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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Dollywood- Did I Get on Lightning Rod?

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^ I almost wasn't able to do SkyJump since the lower level of the casino had a blackout (their nightmare on a holiday weekend). I tried to jump around sunset, but the cameras at the bottom were offline. So I ended up returning at night and there was absolutely no line.

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Great trip report, the Strat is one of must-dos when we have people visit from out of town. The views from the top are pretty amazing, so it's worth going up even if you don't ride anything. You were smart to check Groupon before you went as it seems like they always have deals for the Strat. Right now, there's a deal for $28 that gets you admission to the tower and unlimited rides (excluding the SkyJump). I've done all the rides and although X-Scream isn't the most thrilling, it's definitely the most terrifying!

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That looks like a lot of fun. My wife has been wanting to do a Vegas Trip. How much did the skyjump cost you?

 

I paid $90 with a Groupon, but the base price can be $120-$150. Return jumps are $45.

 

I was about to say that the skyjump's price is out of this stratosphere. BUT, then I remembered that a daily walk-up lift ticket at Vail's ski resort is now $209. Although.....for your dollars, you DO get a a full day of lift rides and all the downhill skiing your knees, thighs, and lungs (high altitude!) can handle.

 

Thanks for this look at Vegas thrills!

 

Alice

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Adventuredome

 

Adventuredome is a very odd park. Like most indoor parks, it has barely any space. But unlike most indoor parks, Adventuredome decided to take up most of its land with a ripoff Big Thunder Mountain structure in the center. And I sort of wonder if they regret that decision since they're forever low on space.

 

It’s admittedly a beautiful mountain. It’s not quite Disney quality, but it looks great under the pink-hued roof. It’s perfectly Vegas. And around this mountain are two coasters that use the structure to perfection and the endangered remnants from an early 2000s Chance Rides catalog.

 

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The Adventuredome's pink roof gives every photo a crappy Instagram filter sort of vibe.

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And the arcade games are plush corgi approved.

 

And on that note, we began with a ride I never thought I’d be able to ride- a Chance Chaos. These things were quite common in the late 1990s/early 2000s, but I hadn’t quite hit the magical 48” mark. Once I did, they started going the way of the dinosaurs.

 

I warned Emily this may be her only chance to ever ride a Chaos, but apparently this wasn’t a bucket list item for her. So she happily waited by a bench while I rode the screwed up love child of a Chance zipper and skydiver that never learned to walk correctly.

 

And by that I mean flip correctly. I don’t know if Chaos ever successfully flipped. I did invert, but it felt more like the car stalled upside down. It was like that purgatory on a tilt-a-whirl when you come close to getting that full spin, but stall out.

 

That being said, I did enjoy Chaos. Even the rocking was quite disorienting since the ride comes quite close to the dome’s roof. And I was just glad to finally ride a Chaos even if it wasn’t as intense as the rides it was inspired by. 7 out of 10

 

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I was way too excited to finally ride one of these.

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Chaos did things. I'm not exactly sure what it did, but it did things.

 

We then went on a quest for El Loco’s entrance and eventually found it. At least it was easier to find than the Adventuredome’s entrance (if you’ve ever been to a Las Vegas casino, you’ll understand).

 

I had been on one other El Loco in Steel Hawg, but Adventuredome’s El Loco was way better. I thought the mountain would be the main reason, but it was actually because of the great lap bars (instead of that awkward lap and shoulder bar combo) and the lack of a trim on the drop.

 

That drop packed a serious punch. It had some major ejector airtime! The rest of the ride was awkwardly slow, but I mean that as a compliment. It had a lot of hangtime, both of the lateral and upside-down variety. I agree with the consensus; this is Vegas’s best coaster. 8 out of 10

 

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What's this ride called again?

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Most of the ride's maneuvers felt unnatural. That's probably why I liked it.

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That drop definitely lives up to El Loco's name.

 

I thought Canyon Blaster would be your average Arrow loopscrew, but it was considerably better. I knew the mountain setting would help, but it was surprisingly smooth. In fact, I rode it several times in a row.

 

The drop was tamer than most Arrows; the airtime was more of the floater variety than a violent ejector pop. But the loops seemed better than usual. I was seeing a mix of pink and grey from the roof and forces respectively.

 

That leads into a surprising pop of air and two fast corkscrews. In general, Canyon Blaster feels way faster than its posted speed because of the tight clearances and rockwork. That’s especially true with the helix finale that weaves through the mountain. 7.5 out of 10

 

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This is easily the best Canyon Blaster since it actually blasts through a (faux) canyon.

