Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gold Striker's New World Record Revealed

© Great Coasters International
With construction almost complete on the ride's track, California's Great America has announced a new world record that Gold Striker will hold when it opens this Spring.

Gold Striker will now include the "world's longest covered initial descent tunnel on a wooden coaster."  As described by the park's press release, "adding intrigue to the record setting feature, Gold Striker's 174-foot tunnel will be enclosed by wood on both sides, corrugated metal on top and in-fill underneath the tracks, to replicate a true gold mine feel. The only visible light on Gold Striker's initial descent, which will hurl riders down a 50 degree slope at almost 54 miles per hour, will be following the first turn, creating a nearly pitch black visual."

The framing for the tunnel can be seen on the recent construction photo above, from the ride's builder Great Coasters International.  Their full gallery of construction shots can be seen at this link.

© California's Great America
"This fully-enclosed, twisting tunnel truly is a special element among wooden roller coasters," California's Great America Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. "Gold Striker riders will experience the unique sensation of rapid acceleration in almost complete darkness."

Gold Striker stands 108 feet tall and features a 103 foot first drop, plenty of high speed twists and turns including a covered station fly-by.  In total, Gold Striker's track measures 3,197 feet long.

While the new coaster is the main focus of the park's 2013 season, plenty of other maintenance including new paint on many rides and buildings will have the park looking like new when it opens this year on March 29th. 

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