Las Vegas Thrill Rides: Old & New

Las Vegas Thrill Rides: Old & New
/ May 13, 2014


Las Vegas has had a long standing legacy as one of the largest entertainment capitals of the world. It takes all kinds to entertain, and if there’s a market for The Strip to cover, consider any said market a mouse and the strip a (very rabid) cat. Thrill rides are definitely not out of question, and The Strip has had a quaint romance with them over the years.


One of the earliest and most memorable rides on The Strip has to be the Manhattan Express Roller Coaster, now just simply known as Roller Coaster,  at the New York New York Hotel & Casino. The ride boasts the  world’s first “heartline” twist and dive maneuver, not for the faint of heart.

Once apon a time the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino had an adjoining theme park by the name of MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park. This was way back when, when the hotel yielded a huge Wizard of Oz theme, where the yellow brick road literally led to the theme park from within the casino. The park hosted 8 rides and 3 different type of event theaters, and sadly they all closed their doors  back in 2000 in favor of MGM condominiums and an expanded pool.

Another widely loved amusement park to leave all too soon was Wet n’ Wild just south of the also now defunct Sahara Hotel, which was also home to another great roller coaster, Speed – The Ride. Both Wet n’ Wild and Speed were wildly successful draws so it seemed by anyone who possessed some level of school ID from mid 90s – early 00s.


Picking up where those two left off would be the Circus Circus Adventuredome offering 25 family friendly rides, an arcade, performers and more! The Stratosphere is probably the most progressive of all The Strip’s thrill rides endeavors. Atop the world’s tallest free-standing observation tower resides some of the scariest thrill rides on the planet as voted by For instance, take the ride Insanity, it lays 64 feet off the ledge of the northern tip of the Stratosphere tower and spins you at a speed over 40 MPH over 900 feet above the ground. These rides certainly don’t play around, and that’s just one of four rides that call The Stratosphere home.


Vegas may be wanting to take it down a notch when it comes to thrill rides as there seems to be a new approach. Autonomy and observation seem to be the focus of today’s thrill seeker. Starting at the eastside of Fremont Street is a 12 story slot machine hosting a zipline aptly named, Slotzilla. Slotzilla replaces Flightlinez at Fremont as downtowns premiere zip lining attraction. The Slotzilla zip line is 77 feet high and 850 feet long and at this point still at an ETA standstill, though it is presumed to be available for the public before summer 2014. Must be a trend, because there is another Vegas bound zip line with a TBD ETA. This would be the VooDoo Zipline at the Rio Hotel & Casino. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “rides will start from the VooDoo Lounge, atop the Rio’s 50-story Masquerade Tower. Guests will travel 845 feet to the top of the 20-story Ipanema tower, reaching speeds of up to 33 mph. Riders will then make a return trip – upward through a motorized pulley system while traveling backward at 25 mph – to the starting point”. No small feat, especially considering that the zip line itself is over 490 feet above the ground!


In speaking of large feats, the new darling of the Las Vegas strip seems to The High Roller at The Linq – an outdoor retail, dining, and entertainment plaza right on The Strip! The High Roller observation wheel stands 550 feet high and looms over The Strip with  28 spherical, Italian-handcrafted glass-enclosed cabins. The cabins can fit up to 40 guests and take you on a tranquil yet breathtaking 30 minute ride and is currently open to the public. Its hard not to miss this massive beauty amongst The Strip skyline. Its definitely one of the biggest draws for The Linq, making it yet another Vegas destination thrill ride. Will you be visiting The Highroller, either of newest zip lines, or any of The Strips other infamous thrill rides this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

By Charlene Sands

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