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In fact, some may say the ride is a blast.

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I never rode Drachen Fire, but at least I can say I rode the same generation train.

 

I then considered riding Miner Mike. I was prepared for any and all judgment from Emily. It would have been warranted. However, I was spared the embarrassment since Miner Mike wasn't just closed; it was gone.

 

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Miner Mike must be off gambling somewhere.

 

I’m a big fan of drop towers, so I was intrigued to try Slingshot. By most accounts, the Chance Slingshots suck. But I had to experience one for myself.

 

I’ll start with the launch. It was quite weak. It was so weak that there was zero airtime at the top. In fact, we just came to a stop. I had no clue this thing was a combo tower.

 

I wish I could say the drop was good. But it was just ok. You know that ball-tingle you get on the kiddie towers? That’s what the drop on Slingshot felt like. Slingshot didn’t hurt, but it was definitely a toned down drop tower. 4 out of 10

 

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I was still in awe that I found an operating Chance Chaos.

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You think this ride would give a good view, but it did not. The roof's supports blocked your view to the outside world. And the mountain blocked your view to the rest of the park.

 

I then finished the visit with a quick lap on the Inverter. I know these rides are often maligned. And there’s no sugar coating it; those restraints are so tight that Skyrush’s restraints feel like a B&M clamshell by comparison.

 

But I do enjoy the ride’s movement. This was especially true since the ride is adjacent to the mountain and your equilibrium is thrown off by the curved roof. 7 out of 10

 

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It's one endangered Chance flat after another.

 

I strongly recommend getting to Adventuredome early if you’re visiting during a busier time. Because of that mountain, the park didn’t have much room left for pathways. This led to the park having more chokepoints than Disneyland after a parade.

 

Adventuredome has two quality coasters and a unique collection of flats. I’m not sure how much longer some of those flats will be there (name another park with a Chance Chaos or Slingshot), but at least they’ll still have the Fun Deck.

 

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Seriously, WTF is this? The emergency exit says Fun Deck above it like it's an attraction.

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New York, New York Hotel / Big Apple Coaster

 

The Big Apple Coaster (or the artist formerly known as the Manhattan Express) is widely considered one of the world’s worst roller coaster. Just listen to

on the ride.

 

However, if you’ve read my reports, you know I have an extremely high tolerance for rough rides. Would the Big Apple Coaster be too much for me to take?

 

But first I had to find it.

 

The parking lot is mere inches from the Big Apple Coaster’s drop. But the entrance isn’t. You go down one escalator, past a bunch of slot machines (of course), up another, round a corner, and then weave through a narrow arcade with more chokepoints than pathways at Disneyland.

 

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And the quest for the Big Apple Coaster begins.

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Many enthusiasts say the coaster is a bigger waste of money than these slots.

 

As expected, the Big Apple Coaster is expensive. It’s $15 for one ride, $8 for rerides, or $28-30 for an all-day wristband. It’s the price we pay to experience Togo’s last coaster in the US.

 

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Now this may look like the entrance to the Big Apple Coaster, but the main ticket booth is actually another 100 feet beyond this. And the real funny part is even if you buy your ticket at this booth, you still need to wait in line at the main ticket booth to have your ticket validated.

 

Out of self-defense, I waited an extra cycle for the front. I heard the restraints sucked, but I actually didn’t mind them. All I ask in a ride is that it doesn’t bash my head into oblivion. I could totally see the Big Apple Coaster doing this to a smaller rider, but my head was comfortably above the shoulder restraints.

 

The ride definitely has a shimmy to it. And some of the transitions are downright awkward. Take the unbanked turn after the dive loop. If your head is below the restraint, you are in for a world of hurt. But I actually enjoyed the abrupt (and probably unintended) laterals.

 

If anything, my biggest gripe with the ride was the pacing. The ride feels like it’s going to valley at several points. But when the ride has speed, it’s solid. The loop was enjoyable, the dive loop had amazing hangtime, and there was a surprising bunny hill with good airtime before the helix.

 

I didn’t just tolerate the Big Apple Coaster. I actually liked it. 7 out of 10

 

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Many have PTSD just looking at this photo.

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But I genuinely enjoyed this janky ride.

 

I figured I was signing up for a death wish, but I was morbidly curious if it was rougher in the back. I ended up with the second-to-back (row 7) and I think any enthusiast needs to experience this seat to appreciate the "engineering marvel" known as the Big Apple Coaster.

