fabrication. Coasters such as Colossos at Heide Park, Balder at Liseberg and El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure utilized this manufacturing technique. Unlike other traditional wood coasters, these rides use prefabricated track sections made of a high-strength wooden laminate that can be secured on-site when the superstructure is completed. This design enables the coaster to reach speeds and navigate course elements smoothly, like a steel roller coaster, while retaining the look and some of the traditional feel of common wooden coasters.
Another development by Intamin is the ZacSpin, a type of 4th Dimension roller coaster first seen in 2007. Kirnu at Linnanmäki in Finland was the first ZacSpin in the world and opened on April 27, 2007. It has individual cars, each with 8 seats, arranged in two pods coming off the sides of the car, each with 2 seats facing forward and two facing backward. This car is either lifted to the highest point by a conventional chain lift, or propelled around the course at a constant speed by a Linear Motor system.
The company is known for being the original home to Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M). The two engineers worked for Giovanola who in turn were frequently contracted by Intamin for their early stand-up roller coasters (Giovanola eventually started producing roller coasters independently). B&M broke away from Giovanola to form their own company which now supplies roller coasters as well. Similarities between the two companies are often apparent, such as the style of track used by B&M, which was used in a number of early Giovanola installations which were contracted by Intamin.
Intamin brokered a number of rides that were manufactured by Waagner-Biro. These included a series of rides for Marriott Corporation, each comprising a vertical column supporting multiple horizontal arms, with each arm supporting a Ferris wheel. The first was Giant Wheel which operated at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania from 1973 until 2004. Similar Intamin supplied Waagner-Biro wheels included Zodiac (Kings Island, Mason, Ohio) and Scorpion (Parque de la Ciudad, Buenos Aires, Argentina). All are now defunct.
Sky Whirl, the world's first triple Ferris wheel, which debuted at both Marriott's Great America parks (now Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois, and California's Great America, Santa Clara) in 1976, was also manufactured by Waagner-Biro and brokered by Intamin. Also known as a triple Ferris wheel, Triple Giant Wheel, or Triple Tree Wheel, it was 33 metres (108 ft) in height. The Santa Clara ride, renamed Triple Wheel in post-Marriott years, closed on 1 September 1997. The Gurnee ride closed in 2000.
The Orlando Eye, which opened in April 2015, was designed and built by Intamin.
Outside the amusement realm, Intamin supplies monorail transportation systems which are used in both public transport networks and at tourist attractions across the world. Intamin was responsible for the design and building of the Moscow Monorail (Russian: Московская Монорельсовая Транспортная Система (ММТС)), which is 4.7 kilometres (2.9 mi) long and is located in the North-Eastern Administrative Okrug of Moscow, Russia, running from the Timiryazevskaya metro station to Sergeya Eisensteina street. Planning of the monorail started in 1998. It has six stations.
In 2016 two monorails using Intamin equipment were opened, the 5.2 kilometres (3.2 mi) Ashgabat Monorail in Turkmenistan and a 1.1 kilometres (0.68 mi) monorail in the Cross River State, Nigeria which connects the Calabar International Convention Centre to the Tinapa Resort.
