California is a great state if one’s looking to ride some great roller-coasters! We might not have the most renowned line-up of Wooden Coasters in the state, but we sure have a thrilling collection of these wooden giants. Here’s the 5 best woodies in California!
Kicking off our list is Roar, at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. The quick turns and transitions of Roar are accentuated nicely be the first ever Millennium Flyer trains, which masterfully navigate the twisty track. Though the first with Millennium Flyers, it may have become one of the roughest coasters with Millennium Flyers. The course is well paced, with some good swings to it, has a unique head-chopper tunnel, and even an occasional pop of GCI airtime, earning it the number five spot on this list.
Opened as Terminator Salvation: The Ride in 2009, this heavily themed woodie was a real GCI master piece and was the first (and only) woodie to ever feature on-board audio. In 2011, it was renamed Apocalypse, and the on-board audio was removed. Navigating its twisty track at high speeds, the ride includes tunnels, a station fly-by, and fire-effects! Though recently its age is starting to slowly show, it’s still a must-experience attraction at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The non-stop action packed ride is a favorite of many!
Due to its glass-smooth, crazy air-time filled ride experience, GhostRider was probably the most ‘hyped’ about coaster when it made its debut in late 1998. Though the ride is now considered a hell-on-wheels by many, this rather rough ride is still one of the most massive wooden attractions the state has ever seen. GhostRider has a classic feel, with a great amount of air-time packed hills, which in a state filled with GCI’s is quite unique! It remains to be one of Knott’s Berry Farm’s most popular attractions, which is likely also due to the great length of the ride! A can’t-miss when at Knott’s!
2. Giant Dipper (Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk)
As one of the ten oldest operating coasters in the United States (1924), this ride’s historical significance alone is enough to put it on this list. However, it is actually an excellent ride! The contrast between plentiful airtime, and strong laterals make it fierce ride, regardless of its age. This classic double out and back still packs a pretty massive punch and is an absolute must-ride!
1. Gold Striker
There’s likely no way you’re going to disagree. After many years without any new additions, California’s Great America hit a home-run by adding the amazing Gold Striker in 2013. The ride, mainly due to local noise complaints, is plastered in walls and tunnels, making it the most head-chopper filled woodie around. Gold Striker includes a tunneled drop, crazy amounts of air-time, quick forceful transitions, and does it all glass-smooth and very fast. From the moment you drop, there’s not a single moment for guests to catch their breath. Gold Striker takes you on an incredible two and a half minute journey, a journey that crowns it to be the best Wooden Coaster in California.
Comment your thoughts below! What’s your top 5 woodies in California? Or Top 5 anywhere?!