Thrill-seekers who got a sneak peek Friday at Carowinds' new Dale Earnhardt-themed "Intimidator" ride weren't just on a literal roller coaster, but an emotional one as well.
Among the feelings inspired by the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in the Southeast:
Regret. "About halfway up, I thought we'd made a mistake," said Rock Hill resident Mike Daly, 62. The ride begins with a long, slow climb leading to a drop measuring 211 feet at a 74-degree angle.
Disgust. "I had to close my mouth because I wasn't feeling too good," said Colton Clyburn, 11, of Rock Hill. (He ended up reboarding at least two more times after that.)
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Fear. Said Kelsey Peigler, 17, an Olympic High School student: "I thought I was gonna fall out of my seat!"
The $23 million steel roller coaster - which boasts almost a mile of track and surges to speeds up to 80 mph - is being unveiled today, when Carowinds opens for the season.
Oh, and just remember: Once the safety restraint locks into place and the train begins to glide forward, you're not getting off the ride for another 3 minutes and 33 seconds. No matter how much or how loudly you scream.
Carowinds theme park is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. today and from 10 to 6 Sunday. Tickets are $22-$55. Details: 704-588-2600; www.carowinds.com.