Take A Spin on Goliath – The Jewel of the SouthEast
Goliath is a towering hyper coaster built at Six Flags Over Georgia in 2006. It may mark the end of an era for Six Flags. Newly appointed CEO Mark Shapiro pointed at the $20 million roller coaster in an interview and said “No more of those.” The year it was built Dan Snyder and Mark Shapiro assumed control of Six Flags. They planned to steer the large theme park chain to more family friendly rides and attractions. Goliath towers over Austell, Georgia at 200 feet (roughly 20 stories). Like other Bolliger & Mabillard hyper coasters it offers large camel back hills, a buttery smooth ride, and speed.
Goliath’s station had some type of neo-50’s theme. The roller coaster’s name speaks to the chains continued uncreativity. A la, it’s big, we’ll name it Goliath. Not to mention the name is used at several other parks. Anyway, I got to the park on Wednesday morning, June 4th. I bought my season pass (that I’d be using later for my trip to Magic Mountain) and headed straight for Goliath. It was a walk-on and I was able to by-pass the now mandatory lockers for storing bags & other loose items. The small crowd that had gathered in the station was quickly dispatched thanks to Goliath’s 32 passenger, 4 across, ultra-comfortable trains.
Politics in a Theme Park?
The ride op sounded like he aspired to be a club D.J. He had the station hyped up with and screaming ‘yeah’ on cue. I appreciated the active and fun ride op until he gave an inappropriate shout out Barrack Obama for clinching the Democratic nomination. There was a weak smattering of applause in response likely from the Georgia Tech and University of Georgia students. I think most, like me, were wondering why this guy brought politics into a theme park. He was young like most ride ops and obviously didn’t know any better.
Goliath – The Trip Out
After boarding the comfortable trains, Goliath makes its twenty story climb right over the pathways in 50’sville. There’s a great view of the surrounding area and then the first 170 foot drop. As usual, the drop was much better in the back of the train as it makes the relatively (compared to other hypers) short drop feel much longer. The second drop is actually 5 feet longer and then the 3rd offers some excellent floater air time. At the bottom, the train flies close to a pond below and you can really feel the ride’s speed. The train climbs up once again to set up a great downward helix. The unorthodox helix has a ‘down the drain’ feeling and pulls some great g-forces. It trumps sister coaster Nitro’s upward helix by a mile.
Goliath – The Trip Back
The next hill drops the train by some trees that the park was smart to keep and next is the highlight of the ride. The train rises back up and does a quick overbanked turn to the right. It a much short overbanked turn than Nitro’s hammerhead, but it’s very effective. You feel as if you’re going to be dumped into the pond below. After, the train traverses a number of bunny hills with decent amounts of air. The final bunny hill drops the train right into the station brakes. Goliath is a solid hyper coaster. It’s not only the park’s best roller coaster, but arguably the best coaster in the South East (south of Virginia). We’re lucky that it was built before the Snyder-Shapiro rule. Final Rating 9.0 (Excellent)
Goliath is rated ‘IN’ for Intense. It’s a 4 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale for of its height and speed.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia? How do you think it matches up to other hyper coasters? Leave a comment below.