— -- Roller Coaster enthusiasts were quaking with anticipation Thursday morning as Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, officially opened Goliath, a triple record-breaking coaster.
Brave souls who dare to try out the fastest, tallest, and steepest wooden roller coaster in the world can expect to plunge down 180 feet while rocketing through twists and turns at 72 miles per hour at a near vertical 85 degree angle.
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After nine months of construction, including a delay in the originally planned May 31 debut, the park was set to open Goliath to the public. “I think everyone here is just so excited and there’s a lot of anticipation before we open our gates,” said Six Flags spokesperson Katy Enrique just an hour before the opening.
Rocky Mountain Construction, the company behind the planning and building of Goliath, used an innovative track system on the wooden coaster to make it less rickety. “It’s very smooth,” says Enrique, who has already ridden the ride over 20 times. ABC7 Chicago Reporter Jessica D’Onofrio, who attended a special preview Wednesday, agrees, saying Goliath was “[the] smoothest ride of any coaster I have been on.”
The initial rider reviews indicate the new coaster will live up to the hype. “It was definitely a great adrenaline rush,” says D’Onofrio of her experience. “It has a ton of thrills, it’s just element after element,” added Enrique.
Goliath is the latest record breaker in Six Flags' long history of innovative coasters. “We’re always looking for rides that spark innovative new concepts in the roller coaster world,” says Enrique, “we’re constantly looking for concepts out there that will keep us as the leader of roller coaster innovation.”
(Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect that it's the fastest, tallest and steepest wooden roller coaster.)