PKI Jizzman wrote:
hEY! That BTMRR pic would have fooled me if the train wasn't in it. Nice curveball
TBpony414 wrote:The on-ride photo taken in the station and a coaster train themed to a taxi, complete with non-working turn signals is pretty fantastic, I have to say! I did not ride it when I was there in March even though my brother tried to get me to. I was only there a very short period of time and wanted to not have a headache but the next time I visit he won't let me off that easy. I really, really wanted to get to Circus Circus to ride El Loco but the hotel is basically nowhere near the main part of the strip so didn't make it there either. Damn, what did I do?!
Believe me, I understand completely in both instances. Manhattan Express is better than I expected, but still awful and yeah... Adventuredome is in the middle of nowhere.
prozach626 wrote:Great report, Bill. Glen Canyon looks awesome. Emily and I went kayaking years ago where we put in at the base of the Hoover dam. We had to get security clearance a couple months in advance by filling out some permits, a couple months in advance. I knew the canyons were huge at the time, but after reading your report I probably didn't realize just how tall they were.
I'm glad you guys had a good time, despite Manhattan Express trying to kill you.
Thanks! That kayak trip sounds awesome!
Arthur_Seaton wrote:Speed: The Ride was always my favorite on the strip, and I think it's sitting in pieces in some parking lot now.
Yeah, I hate that I never got to ride it. It was there when we visited Vegas as a kid but we never made it over there
Alright, on to the next installment...
We excitedly walked through the front doors of Circus Circus intending to make a b-line for the Adventuredome. Unfortunately for us, in the 15 or so years since I stepped foot in this place I had totally forgotten that you can't make a b-line for anything at Circus Circus since the place is (by design) a massive clusterf*ck that's designed to suck you into the casino and get you lost so you can't possibly leave or find anything.
Circus Circus is one of the older casinos on the strip. It's almost 50 years old, and it sort of looks it. It's an MGM resort, but it's the cheapest hotel on the strip by room rate... so cheap that the (admittedly high) resort fee of 20 bucks or so effectively doubles the price.
We sort of expected a massive sh*thole, but it really wasn't the case. Don't get me wrong, nobody was mistaking it for Mandalay Bay or the Bellagio, but it's old school casino vibe and corny circus acts actually gave it quite a bit of charm and that old school Vegas vibe that is noticeably lacking at some of the new luxury mega resorts like the Wynn and the Aria. I'd be quick to recommend one of those places over Circus Circus if you were getting a hotel room, but if you're just looking for a casino / corny place to check out for a few hours then you can do much worse than Circus Circus. It's lined with clowns, old school casino carpeting, tacky sh*t everywhere and midway games but it's a lot of fun. It's kind of a dive, but it has a soul. That's not something I could say for the f*cking Aria.
That said, while it was a nice bonus we weren't here for the old school Vegas vibe, the tacky casinos or the circus acts. That's not what caused us to drop $40 round trip on cab fare (yeah... I know, the monorail, the bus, we didn't have a lot of time... we didn't care).
After successfully navigating the maze of a casino (despite backtracking a few times), we finally reached the unmistakable pink glow of the Adventuredome. We made our way through the doors, and took note of the cheesy rockwork and impressive mess of coaster track overhead. It had been years since I had ridden Canyon Blaster but I remembered it being quite good for an old Arrow looper and I was excited to try it again. As excited as we were though, that wasn't why we were here.
We kept walking through the crowded dome, eventually coming across the awesome mess of Twisted Track that was "El Loco". El Loco looked insane, and totally unlike anything I had ever seen before. It's banking was super weird, it's dives were insane, it's elements were completely f*cked and it was honestly a spectacle to look at. We watched a few trains go by, really excited to finally try that thing out. While I had ridden Canyon Blaster, El Loco was brand new for me and just from looking at it I was convinced that it was worth taking a cab up and down the strip for.
... but that wasn't why we took a cab all the way down to Circus Circus.
There were a lot of ways we could have spent our short time in Vegas. We debated seeing a show, we debated going to the Stratosphere (do you have ANY IDEA how hard it is for me not to spell it "StartosFEAR"?
) but I knew I had to come to Circus Circus. I knew there was an insanely high chance that if we didn't go ASAP, we'd never get this opportunity again.
We made our way around El Loco, half expecting at any moment to see an empty ride pad or a ride undergoing extensive maintenance due to it's ridiculously unreliable nature. After being disappointed in Keansburg, I tried to keep my excitement at bay but as we rounded one more curve around another pile of cheap A$$ rocks... we saw it rise up above the elevated platform. Holy sh*t. Is this really happening? A Chance F*cking Chaos.