Notable Intamin rides
|1981||First wooden coaster built by Intamin||American Eagle||Six Flags Great America||
|1985||First (and only) Spacediver coaster||Z-Force||Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Magic Mountain||
|1994||First and only stand up coaster to feature a Zero G Roll||Shockwave||Drayton Manor Theme Park|
|1997||First coaster to go above 300 ft (90 m)
First coaster to go 100 mph (160 km/h)
|Tower of Terror II||Dreamworld||
|1997||First coaster with a structure to reach beyond 400 ft (120 m)||Superman: Escape from Krypton||Six Flags Magic Mountain||
|1998||First LIM-launched inverted coaster
First Impulse shuttle coaster
|Linear Gale||Tokyo Dome City||
|1998||First complete-circuit, LIM-launched inverted coaster||Volcano, The Blast Coaster||Kings Dominion||
|2000||First Giga Coaster (over 300 ft)
First coaster to drop 300 ft (90 m)
|Millennium Force||Cedar Point||
|2000||First LIM-launched Twisted impulse coaster||Possessed||Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom||
|2000||First Stand Up Drop Tower||Apocalypse||Drayton Manor||
|2001||First coaster to utilize a LIM launch hill||California Screamin'||Disney California Adventure Park||
|2001||First wooden coaster with prefabricated track||Colossos||Heide Park|
|2002||First coaster to do 10 inversions||Colossus||Thorpe Park||
|2002||First hydraulic catapult launch coaster||Xcelerator||Knott's Berry Farm||
|2003||First Strata coaster (over 400 ft)||Top Thrill Dragster||Cedar Point||
|2004||First accelerator coaster to feature inversions||Storm Runner||Hersheypark||
|2005||World's tallest coaster (2005–present); was world's fastest coaster (2005–2010)||Kingda Ka||Six Flags Great Adventure||
|2007||First 4th Dimension design ZacSpin Coaster by Intamin
First Intamin coaster to include curved hydraulic chain lift hill
|2007||Intamin's first Wing Rider coaster||Furius Baco||PortAventura Park at PortAventura World||
|2008||At 97 degrees, steepest drop of all Intamin coasters||Fahrenheit||Hersheypark||
|2008||Record holder at the time for the steepest wooden coaster in the world
Currently the highest, fastest, longest coaster in South Korea
|2010||World's first freefall drop coaster||Thirteen||Alton Towers||
|2010||Current record holder for the world's fastest coaster||Formula Rossa||Ferrari World||
|2011||First ZacSpin built in the U.S.||Green Lantern: First Flight||Six Flags Magic Mountain||
|2014||First Special Effects Coaster/Dark Ride Hybrid||Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts||Universal Studios Florida|
|2014||First Drop Tower to tilt riders 90 degrees toward the ground||Falcon's Fury||Busch Gardens Tampa Bay||
|2016||Fastest multi-launch coaster (forward only)||Taron||Phantasialand||
|2016||Fastest multi-launch coaster (bi-directional)||Soaring with Dragon||Hefei Wanda Theme Park||
|2017||Fastest LSM-launch coaster||Red Force||Ferrari Land at PortAventura World||
|2021||First single-rail roller coaster for Intamin.||Big Dipper||Luna Park Sydney||
This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (February 2023)
Intamin has been in the news for a number of safety-related incidents.
- In 1984, three passengers riding The Edge at Six Flags Great America were injured and briefly hospitalized. The ride experienced a malfunction that caused it to fall backward down the wrong shaft.
- On June 9, 1991, 32-year-old Candy Taylor of Toledo, Ohio, fell to her death from Flight Commander, an Intamin Flight Trainer, located at Kings Island. Investigators determined that a design flaw in the seat divider could allow a rider to slide into an unoccupied seat and become free from the restraint. A coroner's report later revealed that the victim had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30 which may have also contributed. Speculation suggests the rider lost consciousness during the ride and slid out from the restraints.
- On May 16, 1999, a 365 lb (166 kg) guest was unable to close his lap bar on Ride of Steel at Six Flags Darien Lake. As a result, he was ejected, fell approximately 9 feet as the ride went over a camel hump hill, and suffered serious injuries. He sued the park and the ride manufacturer for negligence and was awarded US$3.95 million.
- In August 1999, a 12-year-old mentally disabled boy fell from the 207-foot (63 m) high Drop Tower: Scream Zone, at California's Great America, and died. The victim's family claimed his harness was not locked properly. An investigation was inconclusive and no charges were filed.
- In September 2001, a 40-year-old woman fell from Perilous Plunge (Knott's Berry Farm) into the water, was hit by the boat, and died. An investigation showed that the 300 lb (140 kg) woman had loosened the safety restraints, so she could fit more comfortably into the ride.
- On April 16, 2004, a 16-year-old girl from Pontypool was killed after falling approximately 30 m (100 ft) into shallow water from the top of Hydro (now called Drenched) at Oakwood Leisure Park, Narberth, Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom. During a lawsuit brought by the victim's family against Oakwood, a jury returned a narrative verdict stating that the victim had fallen out due to being improperly restrained.
