Vegas is now touting themselves as the number one "family" destination over Disney. Ummmmm, if what I saw is any indication, I wouldn't take my kids here (if I had any). It's hot, crowded, you have to walk forever to get anywhere, smoky (sorry gang, I'm a strong non-smoker), and there's, well porn shoved in your face everywhere you look. Now, while I personally am not opposed to it, to have it placed in your hand as you walk down Las Vegas BLVD and seeing it advertised on billboards is another thing. But I'm getting off track again. Let's talk coasters.
First one we tried on this trip was High Roller on the Stratosphere Tower. I'll be perfectly honest, the only thing this ride has going for it is the height. But even that doesn't excuse a poor ride. You go in 3 circles (if memory serves, I'm trying to block this trip out) at a speed of about 25 mph. Trust me, Space Mountain is 10 times more thrilling thatn this. Now Big Shot (S&S) on the top of the tower was pretty intense, but again not as much as I thought it would be. Price for both is $15 and that includes the ride to get up there (yes, you have to pay to just go up). The view is about the only redeeming quality.
Thought about going on Speed : The Ride, but we were on a limited time schedule and since it is in fact a shuttle looper, we felt we're done those before and didn't need to pay extra to do another one.
Adventuredome at Circus Circus. Probably one of the oldest attractions there right now and it shows. The Canyon Blaster was pretty rough (as though it hadn't been maintained properly). I suppose it could just be the age though. Two loops and a double corkscrew gave it some nice elements, but I just didn't have fun on it. I guess it could be that whole "comfort" thing I mentioned in the previous report. When you go to a theme park or amusement park, you want to have a certain level of comfort to allow you to enjoy the park to it's fullest. Maybe Patrice's and my comfort levels are set too high, but after going to Busch Williamsburg, Magic Mountain, Universal parks, Disney parks, Cedar Point, etc, I guess that just happens.
Last day there, we drive out to what we anticipate to be the best ride, Desperado. We were thrown back to reality by a train and/or coaster that just about snapped my neck. For a steel coaster that resembles Magnum, it is anything but! The first hill was great (going down), but when I envision airtime, I want that nice floating feeling and then plopped back down on my seat. Airtime on this spawn actually throws you, violently, into your restraint (cutting off any chance of kids in the future) and what's more, continues to do it repeatedly throughout the ride. The turns are painful and there's really nothing you can do but try to survive long enough to get back to the station. I don't know if it was a poor train or what, but a steel coaster should NEVER be as rough as that was. Magnum is even older and still delivers a smooth and enjoyable ride. This is just an experiment in coasters gone terribly wrong! Our most hated coaster up to that point was Flashback at Magic Mountain. Now we have a new one. My advice is to avoid this ride at all costs. Unless you're a masochist.
That night (battered and bruised), we went to NYNY Hotel for Manhattan Express (basically $10 a person - ouch). This is made by TOGO (I've been warned about these before). We had to wait for almost an hour as they took "one train off and put 2 new ones on". These were the words of the employee working there. Of course, no one bothered to let everyone in the line know why we were standing still for so long. They were too intent on making sure no one had on a hat, purse, fannypack, etc before getting in line. I can understand the first 2, but my wife has taken her fannypack on every coaster we've been on (like my shades). I mean, it's attatched like a belt, where's it going to go? They refused her to ride unless she put it in a locker for 50 cents. We finally agree, just so they'll shut up. After the 1 hour wait (of just standing in a line not going anywhere) we board the ride (which of course you can't choose your seat on because they're telling you where to go. Very strange restraints. Half an over-the-shoulder (sorta like shoulder pads in football) that are pulled straight down and then a lap bar. After leaving the station, we were treated to yet another oddly rough ride. Not as bad as Desperado, but for the price you pay to ride, definitely a one time only thing. Many inversions, just not a well planned out coaster. When I ride a coaster, I like to say I had fun, in the case of Vegas however, Disney and other parks don't have much to worry about.
How long is the wait time from this point?
You really should have done Speed:The Ride, it is faster, has more elements, and is overall a better ride than the old Schwarzkopf (RIP) shuttle loopers. (IMO) A real gem! Too bad.
"X" marks the spot in 2001!
As for Manhattan Express, you should have known better.
"ok everyone go ahead and pull down on your shoulder restraint so you feel nice and stuck!"
As for the coaster ratings, keep in mind that I've been on many coasters across the US (I see you have too Catherine) and it's hard not to compare. Oh well, next year's trip is a second California Invasion with all the majors and a few mom & pop places for 2 weeks! My team of 4 are already in the pre-planning stages!
How long is the wait time from this point?
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