Wooden roller coaster

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Mean Streak, a large former wooden roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio Mean Streak (Cedar Point) 01.JPG
Mean Streak, a large former wooden roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
The Vuoristorata roller coaster at Linnanmaki amusement park in Helsinki, Finland is the oldest wooden roller coaster in the country; it opened in 1951 and is still in operation Vuoristorata lintsi.jpg
The Vuoristorata roller coaster at Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki, Finland is the oldest wooden roller coaster in the country; it opened in 1951 and is still in operation
Colossos, one of the world's largest wooden roller coasters at Heide Park, Germany Heide Park Colossos Start.jpg
Colossos, one of the world's largest wooden roller coasters at Heide Park, Germany
Thunderbird in the PowerPark amusement park Thunderbird.JPG
Thunderbird in the PowerPark amusement park
The lift hill on Hersheypark's Comet The Comet - waiting to begin.jpg
The lift hill on Hersheypark's Comet

A wooden roller coaster is most often classified as a roller coaster with running rails made of flattened steel strips mounted on laminated wooden track. Occasionally, the support structure may be made out of a steel lattice or truss, but the ride remains classified as a wooden roller coaster due to the track design. The type of wood typically used in the construction of wooden coasters is Southern Yellow Pine,[ citation needed ] usually grown in the US and the rest of North America.

Contents

Because of the limits of wood, wooden roller coasters, in general, do not have inversions (when the coaster goes upside down), steep drops, or extremely banked turns (overbanked turns). However, there are exceptions, such as the original loop on Son of Beast at Kings Island; a corkscrew and 110-degree overbanked turn on Hades 360 at Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; a steel structure on The Voyage at Holiday World; and banked turns on Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer Park and Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City.

Golden Age

The Dragon Coaster at Playland Park in Rye, New York with a lift hill and a tunnel Dragoncoastertunnel.JPG
The Dragon Coaster at Playland Park in Rye, New York with a lift hill and a tunnel

The 1920s was the Golden Age of coaster design. [2] This was the decade when many of the world's most iconic coasters were built. Some of these include the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and its counterpart at Belmont Park, the Cyclone at Coney Island, the Big Dipper at Geauga Lake, The Thriller at Euclid Beach Park, and the Roller Coaster at Lagoon. All of these rides were built during this time. The decade was also the design peak for some of the world's greatest coaster designers, including John A. Miller, Harry Traver, Herb Schmeck, and the partnership of Prior and Church. Many wooden roller coasters of this time were demolished during the Great Depression, but a few still stand as American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) classics and landmarks. [2]

Second Golden Age (1972-present)

Pre-CCI

This relatively quiet age of coaster design following the Great Depression was brought to an end by The Racer at Kings Island, which opened in 1972 and sparked a second "Golden Age" of wooden coaster design that continues today.[ citation needed ] After their success with the Racer at Kings Island, the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) constructed another 9 roller coasters over the next decade. About half were small family coasters, two were racing coasters[ definition needed ] similar to the Racer, and two were out and back coasters with custom designs. One of these, Screamin' Eagle at Six Flags St. Louis, was the last coaster designed by John Allen before his retirement. After these coasters, PTC stopped producing roller coasters, but continues to produce wooden roller coaster trains as Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters. Their distinctive rectangular cars are widely used on wooden coasters around the world.

A notable non-PTC coaster built during this time was The Beast at Kings Island. After John Allen refused to design the coaster in lieu of retirement, Kings Island built the coaster themselves, with the coaster designed by Al Collins and Jeff Gramke and construction overseen by Charlie Dinn. Rather than a typical out and back layout, the coaster sprawled over the woods at the back of the park, using the terrain to create an elevation change from lowest to highest point of 201 feet, even though the coaster was only 118 feet tall. [3] The coaster also had two lift hills which, while common for mine train coasters at the time, was uncommon for wooden coasters. Opening in 1979, the coaster was, and still is, the longest wooden roller coaster in the world at 7,359 feet. Another significant wooden coaster of this era was the racing American Eagle at (now) Six Flags Great America, built by Intamin in 1981, which still holds the records for racing wooden coasters of height (127 ft), length (4650 ft), speed (66 mph), and drop (147 ft).

