It’s official – the massive Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Great America is the tallest, steepest and fastest wooden coaster in the entire world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The Gurnee amusement park opened its doors Sunday to kick start their 40th season of operation and held a dedication ceremony to honor the triple-record-breaking coaster.
Goliath climbs up to a 165-foot lift hill, before riders whip over to conquer the world’s tallest and steepest first drop, diving at 180 feet and a near-vertical 85 degrees during the ride while traveling up to 72 miles per hour.
During the ceremony park president Hank Salemi addressed the crowd saying initially they had gotten a lot of backlash about opting to build a wooden coaster for their newest ride instead of the traditional steel – which many see as more innovative.
“But frankly, innovation of wooden roller coasters is at its peak,” Salami said. “They’re smoother than ever, they’re faster than ever. They can go upside down now, which has never been the case in the history of wooden roller coasters, so on August 26 of 2013 we broke ground on Goliath and we built it during one of worst winters in Chicagoland’s history.”
The record-holding coaster is finally ready and can be found in the County Fair section of the park.