Millennium Force Vs. Intimidator 305 | Roller Coaster Showdowns

Roller Coaster Showdowns

Millennium Force vs. Intimidator 305 | Roller Coaster Showdowns
In this edition of Roller Coaster Showdowns one of the most notable roller coasters of the past decade takes on its new red-tracked relative that debuted this year. It’s time for the showdown of the Intamin Giga Coasters. Ever since Intimidator 305’s announcement last Summer I knew that a Roller Coaster Showdown was in the works and now it’s here. I rode Millennium Force back in 2006 and I just rode Intimidator 305 a few weeks ago.

I’ll be honest. I have no idea how this will turn out. They’re both top-notch, world-class roller coasters and I rated them both as 9’s (Excellent). Read my reviews here: Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion| Millennium Force at Cedar Point I’m just going element by element to pick a winner. Let’s see what happens:
Millennium Force's Sign
Theme
I’m really not sure what Millennium Force’s theme is. Intimidator 305 wins this one easily with the Chevy Monte Carlo-themed trains, Dale Earnhardt-themed plaza, and TVs showing NASCAR in the queue.
Edge: Intimidator 305

Trains
There was a loud collective groan when it was announced that Intimidator 305 was going to have over-the-shoulder harnesses which are typically reserved for looping coasters. Thankfully, the restraints are just comfy straps and they don’t limit your upper body at all. You can hold your hands up as much as you like. Although, the ride’s intense g-forces make it tough at times. Still, the restraints are more likely limit the airtime that’s present on the drop, second hill, and the smaller camel back humps.

However, I don’t feel like I would have gotten much more airtime with Intamin’s lapbar restraints. This one’s close in my book, but I’ll give the slight edge to Millennium Force on the conventional wisdom that with more contact points to your body Intimidator 305’s restraints must be restricting even if the effects are minimal.
Slight Edge: Millennium Force

Lift Hill & The View
Both of these roller coasters feature cable lifts that are uncharacteristically quieter than your traditional chain lift system. They’re also pretty darn fast as you climb those 30-stories rather quickly. You seem to almost tear your way up Intimidator’s lift hill and it seems steeper than Millennium Force’s. But, Millie is the winner here as the view it offers is among the best in all of coasterdom. Riders are treated to a breath-taking view of Lake Erie and rest of the Point.
Edge: Millennium Force

The 300′ Drop
After my 5 or so rides on Intimidator 305, I kept remarking how fun the drop was, but it didn’t seem quite as long asIntimidator 305 at Kings DominionMillennium Force’s. The drops are both 300-feet, but Intimidator’s is actually 5 degrees steeper. So, you’d imagine that it would be more intense. I hate to give credence to the crazed coaster enthusiasts out there that won’t shut up about the trims, but I do wonder if they’re the culprit here. I don’t remember feeling them, but I’m not especially good at noticing trim brakes unless they’re really noticeable.
Edge: Millennium Force

The Layout & Thrills – Twisties vs. Hillies
Millennium Force’s layout takes you somewhere and it feels more like a little journey. Also, I’m a sucker for tunnels and if I had my way there’d be a tunnel on 75% of all roller coasters. On the other hand, the hills on Millennium Force were mostly airless (for me) and Intimidator 305’s twisted transitions (or twisties as Robb Alvey dubbed them) are incredible! I give this one to Intimidator for it’s unique elements. But, it’s close.
Slight Edge: Intimidator 305

Get a front seat view of both of these thrilling Giga Coasters. Check out these great POV videos of Millennium Force at Cedar Point and Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion:


Note – These videos were filmed by professionals with permission from the park.
For safety reason, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

AirtimeMillennium Force at Cedar Point
This is a tough one as Intimidator 305 isn’t really designed for airtime in the traditional since. There are three hills that seem like they were made for airtime, but they delivered very little air for me. There were also reports of some riders getting some sudden moments of air during the twisties, but to me it was more akin to being thrown rather by the change in direction than true airtime. Meanwhile, Millennium Force’s layout is packed with hills, but it does not deliver on the promise. So, neither roller coaster wins on this element.
Edge: Neither (Even)