After the surge in the 1970s, wooden coasters construction became stagnant due to the steel roller coaster being much more popular. Most original coasters during this time were designed by William Cobb, such as Monstre at La Ronde. Another trend during the 1980s was relocating old wooden coasters in danger of being destroyed. Charlie Dinn, who formed Dinn Corporation after leaving Kings Island in 1984, oversaw some of these relocations, including the relocation of The Rocket from Playland Park to Knoebels Amusement Resort in Pennsylvania. It now operates as the Phoenix and is ranked highly on wooden coaster polls.

In 1988, Charlie Dinn started a partnership with Curtis D. Summers to design and build new wooden coasters. Between 1988 and 1991, the pair designed and built 10 new wooden coasters. While most were of typical wooden coaster size, a few set coaster records. Hercules at Dorney Park, built in 1989, had the tallest wooden coaster drop at 150 feet. Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas and Mean Streak at Cedar Point were large wooden coasters with similar layouts, with the later opening as the tallest wooden coaster in the world at 161 feet. After a dispute during construction of Pegasus at Efteling, Dinn Corporation closed down and the partnership ended.

Custom Coasters International

Custom Coasters International was formed in 1991 by Denise Dinn-Larrick (daughter of Charlie Dinn), her brother Jeff Dinn, and her husband Randy Larrick. After the closure of Dinn Corporation, several other designers joined CCI. The company's first coaster, Kingdom Coaster at Dutch Wonderland, was a small family coaster that stood only 55 feet high. As time went on, they began to design larger coasters. One of their earlier coasters that was well received was The Raven at Holiday World. Custom Coasters took on increasingly high numbers of wooden coaster projects, including 7 coasters in 2000 alone (The Boss at Six Flags St. Louis, which was the largest with a 153-foot drop and almost a mile of track; Medusa Steel Coaster at Six Flags Mexico; Mega Zeph at the defunct Six Flags New Orleans; Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce; Villain at the defunct Geauga Lake; Hurricane: Category 5 at the defunct Myrtle Beach Pavilion; and The Legend at Holiday World).

CCI's coaster designs included both out and back layouts like Hoosier Hurricane at Indiana Beach as well as more twisted layouts like Megafobia at Oakwood Theme Park. Megafobia was also the company's first coaster outside the United States. CCI coasters were also unique at the time for sometimes featuring angle iron support structures rather than wooden beams (the track remains the same as other wooden coasters). Most CCI coasters ran Philadelphia Toboggan Company trains, although some, like The Boss at Six Flags St. Louis, run trains from the German manufacturer Gerstlauer.

In 2002, Custom Coasters declared bankruptcy while building the New Mexico Rattler at Cliff's Amusement Park. The company left a significant legacy on the coaster industry. The high number of wooden coasters they constructed, 34 over their decade of operation, helped to rekindle interest in the wooden roller coasters and allowed modern wooden coaster designers to thrive. Designers from CCI went on to form modern wooden coaster design firms, like Great Coasters International, The Gravity Group, and the wooden coaster department at S&S Worldwide. Many of their coasters rank highly in wooden coaster polls, including Shivering Timbers at Michigan's Adventure and Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce. In 2013, Boulder Dash was rated the number one wooden roller coaster in the world by Amusement Today.

Modern designers

Great Coasters International (GCI) was formed in 1994 by Mike Boodley and Clair Hain, Jr, the former of whom was a designer at Custom Coasters prior to GCI. The first coaster was Wildcat at Hersheypark which opened in 1996. Since then, they have become one of the major wooden coaster designers in the industry, with award-winning coasters like Lightning Racer at Hersheypark and Thunderhead at Dollywood. GCI's coasters feature highly twisted layouts with many crossovers, and usually use GCI's own wooden coaster trains called Millennium Flyers. Their designs are inspired by coasters from the 1920s, specifically those by Fred Church and Harry Traver, and the company focuses on making the structures of their coasters aesthetically appealing and artistic.

