California's Great America has made an exciting announcement today; the park will be building a custom designed Great Coasters International wooden roller coaster named Gold Striker for the park's 2013 season!
After quite a few years of waiting for this ride to become a reality, the park will now be home to a coaster filled with twists, turns, high banking, and a ton of cross-overs. Gold Striker's 3,197 feet of track will utilize two trains, each seating 24 riders.
The coaster will feature a 108 foot tall lift hill, with a 103 foot first drop. The ride's first drop (which surrounds the park's Sky Tower) is interesting, as it drops then hugs a tight curve then actually performs a double-down, dipping again even closer to the ground. The top speed of nearly 54 miles per hour will be felt during this element, for sure!
After the drop trains will blast past the station, further exciting riders waiting for their turn, then rocket though a series of curves, one of which features 80 degree banking. Of especially good news is that the ride appears to have been cranked up a bit since the design that was released years ago, with much more intense banking and turns.
"Gold Striker reflects our commitment to providing our guests with the best thrills and entertainment value in the region," California's Great America Vice-President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. "This ride was uniquely designed by melding together the highest performing and most exciting features of the very best wooden roller coasters in the world. Everyone who enjoys the thrills of riding a roller coaster will want to experience Gold Striker."
The name Gold Striker was chosen to "recognize the pioneering and adventurous spirit of the California gold-seekers who rushed the area in 1849." Gold Striker will be California's Great America's eighth roller coaster when it opens next Spring.
For more information on the ride, check out the official Gold Striker website.