I’ve devised a scoring system as some of these elements are more important than others. Each element gives the winning roller coaster 1 point except for the Layout/Thrill & Train elements which are most important. For those elements the winning coaster gets 2 points. No points were awarded for Airtime as neither won that element. See the scoring table below:

Elements
Intimidator
Intimidator 305
Theme
0
0
Trains
2
0
Lift Hill & View
0
1
Drop
1
0
Layout & Thrills
0
2
Airtime
1
0
Total
4
3
So, Millennium Force is the winner! Although, again, I gave them both 9’s and Intimidator 305’s twisties are intense and a lot of fun. They just have to be experienced. But, Millennium Force appears to be the better overall roller coaster in my book.

What’s Your Take?
Use the same elements I did and pick winners for each. Which comes out on top for you? Which of the two giga coasters do you pick? Leave a comment below and vote in the poll. Images courtesy of CoasterImage. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

59 Comments

  1. again airtime omg if you ride towards the back of the train on the mellenium its outstanding how much airtime you get on that!

  2. Having been on both rides now, I think 305 is better than MF.

    Theme

    I do not care about the themes. For me, MF's theme is the view of Lake Erie, which is nicer than 305's view and certainly better than promoting the excessive fuel consumption of NASCAR (the only question about car racing is how high the price of gasoline will get before it goes away).

    Trains

    MF's trains are nicer, but the straps on 305 are very comfortable — all of the Intamin over the shoulder harnesses should have them (especially Maverick). It was also a little reassuring to have the 305 straps going over that fantastic drop.

    Lift Hill & View

    No question, MF has the better views.

    Drop

    I rode 305 with the trims (last fall) but still think 305's drop is better than MF, although both are world class.

    Layout & Thrills

    MF is a better "wandering" ride, but 305's layout was much more dramatic, especially the "twisty" turns. Someone described 305 as a cross between MF and Maverick, which seems exactly right (and in some ways I enjoyed Maverick more than MF).

    Airtime

    305 had much more airtime for me than MF, and overall 305 was more intense. MF is great but I liked 305 more. I hope to have the opportunity to try 305 version 2.0 with the new curve profile and no trim brakes on the drop.

  3. I'm going with I-305. Its thrilling the whole way through the course and never lets up. It has great airtime and positive g's throughout, and the twisties are a lot of fun. MF is good for the views and the first drop, but other than that, it's pretty much nothing and not really worth waiting 2 hours in line for.

  4. I just got back from Cedar Point, after going to Kings Dominion last week. Hate to say it, but 305 blows away MF, and I love MF. The views on MF are incredible, first drops similar, but the rest of the ride is hands down 305. It's much more intense, better airtime, and unique layout. 305 is relentless, whereas MF seems to meander through the ride at parts. Again, I love MF, but for me the nonstop relentlessness of 305 sets it apart from anything I've ever been on. 305 is definitely my new #1, but I've yet to try Bizzaro.

  5. I finally got to ride Intimidator 305 about three weeks ago, and heres a little mini review by category

    Theme: Good

    View from lift: Underrated actually

    Drop: Awesome, Ive got like 5 drops tied for first now

    Airtime: Very good, better than Millennium Force

    Unique Elements: Awesome, TWISTIES!!!!!!!!

    Overall it beats out Millie by a little

  6. Millennium Force is 308 feet and the Intimidator 305 is 305 feet (Considering the name 305), proving MF is taller it is also faster by one. MF is 94 mph and I305 is 93 mph.

  7. I go to Cedar Point every year, and MF has always been my favorite coaster. Well, I just got back from my first trip to King's Dominion, and I-305 is my new favorite. I never thought any coaster would replace MF in my heart, but I-305 has done it. I-305 is much more intense and exhilarating with better airtime hills and those incredible Maverick-like twists. The first hill on I-305 delivers the best airtime I've ever experienced. I LOVE this coaster!

