Things to do in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Roller Coasters

If heart-pounding thrills are what you seek, check out Las Vegas’ top roller coasters for thrilling speeds and unparalleled views.

Las Vegas roller coasters are a lot like our shows. You ride the tracks up high in the air before plummeting down and around before you know what hit you.

Our shows strive to evoke the same sense of wonder and enchantment, evoking heartfelt emotions through compelling storylines and intricate choreography.

By the time the ride ends, you're left pondering the experience and, hopefully, leaving with a smile on your face. If you're looking for things to do in Las Vegas, picking up tickets to one of the city's many roller coasters can add a twist of daring excitement to your day.

Although casinos and gambling aren't synonymous with roller coasters in most of the country, Vegas loves defying conformity. That means here, anything goes — even if that means riding on a roller coaster over the city streets.

On The Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is the quintessential image of Las Vegas. Flashing lights, unbelievable architecture that dares to dream beyond the usual city skyscrapers, and performance venues line the street.

It is also home to some of the best roller coasters in Las Vegas. Ride if you dare — and do not be afraid to scream at the top of your lungs as you go. We will not blame you!

Photographer: Quintin Gellar

1. The Big Apple Coaster

The iconic Las Vegas Strip, especially with the replica of the New York Harbor, is a true sight to behold from the ground — and when you're riding on The Big Apple Coaster, the views get even better.

Completing the theme, the train mimics the design of taxicabs found in New York. Once you're all strapped in, it's time to get this ride started. Not for the faint of heart, the train carries you up 203 feet above the ground.

Your bravery is rewarded with a stellar vantage point for a few brief moments before you're sent careening down a drop, a vertical loop, and a dive loop.

As it zooms down the tracks, it reaches speeds of up to 67 miles per hour.

If this leaves you wanting more New York during your time in Las Vegas, you're in luck. In the same hotel, amidst the fantastical New York motif, we present our show, Mad Apple, exclusively for fans aged 18 and older.

Offering just as many twists, turns, and thrills as The Big Apple Coaster, this show fuses the New York nightlife scene that never quits with live entertainment and circus stunts set to a stunning soundtrack.

Photographer: Christopher Alvarenga

2. Canyon Blaster

Attached to the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino, Adventuredome is an indoor amusement park ready to add a spark of excitement to your day. When you get there, hop on the Las Vegas Concierge Canyon Blaster roller coaster. If you've ever dreamed of flipping through the air like our acrobat's defying gravity, this is your chance.

It is not as tall or as quick as the Big Apple, but that doesn't mean it lacks charm. As you plummet from heights of ninety feet at max speeds of 55 miles per hour, you'll be propelled through a large canyon motif, two loops, and two corkscrews.

Along the way, you'll experience the visceral shock of suddenly plunging into darkness. From the highest points, you'll get a great view of the rest of the park — if you can keep your eyes open, that is.

Photographer: likesilkto

3. El Loco

We love heart-pounding experiences, and that's what you'll get on the El Loco roller coaster. Also located in Adventuredome, this ride might look unimposing at a glance — after all, how scary could an indoor roller coaster really be? It turns out, very.

Like the Canyon Blaster, El Loco reaches heights of 90 ft., but this coaster will have you falling backward at -1.5 vertical Gs, which always evokes screams from unexpecting riders.

As it sends you hurtling down its tracks, you'll fly through sharp turns and barrel rolls with expert precision, leaving your stomach flipping and the adrenaline pumping through your veins. With so many flips, turns, and thrills, it's no wonder they call it El Loco.

High-Speed Thrills

If you're as brave as our performers who fly through the air, you may need something a bit more intense than the standard roller coaster. In Las Vegas, there's one attraction that we think rivals our intensity.

4. X-Scream

Real daredevils need more than a simple coaster to strike a thrill in their hearts, and the X-Scream may be just what they are seeking.

Although it's not a true coaster, the X-Scream thrill ride deserves an honorable mention for one reason alone — it flings you over the edge of The Strat Hotel, nearly 900 ft. above the ground.

This ride is like a roller coaster teeter-totter hybrid, sending you shooting over 27 ft. past the edge of the Tower. You are left hanging for a few unpredictable moments before being pulled back to your starting spot and repeating the process.

While you will not be flipping or flying at massive speeds, you'll get an unbelievable aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip. The X-Scream has the most rider restrictions on this list. Riders must be at least fifty-two inches tall, and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Choosing the Right Roller Coaster for Your Thrill Level

Not all roller coasters are made equal, and not everyone wants the same level of thrills. That is okay — what's important is choosing the right one for you.

Whether you prefer a low-key ride, an emotional roller coaster that has you screaming with intensity, or something in between, knowing what to look for and how to determine thrill level can ensure you get the right experience.

Tame coasters are typically suitable for younger kids, rarely going high. We didn't cover these on our list, but you can find options in our article on amusement parks in Las Vegas.

