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Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 12/12/2011

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Ride Type: Roller Coaster

Manufacturer: Giovanola Amusement Rides Worldwide
Model/Style: Custom Twisted Hypercoaster
Year Built: 2000

In 1999, most of the changes to Six Flags Magic Mountain were limited to a makeover of Bugs Bunny World, an area of the park that caters to young children. In addition to some re-theming of the rides, this area saw the park’s only new roller coaster for the year, a small junior coaster called Canyon Blaster. However, the park was also using this time to move some other rides around to make room for something very special coming in 2000. That ended up being the Goliath roller coaster, the park’s very first hypercoaster.

Goliath was officially opened to the public on February 11, 2000. Built by Giovanola Amusement Rides Worldwide, at a reputed cost of $30,000,000, Goliath laid claim as having the world’s longest and fastest first drop in the world when it opened. The chain drive lift hill stands at a height of 235 feet tall, but the first drop is actually 255 feet down. This is accomplished by a tunnel 20 feet below ground level at the bottom of the first drop. Don’t blink, because at 85 MPH it takes less than one second to fly through the 120 foot long tunnel. There are no inversions and this roller coaster takes just over 2:00 minutes to cover the entire 4,500 feet of track.

The photo above is one of my all-time favorite photos of Six Flags Magic Mountain. The blue sky, a massive roller coaster, the palm trees, and great theming all come together for a perfect picture. It’s hard to gauge the scale of this roller coaster until you consider how small the people look at the base of the Goliath letters. The entrance to the ride is just to the right of the giant letter ‘I’, and the exit is just to the left of the ‘G’.

This is the entrance to the ride, between the giant letters. Just to the left of the people you see is a bank of storage lockers. You’ll see that in an upcoming photo:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

You would never know it from the outside, because you can’t see it, but this ride has a massive queue capable of holding many, many people. This is the queue line as it snakes down from the entrance:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

One of the reasons I like this ride so much is because of the great jungle theme. You will also see bits and pieces of what was presumably a giant Goliath statue that once stood high and mighty in the jungle:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

You know the lines get long when there are vending machines placed along the path. The TVs were added for the 2011 season. Looks like I snapped this picture right as it was playing a teaser for the Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom ride, which had yet to open:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

The queue seems to go on forever, but at least it’s nice and shaded. The overhead pipes you see are water misters for when it’s really hot:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Another piece of the collapsed Goliath statue seen later in the queue:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Finally, the last path heading towards the loading station:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

At the end of the path, there is a flight of stairs leading up to the elevated loading area. The orange track you see is where the train leaves the loading station and makes a 180-degree right-hand turn to the lift hill:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

These are the stairs leading up to the loading station:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Once inside, pick your lane and wait your turn. This station is very open and spacious. I like how they continued the rock theme from the exterior to the inside walls. The exit gate is behind the employee on the left. More on that later:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

The cars feature a 2×3 configuration, with five cars per train, for a total of 30 riders per dispatch. With lap bars only, Goliath consistently has some of the fastest dispatch times I see at the park. This is the only ride I’ve ever seen where the ride operators actually run while doing their job. They hustle and it’s greatly appreciated. The maximum throughput, with all three trains in operation, is 1,600 people per hour:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

When we were on the Discover Coaster to Coaster tour during the summer of 2011, we got some exclusive ride time on a few of the rides before the park opened for the day. Here we are with Goliath all to ourselves:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

This is where the train exits the loading station and makes that 180-degree turn I mentioned earlier, and heads up the lift hill:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

As the train nears the top of the first hill, it slows to a crawl, as designed. You almost think that it’s going to stop and then you plunge over the top:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

With 61 degrees of banking, you get up to 85 MPH in no time at all during the first drop:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

There’s no way to get a shot of the underground tunnel unless you are in a restricted area or using a camera while on the coaster, which is against the park rules, so I don’t have one to show you. However, you quickly ascend the second hill to turn around. This second hill is actually located inside of Colossus and I’m guessing it’s probably close to 200 feet tall, still much taller than many coasters out there:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

This next photo is just as the train is rounding the airtime hill off the second drop. It cracks me up because everyone looks like they’re having a great time except for the poor woman in front. She is hanging on for dear life and looks like she is just about to lose it:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Other than the tunnel off the first drop, there is one more place that the ride dips below grade. At the end of the ride, right before the train heads back up into the final brake run, it quickly drops down into a gully. I think this was just a clearance issue because there wasn’t enough room beneath the support structures that the track needed to pass under in order to make it back to the station:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Although there are no inversions on Goliath, there are still plenty of thrills. It looks like the train is coming close to being upside-down in this shot, but because you are traveling so fast, and the coaster is so smooth, you never really realize how much of an angle you are at times:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

