California's Great America's New Gold Striker Coaster Hits High Point

Northern California's Tallest And Fastest Wooden Coaster Reaches Tallest Construction Point

Jan 30, 2013, 20:09 ET from California's Great America

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Wednesday marked a construction milestone at California's Great America as Gold Striker – soon to be Northern California's tallest and fastest wooden coaster – reached its Topping Off point.


A construction crane lifted the highest section of the lift portion into place on Wednesday with the media watching from the parks iconic Star Tower observation deck. Local media attended the Topping Off event and observed from the Star Tower observation deck, which provided a panoramic view of Gold Striker and all of California's Great America.

Great Coasters International workers positioned United States and California's Great America flags near peak to celebrate the day.

"This is a milestone event in Gold Striker's construction and we are thrilled to bring this new ride to our fans in 2013," California's Great America Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. "Gold Striker will provide the nostalgia of a wooden coaster, along with an incredibly smooth ride. Everyone who enjoys thrill rides will want to experience Gold Striker."

High-speed twists, turns, drops, station fly-by and the Old West are the top features of Gold Striker, currently under construction at Northern California's leading thrill park and family destination.  The ride will stand 108 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 103 feet at a 50-degree angle.  Riders will careen along 3,197 feet of track at speeds close to 54 miles per hour.   The ride experience on Gold Striker will last more than two heart-pounding minutes.

"Gold Striker reflects a commitment to providing our guests with the best thrills and entertainment value in the region," Rehnborg said.   "From adding a new coaster, to freshening up the entire park with new paint, our parent company is investing to keep California's Great America Northern California's premier family entertainment option."

From adding a coaster, to freshening up the entire park with new paint, our parent company is investing to keep California's Great America Northern California's premier family entertainment option

The name of the ride was chosen to recognize the pioneering and adventurous spirit of the California gold-seekers who rushed the area in 1849.  Gold Striker is located in the Celebration Plaza area of California's Great America and will be the park's eighth roller coaster. 

Gold Striker is custom designed and built for the topography of California's Great America by Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCI) of Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  Two trains will accommodate 24 passengers each (four riders per car and six cars per train) with a capacity of 850 riders per hour.   Guests must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. 

Those who cannot wait until spring may take a virtual ride on Gold Striker at  Visitors of may also access exclusive Gold Striker updates and features, including virtual ride renderings, ride statistics, construction photos and a live construction Web cam. 

California's Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FUN."  In addition to California's Great America, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, six water parks, one indoor water park resort and five hotels, including Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif.  Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, Calif. under a management contract.

SOURCE California's Great America