International Amusement Installations or Intamin manufactures and sells rides, thrill rides and transportation systems. All told, they have the tallest and fastest rides in the world, the rides with the most inversions, and some of the longest and most intense rides. They also build the world’s #1 wooden coaster and #1 steel coaster. Intamin has built Back to the Future and Simpsons rides at Universal Studios in Florida and Hollywood.
Intamin builds from 5 to 7 roller coasters at their factories in Switzerland and Glen Bernie, Maryland each year. As a major player in the amusement attractions industry they supply more than 20 different styles of rides. And there is no doubt the “thrill industry” is alive and growing but it has always come with a bit of danger. Humans like to live on the edge and when a ride no longer provides a feeling of exhilaration, it must be upgraded, improved or terminated.
Intamin began building amusement rides in 1979 when it built “Junior Gemini” at Cedar Point. Since that time they have installed a total of 70 coasters around the world. They built the “River Rapids Ride” known as “Thunder River” for the now defunct AstroWorld. They were also involved in marketing the first Freefall Experience and the first Drop Tower.
Intamin is well-known for its creative, innovative and high tech rides. Engineers at Intamin were among the first to use hydraulic launch systems a.k.a. “accelerator” or “rocket coaster” rides. This technology is now being used to accelerate roller coaster rides from stand still to 50 mph in a few seconds before climbing steep inclines. “Furius Baco” at Port Aventura in Europe is the second fastest coaster which accelerates from 0 to 84 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Intamin is also well known for its “Mega Coaster” or “Hyper Coaster” which are 200 feet long, it’s “Giga Coaster” which is 300 feet long and its “Strata Coaster” at over 400 feet long. There are currently just two Strata Coasters: “Top Thrill Dragster” at Cedar Point and “Kingda Ka” at Six Flags. Intamin combines many novel elements in its rides including hydraulic launch, super-steep overbank curves, crazy side-changers, insane twists, Norwegian loops, 12 inversion coasters and more.
Competition Very Good But Intamin Has a Reputation for “Pushing the Envelope”
In the end what matters to amusement parks is safety and the bottom line. In analyzing the comparative cost benefit ratio of Intamin rides some in the industry are finding that companies like B&M are making them more money over a longer period of time.
In general when companies are looking for a customized ride that attracts the attention of visitors, however, Intamin is very good at creating rides that are very high, fast, steep, intense and an intense G-Force experience.