Las Vegas’s version of Manhattan is always busy just like the real one, but one difference is the above-ground (and off the ground) train that soars through the air at New York New York Resort and Casino.
In the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, there was a real shift in Las Vegas to making the resorts more family-friendly. This included adding attractions that were open to underage visitors and had more of an amusement park feel. New York New York Casino got in on the action when it opened the Big Apple Coaster, turning their resort into a unique way to see Las Vegas. To this day, the ride is one of the most popular attractions in all of Vegas, and even though the family-friendly theme has faded away, this coaster is still a must-do for anyone visiting the city.
About the Big Apple Coaster
The Big Apple Coaster was opened in 1997 in conjunction with the opening of the New York New York Casino. Early on, while the ride was very popular, it came with a lot of negative feedback about the speed of the ride and the comfort level in the seats. Many complained that the constant jerking around of bodies in the seats left them with back and neck pain. The casino responded having the manufacturer come in to make adjustments to the ride in 2004.
There have been several enhancements to the ride since it opened, including new cars added in 2006 and a new VR component (optional) in 2018. The coaster features a couple of huge drops, including a dive loop where riders are sent into a vertical twist followed by a half loop maneuver. This dive loop is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world except for one in Japan, making it a real treat for roller coaster fans.
Three reasons you should visit The Big Apple Coaster
It is a roller coaster that travels indoors and outdoors!
Let’s start with the fact that this coaster travels both inside and a=outside, and yes, that means zooming through the hotel itself! The starting area is built to look like a New York subway station, but when you are blasted off at the start of the ride, you will see the outside of the building very quickly!
You can get a great look at the Strip up close
The Las Vegas Strip is a sight to see no matter where you are looking from, but when you are hurtling around a building at top speeds, it’s a view like no other! As you pass outside the entrance of the ride, you will be sent around New York New York, and while you can’t take any photos, you will get a great look up close at the exterior design of the hotel as well as the other properties on that corner of Las Vegas Boulevard.
You can ride it all day for one price!
As with most roller coasters, the rides always seem too short after you get through the initial fear and adrenaline. The good news for those wanting to ride the coaster more than once is that you can buy a day pass, which allows you to ride as many times as you would like! This is really great not only for roller coaster enthusiasts but for those who want to try to coaster during the day and also at night to see the differences in the view. When you are planning to head to the casino to ride the Big Apple Coaster, you can purchase your tickets online so you can save the wait when you arrive. Of course, you will still have to line up for the coaster each time, but with an unlimited number of rides and free drinks, you should have no problem killing time.
One thing to remember about The Big Apple Coaster
This is one of the more popular attractions in all of Las Vegas, so if you are planning to come to ride the Big Apple Coaster, be prepared to stand in line for a while. It moves pretty quickly, and some times are better than others (we always suggest going at the opening as there will be fewer people). Also, you need to remember that it is a roller coaster with a lot of bumps, twists, and drops – if you are someone with a weak stomach or someone who has had too much to drink or eat, it may not be the right kind of attraction for you.
The Big Apple Roller Coaster FAQ
Should I pay for the VR add-on?
The VR add-on has enhanced the overall coaster experience and has come with some great reviews. However, it does take away from the romance of the coaster itself. Our suggestion is that you buy a day pass that includes the VR, then take turns with the goggles on and off to get the full effect of the ride.
What are the operating hours for the roller coaster?
The Big Apple Coaster is typically open daily from 11 am to 10 pm, weather permitting.
Is this a suitable ride for children?
It is as long as they are comfortable with the speed and the twisting of the ride. All riders must be at least 54 inches tall, and if they want to use the VR headsets, they must be at least 13 years of age.