 

I found out after the fact rows 3, 5, and 7 had a height limit. And I was right on the edge of that height requirement. But after riding, I completely get why that restriction is in place.

 

You see, the cars have these ridiculously tall seatbacks. And the cars are ridiculously close together. So when they articulate through the awkward elements, the seatbacks come *this* close to slapping your hands. I’m not even exaggerating when I say this, but the seatback came within inches of my hand.

 

This row also had better airtime. The second drop in particular was quite good and the finale (while still slow) had an extra pop or two of airtime. But it was those “Oh Crap” moments that made the ride.

 

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I love how this coaster has working headlights unlike many cabs in NYC.

 

One last note, do not take any photos in the station. Don’t do it.

 

If you’re familiar with the ride, then you know they take your on-ride photo while you’re in the station. I guess they figure it’s better to photograph victims before they’re tortured.

 

If you try to take a photo of anything (passenger, train, ceiling, dirt on the floor), they will kick you out of line and force you to buy a locker for your phone. If you are just browsing TPR, they have no qualms with you storing it in your pocket per usual.

 

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Take all the photos you want until you reach the station.

 

I feel like most people won’t like the Big Apple Coaster. But if you can laugh at the ride and get your head above the shoulder restraints, I think you have a chance to enjoy it.

 

Regardless, I think this coaster is a rite of passage. It’s a Togo hypercoaster on the roof of a Vegas casino with borderline negligent clearance envelopes. How many coasters fit that description?

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The Big Apple Coaster wasn't nearly as bad as I expected after years of watching videos that portrayed it pretty terrible. I know the ongoing work that has been done over the years has made it a more tolerable experience and I only had a few moments where I felt like someone really messed up when engineering this track... I never need to ride it again, but I'm glad I did once.

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^ I think the biggest thing for me was that I got the restraint to bottom out on my shoulder, so I didn't bang my head at all. If I didn't do that, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it.

 

Instead, I was able to appreciate the "wonderful" engineering. I still love the terrifyingly little clearance between the trains when they articulate.

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That El Loco looks like fun built into the canyon like that. I wasn't aware Chaos rides are a rarity, but I also realized the last time I rode one was probably Cedar Point 2005 haha. Yeah I don't have any recollection of them flipping, but trying to do so.

 

Man those Stratosphere rides... I'd be so tempted because they would totally genuinely scare me... but the price ugh..

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I am a chance rides fanboy so the dome seems legit to me. I haven't ridden a Chaos since 2001 when the one at MIA broke off its axis arm. I have never seen a chance drop tower in real life and I would like to ride one before this one is gone. Family Kingdom I think has a sbno one?

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Las Vegas & Grand Canyon

 

As a first time visitor, Las Vegas was overwhelming. The best way I can describe it is Times Square in street form. Except replace all the skyscrapers with casinos.

 

After popping into almost a dozen casinos, we realized they all followed the same footprint. Lure people in with a fancy exterior, populate the bottom floor with a sea of slot machines and tables, have a well-themed mall on the upper level, and add an attraction.

 

Neither Emily nor myself are big gamblers. We couldn’t resist playing a game here and there, but in total I think we gambled less than $20 total. We were more there to soak in the atmosphere.

 

Here’s a recap of the casinos we visited.

 

Stratosphere

I’ll have a separate update for this one, but the views and rides were incredible. It’s just really far from the rest of the strip.

 

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Feast your eyes on the USA's tallest concrete tower (per Wikipedia).

 

Circus Circus

This was probably the most family friendly casino we saw. There were a lot of activities to keep kids entertained and we enjoyed the Adventuredome (separate update forthcoming).

 

But it was probably the saddest for gambling. I’d be hard-pressed to find another casino with as many people staring hopelessly at slot machines. The casino floor had this overwhelming feeling of gloom.

 

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I sort of found it funny they had this whole arena, hyped up this show, and sold concessions...but it was only 3 minutes long. Talk about anti-climactic.

 

Rio

The Carnival World Buffet was fantastic. Keep in mind, I’m used to the Old Country Buffets of the world. And while we skipped the zipline, it’s location atop the tower sure looked imposing.

 

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So much food. Good food too!

 

Caesar’s

As good as the Rio’s buffet was, the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s blew it out of the water. It was more upscale, in terms of both the atmosphere and food. Jumbo crab legs, t-bone lamb chops, prime rib, slabs of bacon, etc. It was a glutton’s dream.