In 2001, Swiss steel coaster designer Intamin began producing wooden roller coasters using prefabricated track. Their wooden coasters are known for large amounts of airtime (including ejector airtime), smooth ride experiences, and steep drops. T Express in Everland is currently the tallest wooden coaster in the world at 183 feet tall. While only having built 4 wooden coasters, all are praised by coaster enthusiasts, with all 4 being within the top 20 wooden coasters in the world on Mitch Hawkers poll. Since 2010, El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure, which opened in 2006, has been ranked the number one wooden coaster in the world on Mitch Hawkers poll.

Notable designers from the former Custom Coasters International formed The Gravity Group and in 2005 opened Hades (now Hades 360) at Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park. The coaster features highly unique elements, including an airtime filled pre-lift section, an 800-foot tunnel underneath a parking lot, and a 90 degree banked turn. In 2006, The Gravity Group built The Voyage at Holiday World, a large wooden coaster which stood 163 feet tall, has over a mile of track, 3 90 degree banked turns, and has been ranked the number one wooden coaster in the world by Amusement Today five times. Many of Gravity Groups coasters are highly unique and custom built for the park, such as Twister at Gröna Lund, which has a highly compact layout to fit in the parks small footprint. Their coasters have become very popular in China, with 6 coaster being built there between 2012 and 2015.

Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) has recently been revolutionizing the modern wooden coaster. In 2011, they renovated the Texas Giant, which had become very rough and hard to maintain, into a steel roller coaster. This treatment has been applied to eight other roller coasters (see Iron Rattler, Medusa Steel Coaster, Twisted Colossus, Wicked Cyclone, Storm Chaser, The Joker, Steel Vengeance, and Twisted Timbers) and is now considered by parks to be an option for dealing with old wooden coasters that are wearing down. In addition to this, RMC designs and builds their own original wooden coasters. These coasters use Topper Track technology developed by RMC which replaces some of the wood in the track with steel beams to smooth the ride and reduce maintenance costs. Their first coaster was Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City in 2012. With this new technology, RMC can make wooden coasters that have inversions, which are normally not possible due to wooden track construction, including barrel rolls and, as seen on Goliath at Six Flags Great America, dive loops. In 2016, the company opened the world's first launched wooden roller coaster, Lightning Rod which opened at Dollywood in 2016, and features a magnetic launch of 45 mph up a 200' hill, similar to the magnetic lift on Maverick.

Inversions in wooden roller coasters

From 2000 to 2006, Son of Beast had a steel vertical loop (center) PKI-Son of Beast.jpg
From 2000 to 2006, Son of Beast had a steel vertical loop (center)

In 2000, Kings Island opened Son of Beast. Designed by Werner Stengel and built by the Roller Coaster Corporation of America, the roller coaster broke many world records. With a height of 218 feet (66 m), it was the first wooden roller coaster to top 200 feet (61 m). [4] It was also the first modern wooden roller coaster to feature an inversion, a 90-foot (27 m) vertical loop, which was made of steel. [5] The ride was well-received but was plagued by a number of incidents, including two that were serious, eventually leading to its demise in 2012. [6] [7] [8]

In the 2010s, several wooden roller coasters with inversions were opened, including some with multiple inversions. [9] [10] [11] RMC designed three multiple-inversion wooden roller coasters: Outlaw Run with inversions, [12] Wildfire at Kolmården Wildlife Park with three inversions, [13] and Goliath with two inversions. [14] The Gravity Group also designed five wooden coasters with a single inversion: these include coasters at each of three Oriental Heritage theme parks in China, all named Jungle Trailblazer, [15] [16] [17] as well as Mine Blower in Fun Spot Kissimmee [18] and the conversion of their existing Hades 360 in Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park. [19]

Prefabricated track

One of the most significant recent developments in wooden coaster design is Intamin's use of prefabricated track. This design essentially applies the principles of steel coaster manufacturing to wood.

Traditional wooden coaster track is built on site. It is mounted layer-by-layer to the support structure, bent and smoothed to the proper shape, and mounted with steel running plates. Prefabricated track, on the other hand, is manufactured in a factory. It is made of many thin layers of wood that are glued together and then laser cut to the exact shape needed. The track is made in 25-foot (7.6 m) sections, which have special joints on the ends that allow them to snap together. This process allows for far higher precision than could ever be achieved by hand. In addition, the trains for a prefabricated wooden coaster have wheels with polyurethane treads, similar to a steel coaster. In contrast, traditional wooden coaster trains have bare steel/metal wheels.

