The Goliath roller coaster's zero gravity inversion stall will give you nightmares

This ride owns the bragging rights to three world records.

Illinois' Six Flags Great America is home to loads of crazy cool rides, but one ride towers above all else. The wooden roller coaster behemoth, Goliath. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, based on the design by Alan Schilke, this ride is fear itself. So far it's set three world records for wooden roller coasters. Among its many accoloades it claims the world's longest drop at a horrifying 180 feet, the world's steepest drop at an 85 degree angle, and the fastest speed record at a dizzying 72 miles per hour. The ride also features two terrifying inversions. 

The ride was built in nine mnoths and opened to the public on June 19th, 2014 to wild success.


The ride is in the County Fair area of the theme park, and it was named Goliath due to its massive size. The ride measures 3,100 feet long, and towers at 165 feet tall, but manages to have a total drop of 180 feet from an angle of 85 degrees, hurtling riders into an underground tunnel. There are also two inversions you can look forward too and top speeds upwards of 72 miles an hour.


There are six layers of laminated wood along the entire length of the 3,100 foot track, which helps make the ride relatively smooth for a wooden roller coaster. During the pre-construction phase Rocky Mountain Construction spent about four years creating the technology that would allow them to twist the beams of wood which make up the lower track layers. Every hour 1,000 people ride Goliath, in two trains, comprised of 6 cars each, with seats for 24 riders per train. The whole ride is a horrifying 100 seconds.


When you first board the Goliath your train car makes a left from the station then starts its slow ascent up a 165 foot tall chain-lifted hill, during which you're at a 45 degree angle. Then you drop 180 feet towards a tunnel below ground level and by now you're being thrust 72 miles an hour. You have a few hills and a dive loop, which inverts riders and then tosses them down into a half look. Your second inversion includes a zero gravity stall where your train is literally halted in mid-air, upside down. 


Goliath is the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, and Six Flags Great America claims to be home to the world's largest wooden roller coaster track. Goliath is also the world's steepest and longest wooden roller coaster.


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This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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