Goliath Review – RMC Wooden Coaster at Six Flags Great America

Here’s my full review of Goliath, an RMC Wooden Coaster at my home park, Six Flags Great America.

I had plans to review this coaster along time ago, but just recently rode it again at my most recent trip to Great America on May 13th. Therefor, I decided to scrap the old review and rewrite a new one with some more updated thoughts. Here we go…

Goliath was built by my personal favorite manufacturer, RMC, and was introduced to the park in 2014. The coaster has a height of 165 feet, a drop of 180 feet, a speed of 72 mph, and an incredibly steep vertical angle of 85 degrees. It also boasts two inversions, including the only dive loop on a wooden coaster.

In order to review this coaster, I have created 13 different categories that it will be judged on. Some categories are worth 5 points, while others are worth 10. Each coaster begins with a score of 10 points, and has the opportunity to earn up to 100 points total. Yes, that’s a lot, but don’t worry, I’ll do all the math for you.

First up is the height category. Now for a wooden coaster, Goliath is pretty tall. Combine that with an extremely steep lift hill, and the ride feels almost as tall as its hyper coaster neighbor, Raging Bull. That’s a win for me, so I’d give it a 5 out of 5.

Next up is the drop, out of 10 points. As I stated before, Goliath has a 180 foot drop into a tunnel at 85 degrees…which is crazy. I’d say it’s easily the best drop on any of the coasters at the park, by far. It might not pull you over the lift hill as fast as Wicked Cyclone or Twisted Colossus do, but it’s still an excellent drop that deserves a perfect score.

Then we have speed, which is also out of 10. Until the 2016 debut of Lightning Rod at Dollywood, Goliath held the title of fastest wooden coaster on the planet. Since Lightning Rod only beat it out by 1 mph, I’d say it’s still easy to consider Goliath a very fast coaster for its kind. It still loses when compared to other steel coasters such as Xcelerator or Full Throttle though, so I’d have to give it a 9 out of 10.

Now for the smoothness category, and I mean come on. Goliath is an RMC. It automatically gets a 5 out of 5 for being glossy smooth, no questions asked.

For our next category; airtime, Goliath will be receiving a 2 out of 5. Sadly, Goliath isn’t a perfect ride by any means. Although it has one or two good moments of airtime, the ride just can’t compete when compared to the other RMC creations I’ve ridden. Goliath has a lot of strong suits, but I can’t say airtime is one of them.

To make up for it’s lack of airtime, Goliath will be scoring a 9 in the intensity category. From the second you release from the chain lift hill, you are absolutely hammered with intensity. The bottom of the drop and first overbank provide g-forces that are unmatched by almost every ride in the park. If you are looking for an intense ride, Goliath will definitely satisfy.

However, Goliath will not satisfy in the length of its ride, and will be receiving a 2 in the duration category. The short ride time is by far the most complained about part of this ride. You cruise through the elements very quickly, and before you know it, you’re sitting on the break run. Luckily, duration isn’t everything when it comes to a good coaster. Goliath is short, but makes up for it by being a very strong, fun ride from start to finish.

Next we have theming, which is out of 10 points. As with most rides in the Six Flags chain, the focus is more on the thrills than the look. This isn’t a bad thing, but it also means that it won’t score very high in this category. The most I can do is say the ride structure looks kind of cool, and give it a 3 out of pity. That’s better than just a 1.

Then we have to talk about the restraints. Just like in the smoothness category, Goliath automatically gets a 5 out of 5 for it’s excellent restraint system.  RMC always does a great job with their lap bars/shin guards, ensuring that they provide a comfortable, free experience while on the ride.

Now we have our last major category: the layout. I feel like I’ve either been giving Goliath either really high or really low scores in this review. The layout is the first time I feel like it deserves something more average. There are a lot of great elements in this ride, and it is excellently paced, but sadly the duration is still a problem. Great America did a great job with the space they had to work with, but I still think it wouldn’t have hurt to add a few more airtime hills throughout the ride. 6 out of 10.

After that, we have 3 more quick categories to round things out. First up, the queue. Similar to the theming category, Six Flags isn’t particularly known for having beautiful queues. I guess I could give Goliath a 3 out of 5, but only because of the cool Roman-looking sign at the front, and the fact that you can get lots of good off-ride pictures while waiting.

Second to last, we have the name category. Now most coaster enthusiasts probably know what I’m going to say about the name Goliath, but I’ll say it anyways for those who aren’t. Goliath is arguably the most overused roller coaster name in history, to the point where every bit of originality has been washed out, bleached, thrown in a trash compactor, and shot into outer space never to be seen again. In other words, for such a good coaster, it’s a shame that Six Flags gave it such a terrible name. 1 out of 5.

Finally, we have our operations category. Now here’s where things get tricky. I’ve seen some very good operations on this ride, and some very bad operations on this ride. On my last visit to the park, we ended up waiting about a half hour for the ride in which was only about a 10 minute line, due to some complications with how the ride crew was handling a lap bar situation. I understand there are safety procedures, but they really should’ve announced what was happening over a speaker so that people could decide if they wanted to stay in line or not. It was kind of frustrating, which is why I’d have to give Goliath a 3 out of 5 for operations.

Well, we’ve finally reached the end of our review. I’ve added up the points, and Goliath’s final score is…a 73! This really is one of the stronger rides at Great America. It isn’t my favorite ride at the park, and it’s definitely not my favorite RMC, but it’s still a very solid ride with a lot of good things going for it. If you’re going to Six Flags Great America, Goliath is definitely a must-ride.

Update – New Coaster Grade: 7.5/10


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