This design results in a ride that is smoother than traditional wooden coasters. Prefabricated wooden coasters also benefit from faster construction and reduced maintenance.

Wooden versus steel

Wooden roller coasters provide a very different ride and experience from steel roller coasters. While they are traditionally less capable than a steel coaster when it comes to inversions and elements (except for the chain lift hill), wooden coasters instead rely on an often rougher and more "wild" ride (depending on train speed and/or track layout), as well as a more psychological approach to inducing fear. Their structures and track, which usually move anywhere from a few inches to a few feet with a passing train, give a sense of unreliability and the "threat" of collapse or disregard for safety. Of course, this assumption is purely mental, since wooden roller coaster supports and track systems are designed to sway with the force produced by the coaster. If the track and structure are too rigid, they will break under the strain of the passing train. The swaying of the track reduces the maximum force applied, like a shock absorber.

Like steel roller coasters, wooden roller coasters usually use the same three-wheel design, pioneered by John Miller. Each set of wheels includes a running wheel (on top of the track), a side friction (or "guide") wheel (to guide motion in the lateral plane and reduce excessive side-to-side movement known as "hunting") and an upstop wheel (beneath the track to prevent cars from flying off the track). Some wooden coasters, such as Leap-The-Dips, do not have upstop wheels and are known as side friction roller coasters. As a result, the turns and drops are more gentle than on modern wooden roller coasters. Scenic Railway roller coasters also lack upstop wheels but rely on a brake operator to control the speed so that upstop wheels are not necessary. A handful of wooden coasters use flanged wheels, similar to a rail car, eliminating the need for side friction wheels.

Examples of wooden roller coasters

The following list is in alphabetical order.

