Great America’s newest coaster strikes gold

Austin Hille, Editor In Chief

Great America’s newest attraction, the Gold Striker, is probably the most massive wooden rollercoaster I have ever seen.

The coaster towers over the rest of the park like Paul Bunyan, and it can be easily seen blocks away from the park. This magnificent display drew large crowds on Saturday, June 1 when it finally opened.

First of all, I know what most people think. A wooden rollercoaster is an outdated form of a ride that causes week long regrets due to sore backs and necks.

There is only one other wooden rollercoaster at Great America right now, The Grizzly, and it fulfills this stereotype completly. Several days after riding it I was still in pain. This reputation is exactly what Great America is trying to get rid of with the Gold Striker.

The rollercoaster is designed to have a smooth ride and liquid turns. Take any experiences with wooden rollercoasters in the past and throw them out the window because the Gold Striker will change minds.

The Gold Striker is a wooden rollercoaster unlike any other. It is the tallest, fastest, and largest wooden rollercoaster in Northern California. With a peak of 108.2 feet and a top speed of 53.7 mph, the coaster is sure to bring an experience unparalleled to any other of its kind.

This mammoth coaster also boasts another record breaking feature. Right after the biggest drop off, riders enter into a long blacked-out tunnel, exactly 174 feet in length. This is the longest initial descent tunnel on any wooden rollercoaster in the world.

The tunnel starts at the top of the largest drop and puts riders in a state of darkness the entire way down. When they get to the bottom of the tunnel, it whips around a sharp right turn, something that can’t be anticipated in the pitch dark.

The remainder of the ride is pretty much the same as any other rollercoster. A few banked turns and then climbing up a few hills, only to be dropped off them again and return to the same lightning speed at which riders started.

Another thing to admire about this new ride is that it doesn’t just go in repetitive circles. It takes one on what can almost be described as a tour of the inner workings of the ride. Well, that is if your tour guide was driving a Lamborghini at full speed through a brand new rollercoaster.

The coaster doesn’t just offer a unique ride experience, but the queuing areas have also been designed to give some entertainment while waiting in line.

The whole line has been designed to make people feel as if they are actually in the gold mining era.

From mine shafts to run down looking walkaways, the whole scene looks hauntingly realistic.

On top of a realistic setting and atmosphere, while in the line, the ride shoots right by to give people a preview of what’s to come.

Reports have said that the ride comes so close that it feels like someone could touch the train if they tried.

So, get rid of summer plans and clear schedules immediately because trust me, a trip to Great America to ride the Gold Striker is a must.

Hiding behind the cheesy promo graphics and the fact that it is a wooden rollercoaster lies a true beast fit for any rollercoaster junkie.