Giant Dipper Roller Coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Giant Dipper Roller Coaster Thrills 60 Million Riders

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's Classic Ride Reaches Milestone
The Giant Dipper

SANTA CRUZ, CA (July 23, 2012) – The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s signature ride, the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster is reaching a major milestone. The 88-year-old coaster is on track to log 60 million riders by the end of the week.
In celebration of the giant milestone, the Boardwalk is giving away trivia “coaster coasters”  (drink coasters) featuring facts about the ride. A different coaster will be given to the first 5,000 riders each day from July 24 through July 27. In addition, on July 27, twenty-four Giant Dipper riders (one full train) will be recognized as the “60 millionth riders” and receive prizes.  
The Giant Dipper has been thrilling Boardwalk visitors since it first opened on May 17, 1924. A National Historic Landmark, the Boardwalk’s Giant Dipper is the oldest roller coaster in California, and the 5th oldest roller coaster in the United States. The Dipper reached 50 million Giant Dipper riders in 2002.
The Giant Dipper was built in just 47 days at a cost of $50,000. Today, labor and materials for merely painting the Giant Dipper come to well over $400,000.  It also costs more to ride the classic coaster, the fare started at 15 cents in 1924; today it costs $5.00.
According to the ride’s designer Arthur Looff, he created the Giant Dipper envisioning a giant wooden coaster that would be a “combination earthquake, balloon ascension, and aeroplane drop.”  The thrill ride, with speeds up to 55 MPH, proved to be all that and more. 

Looff’s love of amusement rides may have been hereditary.  In 1911, his father, Charles I.D. Looff delivered his hand-carved carousel and band organ to the Boardwalk. The Looff family’s rides made history in June of 1987 when both the Giant Dipper and the antique Looff Carousel were designated National Historic Landmarks by the U.S. National Park Service.


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About the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk features both modern and classic thrill rides, restaurants, miniature golf, video game arcades, and family bowling located on a mile of sandy beach. Named the world’s Best Seaside Amusement Park by industry experts, the Boardwalk is home to 2 National Historic Landmarks.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is located at 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 831-423-5590;

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