As you can see here, there is track going every which way; up, down, left, right, and twisty. You can also make out the helix here, where the track actually travels in a horizontal circle. This 585-degree downward “spiral of death”, as some call it, produces 4.5 G’s, or 4.5 times the natural pull of gravity (G-force). This is so intense that many people start to “grey out” as the blood rushes down, out of their head. Their field of vision starts to close up as grey sets in from the sides. Fortunately, the helix ends and the blood gets pumped back up into their head, restoring their vision. However, some people do occasionally “black out” from this ride, completely passing out, only to come to after the ride is back in the station:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Once the train is back in the station, the riders exit on the left side, out through the exit gate I pointed out earlier. That exit gate leads into the tunnel you see here, heading back down towards the entrance to the ride:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

It’s a really long tunnel:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

At the end of the tunnel, you turn right and head past the photo booth to see how you look in your on-ride photo. Continuing past the photo booth, you exit back onto the midway next to the giant ‘G’ in Goliath’s name. The employee on the left is actually standing at the entrance to the ride. These are the lockers I mentioned earlier:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

From the freeway, the Goliath roller coaster is a very prominent part of the Six Flags Magic Mountain skyline. The white wooden coaster is Colossus, and at 125 feet tall was one of the tallest coasters in the world when it was built in 1978. The red and blue tower of Superman: Escape from Krypton stands at 415 feet tall. Proudly nestled between the two is Goliath, at 235 feet tall, the second tallest roller coaster in the park:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how radical a roller coaster may be to ride, it never really looks that impressive from directly overhead. As you can see in the following photo (© Microsoft Bing), it looks pretty mild. This shot does give you a good visual of where the track goes through the underground tunnel, and also how the second hill straddles the top of Colossus. You can also clearly see how long the exit tunnel is as it leaves the loading station in the lower-left and heads back towards the entrance:

Goliath Roller Coaster At Six Flags Magic Mountain

The Goliath roller coaster is probably my favorite rides in the park. Although I do like inversions as well, my favorite roller coasters are fast and smooth, just like Goliath. Six Flags Over Texas has a coaster called Titan that is almost identical to Goliath, except that it’s 10 feet taller and has an extra helix. I’ve ridden them both and I like them equally.

You can see my complete Goliath roller coaster photo gallery here.

34 Comments

  1. Kyle

    12/13/2011 at 10:18 am

    Goliath is one of the best coasters at the park. To me it beats X2 as my favorite coaster, because it is fast, smooth, and offers a lot of G’s. Goliath never fails to offer a great ride. Oh, and I was wondering if Log Jammer’s flume had started to be dismantled yet?

    • Kurt

      12/15/2011 at 7:02 am

      The last time I was at the park they had started removing the mechanicals, but not the actual flume itself. I’ll take a look the next time I am there and see if I can spot any work being done.

    • jesusgirl

      02/26/2016 at 5:29 pm

      i agree

  2. Carlos

    12/13/2011 at 4:13 pm

    Quick Question: Is there a reason why the lap bars on the front row of one of the trains are black?

    • Justin

      12/14/2011 at 9:14 am

      Maybe they wore down quicker from riders white knuckled grips and had to be replaced?

    • Kurt

      12/15/2011 at 7:11 am

      I never actually noticed that before. My guess is that the trains originally shipped with the yellow, but when they ordered replacement parts either the yellow wasn’t available or someone wasn’t paying attention. Therefore, we may see more black as they are replaced. It could also be that they are intentionally going with the black as replacements because it doesn’t show the dirt and grime as much as the yellow. The more I think about it, the more this explanation makes the most sense. Take a look at some of the light colored harnesses in the park and how dirty they are. Yuck!

      • Carlos

        12/15/2011 at 3:39 pm

        That could also be the reason they’ve put some Black Covers for the top of some of the rides with more common B & M restraints like Scream! and Batman. I don’t think they pay much attention to small details like that. Sometimes it can even take away from the experience.

  3. joe

    12/14/2011 at 4:54 pm

    never been on goliath. i have heard that it’s pretty fun and intense….. by the way, when are you going to post anything about lex luther: drop of doom?

