First up for Ride Reviews is Gold Striker at California’s Great America. Gold Striker is a wooden coaster designed by Great Coasters International. The height is 108 feet, with a first drop of 103 feet. The length of the track is 3,197 feet, making it the longest coaster at California’s Great America, and the duration of the ride is two minutes and thirty seconds. With that said, let’s get started.
The entrance of Gold Striker is on the right of the carousel past the entrance to Star Tower. The queue line is composed of switchbacks near the entrance, and then a straight path that goes down to the station, which goes through a tunnel and right next to Gold Striker’s first drop. The station is incredibly tight because of how close the track after the first drop comes to it, so sadly there is assigned seating.
Once you exit the station, you go through a short pre-lift section with some suprising laterals before the lift hill. Next is one of Gold Striker’s signature elements, the longest enclosed drop on a coaster in the world. This drop actually delivers really strong sustained airtime if you sit in the back row. Fly past the front of the park and down all of the people waiting in line until you experience an incredibly strong airtime moment right next to the station. After that airtime hump, you go into a banked turn that brings you down into Gold Stricker’s second tunnel. Once the tunnel is over, fly into another banked turn that is somewhat forceful, and then into a great moment of sustained ejector airtime before heading into the other signature element of Gold Striker, the giant midway turn. Next go up a hill that turns slightly to the right when it levels out, then drop down and come back up into the most surprising airtime, the double up. The double up is incredibly tiny, and provides fantastic ejector airtime. After that great airtime, fly through a few banked turns into the brake run.
All in all, Gold Striker is a fantastic ride. It is definitely one of the top five coasters in California, and the only wooden coaster I like more is Ghostrider at Knott’s Berry Farm. While I’ll leave comparing those two until a later day, Gold Striker is still amazing. There are so many banked turns and airtime moments that it becomes hard to count. The airtime is some of the best in California, and this certainly is a magnificient coaster.
Thank you for reading my first article. Expect more like this to come. Make sure to follow me on Instagram my account and the official account of coasterdemon.wordpress.com