Giant Dipper
Website: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Homepage
Ride Type: Wooden Coaster
Ride Status: Running
Average Rating: 4.4643
TPC Overall Rank: #50 out of 2933 rides.
Reviews: 32
Last Review: 11/18/2007 8:14:00 PM
In User Top 10: 30 times.
User Tracker Count: 69 times.

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4 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up shag9004 on 11/18/2007 8:14:00 PM
Date Ridden: Summer of 2006 and Spring of 2007. Times Ridden: 4 with once in the front, once in the back, and twice in the middle portion of the train.
This ride needs a good review. I have been trying to post one per day so if anyone wishes to scan through my ride tracker and make a request feel free since Im out of school this week.
This version of the Giant Dipper is a wonderful and quaint old woodie with a gorgeous backdrop located right along the Pacific Ocean down in Santa Cruz. My first time out here was totally unexpected. We had spent half a day at what was then 6 Flags Marine World and were ready to go somewhere else. We had intended on a full day there but the weather was really warm and there was not much there other than Medusa. We checked the distance and decide it would be nice to make the trek up to the boardwalk and walk around at night. My gf told me about an old woodie that she had ridden as a little girl so I was excited about it. We didnt have but a couple of hours so we bought some tickets instead of the wristband. We each rode the other coasters as well as two rides on the Dipper itself. I was hooked from the beginning. What makes this ride a 9? Well, the opening drop down into the tunnel taking you to the lift hill was a unique experience for me. The ride is not overly tall or fast and does not contain a hint of roughness as some of the other reviews state. It is a smooth ride with small pops of airtime and some nice laterals. The ride itself probably scores more in the 8 range but I always like to take into account the setting of any coaster and this one gets a full point bump thanks to its locale. Our night ride on the very front was a great experience. The station is great. As the train enters from finishing the course, it is possible to high five the people waiting in line as they lean over the track. If you have been there you know what I mean. If not, it is tough to describe as it is not dangerous at all. If you are a lover of woodies and are in the vicinity you should not miss the Giant Dipper. I have since gotten another couple of rides as we are sometimes in the Santa Cruz area and stop in to get a quick ride since entrance to the park is free. We are hoping to get down there (or I should say up there I guess) and stay a couple of days to fully enjoy everything the park has to offer. This is definitely not the tallest or fastest, is not made of pre-fabricated wood, does not threaten to eject you from the train into the ocean beyond, but is still superbly maintained and a wonderful coaster experience. It gets a full 9 from me and lands in my top 10 list of woodies. Not bad for a coaster from the 1920s.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up sfgfan10 on 7/11/2006 3:22:00 PM
Very fun, but also very rough. The people in the front seats get slammed into the side of the car at every turn, which can take away some of the fun. Otherwise, though, this is a great ride and is worth riding multiple times.

5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Awesomeboy on 6/3/2006 10:48:00 PM
A classic. This is the best woodie Ive ever been on. Dont even go near Grizzly at PGA.

4 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up Scott on 6/2/2006 4:53:00 PM
The Giant Dipper is another amazing ride. It is pure, flat out fun! The station is curved and housed inside a cool, old building. When the coaster makes its turnaround above the station, the whole building shakes! You can still see some stand underneath the station, meaning that the whole thing was built on the beach. Amazing. Everything about this ride is classic. Except the Morgan trains, which were surprisingly comfortable. I wish the single lap bar were a buzz bar instead of ratcheting, but thats minor quibbling. My first ride was in the back seat. The whole ride was insane. I experienced airtime on almost every drop, and the coaster provided some great laterals. We then rode in the front. The airtime was much different here - there werent as moments of airtime, but the intensity was much greater. Giant dipper usually runs 2 trains, so waiting time is minimal. Every seat delievers on this ride. This is a great classic coaster.

5 Rating
0 Rating Rate Down Rate Up CobraRoll on 9/11/2005 7:01:00 AM - User's Top Ride #1
this is by far the best ride Ive ever experienced, its the perfect blend of atmosphere, thrills, drops, turns, its THE perfect ride.

the ride starts by dropping down into a dark tunnel that makes Space Mountain look bright, it doesnt last long, but it is the best pre-lifthill of any coaster period. So, you begin to climb the lifthill and exit out the tunnel, after climbing about 50 feet out of the tunnel, be perpared for pure coaster goodness. The drop is hugely satisfying, its powerful without being bumpy, after the giant dip you enter the first of two fan turns, it smacks you, but oh well, you drop down, get your photo taken, and head up a couple of bunny hills to the next fan turn, you pass over the station on a banked turn and drop agian into the coaster, this is my personal favorite park of the coaster, the few secconds of bunny hills before passing under the first open fan turn is pure bliss, handchoppers, airtime, the works, if you at all appriecitate coasters, youll be on cloud nine during this part, then you pass directly under the first fan turn, hit a few airtime pulling drops, and blast back into the station, a great experience from beginning to end.

5 Rating
-1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up $HeRsHeY$ on 8/26/2005 7:17:00 PM
A true classic coaster fun for all ages!

5 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up ultragirl on 6/9/2005 7:43:00 PM
This is a classic. I first rode it in 1992 at the age of 10 and I had such a blast. It was one of the first major roller coasters for me. It isnt as jarring as one would think for a wooden coaster. Now that Im older I cant handle the real rough coasters (after a car accident three years ago, my neck cant handle that much, lol). But, this one will always be an exception.

5 Rating
+1 Rating Rate Down Rate Up crispy on 1/16/2005 9:04:00 AM - User's Top Ride #18
This coaster will always have a place in my heart, I grew up in Santa Cruz, and this roller coaster is one of my Favorites. Alot of great bunny hops with head choppers and what a view when you get to the top of the lift hill. Even after Eighty years, still one of the best

5 Rating
+2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up biosciking on 12/5/2004 11:18:00 PM - User's Top Ride #8
Like its Giant Dipper cousin down south in San Diego, this Giant Dipper is another Prior and Church wood coaster sitting alongside the beach. Although that one is great, this one is even better. You know you are in for a treat when the coaster pulls out of the station and immediately plunges into a drop in a pitch black tunnel. There are great views of the boardwalk, the beach, and the ocean as you go up the lift hill. In my opinion, the back is the absolute best place to sit on this coaster. The lap bars have to fit around everyone in the entire car, so most likely there will be some room between you and the lap bar, which amounts to fantastic airtime. I realized this the instant we crested the lift hill. I normally dont notice airtime so much on the first drop, because you ascend the lift hill too slowly to get that effect. However, here in the back of this coaster, I got launched out of my seat as the front of the train yanked the back over the top. It never let up from there. The Giant Dipper at Belmont Park in San Diego was more of a twister, with lots of lateral gs. This Giant Dipper is more of an out-and-back. There are still plenty of laterals on the turns, but what this coaster really wants to provide is negative gs, and as this coaster goes out and back, and out and back again, there are just an endless number of airtime-producing hills. Like I say, sit in the back, hold your hands up or just grab the lap bar loosely, and youre in for one amazing experience. Wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

5 Rating
-2 Rating Rate Down Rate Up kcascario on 6/21/2004 10:32:00 PM
WONDERFUL!!! it was so cool... even as a kid this place is great.

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