  8. easy millennium force

  9. Its hard to compare these two evenly. Its all about the individual rider. Do you want the wiser, more smooth yet still has character father? Or the crazy, hyper, cant keep him under control son? I rode I305 yesterday, and needless to say, I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I felt like i was in the middle of a tornado. Millennium Force on the other hand, actually cared about not killing me. I loved both coasters, but in my opinion, Millennium Force takes it.

  10. FYI Millennium Force represents of the millennium because it was built in 2000. That drop takes forever which is why I love it. with I305 you don't get that felling it just blows you over the top

  11. BY Far Millennium Force is better due to height, speed, length, track, and airtime. It don't now why people think that Intimidator 305 is better also Millenium Force is a way better name and it's orignal compared to 305.

    • Have you ridden I305 lately?
      It's the unrelenting speed and intensity. It never slows down till the end. Now with the trims removed and re-profiled first turn you get really great air on the hills, and sometimes up to 96MPH. The speed seems even faster because of how you stay near the ground and make those incredible turns.
      They really are 2 different types of rides. If you can make the trip I promise you will not be disappointed.

      • It is actually 90 mph

        • Not since they changed the angle of the first turn, I think it's more like 95MPH.
          You never answered the question… Have you ridden I305 after the re-profiling of the first turn? Because if you did I think you would understand…
          I305 is like Maverick at Millie speeds!

  12. Having finally ridden both It's closer than I thought it would be. I think I305 wins fairly easily but I enjoyed Milli much more than I thought I would after obsessing over these posts, I absolutely loved her! I would not say Milli is airless at all. It's just weaker floater air, and not nearly as strong as I305 after the fix. I still like I305 better due to it's insane intensity. But I found Milli to be as CC stated a nice thrilling journey, the hammerheads are really great, and the tunnels are a huge plus. While I305 is like being in a tornado! I found Milli very re-ridable, I got 2 rides on her on Tuesday, 10 rides Wednesday {YAY FastLane!}, and 1 ride on Thursday, in a lot of different spots on all of the trains. I prefer the last row due to the intense feeling when the rear of the train gets wrenched down the hammerheads. It was wonderful and a new top coaster moment for me. I think the drop and air were better in the front row, and I love the full wind in your face feeling. But I prefer the more intense speed feeling in the back.
    It made it easier to stay in the back for me to get way more rides with I305 being in my home park with a way better 1st drop. The small 5 degree difference in steepness really does add a lot to the intensity and the airtime on the drop on I305. Also I did notice the slower over the top speed for the first drop due to the slightly slower lift cable. I never rode I305 with the trims. I was hoping Milli's slightly bigger drop would be better but it's not even close IMO. Although the hammerheads were fantastic they kill some of the speed right away. I know the speed builds back nicely as you drop in from each hammerhead but it feels as if it's lost a bit on each one. I305 NEVER slows down until the final brake run. When you drop 300' into the long 270 degree 6 g turn at ground level before the first Huge strong airtime camel [ I used to call this hump ejector air until I rode El Toro.] is the most intense thing you can feel on a coaster for now. Sometimes they do hit the trims softly or a bit harder on the the 2nd large camel hump before the finally when there are too many fatty's like me on the train.
    I do think that Millie is way more re-ridable than I305. This is a mixed blessing because of the constant super long lines. I can't imagine what a weekend day looks like over there and I will never find out. I was super happy to ride her over and over again, and it would seem that so is everyone else which adds to those terrible lines. I305 is too intense for most people to ride more than a couple or few times and usually not in a row. This means the lines are NEVER bad midweek. Also they hardly ever have to run 2 trains midweek. I have ridden her on at least 5 or 6 different midweek days over each of the past two seasons and Never waited more than about 15 Minutes to ride, And often get front row in about 20. [This is even with 1 train operating] I prefer the back seat for air and the whip through the "Twisties", and front seat for 1st drop and that nice 95MPH breeze in the face!
    Lastly you can ride I305 in the pitch dark at night. The ONLY time you can see ANYTHING is on the smaller humps and a turn or two when the train buzzes the station. Words can't do justice to what it's like doing the best parts of I305 in complete darkness, you are completely blind through the 1st drop, all 3 "Twisties", most of the other turns and the two biggest airtime hills. It was a life changing coaster ride for me. Also this means you can ride her at night without eating or being covered with bugs like on Milli. So funny to see the front row riders come off Milli absolutely covered with dead bugs splattered all over them.
    If anyone thinks I'm Hating on CP don't because CP is obviously my new favorite Park by lightyears, and Maverick is easily my new #1… 11 rides on her Wednesday… FUN FUN FUN BEYOND WORDS! I am stunned that a 100 footer could displace I305 and El Toro as my Favorite.