These rides introduce younger or novice riders to the sheer joy and excitement roller coasters inspire without the shock of speed and daring twists and turns through the air.

Average roller coasters are more in line with most people's expectations. They're often full of ups and downs without any flipping or extraordinarily high or fast points. They're suitable for those comfortable with speed — but not too much. Since they're fairly simple rides, they may leave real thrill-seekers wanting more.

Thrilling roller coasters add more to the mix. Prepare for thrill factors like loops, high speeds, launches, and dizzying heights. Daredevils often seek them still trying to get their bearings on intense rides and those who enjoy average coasters but want to push themselves.

Extreme roller coasters take the ride to a whole new level, stretching the limits of what the human body can withstand. You can expect a high-speed experience, often featuring several loops or corkscrews, along with factors like g-forces playing into the ride.

If you've been frightened by less-intense coasters in the past, you should steer clear. But if you dare to soar through the air and experience an unforgettable ride, extreme roller coasters might be right up your alley.

The easiest way to determine a coaster's intensity is to look at its thrill factors. When considering a coaster, ask questions such as:

  • Is it fast? Highway speeds are common on more thrilling coasters, while the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster reaches a staggering max speed of 149 miles per hour.
  • Does it go upside down? Loop-the-loops and corkscrews are common on coasters as they ramp up their intensity. While some think they're the best part, not everyone can take the dizzying twists and turns. Generally, the more time you spend upside down or spinning on a coaster, the more intense it's considered.
  • How high does it go up? And how long is the biggest drop?Some coasters aren't trying to win any awards for heights, as we saw with El Loco and the Canyon Blaster, but they still have other elements of intensity, such as their massive plummets.
  • Are there g-forces? The drops over sky-high peaks also create g-forces on your body, making you feel like you're floating as you start zipping down. Depending on the intensity, you might even feel yourself lift off the seat slightly. For some context, when you walk around on flat, solid ground, you're experiencing 1G. Some coasters, such as the El Loco, invert this, creating the sensation of weightlessness that can be a major part of the appeal for those who dare to dream big. Others, however, find it disconcerting, so be sure to consider any major drops.

All the above information can usually be found on a roller coaster's website, so you can scope them out before you commit. If you decide roller coasters aren't your thing, fear not. There are plenty of unique things to do in Las Vegas.

The Best Seats on a Roller Coaster: A Rider's Guide

Just like how seats can make a difference when you attend a show, where you're seated on a roller coaster can completely change the ride. Any roller coaster aficionado will tell you the best seats on a roller coaster depend on the kind of experience you want.

Do you want the best views and vantage points as you barrel through rapid loops and careen down massive drops? The front seat is where you want to be. When you sit in the front, your line of sight is completely unimpeded by the heads of other riders, and if you're on a roller coaster in Las Vegas, the views are half the fun.

Whether you want to be at the tip of the X-Scream staring down at spectators or getting the best views of The Strip on the Big Apple, you'll want that front-row seat.

Are you seeking the thrill of hanging in the air and feeling like you are being tossed? When you sit in the back seat, you get the full brunt of momentum. You will crest hills at the quickest speed because gravity slows the train down as it reaches the top.

By the time the last seats reach the crest, all that momentum has built up, with gravity dragging the back of the train down with the front. The result leaves your stomach flipping as if your body is suspended in midair longer.

If you are happier with a (slightly) calmer ride, the middle seats are right for you. The people in front block the intimidating view and shelter your face from the harsh wind.

For genuine thrill seekers, the middle seats often offer a weaker, less impressive ride than the seats in the front or back. However, if you're feeling a bit nervous, this might be exactly what you need to go on that next big coaster.

When To Ride: Timing Your Roller Coaster Experience for Shorter Lines

Even though roller coasters are popular attractions in Las Vegas, you will not always have to wait in line for long periods. The lines move a lot faster if you go at less crowded times.

Try going in the early morning or during mealtimes. People will be busy flocking to other places, which may shorten your wait. Keep in mind that some of these coasters may require you to reserve a time or arrive early.

If today’s just not the day, or roller coasters just aren’t your speed, then maybe it’s time to check out one of the nearby lakes in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Roller Coasters: Concluding Thoughts on the City's High-Speed Thrills

In Las Vegas, we do everything with style and flair. That means the engineers' imaginations are the only limits to the kinds of roller coaster rides you might experience. Whether you're nearly 1,000 ft. in the air or flying through sudden darkness, the city's roller coasters are each memorable in their own right.

Do you know what else is unforgettable in Las Vegas? Our performances are waiting for you in six venues throughout the city. We love to provoke imagination while teaching our fans to expect the unexpected along the way.

Our sets strive to be somewhere between dreamy and fantastical, with just the right level of immersion and escapism to coax you into our world. In between coaster rides, check out our shows in Las Vegas, where expert performers flip through the air as they weave tales that are nothing short of conformity-defying artistry.

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