NameParkOpenedCountryNotes
American Eagle Six Flags Great America 1981Flag of the United States.svg  USA Tallest and fastest racing coaster in the world [20]
Big Dipper Blackpool Pleasure Beach 1923Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Opened in 1923 and was reprofiled in 1936, adding two more drops and a brand new station. A Grade II listed building. [21]
Apocalypse: The Ride Six Flags Magic Mountain 2009Flag of the United States.svg  USA Formerly themed as "Terminator Salvation: The Ride". Replacement for the dismantled and scrapped Psyclone. [22]
Balder Liseberg 2003Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Second "prefabricated" wooden coaster to be built [23]
Boulder Dash Lake Compounce 2000Flag of the United States.svg  USA Voted the world's #1 wooden roller coaster by the National Amusement Park Historical Association [24]
The Beast Kings Island 1979Flag of the United States.svg  USA Longest wooden roller coaster in the world [25]
Colossos Heide Park 2001Flag of Germany.svg  Germany One of the largest wooden coasters in the world [26]
Colossus Six Flags Magic Mountain 1978Flag of the United States.svg  USA Was the world's tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster upon opening. In 2014, converted into a steel roller coaster. [27]
The Comet Six Flags Great Escape 1927Flag of the United States.svg  USA Built for Crystal Beach Park in Crystal Beach, Ontario, it was purchased and relocated to Queensbury in 1993 after Crystal Beach closed down. [28]
Coney Island Cyclone Luna Park 1927Flag of the United States.svg  USA Contained one of the steepest drops found on a wooden roller coaster (60 degrees) when it opened. It is protected under the National Register of Historic Places and is a New York City Designated Landmark. [29]
The Cú Chulainn Coaster Tayto Park 2015Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Ireland's first (and currently only) wooden coaster [30]
Dragon Coaster Playland Park 1929Flag of the United States.svg  USA Named after the park's mascot, Coaster the Dragon, and allows the riders to "enter the dragon". [31]
El Toro Six Flags Great Adventure 2006Flag of the United States.svg  USA Opened with one of the steepest drops of any wooden roller coaster (76 degrees). [32]
Flying Turns Knoebels Amusement Resort 2013Flag of the United States.svg  USA Modern version of a classic wooden bobsled coaster. Its layout is similar to an older model located at Riverview Park. [33]
GhostRider Knott's Berry Farm 1998Flag of the United States.svg  USA Longest wooden coaster on the West Coast. [34]
Grand National Pleasure Beach Blackpool 1935Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK One of three Möbius loop roller coasters [35]
The Great White Morey's Piers 1996Flag of the United States.svg  USA This ride was built over the beach because Morey's Piers ran out of room on the pier. [36]
Grizzly Kings Dominion 1982Flag of the United States.svg  USA The grounds of the ride are densely forested, with the intended thrills heightened from the illusion of inadequate clearance between the track and trees. Layout based on Cincinnati Coney Island Wildcat. [37]
Giant Dipper Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 1924Flag of the United States.svg  USA Located in Santa Cruz, California, it is among the last original oceanfront roller coasters still operating on the West Coast. It is protected under the National Register of Historic Places. [38]
Giant Dipper Belmont Park 1925Flag of the United States.svg  USA Located in San Diego, California, it is among the last original oceanfront roller coasters still operating on the West Coast. It is protected under the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historical Landmark and San Diego Historic Landmark. [39]
Hullámvasút City Park 1926Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Wooden roller coaster built to the plans of Ervin Dragon, is 17 m (55.8 ft) in height and travels 980 m (3,215 ft) in five minutes. It is one of the few remaining side friction roller coasters in the world, and is an ACE Coaster Classic, [40] It has not been operational since 2015. [41]
Jack Rabbit Seabreeze Amusement Park 1920Flag of the United States.svg  USA When it opened, it was the fastest roller coaster in the world (the title was taken by The Giant Dipper in 1924). In 1985 The Jack Rabbit became the oldest continuously operating coaster in the U.S. with the temporary closing of Leap-The-Dips. [42]
Leap-The-Dips Lakemont Park 1902Flag of the United States.svg  USA The roller coaster was operated continuously until 1935, again from 1937 to 1985, and finally from 1999 to 2016. Since 2016 it has not been operational. [43]
Le Monstre La Ronde 1985Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada The tallest double track wooden roller coaster in the world [44] [45]
Loup Garou Walibi Belgium 2001Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium The biggest wooden roller coaster in operation in Belgium. [46]
Megafobia Oakwood Theme Park 1996Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Built by Custom Coasters International (CCI) in 1996. The coaster features a twister style layout. Megafobia was the first white-knuckle attraction to be installed at the Oakwood Theme Park (then Oakwood Leisure Park) in West Wales. [47]
Outlaw Run Silver Dollar City 2013Flag of the United States.svg  USA When built it was the only wooden roller coaster to feature inversions, including a double barrel roll and an over-banked turn, and also was the steepest wooden coaster in the world with an 81 degree drop (since broken by Goliath at Six Flags Great America with an 85 degree drop). [12]
Phoenix Knoebels' Amusement Resort 1985Flag of the United States.svg  USA First large-scale wooden roller coaster to be relocated when it was moved from San Antonio to its current location in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. [48]
Racer 75 Kings Dominion 1975Flag of the United States.svg  USA Racing roller coaster, featuring two individual tracks that parallel each other. From 1993-2007 the Rebel Yell had one side of the tracks traveling forwards and one side traveling backwards. Named for the Civil War battle cry of the same name. [49]
ROAR Six Flags America, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom 1998, 1999Flag of the United States.svg  USA Two wooden coasters operated by Six Flags; the version at Discovery Kingdom was removed in 2015 and converted to RMC hybrid coaster "Joker". [50] [51]
Roller Coaster Lagoon Amusement Park 1921Flag of the United States.svg  USA Known simply as "Roller Coaster" or the "White Roller Coaster" by locals. [52]
Roller Coaster Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach 1932Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom A roller coaster requiring a brakeman to ride the train, and the only operational scenic railway in the UK. It is also an ACE Coaster Classic. [53]
Rutschebanen Tivoli 1914Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Formerly known as Bjergrutschebanen (the Mountain Roller Coaster); still run with brake men [54]
Scenic Railway Luna Park 1912Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia A roller coaster requiring a brakeman to ride the train. It is also an ACE Coaster Classic. [55]
Scenic Railway Dreamland Margate 1920Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom The oldest wooden coaster in Britain and the 3rd oldest in the world. In 2002 the ride became a Grade II listed building - the first UK amusement park attraction to achieve this status. It closed in 2006 and 25% of it was destroyed by fire on 7 April 2008, however, it was fully restored and reopened to the public in 2015. [56]
Shivering Timbers Michigan's Adventure 1998Flag of the United States.svg  USA Once one of the world's longest wooden coasters. [57]
Son of Beast Kings Island 2000Flag of the United States.svg  USA At the time of its opening, was the world's tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster, and the only wooden coaster to have an inversion, before that element was removed in 2007. It closed in 2009 and was demolished in 2012. [58]
T Express Everland Resort 2008Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Current record holder for the steepest wooden roller coaster (77 degrees). [59]
Thunderbolt Kennywood 1968Flag of the United States.svg  USA Declared "King of the Coasters" by the New York Times [60]
Timberhawk: Ride of Prey Wild Waves Theme Park 2003Flag of the United States.svg  USA [61]
Tonnerre de Zeus Parc Astérix 1997Flag of France.svg  France [62]
Tremors Silverwood Theme Park 1999Flag of the United States.svg  USA [63]
Viper Six Flags Great America 1995Flag of the United States.svg  USA Only wooden roller coaster originally built in-house by Six Flags, and a mirror image of the Coney Island Cyclone. [64]
Wooden Roller Coaster Playland 1958Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Has speeds up to 76 km/h (47 mph). Featured in the movie Riding the Bullet. [65]
The Voyage Holiday World & Splashin' Safari 2006Flag of the United States.svg  USA Features three 90-degree banked turns and is the second longest wooden roller coaster in the world behind The Beast. [66]
Vuoristorata Linnanmäki 1951Flag of Finland.svg  Finland A roller coaster requiring a brakeman to ride the train, and the last built roller coaster in the world to use side friction technology. It is also an ACE Coaster Classic. [67]
Wicker Man Alton Towers 2018Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Wicker Man was the UK's first wooden roller coaster to be built in 21 years after Megafobia in Wales. [68]
Yankee Cannonball Canobie Lake Park 1936Flag of the United States.svg  USA [69]
Zippin Pippin Bay Beach Amusement Park 2011Flag of the United States.svg  USA The second oldest extant roller coaster in America formerly at Libertyland, Memphis, Tennessee from 1923 to 2005. [70] It was Elvis Presley's favorite roller coaster, and he rode the Zippin Pippin eight days before he died. [71]