    • Kurt

      12/15/2011 at 7:23 am

      Goliath is a great coaster. You should definitely try it out the next time you are at the park. As for LL:DOD, I’ve already written everything I know about it. Do a search on my site for ‘Luthor’, or just browse back to September 1st. Until they release more information, or actually start construction, there really isn’t much to say about it that hasn’t already been said.

  4. caleb

    12/14/2011 at 8:35 pm

    i think it’s pretty special they put Goliath with Colossus. That’s one legendary part of the park!

  5. Eric

    12/17/2011 at 11:01 pm

    Back when Goliath opened, I was fortunate to be able to attend media day and ride it before it officially opened. It was raining that day, so I didn’t know if they were going to let us ride until I heard it operating. From the ground, you could hear the loud clank-clank-clank of the lift hill, then it got eerily silent once the train went over the top.

    They normally don’t give out media kits to “regular” people like myself, but I did get one. It contained photos and stats for the ride. From what it says, the first drop measures 255 feet, and the second drop measures 186 feet. There have been a few tweaks to Goliath, but it runs pretty much the same today as it did on media day. Incredibly, it is just as smooth, too. What a shame that Giovanola didn’t build more of these rides—they’d have given B&M and Intamin a run for their money.

    • Kurt

      12/18/2011 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks for the info, Eric. I’ve always been curious about the official height of the second drop because I know it’s up there quite a ways.

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  11. Kyle

    06/09/2012 at 9:03 am

    So i’ve never been on goliath and im going next saturday should i go on it by the way im 13. And on the helix if your closing your eyes and u open them back up will your vision be gray?

    • Kurt

      06/09/2012 at 9:48 am

      Hi, Kyle. I have a 13 year old son and he’s been going on Goliath for a couple of years now. He absolutely loves it. The ride is very fast, but it’s also very smooth and never goes upside down. I think you’ll like it. I wouldn’t worry about greying out. That happens more often to older people, as the blood gets forced out of their head through the high-speed turn. I’ve never heard of it happening to a younger guy, such as yourself. But even if it does, it only lasts for a second or two. -Kurt

      • Kyle

        06/10/2012 at 10:27 am

        Ok i’ll try Goliath out and by the way Is it scary on the first drop? What parts of the goliath are scary?

        • jesusgirl

          02/26/2016 at 7:27 pm

          it is scary on the first drop i have ridden it four times

  12. Nick

    12/20/2012 at 10:16 pm

    When the ride 1st opened, lines were longer than expected because the nylon road wheels were wearing down too fast. So fast that every road wheel (the wheel on the top of the track) had to be replaced every 15 cycles (every 15 trips around the track). It was a couple weeks before they got a composite that would last a day. The High Roller in Las Vegas had the same problem when it first opened, but that one doesn’t experience the same speed or +Gs that Goliath does.
    The maintenance crew got really good, awesome in fact at replacing the wheels; working like a NASCAR pit crew.

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  15. Patrick

    06/14/2013 at 9:26 pm

    My favorite ride at the park!

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  18. Rosie

    02/24/2014 at 10:44 am

    Ha ha this was my daughter’s first big thrill coaster ever and the first we went on in the park. Also my first time going on it and it was amazing! New fave for me. (She had a death grip and was screaming bloody murder) those Gs were intense so she didn’t like it as much as some of the other coasters like Batman Colossus and Ninja

  19. A.M.99

    06/23/2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hey Kurt, if Colossus is refurbed, would Goliath close as well, like gold rusher closed while full throttle was being built.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/23/2014 at 9:01 pm

      Since the two coasters are intertwined at one point, I think it’s safe to say that Goliath will probably be closed intermittently while work is being done around that one Goliath support column.

  20. Jamie

    08/02/2014 at 8:15 am

    Is it weird that I can ride Golliath and others like it, but I can’t ride log jammer or colossus without getting sick? Lol.

  21. Kenzie

    07/18/2015 at 11:04 pm

    Goliath is opened back up today

  22. Drew

    11/26/2015 at 5:19 pm

    Rode Goliath for the first time last month. I have to say it’s probably my favorite coaster at MM. It’s a massive, big fast rush on the first drop! Good airtime after, and the helix section is awesome. It felt very smooth to me and I could ride it many times in a row. Had my hands up the whole time even through the helixes. It’s pretty long ride but I wish it was even longer. Great coaster!!

    • jesusgirl

      02/26/2016 at 7:33 pm

      yep my fav roller coaster i have my hands up the whole ride

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