Giant Dipper (Belmont Park)
Wooden roller coaster in Belmont Park
|Belmont Park, San Diego, California|
Mission Beach Roller Coaster
|Location||3000 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, California|
|Area||2.8 acres (1.1 ha)|
|Architect||Frank Prior, Fredrick Church|
|Architectural style||"Bobs"-type coaster|
|NRHP reference #||78000753|
|Added to NRHP||December 27, 1978|
|Designated NHL||February 27, 1987|
|Designated SDHL||December 7, 1973|
|Opening date||July 4, 1925|
|Manufacturer||Frank Prior, Fredrick Church|
|Designer||Frank Prior, Fredrick Church|
|Track layout||8 layers laminated wood strips with 1/4"x3" wide steel rail|
|Lift/launch system||Chain lift hill|
|Height||70 ft (21 m)|
|Drop||60 ft (18 m)|
|Length||2,600 ft (790 m)|
|Speed||55 mph (89 km/h)|
|Max vertical angle||40 degrees at bottom of first drop°|
|Height restriction||50 in (127 cm)|
Big Dipper at RCDB|
Pictures of Big Dipper at RCDB
The Giant Dipper, also known as the Mission Beach Roller Coaster and historically by other names, is a historical wooden roller coaster located in Belmont Park, a small amusement park in the Mission Beach area of San Diego, California. Built in 1925, it and its namesake at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk are the only remaining wooden roller coasters on the West Coast designed by noted roller coaster designers Frank Prior and Frederick Church, and the only whose construction they supervised. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
The Giant Dipper is located at the northeast corner of Belmont Park, a waterfront amusement park at the junction of Mission Boulevard and West Mission Bay Drive. The coaster occupies an irregular area about 100 by 500 feet (30 m × 152 m) in size, and is accessed via a terminal structure on its west side. It has a track length of 2,800 feet (850 m), and its highest hills, located roughly at opposite ends of the area, reach 75 feet (23 m) in height. A sign with the name "Belmont" is affixed to the wooden trestle structure at its northeast edge.
The coaster was built in 1925 as part of a major real estate development led by John D. and Adolph Spreckels to attract visitors and residents to the Mission Beach area. The Mission Beach Amusement Center was built at a cost of $2.5 million and opened in 1925, with this roller coaster as one of its main attractions. It was designed by Church and Prior, coaster designers based in Venice, California, who also oversaw its construction. The Spreckelses bequeathed the attraction to the city, which in 1954 was leased to Jack Ray. He renamed the park Belmont Park, after another park in Montreal. The roller coaster was severely damaged by fire in 1955, and Ray subsequently declared bankruptcy.
In 1997, the Giant Dipper held a coaster–riding marathon sponsored by local radio station, Star 100.7. The marathon consisted of eleven consecutive days riding the coaster for more than 12 hours per day. The radio station arranged a second marathon in 1998, which was eventually won by contestants who split a check for $50,000 in cash prize after riding the coaster for 70 days.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "California Historical Landmark: San Diego County". Office of Historic Preservation. California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "Historical Landmarks Designated by the San Diego Historical Resources Board" (PDF). City of San Diego.
- "Mission Beach Roller Coaster". National Historic Landmarks Quick Links. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2012-10-08. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
- "NHL nomination for Mission Beach Roller Coaster". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
- "Company History". Belmont Park Company. Retrieved 2018-01-29.