GURNEE, Ill. (CBS) — A two-week delay for the grand opening of the new Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Great America didn’t dampen the spirits of the passengers who experienced the twists and turns of the world’s tallest, fastest wooden roller coaster on Wednesday.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports the man behind the new thrill ride heard the screams of joy and fear on the tracks and smiled.
Fred Grubb, owner of Rocky Mountain Construction, said he started out making standard stuff – houses and offices – but then found there was more to life than 90-degree angles.
“I have a knack for building different things,” he said. “This is much more fun than building a square building. … A square building doesn’t cut it.”
Goliath, billed as the tallest, steepest, and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, features a 180-foot drop at an 85-degree angle – almost straight down.
Like any good showman, the ride drags out the suspense, making a slow climb up a steep hill before the big plunge.
The 90-second ride tumbles passengers upside-down twice, and reaches speeds of up to 72 mph.
The opening originally was set for May 31, but was delayed after the harsh winter slowed construction.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole was among the first to take a ride Wednesday morning. You can see him take a spin in the videos above and below.