Goliath is a wooden-steel hybrid coaster located in County Fair at Six Flags Great America.


SFGrAmGoliath new structure 2

Concept art of Goliath at sunset

On August 5, 2011, Six Flags Great America announced on their official Facebook page that the Iron Wolf.

would be closed on September 5, 2011.[1][2] The ride was subsequently removed and relocated to Six Flags America where it operates as Apocalypse: The Last Stand.[3]

On August 1, 2013, Six Flags Great America began a teaser campaign entitled "Follow the Journey".[4][5] In mid-August 2013, it was revealed Six Flags Great America would be building a 165 foot high roller coaster, with plans being lodged with the local zoning committee to exceed the 125 foot height limit imposed on the park.[5][6][7][8][9]

On August 29, 2013, it was officially announced that Six Flags Great America would be adding Goliath, a wooden roller coaster by Rocky Mountain Construction, for the 2014 season. As part of the announcement, a concept computer-animated "point-of-view" (POV) and statistics of the ride were released.[10][11][12] The ride will replace the Iron Wolf, utilising the same location, station and queue line. The station will have to be expanded because the trains for Goliath are longer than the Iron Wolf trains.[13] The Iron Wolf's train used to have seven rows and Goliath will feature twelve rows.[13][14]

On February 21, 2014, Six Flags Great America posted a collection of pictures to its official Facebook page, revealing Goliath's final design.[15][16] This updated version includes a steel lift hill structure, rather than the traditional wooden structure. An updated animated POV was also released on the park's official YouTube channel.[17]

Construction for Goliath began in September 2013, with a team of 35 employed by Rocky Mountain Construction to erect the ride. The team worked 11-hour days, six days a week through the winter to early May 2014,[18] amounting to approximately 40,000 man hours.[19] Following the ride running hundreds of test runs, it officially opened to the public on June 19, 2014.[20][18] The lift hill was topped off on May 16, 2014 at 2:00pm. Goliath tested for the very first time on May 31, 2014.[21] On Friday June 6, 2014, a small section of the rides station caught fire and was extinguished without any reported injuries or major damage.[22] Goliath's soft opening date was June 18, 2014[22], While it opened to the public the next day.[20]


Goliath is Rocky Mountain Construction's second wooden roller coaster, following the opening of Outlaw Run in early 2013.[23] Although the ride is located in the County Fair section of Six Flags Great America,[12] the name and theme of the ride was chosen purely on the basis of the ride's size and scale.[13] The Template:Convert ride stands Template:Convert tall; however, the ride drops a total of Template:Convert at an angle of 85° into an underground tunnel. Goliath features two inversions, two overbanked turns, and a top speed of Template:Convert.[11][13] Because Goliath was built in such a small space, the lift hill is abnormally steep at an angle of 45°.[24] The entire track has been filled with grout to allow a quieter and smoother ride experience. The ride was designed by Alan Schilke.[25]

The 3100 feet of track is made of six layers of laminated wood, with a steel plate located in the upper layers of the track.[19] The steel plating is known as Topper Track and is found on many roller coasters that Rocky Mountain Construction has renovated, as well as Outlaw Run.[26][27] This track style is designed to reduce the maintenance typically required for a wooden roller coaster and to provide a smoother ride experience.[19] Rocky Mountain Construction spent four years developing technology to allow them to twist beams of wood, that make up the lower layers of the track.[28] This track configuration allows for more dynamic roller coaster elements to be performed on a wooden roller coaster.[19]

Goliath operates with two trains manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction. Each train is made up of six cars, with riders being arranged in two rows of two for a total of 24 riders per train.[13] The trains feature polyurethane wheels, allowing for a quieter ride. Riders are restrained through the use of an individual lap bar and a seatbelt.[11][29]

Ride experience

The ride begins with a left turn out of the station before ascending the Template:Convert chain lift hill at a 45° angle. From the highest point, trains drop Template:Convert at an angle of 85°, Template:Convert below ground level, reaching their top speed of Template:Convert. After this, cars ascend to a height of Template:Convert for an overbanked turnaround, followed by a descent back to the ground and a small air-time hill. A dive loop is next, the first of two inversions. The track then enters the second inversion, a zero gravity stall, where the train is suspended upside-down as it crests over a hill. This element is followed by a second overbanked turnaround, leading to the brake run and a short path back to the station.[30] One cycle of the ride takes approximately 105 seconds to complete.[13]


Goliath claims three Guinness World Records. The ride's Template:Convert drop at 85° is both the steepest and longest in the world for wooden roller coasters. Goliath is also the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, with a top speed of Template:Convert.[11][12]


The opening of Goliath was widely reported across the world,[31][32][33] with those experiencing the ride giving positive reviews. Jessica D'Onofrio of ABC7 Chicago stated Goliath was the smoothest roller coaster she had ever been on, describing it as "a great adrenaline rush".[20] Reviewing the ride for Shaw Media, Taylor Trimby of American Coaster Enthusiasts described Goliath as a wonderful ride, stating "You don't have time to prepare for anything. ... You're twisting and turning. ... It's great".[34] Anthony Murphy of Theme Park Insider praised the ride for being "one of the most intense roller coasters" he has ever ridden.[29]


  1. After a long 21...
  2. Six Flags Great America Losing Long-time Stand-Up Coaster
  3. New coaster coming to Gurnee Six Flags in 2012
  4. Six Flags Great America Follow the Journey 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Great America Planning to Add New Coaster in 2014
  6. Agenda of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Planning and Zoning Board - August 21, 2013
  7. Great America to pitch new wooden coaster to Gurnee
  8. Proposal for new roller coaster at Great America is on the table
  9. Great America gets OK on 150-ft.-high coaster
  10. New for 2014 at Six Flags Great America
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Six Flags boasts latest ride will be world's fastest wooden rollercoaster
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 New Great America roller coaster Goliath due in 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Goliath - Media Event - Q & A
  14. Template:Cite RCDB
  15. Template:Cite web
  16. Updated Artwork for Goliath
  17. Template:Cite web
  18. 18.0 18.1 Goliath rises in Great America skyline
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Go Goliath: Record-setting wooden coaster opens at Six Flags
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Six Flags Opens Goliath, a Record-Breaking New Roller Coaster
  21. Template:Cite web
  22. 22.0 22.1 Minor Fire Reported Near New Six Flags Great America Roller Coaster
  23. Template:Cite RCDB
  24. Template:Cite interview
  25. Alan Schilke Interview
  26. Template:Cite journal
  27. Template:Cite web
  28. Template:Cite news
  29. 29.0 29.1 New record-setting wooden coaster, Goliath, opens at Six Flags Great America
  30. Record-breaking wooden roller coaster coming to Six Flags Great America: How big will it be?
  31. Template:Cite news
  32. Template:Cite news
  33. Template:Cite news
  34. Six Flags unveils Goliath wooden roller coaster