The coaster reaches top speeds of 72 mph (116 kph) and has the
steepest drop of any wooden coaster - a near-vertical 85-degree
plunge from an 180-foot (55 meter) height, according to the park in
Gurnee, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Chicago.
"Everybody who came into the park today was standing in the Goliath
queue," said Six Flags spokeswoman Katy Enrique.
Wooden roller coasters, which typically have running rails of
flattened steel strips mounted on a wooden track, have seen a
revival in popularity since the mid-1990s.
That is partly because they are less expensive to build than steel
coasters, while still providing the same, if not greater thrills,
said Justin Kreindel, 32, an Atlanta attorney and coaster enthusiast
who has ridden close to 200 different coasters worldwide.
Many coaster fans prefer wooden coasters, he said, since a steel
coaster cannot replicate the "out-of-control feel" of a wooden
coaster, although they are equally safe.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Peter
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