The 5 Best Coasters in Northern California

DSC_0044 (Large)Northern California parks are hours away from the Southern California theme parks. Yet, they’re in the shadow of these Southern California parks. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are a few great parks up state, such as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, California’s Great America, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and Gilroy Gardens. We’ve decided to take a look at the coasters we find in Northern California, many of which are thrilling and world-class attractions. Here’s the list of the 5 best coasters in Northern California. 

5. Giant Dipper

Having opened 1924, it is not only the oldest coaster in Northern California, but also the oldest in the entire state! Despite its age, Giant Dipper is still an amazing ride that delivers some great forces, both applied as airtime, and intense laterals. The surprisingly thrilling ride experience combined with its ideal setting on the beautiful Santa Cruz coastline makes it one of the most interesting and nostalgic rides in the state!DSC_0249.JPG (Large)

4. Flight Deck

As one of the most unique inverts out there, Flight Deck delivers great rides year after year. It’s different than any other invert in the state, perhaps anywhere. Ever since it opened as Top Gun in 1993, Flight Deck has been one of the best and most popular rides at California’s Great America. Its short and sweet layout makes for a well paced and intense ride including a Vertical Loop, Zero-G-Roll, Corkscrew, and a personal favorite of ours, a fierce Helix over a lake! It would be a shame to leave such powerful ride off our list, thus it’s out number four pick.DSC_0048 - Copy (Large)

3. Medusa

As Northern California’s biggest coaster, Medusa opened with the world’s largest loop, and is a real guest favorite. Medusa’s almost 4,000 feet long, and a 150 feet tall. The ride’s filled with inversions, the most in Northern California, with a total of seven. Though there’s a similar coaster in Southern California, Scream!, Medusa’s better in several ways. The drop on Medusa is straight down, and the ride features the world’s only Sea Serpent Roll, a unique roll-over like element. In addition, the line-up of the ride’s elements is quite unique, the mid-course break run is followed by a curved drop into a corkscrew, which is followed by a helix, which is followed by another corkscrew, which is followed by a very tight helix! With the high capacity, and fast moving lines, this is a ride you simply can not miss out on!20150409_154920 (Large)

2. Gold Striker

The famous wooden coaster that clearly marked the start of a great new era at California’s Great America, Gold Striker, is a favorite of everyone who rides. The ride’s the tallest wooden coaster in Northern California, and is manufactured by Great Coasters International. Due to its Millennium Flyer trains it’s able to make absurd quick movements. Gold Striker stands a 108 feet tall and reaches speeds of over 50 MPH. The ride is a fast-paced, non-stop, experience with lots of airtime, quick turns, and perhaps best of all… The drop is tunneled, and due to local noise complaints, the park was forced to install walls along the ride, as well as tunnels. Riders fly through these tunnels, and by these walls, at incredible speeds, and it truly adds to the crazy experience. It’s by far California’s BEST wooden coaster!20140726_183815 (Large)

1. Superman: Ultimate Flight

Superman: Ultimate Flight came to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in 2012, and truly revolutionized the coaster industry. The crazy ride launches riders up to 62MPH forward and backwards through a compact structure. The ride makes two vertical twists of a 180′ degrees that swing riders out of their seat, with all that’s holding them in, a lap-bar. In addition, the ride slowly inverts at a 150 feet up in the sky, before entering one of the most intense drops on the planet! The ride isn’t just an intense experience, it’s a very unique one, with a totally different experience in each seat. The ride was also the first of it’s kind, and currently parks around the world are pushing to get a design like it, in their parks. It’s a trend setter. It’s absolutely a fantastic ride experience!20130705_151056 (Large)

What’s your favorite coaster in Northern California? Comment below!

Here is a list with the 5 best inversions in California!

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3 Replies to “The 5 Best Coasters in Northern California”

  1. I would have to agree with this list. Gold Striker is truly amazing, but I do like Superman a tad better. Nice list.

  2. I must say I agree with this list. I love the placing of both Giant Dipper and Goldstriker. Nor cal really does need some more attention, we lt up here!

    Viva Barbasol

  3. Good list.
    I would have to argue however that medusa and S:UF switch places, superman has too short a ride time

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