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Stratosphere Thrill Rides


Insanity Ride Stratosphere Vegas photo

The view from 1000 feet above the Vegas Strip.

Stratosphere Casino, 2004. Used with permission.
It's kind of hard to miss the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas; the nearly 1000-foot behemoth is visible from anywhere in Sin City. In a town known to embrace the outrageous, it's still insane to discover that there are thrill rides ATOP THE TOWER. Even more audacious than the people who thought of placing rides on top of the Stratosphere: the nuts who ride them (that'd be me...and you?).

None of the rides would be particularly noteworthy if they were planted on the ground, but at more than 900 feet above Vegas' famed strip, they're all beyond wild--and three of them may just be the most thrilling, if not terrifying, rides on the planet. It's all about psychological thrills, and these rides give acrophobia a whole new meaning.

When the see saw-like XScream totters over the edge of the tower, or when Insanity (speaking of insane) dangles above the Strip and tilts its cars down as if to eject its passengers, psychological thrills just don't get a heckuva lot more intense. The Big Shot is a fairly standard drop tower ride, but when you're freefalling 1000 feet in the air, all I can say is, "Yikes!"

SkyJump is especially wacky. It is a "controlled" freefall from the tower's observation deck. Um, did I mention it's about 1000 feet down to the terra firma of the Strip? Participants are tethered via a harness to a pulley system as they take their high-flying leaps.

For those too squeamish to brave the attractions, just riding to the top of the tower is an adventure that I'd highly recommend. You'll get two different experiences during the day and Vegas' neon-infused night. If you've got the time and the dough (reward yourself if a slot machine pays off!), try both.

Thrill Rides:

Insanity has seats tethered to an arm that swings out beyond the tower leaving riders dangling 1000 feet in the air. As the ride begins its circular motion, the seats rise and tilt downward to the Strip. Insane indeed.

XScream resembles a giant seesaw that sends riders teetering over the edge of the tower.

The Big Shot is a hydraulic freefall drop tower, similar to many found at theme parks -- except this one is on top of the tower.

SkyJump is a controlled freefall from the tower's observation deck to the ground.

High Roller- Review of the coaster. (The Stratosphere dismantled the coaster in 2006 and replaced it with other thrill rides.) Have no fear thrill machine fans. There are other Las Vegas roller coasters.

New at Stratosphere:

In 2010, the Stratosphere built the $3.6 million Sky Jump, which is essentially a controlled freefall from the tower's observation deck to the ground. Read more about the Stratosphere Sky Jump.

See the Thrills:


On the Strip in Las Vegas, NV.
If you're not sure where it is, just look up.



Admission Policy:

Ride tickets can be purchased a la carte, or as a package. Riders need to pay for admission to tower as well.

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