See also

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Rocky Mountain Construction, often abbreviated as RMC, is a manufacturing and construction company based in Hayden, Idaho, United States. The company is best known for its I-Box track and Topper Track for wooden roller coasters.

Outlaw Run amusement ride

Outlaw Run is a wooden roller coaster located at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. The ride was the first wooden roller coaster manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) and the first wooden roller coaster with multiple inversions, in which riders are turned upside-down and then back upright. The 2,937-foot-long (895 m) ride features three inversions and a top speed of 68 miles per hour (109 km/h), making Outlaw Run the sixth-fastest wooden roller coaster in the world. The 162-foot-tall (49 m) first drop of the ride is the fourth steepest in the world among wooden roller coasters, at 81°.

Roller Coaster Corporation of America manufacturer

Roller Coaster Corporation of America (RCCA) was an amusement ride manufacturer based in the United States. The company's first major project was the Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 1992, while their most famous coaster was the Son of Beast at Kings Island, the world's tallest and second looping wooden coaster when it opened in 2000.

Goliath (Six Flags Great America) wooden roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois

Goliath is a wooden roller coaster located at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) and designed by Alan Schilke, the roller coaster features RMC's Topper Track design and opened to the public on June 19, 2014. Goliath initially set three world records among wooden coasters, having the longest drop at 180 feet (55 m), the steepest angle of 85 degrees, and the fastest speed of 72 mph (116 km/h). It still holds the record for the longest drop. In addition, the ride also features two inversions and a maximum descent that reaches 15 feet (4.6 m) below ground level.

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