Gold Striker

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Gold Striker
Gold Striker (CGA) Logo.jpg
Great America 26 2013-07-15.jpg
California's Great America
Park sectionCelebration Plaza
Coordinates37°23′48.26″N 121°58′29.76″W / 37.3967389°N 121.9749333°W / 37.3967389; -121.9749333Coordinates: 37°23′48.26″N 121°58′29.76″W / 37.3967389°N 121.9749333°W / 37.3967389; -121.9749333
Soft opening dateApril 30, 2013 (2013-04-30)
Opening dateMay 31, 2013 (2013-05-31)
General statistics
ManufacturerGreat Coasters International
DesignerJeff Pike
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height108.2 ft (33.0 m)
Drop103.3 ft (31.5 m)
Length3,197 ft (974 m)
Speed53.7 mph (86.4 km/h)
Max vertical angle50°
Capacity850 riders per hour
Height restriction48 in (122 cm)
Trains2 trains with 12 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 24 riders per train.
ThemeOld West
Fast Lane available
Gold Striker at RCDB
Pictures of Gold Striker at RCDB

Gold Striker is a wooden roller coaster located at California's Great America amusement park. Built by Great Coasters International and designed by Jeff Pike, Gold Striker was the park's eighth roller coaster which opened to the public on May 31, 2013. Its 174-foot-long (53 m) tunnel is the longest in the world to be featured on the first drop, and it was marketed as the "tallest and fastest wooden coaster in Northern California". The roller coaster takes on the theme of the Old West and references the California Gold Rush of the 19th century.


Originally, California's Great America planned to build Gold Striker for the 2009 season, but issues led to the project's cancellation.[1] The project continued in 2012 when a permit was requested and approved to construct the roller coaster in the northern half of the park.[2] Construction began in May 2012, and the first pieces of lumber were delivered the following month in early June.[3][4] On July 25, 2012, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company filed a trademark for the name Gold Striker.[5] Gold Striker was officially announced on August 29, 2012 as being the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Northern California.[6] Representatives of the San Francisco 49ers were on hand at the ceremony as the ride is themed and named after the Gold Rush.[7]

On January 30, 2013, one of the milestones took place as the ride's lift hill was topped off.[8] On February 20, 2013, California's Great America announced the first drop will be fully enclosed setting the record for world's longest initial drop tunnel on a wooden coaster.[9] On March 6, the park announced they would be holding a first rider auction for Gold Striker. The park was auctioning off the first six trains through April 28. Members of the general public were able to take some early rides in from April 30, 2013 during a promotional shoot the park was doing.[10] Gold Striker opened on May 31, 2013 and had an official opening ceremony the next day.

Ride experience[edit]


After departing the station, the train makes a slight turn to the right followed by another turn to the right, then the train turns left onto the 108-foot (33 m) lift hill. After the train crests the hill, it enters a tunnel then drops 50 degrees to the right, followed by another slight drop, reaching a top speed of approximately 54 miles per hour (87 km/h). The coaster's first drop wraps around the park's signature Star Tower attraction. The train then turns to the left into a bunny hop, passing by the station and lift hill. It then makes a turn-around to the right followed by an 80 degree banked turn. After the turn, the train passes back under the track into a "Midway turn" which, being another 80-degree turn, faces the train towards the park's Celebration Plaza. Passing again back under the track, the coaster goes through the final flat turnaround before making its way to the brake run.[11]


The wooden track of Gold Striker is 3,197 feet (974 m) long in length with the height of the lift being approximately 108 feet (33 m).[7]


Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Ranking 26[12] 7[13] 9[14] 9[15] 10[16] 8[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ MacDonald, Brady (February 15, 2012). "California's Great America revives plans for wooden coaster". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  2. ^ "Case Number: PLN2012-09049". City of Santa Clara. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  3. ^ Hart, Lance. "CGA - Woodie". Screamscape. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread - Page 495". Theme Park Review. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Gold Striker". United States Patents and Trademarks Office. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  6. ^ "Great America Goes Old School with New Coaster". NBC. August 29, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Harrington, Jim (August 31, 2012). "Great America announces new Gold Striker wooden roller coaster for 2013". Mercury News. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  8. ^ Haugh, Robert (February 6, 2013). "Great America Celebrates New Coaster's Topping Off". Santa Clara Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "Gold Striker Coaster Now Includes Record Tunnel". California's Great America. February 20, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  10. ^ "Great America & 49ers Foundation Team Up On First Rider Program". PR Newswire. March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  11. ^ "Gold Striker POV". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  12. ^ "2013 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 17 (6.2): 40&ndash, 41. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "2014 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 18 (6.2): 38&ndash, 39. September 2014. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "2015 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 19 (6.2): 45&ndash, 46. September 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "2016 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 20 (6.2): 46. September 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "2017 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 21 (6.2): 50. September 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  17. ^ "2018 Top 50 wood Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 22 (6.2): 48. September 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2016.

External links[edit]