New record-setting wooden coaster, Goliath, opens at Six Flags Great America
On a soggy Wednesday, Six Flags Great America opened its newest roller coaster, Goliath
, to the press, with a public opening on Thursday. Due to the rough winter in the Chicagoland area, the construction was tougher and the coaster was finally completed last week. Goliath is a wooden roller coaster by Rocky Mountain Construction. However, unlike the Viper, Little Dipper, and the American Eagle, Great America’s other wooden roller coasters, Goliath is “giant” when it comes to size and records. This sits in Iron Wolf’s old footprint and uses the same station.
Because of this, it is taller rather than longer. The first drop is a world record for a wooden roller coaster in height (180ft) and angle (85 degrees). It is also the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, with top speeds of 72 mph. This roller coaster also goes upside-down, including a barrel roll which is usually unheard of in this type of coaster.
Park president Hank Salemi mentioned in his remarks the hard work it took to get this attraction completed, including on the media day when the attraction had a wheel issue. Watch until the end of the video for the on-ride POV.
After the opening, the sky seemed to have opened up and it started pouring. We stuck it out like the “warriors” and were able to ride it about an hour and a half later. When we finally got on, one thing we first noticed was how much safety was required for this coaster. There are two safety checks with seatbelts and then lap bars that hold on to your thighs too. They actually came back and pushed down my restraints down even more even though I was wedged in there pretty well. I think I understand why since you travel literally inverted for about a quarter of the ride. My mother felt like she was going to fall out since it is a scary feeling when going upside down without wearing shoulder restraints. This is not a ride for the faint of heart! It was one of the most intense roller coasters I have ever ridden. It was very fast, very steep, but very fun!
Six Flags Great America has done a really good job with being a park with a wide variety of roller coasters. This is a perfect addition to its collection and I recommend coming early since loading times are going to drive up lines. I welcome everybody to challenge the Goliath the next time they are in the Chicagoland area.
I want to thank Anthony for covering this for us, and to apologize for holding his post until the weekend. I didn't want it to get lost in all our Harry Potter coverage from Universal last week, and I thought it his post might get the additional attention it deserved by holding it until today. Anyway, thanks again, Anthony, and great job. Looks like a fun ride!
Thank you, Anthony. This coaster looks tremendous and quite unique.
Wow. The amount of time spent upside down on this roller coaster is insane, especially considering there are not the traditional shoulder harnesses that steel coasters employ.
This'll be my first RMC coaster, so I am sure excited to see what all the fuss is about. Gratz on getting your mom to ride Anthony. Mine would never, ever get on this thing.
I need to go to Chicago now.... Wow!!
Anthony, terrific article as always. Whenever I see an article from you I know it's going to be well-written, informative and interesting.
Thanks for all the comments!
How long are the seatbelts? I'm 6'6" and 280 pounds, so sometimes I have a hard time fitting into coasters. I have a trip to Great America planned for Wednesday, so I'm hoping they're long enough for me!
Gabriel wrote "The amount of time spent upside down on this roller coaster is insane, especially considering there are not the traditional shoulder harnesses that steel coasters employ".... and pretty much took the words out of my mouth.
I am being honest here, but I am sorry to say that you might have a problem fitting on the ride. It has more to do with your height since your legs are likely too long. They have a test seat in the front. Try it out!
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