 

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I guess Caesar wasn't excited to see me.

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But I was excited to see this buffet.

 

Luxor

I loved this casino’s architecture. The pyramid structure was quite appealing from the outside with the giant spotlight, but it was even more of a marvel from the interior.

 

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Tron!

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The roof reminded me of the sliding staircases from Harry Potter.

 

Excalibur

I loved the exterior. It reminded me a lot of Story Land’s castle. Unfortunately, the interior was pretty basic.

 

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New York, New York

The casino would make the Big Apple proud. It was vibrant and bustling.

 

And you can bet I tried the Big Apple Coaster. I’ll put that one in a separate update, but it didn’t kill me. In fact, I actually liked it!

 

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The Big Apple Coaster was shaky, but it wasn't as rough as the season of the New York Jets.

 

Mirage

We really liked the animal/jungle theme of this casino. And the volcano show out front was eye candy at its finest. Who doesn’t like gratuitous usage of fire?

 

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Baby, it's cold inside.

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Now that's hot.

 

Venetian

So we arrived at the Venetian super late, so it was dead. Eerily dead. But we loved the bright blue sky and atmosphere. It reminded me of Tokyo DisneySea’s Venice area.

 

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Casinos at 2 am have less crowds than Dorney on a holiday.

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Winnings or amount I didn't lose? I'll let you decide.

 

Buffalo Bill’s

 

Just kidding. The website listed Desperado as closed until further notice. I just missed it by a few weeks based on some recent reviews.

 

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I’m still morbidly curious about this ride since I seem to have an immunity to rough coasters.

 

Hoover Dam

 

But our travels went beyond the Las Vegas Strip. One such stop was the Hoover Dam. We originally planned to take a tour, but they were suspended indefinitely.

 

So instead, we observed the dam from the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. If you drive over this bridge, you won’t see anything. And it’s probably a good thing; otherwise tourists would stop and cause a biblical traffic jam. But there's a free parking lot in the Hoover Dam area, so pedestrians can walk the bridge.

 

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What a dam good view!

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Water levels seem as low as Michigan's Adventure's prospects of getting a new coaster.

 

Grand Canyon

 

As impressive as the Hoover Dam was, it was topped by the Grand Canyon. Pictures do not do this natural wonder justice. The sheer size of this chasm is unbelievable. Just make sure you drive past the ripoff West Rim in favor of the South Rim.

 

But we almost didn’t even get to see the Grand Canyon. A 2.5 foot snowstorm knocked out power in the village and made several roads inaccessible. The route was slow, but the payoff was worth it. How many people get to say they’ve seen the Grand Canyon with snow?

 

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This was good motivation to get out of bed early.

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It feels like a cliche to say pictures do not do the Grand Canyon justice, but it's true.

 

While most of my trips are centered around coasters (and this one did have coasters), it’s nice to do some normal touristy things every once and a while.

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That 33 cent casino voucher is a pretty good souvenir of your visit. And it's a good Lucky # too.

Great ongoing TRs you've been posting here. Enjoying all of them - especially those food shots.

OMG that Meat Buffet Section!

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:lol: That 33 cent casino voucher is a pretty good souvenir of your visit. And it's a good Lucky # too.

Great ongoing TRs you've been posting here. Enjoying all of them - especially those food shots.

OMG that Meat Buffet Section!

 

Thanks! Those buffets were glorious.

 

Seeing the Grand Canyon with snow is a pretty awesome sight! Thanks for sharing another great report!

 

It was iffy if we could get to the Grand Canyon with the snow, but it was worth the trouble.

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The website listed Desperado as closed until further notice. I just missed it by a few weeks based on some recent reviews.

While I share your view that The Big Apple Coaster isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be (it's more weird than anything), Desperado is pretty brutal. It's still a must-ride for coaster dweebs, but it jack-hammers like crazy after the first drop and the bunny hills really suffer from old-school Arrow's inability to make curved track. The best ride in Vegas was Speed, and it's a shame nobody snapped that one up after it was dismantled.

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the Grand Canyon pics with the snow are fantastic.

 

now you have to go back in the summer, to see it with the colors in the canyon walls!

(and to try the Buffets at Cosmopolitan (Wicked Spoon - my favorite in town, it's basically Tapas), and go down to Freemont Street (and try the Golden Nugget's seafood buffet).

 

 

https://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/restaurants/wicked-spoon

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