Young and old alike will shriek with delight at the hair-raising assortment of roller coasters, thrill rides and wild water drops on offer in Las Vegas. If you’re looking for something a bit different in the thrill ride arena, look no further than Vegas for all your pulse raising fun. From the top of the Stratosphere to a zip-line between casinos, these attractions will keep you coming back for more.
There’s nothing like being driven off the edge of a 100-storey building. X Scream at Stratosphere thrusts riders over the edge of the 263-metre-high building on a narrow track, then teeters the thrill seekers as they dangle high in the sky. Once isn’t enough though. The capsule reverses for another two goes!
Another heart-stopping Stratosphere thrill ride is Insanity. Spider-like claws extend 19 metres over the tower’s edge, dangling riders in a chilling manoeuvre of twists and spins. If you’re able to open your eyes on this scary ride, you’ll have views straight down to the Vegas strip, 275 metres below.
A Stratosphere ride of a different sort, Big Shot is a variation of the typical drop ride, only it goes straight UP. Big Shot propels riders up at speeds of 75 kilometres per hour. Already on top of the 100-storey tall Stratosphere observation tower, Big Shot is attached to the structures thin, needle-like aerial tower and mast. With the sky-high views and tummy tickling G-forces, this ride will leave you breathless.
At speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour, Canyon Blaster thrusts riders along the nearly 1 kilometre-long roller coaster track with rocket-like force as it speeds through the corkscrew loops, tight twists and sudden turns. Located at Adventuredome theme park, this indoor roller coaster comes complete with a steep 20-metre-high drop.
Big Apple Coaster
Even bigger and faster than Canyon Blaster is the Big Apple Coaster at New York, New York Hotel and Casino. A kilometre and a half of high speed twists and turns, the coaster takes riders on a journey that includes a steep 55-metre-high drop, followed by another 44-metre-high fall, all before screaming through vertical loops and spirals at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour!
Prepare to get wet on this popular water flume ride. Located at Primm Valley Casino Resorts on the California and Nevada border (about a 40-minute drive from Las Vegas on Highway 15), Adventure Canyon transports riders to the swirling mountain rapids, but with an unexpected 15-metre drop off. After the death-defying drop, the log ride continues on a scenic journey right through the casino.
For roller coaster enthusiasts, Desperado is a must-do ride. Not only is it Nevada’s longest coaster, but it’s the tallest, at 64 metres. Almost 2 kilometres long, the coaster features a 70-metre drop and runs partially through the casino. Considered a ‘hypercoaster,’ it is the only one of its kind in the state of Nevada.
El Loco (‘Crazy’ in Spanish), is a special type of roller coaster which is characterised by 90-degree vertical or beyond vertical drops, with extreme corners and erratic banking. The El Loco at Circus Circus’ Adventuredome in Las Vegas, has taken the type’s name, and applied it to the coaster itself. Featuring a 90-degree drop, this is only one of two El Locos in the United States, and one of two world-wide that is built indoors.
If you’re looking for a zipline to beat all ziplines, then head to Rio Resort and Casino. The resort’s two magnificent hotel towers are joined by – you guessed it, the Voodoo zipline. At 150 metres high, the motorised line takes riders on a 244 metre ride from the 50-storey high Masquerade Tower to the Ipanema Tower, on a narrow two-seat chair. On the way, riders will get a 360-degree view of the Vegas Strip below.
If you thought the thrill rides at Stratosphere were over, think again. The thrill rides aren’t done until you take the final plunge. Skyjump is like a bungee jump experience, only it controls the drop by a high-speed descender. Step off the 253-metre-high step, and plunge straight down, coming to a steady stop at the bottom of the tower.