Adrenaline Rush: The Thrill Rides of Las Vegas
It’s easy to believe that Las Vegas is a city that runs on adrenaline. From the rush that comes from winning big at the tables and slots to the excitement of taking in a show or dancing the night away at a hot club, Sin City really is the city that never sleeps. Sure, you could relax by the pool and while away the hours being pampered at the spa, but for the vast majority of people, Las Vegas is a city of thrills.
And some of those are actually of the thrill ride variety. While not exactly theme parks per se (although one could argue that Las Vegas is one giant theme park), many of the resorts and casinos have added adrenaline-pumping, hair-raising thrill rides to their lineup of features. From run-of-the-mill roller coasters to heart-stopping free falls, if you’re looking for a thrill, Las Vegas has it.
You might have to be insane to climb on board this ride atop Stratosphere, the tallest hotel on The Strip. Insanity features several large mechanical arms that stretch out 64 feet over the side of the building, dangling you 900 feet above the street below. As if that weren’t enough, your chair is spinning at speeds up to 3Gs and tilted at a 70-degree angle so you can see exactly how high up you are.
Stratosphere takes advantage of its sky-high stature by offering yet another thrill ride. Capitalizing on the natural human fear of falling, the X-Scream is definitely not for the faint of heart; it’s essentially a teeter-totter perched on the side of a building 900 feet up in the air. Riders are strapped into an open roller-coaster type vehicle that slides back and forth along a 69-foot track, putting you at a 30-degree angle facing down at The Strip.
The Sling Shot
The ride on The Sling Shot is only a few seconds long, but a few seconds is all you really need on this heart-pumping attraction. Located at the Adventuredome indoor amusement park at Circus Circus, the sling shot gives you a good idea of what it’s like to be launched into space. Riders strap into seats around the base of the launch pad, and then wait in suspense for the sling shot to launch them 100 feet in the air, pulling close to 4Gs. The few seconds of airtime you get on this ride are exciting, but the real thrill comes from the anticipation, as you never know when the Sling Shot is going to launch.
The Rollercoaster at New York, New York
Most tours in Las Vegas offer you a glimpse of the many architectural wonders of the Strip, but none include the heart-pounding 360-degree views that this coaster does. Loosely based on the legendary Coney Island roller coaster, New York-New York’s version takes riders on a wild ride through replicas of some of New York’s most well-known sites after climbing a steep, 144-foot hill and pausing for a panoramic view of the city. You had better look quickly though, because it’s not long before your taxi cab-themed car will be careening around corners and through corkscrew and spiral turns at speeds of more than 65 mph. This is one of Las Vegas’ most popular rides, with more than one million people taking a ride each year.
Another thrilling coaster, Canyon Blaster is located inside the Adventuredome at Circus Circus. What makes this coaster unique is its location: it’s the only indoor coaster in the world with double-loop inversions and a double corkscrew. With a top speed of 55 mph, it’s fast — especially when you consider that you’re indoors.
Of course, in addition to the extreme thrill rides, Las Vegas offers opportunities for ziplining, bungee jumping, skydiving and just about any other thrill you can imagine. So take a break from the roulette wheel or stop pumping the slots with quarters and try a different kind of thrill.
About the Author: Blogger Beth Cryan is a rollercoaster junkie and a Las Vegas native who has ridden the coaster at New York New York more than 50 times. She hopes to someday build up the nerve to try the X-Scream.
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