SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- California's Great America will open the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Northern California in the spring of 2013. To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tallest-and-fastest-wooden-roller-coaster-in-northern-california-to-open-at-californias-great-america-in-2013-167768525.html High-speed twists, turns, drops, station fly-by and the Old West are the top features of Gold Striker, currently under construction at Northern California's leading thrill park and family destination. The ride will stand 108 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 103 feet at a 50-degree angle. Riders will careen along 3,197 feet of track at speeds up to 54 miles per hour. The ride experience on Gold Striker will last more than two heart-pounding minutes. "Gold Striker reflects our commitment to providing our guests with the best thrills and entertainment value in the region," California's Great America Vice-President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. "This ride was uniquely designed by melding together the highest performing and most exciting features of the very best wooden roller coasters in the world. Everyone who enjoys the thrills of riding a roller coaster will want to experience Gold Striker." The name of the ride was chosen to recognize the pioneering and adventurous spirit of the California gold-seekers who rushed the area in 1849. Gold Striker will be located in the Celebration Plaza area of California's Great America and will be the park's eighth roller coaster. The ride will wrap around the park's Star Tower attraction. Gold Striker is custom designed and built for the topography of California's Great America by Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCI) of Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Two trains will accommodate 24 passengers each (four riders per car and six cars per train) with a capacity of 850 riders per hour. Guests must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. Those who cannot wait until spring may take a virtual ride on Gold Striker at cagreatamerica.com. Visitors of cagreatamerica.com may also access exclusive Gold Striker updates and features, including virtual ride renderings, ride statistics, construction photos and a live construction Web cam.