Blacking out. I’ve heard coaster enthusiasts mention that they’d experienced such intense g-forces that they blacked out. I’ve ridden many coasters in my time, but I couldn’t recall ever blacking out (nor did I want to). Until I rode Goliath last summer. It had other plans.

Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Goliath (not to be confused with Georgia’s Goliath) is one of the tallest roller coasters in the United States and the World. It features a climb of 235’ feet and a plunge of more than 25 stories into an underground tunnel. The hyper coaster was designed by the now defunct Giovanalo company. With many B&M and Intamin hyper coasters under my belt, but no Giovanolas. I was excited to ride Goliath for it’s height, speed, and maker. At any other park, Goliath would likely be the star attraction, but Six Flags Magic Mountain has a deep lineup of extreme rides. Goliath probably comes in third after X2 and Tatsu on the park’s popularity scale.

Review of Goliath at Six Flags Magic MountainJust past the huge Goliath letters lies the massive steel coaster. You board the Giovanalo trains in the temple-themed station and your journey begins. The train takes a right u-turn out of the station and begins its long, slow climb. You feel like you’re climbing for a lifetime. After the seemingly never-ending trip to the top, you look down to see a small black hole at the bottom of the peak you’ve crested. That’s the tunnel way down at the bottom of the first hill. Finally, all of the trains creep over the edge and start their descent. Unfortunately, the drop was somewhat unsatisfying.

To me, the drop felt way too shallow. I checked it out after my trip and it was only 61-degrees. I don’t like to mention other roller coasters in a coaster review, but the drop into the tunnel is reminiscient of Six Flags Great America’s Raging Bull. Sure, Raging Bull’s drop is 30 feet shorter, but at 65- degrees the drop is steeper and more exciting.

After the drop, the train climbs up to a banked turn probably more than 100′ in the air and then drops again. The following hill is Goliath’s only parabola-shaped hill (those camelback shaped hills made for airtime) and I don’t recall any substantial airtime if any at all. Next, Goliath gets all twisted. The train dives out of the mid-course brake run and into its twisted second half. The train traverses a twisted course near the ground. Twice the train dives really low to the ground. The g-forces were so intense that I blacked out for a spilt second. I’m all about g-forces and intensity in doses, but if it’s that strong, I’d have to say it’s too much. Before I get comments calling me a wimp, which you’re completely entitled to say, I just don’t think roller coasters should be that intense. It’s the same way I feel about ultra-rough wooden roller coasters.

Overall, Goliath is still a good roller coaster. It’s height, speed, and that Good Roller Coaster Reviewsdrop into the tunnel will easily set it a part from most roller coasters out there. Compared to the other hyper coasters I’ve ridden though, it falls a bit short with it’s lack of airtime and subpar first drop. Final Rating – 7.0 (Good)

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain? Chime in by leaving a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

37 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Just a little question. If you blacked out on Goliath, then shouldn't you have blacked out on Tatsu? You said the pretzel loop was the most intense element you have ever gone through.

  2. The Coaster Critic

    That's a fair question. I'm no physician and can't explain what about the g-forces causes a person to black out. I would imagine it would have something to do with the position riders are in throughout the elements. You're flat on your back during Tatsu's pretzel loop. Maybe that keeps it intense, but not too the point of Goliath's helix.

    Looks like's Arthur Levine blacked out too. He gave it a 1/5.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Anonymous

    That may be it. A Blackout is when there is not enough blood in your brain (I think. Correct me if I'm wrong.) On Tatsu, your lying down. The blood just goes to the lower half of the brain. Also, on Goliath the G's are for a longer period of time.

  4. Jake

    I agree with you, the coaster is way too large for all those Helixes at the end. I think the entire thing is very poorly designed (the designer went out of business.) The First drop was subpar (like you said) and the coaster had virtually no airtime (airtime is lacking in almost all of MM's coasters.) I have to give it a 3/5.

    • Ducky

      I went to SFMM in the last week and i remember lots of air time on Goliaths camel hump. also super man???? 6 seconds of it

    • Ben

      Jake… Im sorry. You have no idea what you are talking about. Ducky is right.

  5. Jonathan

    Good review. I go to MM at least once a month, and Goliath is by far my favorite coaster there. Depending on where I sit in the car, I will start seeing "stars" at the end of the ride, but I've never blacked out (but I've heard of it happening).

    Most people I go with prefer Tatzu, but for some reason, no matter how many times I go on it (30+), I still have the feeling that the restraints will fail and I am going to DIE, and instinctively push back on the arm rests to try and reduce pressure on the restraints, so my arms are killing my by the end of the ride. Obviously, the feeling of impending doom lessens my enjoyment of the ride considerably ;).

    But it is fun to ride at night, when you can see the lights of Valencia "barrel roll" like in the Superman movies. And I do love the feeling of the reverse-loop (when the pressure is away from the restraints). But in the end, it's Goliath for me.

  6. JESS

    The blacking out is something called a G-LOC aka Gravity Induced Loss of Conciousness. You may have heard it happen to fighter pilots or astronauts before. The forces are equivilent to being under 4.5 times earth's gravity, in which the blood from your brain gets pooled in the lower body therefore making your vision go funny and your body go numb for abit. You might also feel a sudden intense "rush" feeling right before everything goes black. That is euphoria (aka "the natural high") from the lack of blood going to the brain.

    Is it preventable? In some ways it is. Riding while tired, sick (even if it's just a cold), hungry, thirsty, or not at full health or energy lowers your G tolerance. Keeping healthy helps alot, that's why pilots and astronauts have in top shape. Pilots and astronauts may sometimes use something called a "g suit" to prevent passing out from the forces. You can sorta achieve the same effect as a g suit by being stapled, to the point where it hurts basically. Yes it will be uncomfortable, but it may provide some g force protection.

