Looming off the highway on the border of Illinois and Wisconsin is Six Flags Great America. The roller coasters await for a day of thrills and chills. New for the 2014 season is the fear inducing Goliath.
Goliath is the world record shattering wooden-coaster that opened in the summer of 2014. It is considered to be the most extreme wooden coasted on the planet. “Goliath takes you up a 165-foot lift hill super structure then plunges you down a record-setting 180-foot, near vertical 85-degree drop. Experience record-breaking speeds of up to 72 mph and blast into jaw-dropping tricks including three over-banked turns and two upside-down maneuvers — a 180-degree Zero-G roll into an inverted drop and an inverted Zero-G stall.”
Goliath has achieved three world records: world’s fastest wooden coaster at 72 mph; world’s tallest drop for a wooden coaster at 180 feet; and world’s steepest drop for a wooden coaster at a near-vertical 85 degrees. This roller coaster is for the adventurous, thrill seeker who is ready for an extreme ride.
Recently, our family spent a day at Six Flags Great American and the kids took the Goliath challenge. Looming over the back of the park, Goliath’s drop can intimidate the unsure rider. The initial drop seems to plummet straight to the ground below. Following the drop, a series of twists, turns and inversions awaits to give the riders the adrenaline rush that they seek.
For riders who do not purchase a Fast Pass, the wait time for Goliath can be as extreme as the thrill. At various times during the afternoon, wait times varied from a high of 180 minutes to a low of 105 minutes. Plus, riders must receive a ticket to wait in line and line jumping can get a guest evicted from the park. Even with the wait, the thrill ride is worth the time spent.
As a parent of school aged children, the height restriction (48 inches) is a huge advantage to this ride. Many of the high thrill rides at the park have height requirement of 54 inches, which eliminates some school age riders. The Goliath allows the elementary aged kids a high thrill ride like the older kids.
The feedback from two boys (ages 8 and 9) was that Goliath is awesome. The two hour plus wait time was definitely worth it and Goliath was their favorite ride of the day. Unlike other wooden coasters, the ride was smooth and not jerky. While they kept their eyes closed through the majority of the ride, they said that they would definitely ride it again.
Six Flags Great America is located off of I-94 in Gurnee, Illinois. Ticket prices are $69.99 at the park or can be purchased online at a discount. Parking is $25. Fast Pass, a way to cut line waiting times, can be purchased at an additional fee. Hurricane Harbor, the water park on the property, is an additional fee.
Six Flags Great America is opened daily through Labor Day. It is opened weekends in the fall for Fright Fest.