    • I think Millie needs a jump up on my list. They have ruined the intensity for the last bit of I305. They had been hitting the last set of trims much harder towards the end of this season.
      I am now missing Millie more than I305. I think that may have to mean I like it better?? Maybe I have played out I305, or maybe it's Millie's re-ridability.
      I tried late this season to focus on how many rides I could do on I305 in one day. I made the mistake of relaxing on the first drop/turn on my 5th ride because I wanted to test for the blackout thing. Yup, I had a brown out and it ruined me for the rest of the day… [went home] I just had to see for myself if everyone was exaggerating.
      I felt like Millie was a bit boring the first time I rode her. [compared to I305] Now in retrospect the "journey" aspect of the ride I now think may be better than the intensity of I305. I think it's just easier fun I guess. You definitely pay a bigger price when riding I305…
      I will have to ride Mille a bunch more next year to be sure…

  13. This is a very tough call. I adore both coasters but would have to give MF a slight edge. I actually found the first drop on I305 to be more intense than that on MF, possibly due to the steeper angle of descent. However, MF wins in my opinion due to the scenery and diversity, as well as the ride duration. A breathtaking view of Lake Erie is more impressive than the view from the middle of a field and while I thought that the twists in the track on I305 were fabulous, the overbanked turns and tunnels on MF add variety which I305 lacks. Although this has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of either ride, I must say that I like the music in the loading area of MF whereas if I hear "Gentleman, start your engines" one more time I'm going to scream.

  14. great comparison. I like the MF better, fantastic drop. Altough I have to admit, I haven't ride the Intimidator yet… it looks like one hell of a ride. "Intimidator" really suits its name — it's Terrorific!

  15. I have not ridden I-305, so I will not put in my personal opinion. However, I can see how MF could win. Coaster Critic, could you make a roller coaster showdown between Bizarro and MF? Or do they not fall within the same category b/c it would be hyper vs. giga? I would love that showdown anyway.

  16. MF hands down

  17. What is with everyone saying there’s no airtime on Millenium Force? I’ve ridden that coaster many times, and every time it blows me away. I get a lot less when I sit in the front versus back, true, but it is incredible. Here’s accelerometer data on that coaster:
    http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/5538/millenniumforceaccelero.png

    As you can see there are six instances where the accelerometer shows near or below zero G’s. Maybe people just go onto the ride with unrealistic expectations, I where my seatbelt loser than most, or what, but MF has the best air time of any coaster I have ever been on, with the possible exception of Appollo’s Chariot. It just blows anything else out of the water.

    Plus, obviously, airtime isn’t everything. It’s only a small component. The reason I also rate MF as the best coaster ever built is the layout, which isn’t quite just plain out-and-back, but it feels like some great voyage. People say that there’s too much time between elements, crap are we ADD children on coasters now? The time between the elements makes them that much better to me and makes MF more than just a coaster, but also a journey.

    The other thing that rates a coaster highly in my opinion is sustained speed, in this regard both MF and I305 are great. I think they’re both great rides, but MF is better.

  18. Easy to say millennium forse won it has won the golden ticket award for the best steel coaster 5 times in a row

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