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Encyclopedia > Giant Dipper

Giant dipper

The Giant Dipper is a famous wooden roller coaster located at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz California, USA. Designed by Frank Prior and Fredrick Church with a double out and back layout and built by Arthur Looff in 1924 in just 47 days at a cost of $50,000. It opened on May 17th of that year and it cost 15 cents back then. Over the years more than 50million people have ridden this magnificent old coaster. It has appeared in many TV commercials and movies including, “Lost Boys” and “Sudden impact”

The Specs:

Height: 70 feet

Max. Drop: 65 feet

Top Speed: 55 mph

Length: 2,640 feet

The ride takes about 1 minute and 50 seconds.


Located between walkways 3 & 4 at 700 Beach St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Other notes:

Arthur Looff’s father, Charles, built the Boardwalk’s beloved Carousel in 1911 – that ride, like the Giant Dipper, is still in use as of Dec 2005.

There is another wooden coaster by the same name in San Diego’s Belmont park, it was built in 1925 and is of similar dimensions.

In 1987 the Giant Dipper was recognized by the US National Park Service as a historic landmark.

The reason why the Giant Dipper is in operation after 82 years is because the inspections on the half-a-mile track are used.

Looff described his plans for the coaster by describing it as a, “combination earthquake, balloon ascension, and aeroplane drop”.

More info on the web:



Go for a virtual ride at: http://www.beachboardwalk.com/03_giant_dipper_ride.html

Last Updated:01/15/06

  Results from FactBites:
Giant Dipper at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk | Ride Review (455 words)
Today, the Giant Dipper remains the number one attraction on the venerable Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and continues to thrill millions of guests.
To keep the Dipper safe after more than 75 years, the roller coaster and trains are throughly inspected by the park's mechanics every day.
Featured prominently as the main attraction on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Giant Dipper is a living reminder of the many long lost seaside roller coasters that used to line the coast of California.
  More results at FactBites »



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