- The second incident of 2004 was on one of Intamin's mega coasters, Superman: Ride of Steel, at Six Flags New England in Massachusetts. The ride, again with lap bar restraints, was dispatched with a rider who had cerebral palsy in the front seat; this passenger subsequently died after being ejected from his seat. According to an investigation, the ride operators were primarily to blame, for not ensuring the rider was properly secured. Intamin was also partially blamed, as the ride's safety system allowed the train to be dispatched without all of the restraints properly secured.
- The third incident of 2004 happened on July 14 and involved one of Intamin's launched stratacoasters. Four people were injured while riding on Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster. The riders were struck by metal debris that sheared off from the coaster's launch cable; during the initial launch, the train accelerates from 0 to 120 miles per hour (190 km/h) in 4 seconds, before climbing up the 420 feet (130 m) foot vertical structure and back down again. The majority of guests waiting in the queue line would be standing no more than 10 to 15 feet from the track, at closest range. They were treated at the park's first aid station. Two were further treated at Firelands Regional Medical Center.
- In June 2007, a 13-year-old girl lost both feet at the ankles on Superman: Tower of Power, at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, when a ride malfunction and improper maintenance caused a cable to snap. She was brought to the hospital in critical condition, but survived, with doctors being able to re-attach her right foot. The park was later fined $1,000 for not properly maintaining the ride; an undisclosed settlement was later reached with Six Flags, which will provide for her for the remainder of her life.
- On September 16, 2009, two guests were injured when a cable snapped on Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm. The train launches riders from 0 to 80 miles per hour in a matter of seconds, ascends a vertical top-hat, and descends down the other side. The 12-year-old victim had lacerations on his leg, while the adult victim complained of back injuries.
- On April 29, 2010, a ride train on Expedition GeForce partially derailed from the track, fully occupied with passengers. Riders were stranded 20m in the air, with eight of them complaining of nausea and bruising.
- On July 8, 2011, a 29-year-old guest was killed when he was ejected from Superman: Ride of Steel. The rider, an Iraq War veteran whose legs had been amputated, was on the front row of the roller coaster when he was thrown from the train during the course of the ride. Park officials stated that the ride was in proper mechanical order and that the various safety restraints were also working normally at the time of the incident, but that the attraction would remain closed pending an investigation. It was determined that ride operators at the time should not have permitted the man to get on the ride, due to his status as a double amputee.
- On February 24, 2012, a 14-year-old girl died in an accident at Hopi Hari, Vinhedo, São Paulo State, Brazil. She fell from the La Tour Eiffel drop tower ride, suffered cranial trauma, and died on the way to hospital. Initial investigations suggested the possibility of mechanical failure in a restraint latch.
- On July 24, 2012, the launch cable of the accelerator coaster Rita at Alton Towers, Staffordshire, UK, snapped during a morning test run. There were no passengers aboard at the time and no injuries occurred.
- On July 19, 2013, a boat on the Shoot the Rapids log flume (at Cedar Point) rolled back down the ride's lift hill and flipped over, injuring seven, and was said to leave them stranded under water for a few minutes before guests and park employees could get them out. Six were cleared by park medical staff, and one was examined at a local hospital before being released. The ride closed during the investigation. Cedar Point reopened the ride in May 2014 but it would close in 2015.
- On July 7, 2014, a teenager was killed after his harness sprung open on Inferno, a ZacSpin fourth-dimension roller coaster at Terra Mítica in Benidorm, Spain.
- On May 9, 2017, an 11-year-old girl, Evha Jannath, died from her injuries after she fell from the Splash Canyon ride and into the water at Drayton Manor Theme Park in England. The water ride has remained closed for the foreseeable future, following the HSE safety examination.
- On July 3, 2021, an 11-year-old boy died and five others were injured on the Raging River at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa when their raft flipped over. The raft was found to be under inflated, and the ride’s emergency drainage system failed.
- On August 15, 2021, a female guest was seriously injured while standing in line at Cedar Point when a metal object dislodged from Top Thrill Dragster and struck her in the head. The ride was shut down following the incident, and remained standing but not operating until Cedar Point announced its retirement in 2022, with plans of an updated ride experience.
- On April 7, 2023, two female guests were injured at Futuroscope, France when a lithium battery on a train car caught fire. The guests suffered burns and were hospitalised. Park employees exposed to lithium fumes were treated on premises. The ride has been closed since.
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- Official website