Illinois Roller Coaster Named Among Best in World

Goliath takes riders down 180 feet at a near-vertical 85 degrees, reaching speeds as high as 72 mph

The daunting Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags has a new name as one of the "seven roller coaster wonders of the world," according to travel website Orbitz.

In honor of National Roller Coaster Day on Aug. 16, Orbitz rounded up the top seven coasters with "high-stakes thrills." 

Describing Goliath, author Jason Heidemann writes, "Poor David wouldn't stand a chance against this 165-foot tall wooden monstrosity." The roller coaster has established its world-class status by breaking three Guinness World Records — steepest, longest and fastest wooden roller coaster.

Goliath takes riders down 180 feet at a near-vertical 85 degrees, reaching speeds as high as 72 mph.

The roller coaster made its debut in July last year at Six Flags in Gurnee to much hype. Even a Today Show reporter tested out the ride at a sneak preview, screaming all the way.

Six other roller coasters around the world topped out the list: 

  • The Great Scenic Railway at Luna Park in Melbourne, Australia: The world's oldest continuously operated roller coaster, constructed in 1912
  • The Cyclone at Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, Maryland: A 1,500-foot-long roller coaster in which passengers control their own speed and ride individually up and down spirals and hills
  • Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: A roller coaster so fast (150 mph) that riders must wear protective goggles
  • Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Mie Prefecture, Japan: The world's longest roller coaster (8,133 feet) that includes a 306-foot drop and a helix shaped like a figure eight
  • The Beast at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio: The world's longest wooden roller coaster (7,349 feet) that takes riders up a 110-foot hill and then drops them 135 feet
  • Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey: The world's tallest roller coaster and second fastest, taking riders over a 90-degree hairpin turn
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