    I ain't no aerospace physiologist, but I have personal experiances with partial instances of G-LOC including a pretty scary experiance.

    • The Coaster Critic

      Thanks for the info, Jess. The part about your current condition ie. tired, sick, thirsty, etc. makes a lot of sense. That day I had to be dehydrated as I was marching around the park trying to ride everything I could. I didn't stop very often for drinks or even food until later in the day. Maybe I wouldn't have blacked out if I was in better shape that day. That's something I'll have to keep in mind in the future.

  7. Surya

    I went on Goliath 14 times over the course of my 2 days in the LA area. I went on it 6 consecutive times (no requeueing needed) to end my stay there. If you sit in the back, it has EXCELLENT airtime on the first drop and absolutely FABULOUS airtime on the camelhump.

    I managed to ride with a 5" gap between my legs and the restraints, and I can assure you I went up all the way on both the drop and the airtime hill. I just couldn't get enough. Which is why Goliath was my favorite at Magic Mountain.

    Also, did I mention this ride is smooth as warm butter? There's not a single jerk.

    I would ofcourse have preferred the ride to have more airtime hills, but the one that's there works amazingly well (if you sit in the back at least, didn't try the front).

  8. jordan

    personally, blacking out makes the ride oddly exciting. when it ends i am in shock and feel great. for example, batman, right down the "street" from Goliath. i've been on two clones before it but in between the first loop and the zero-g roll i blacked out for about 5 seconds (until the end of the second loop) and it was very cool. when it ended i didn't really feel that affected. its now my favorite clone :).

  9. Asianna

    I'm doing a project on the Goliath, do you know what its highest hill, average speed, and age are?

  10. spork

    Goliath is one of my favorite rides at Magic Mountain and the helix is my second favorite part of the ride (after the initial drop). I've never come close to blacking out on it until the last time I went. My friend also said he was close to blacking out too. It was the first ride we went on that morning so we weren't "ready".

    That said, my favorite ride at Magic Mountain might actually be Deja Vu, followed by Tatsu, then Goliath. Pity that Deja Vu's line moves at a snail's pace.

  11. eric

    California just had to get stuck with this crappy hypercoaster… It doesn't have a very impressive camel back, the twisty-ness is very underwhelming, and I don't think a coaster should have a helix that powerful.

    I don't hate people who love this ride; I'm just giving an honest opinion here

  12. Matt

    Hi all. For those of you who are not experiancing the GLOC, you are prolly screaming all the way through. If one to were relax and just enjoy the feel of the ride, the "6 g turn" will in due course knock the stuffing right out of you. By screaming or bearing down on your abs you can force the blood to stay in your head and not ecpeiance the GLOC. I was relaxing on my first trip trough and was near black out at the end of the 360 turn. A most interesting sensation to loose your factilties like that. Next run, I bore down and did not experiance it. I feel that this is one of the smmothest coasters I have even been on and could ride this all day with no ill effects. The argument about G loads between this and Tatsu do make sense, but Tatsu's G load is a physics puzzle. Yes, the G load is higher, but on a different plane and is still fully capable of knocking you out if you are not careful. I give this coaster a 8 of 10 for the silky smooth ride and high G loads. This is a great coaster.

  13. Branden

    I found this coaster really not that bad except in that final low to ground turn and all of the blood rushed from my head and i couldn't see anything for a second. I have never experienced that before but it was intense. I was still conscious but no vision for a second until we came out of the turn. At the end of the ride my friend got really sick and i myself felt sick later on in the day but i think it was just the sun.

  14. Jack

    CC, did you black out or grey out. I grey out all the time on I305, Nitro, and Backlot Stunt Coaster, but I never blacked out.

    • The Coaster Critic

      I'm probably not as precise with the correct medical terminology. Everything went dark for a moment. Probably more of a grey out, but definitely not desirable.

  15. Pamela

    I am so glad to see other people talking about this blacking out thing… It's been years since I've even been on Goliath but I very vividly remember the sensation. It was as though there was a black curtain coming down in front of my eyes – it wasn't instant for me (well of course the whole thing was probably only 3 seconds but it was long enough for my mind to think about it and process it as it was happening) but as soon as that angle changed it was instantly gone. I love rides and go on them as much as possible but this was a first for me and has stuck with me ever since. Everyone else thought I was crazy that day but glad to see some similar experiences here!

  16. BlackRob

    I love Goliath. Always have and always will. The first drop is really good. It's certainly not El Toro at SFGAdv, but it's a good drop. I love and I mean LOVE the blackout on the helix. I don't blackout each ride. Those rides when I don't blackout, consider me extremely disappointed. It is the highlight of the ride for me. In my opinion, Goliath is underrated. It is better than SFOT's Titan. Honestly, I don't get all the hype with Goliath at SFOG. That's overrated.

  17. JoeySilva

    I will say that this coaster is not the best hyper coaster I've been on, but it is certainly fun. True, the drop is underwhelming, and the helix is long and intense, but I have never blacked out on it yet. Also, I think your experience is largly dependent on your seat. I don't remember exactly where I sat, but I got substancial airtime on the parabola hill. Also, about halfway through the ride after a brake run, I felt as if I were going to fall out the side of the train, for the ride banked almost 90 degrees before dropping, and since the train had slowed after the brake run, my full body weight was pressing down towards the ground against the side of the train. It was a unique, albeit scary experience


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