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.)
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.