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Long Overdue Vegas TR

As Snoo and CP6 can attest, I've been particularly bad about getting TRs done in anywhere near reasonable time...or even altogether. This one I wrote up way back in May '09, but didn't manage to organize, caption, and upload pictures until now...better late than never? Anyhow, here's what I wrote way back when; I've added pictures where appropriate:

I was recently in Vegas for a conference, and had the pleasure of getting to ride two of their three coasters (or I guess 4 if you count Buffalo Bill's, but he's a bit out of town) and the Stratosphere rides. I actually made it into the Circus-Circus building, but unfortunately we were in a hurry, so I didn't get to ride "Canyon Blaster." I figure that'll also probably be the first to go...bummer. Anyway, though, I did get on the other two, and I was definitely happier than I expected.

I wasn't sure what to expect from "Roller Coaster"...except bad branding. I still don't know why you would spend money to rebrand to a less creative name, and I can't imagine there were copyright issues. Anyway, I had heard really bad things about the other two togos I'd ridden (Skyrider and Shockwave), but I definitely enjoyed both of them, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. They did let me leave my glasses on, which is definitely a credit to them - at Stratsophere and Speed, they made me remove them. Being in the middle of the city wasn't quite as cool as I was expecting, though, since you're moving relatively quickly. The ride itself was definitely better than most reviews I've heard - it certainly wasn't painful for me. At the top of the first hill (after the lift), though, I got my first taste of not so well done banking. That to me is probably this ride's biggest flaw; I didn't notice any sudden jerks or rattle like on Vekomas and some Arrows, but some of the banking and engineering really feels like it wasn't done well. In that respect, it feels similar to what I'd expect from something like a Meisho - I can't say for sure because I haven't been on one, but looking at them, it seems like they probably have the same places where they tried but didn't get the engineering quite right.

None of those moments were dealbreakers, though; none were notably painful. The loop was decently intense but not as smooth as on the standing coasters. The part that I really loved, though, was the semi-unique roll-loop combination (kind of like a dive-loop that is a bit more simplified). I'm a sucker for inline twists, and I definitely loved the similar element on Mystery Mine. I loved it here too, and I would say that I'd like to see it from other manufacturers, but I'm not sure how it'd do with their restraints (Intamin might be able to do it, but then, their reputation for inversions isn't fantastic).

Also, I'm not sure if Premier helped with the restraints, or if Togo's design just followed them closely, but the lap bar part of the restraints strongly reminded me of a Premier.

Later that week we got on Speed, which turned out to be way cooler than I expected. I'd not heard good things about Premier's OTSRs, but it definitely worked with this ride. The launch was decently smooth (as much as launching into a curve can be), the second launch was a very cool effect, and the visuals following the building were cool even with my glasses off. The backwards part was the best, though - the entire trip back down the spike had a cool floating sensation. You couldn't really call it airtime, as you're not going upwards out of your seat, but rather floating...kind of forwards. I really think the OTSRs actually helped with the effect here; since they left some room around you, you could feel yourself floating into them. Then you flew along next to the building, back again through the sign (very cool effect), and then backwards through the loop. The backwards trip through the loop was slow enough that we got some significant airtime, which was a very cool effect. Overall, definitely a great ride - key points being the second launch, trip back down the spike, and going backwards through the loop.

Oh, and when we got back into the station, they had to push the train back (like ride ops physically pushing the train) to get it to line up right (they'd also done this with the train before ours). "Should we call the engineers?" "Nah."

The stratosphere was very cool, although I expect that having contacts would have made it even cooler. If you're interested in the city or like great views, save some time to just be in the observation part - there's some very cool views. Big shot was my favorite; you get a really amazing view. The jerky stops at the top of the first two "jumps" were annoying at first, but once you get used to them, it's almost like airtime - a very cool sensation. And the views once you get up there are breathtaking, even without glasses. Insanity was fun, and had the cool effect that you were looking toward the ground. It does spin kind of a lot; you get some good forces (or bad if you're prone to dizziness). X-scream I very much enjoyed, but my friend was apparently less apt to suspend his belief that the brakes would catch him, because he didn't find it impressive really at all.

Vegas kinda seemed deserted a bit when we were there, which is probably bad for business but was good for us. They spent a lot of the time at Big Shot trying to balance the tower (it never ran full), and we got front seat on everything with a 1 train wait or less. Definitely cool stuff. Don't plan on going there just for the rides, but if you'll be there anyway, I'd certainly set aside part of a day to do them.

If you're wanting more pictures, I uploaded more at http://gallery.fulllaunch.com/main.php?g2_itemId=8816; didn't want to clog this up with too many. As a side note, I'd also recommend going and seeing the Fremont Street Experience if you're in Las Vegas and like giant LED screens and/or have nostalgic feelings for 'classic' Vegas.
Nice TR. I completely agree with your reviews; Manhattan Express has some terrible banking but it's so slow it isn't too rough...and Speed is just a very underrated ride. You didn't miss much at the Adventuredome (except the credit), I thought Canyon Blaster was the worst coaster in Vegas.
^^ Good to know; if I'm there again I'd like to get it though. Did you hit Desperado when you were there?

^ You mean because it's Vegas or because the TR was so late?
Yeah I've ridden Desperado (Vegas isn't far away, I go there fairly often). When I say Canyon Blaster is the worst in Vegas that includes Desperado too. Desperado is very rough but the layout is unique, fun ride but nothing special.


Well-Known Member
Glad I've finally found someone else that likes Speed. It was a bit rough, but I enjoyed it. As you say, the 2nd launch is awesome :)

I'm not as big a fan of Big Shot though. The initial launch is good, and the views are amazing, but the ride was FAR too short. Especially for what it costs. Overall I thought it was a bit meh.


East Coast(er) General
Staff member
There are actually quite a few of us that like Speed. It's my favorite 'Vagas' coaster & the only one I'd re-ride tbh.
I also really enjoyed Big Shot. Going up that extra bit was a blast & I felt like I was bouncing way above the city, but perhaps it was because it was at night. It might not have the same impact during the daytime.