- Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 7.5
High lift hill, fast speed, inversions, head banging
- Type: Steel looping hypercoaster
- Height (feet): 203
- Highest drop (feet): 144
- Max. speed (mph): 67
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Las Vegas Deals
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Las Vegas Explorer Pass - Choose from a number of attractions, including admission to the Stratosphere Tower, a Grand Canyon Tour, V: The Ultimate Variety Show with Dinner, and Fab Four Live. Also includes discount to Speed: The Ride coaster.
This Ride Takes You for a Loop
The setting is surreal, Las Vegas-style. The faux New York City skyline along Sin City's famed Strip, with its Statue of Liberty, Chrysler building, and other landmarks, is both enchanting and unsettling--particularly with the "Eiffel Tower" looming just across the street. Snaking through the Manhattan mock-up, and creating quite a scene on Las Vegas Boulevard, is the roller coaster's red track.
It would have been so much more apropos to build a classic white wood coaster in homage to Coney Island's famed Cyclone (or at least a steel coaster made to look like a woodie, such as California Screamin' at Disney California Adventure). The casino's designers, however, opted for a steel looping hypercoaster.
Instead of doubling the fun, The Roller Coaster's hypercoaster heights and looping inversion elements cancel each other out -- and cause some pain to boot. Rather than being built for height and speed, the coaster climbs over 200 feet, but (to accommodate the inversions?) only drops 144 feet and reaches a relatively puny top speed of 67 mph. In place of the graceful inversions of most looping coasters, the ride's jarring twists and turns are worse than a cab ride during rush hour in midtown Manhattan.
Speaking of cab rides, the coaster's trains are painted taxi yellow with a checkered black design. Getting to the attraction is anything but an express ride, however. The loading station is inside the casino, at the rear of the building. In the old days, when casinos simply wanted to attract and keep gamblers inside their pocket-emptying palaces, they offered loss leaders like cheap buffets and strategically placed them to lure hungry cheapskates past the blinking slot machines. Likewise, in order to get to the coaster, riders have to navigate a maze that winds through most of the massive facility.
But now, the casinos want everything to be a profit center. New York, New York has the nerve to charge $14 to ride Manhattan Express (2012 prices). It doesn't cost much more to spend an entire day at some amusement parks. If that's not bad enough, the casino doesnâ€™t allow carry-on items, and doesn't permit riders to stow items in the station. It costs another fifty cents to rent a locker. For the bargain price of $25, guests can get a ride-all-day ticket. Why anybody would want to board this thing more than once, however, is beyond me. If you need a thrill ride fix, you might want to check out other Las Vegas roller coasters.
To be fair, the sight of the coaster careening around Lady Liberty, particularly at night, is striking. My advice: skip the ride, and watch it from the Strip for free.