Alright... let me clarify a few things so people aren't either questioning my sanity (well... you should be doing that anyway I guess) or booking a flight to Vegas immediately to ride the sheer brilliance that is "Chaos". Chance Chaos rides are sort of just okay. The restraints are comfortable which is more than I can say for that other Chance ride across the park that (unlike Chaos), I'm thrilled to see on it's death bed. Chaos isn't really that chaotic (well... except that one time in Michigan). Basically, it just rocks around a lot, getting really close to flipping but almost never actually doing it. It's basically an elevated Tilt A Whirl. It gets super close to being awesome, and 99% of the time that's as far as it gets.
This was about nostalgia. Nothing more, nothing less. I grew up riding the one in Rehoboth Beach and I thought it would be super cool to ride one again. I prepped Brit going in so she didn't have inflated expectations. I sort of expected her to hate it since she hates pretty much every single inverting flat ride.
Once we knew Chaos was open, we went back to the ticket booths to buy our wristbands. You only come out ahead on the wristbands if you ride both coasters and two of their better flat rides (or re-ride the coasters), so if Chaos was closed we decided we would just buy individual credits. Since it was open, we figured it was close enough in price with the 3 rides that we would just grab a wristband so maybe we could get a re-ride or two in.
Needless to say, as soon as we got that wristband we headed straight for Chaos. After seeing it in person, Brit seemed less than enthusiastic but I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. A stupid kid who was hyped up about a gift he put on his Christmas list that all of his friends thought was asinine and had his parents questioning whether or not they should have him tested for some type of mental illness, but a kid on Christmas morning nonetheless.
A few minutes later the gates opened and we made our way over to our car. Brit immediately started panicking that her restraint wasn't locking (she HATES inverting flat rides... HATES them), but I quickly remembered that it wasn't locked because the giant thing that came down over the restraints wasn't closed yet. I reached out and pulled it down, noting that the operator usually does that but I'm a regular f*cking Chance Chaos veteran. At that point, I'm sure Brit was seriously questioning whether or not sh should really be marrying my dork a**, but I think she was too terrified of the ride to spend too much time dwelling on it.
It felt totally surreal as the ride started moving and I realized I was ACTUALLY about to ride an honest-to-god Chance Chaos in 2017. Our car reached skyward, spinning as fast as possible and finally (much to Brit's terror) the ride made the familiar click and violent shuffle that meant our cars were now unlocked. Yeah... I probably should have warned her about that. It really does feel like the ride is about to collapse.
The ride started tilting, and somehow we started flipping. Not "rocking in a totally stupid and pointless fashion" per usual, actually f*cking flipping... on a Chance Chaos! Is this some kind of parallel universe?
I have no doubt that I had a massive sh*t eating grin on my face for the duration of the ride and I have no doubt that Brit hated the entire thing but I was having way too much fun to notice. As the ride came to a stop (violently... since you can't ride a Chaos and NOT swing the crap out of the cars until the ride forces you to stop swinging by bouncing violently up and down), I was ecstatic. I was on a complete Chaos high. Brit wasn't as big of a fan, but she did seem to hate it less than a lot of inverting flat rides so I guess that's a plus.
After riding the old hotness, we directed our attention to the new hotness, El Loco. I was pretty excited for this thing just because of how completely weird it looked and I had heard overwhelmingly positive reviews since the day it opened. The ride had a pretty decent wait, but they moved the cars through faster than I expected them to so we were on in about 20 minutes.
The first thing I noticed as we boarded the train was that (just like Manhattan Express), the "On Ride Photo" was some dude snapping pictures of the car in the station. What the hell, Vegas? The second thing I noticed was that the trains were super cool looking, modern and comfortable. We smiled for the camera, rolled out of the station and made our way up the speedy lift hill, not really knowing what to expect from this weird a** thing.
We reached the top of the lift and were met with a blast of heat. Damn, it's hot up near that roof. We rounded a curve, dicked around a little more up near the roof and finally plummeted down a drop that was seriously impressive for a tiny little 4 passenger coaster inside a casino.
The rest of the ride is a bit of a blur, but all of it was super weird. This is a wacky little ride. It's basically a Euro-Fighter (and it rides like a Euro Fighter) but with a bunch of screwy Ron Toomer style coathanger transitions and RMC style outward crazy, WTF banked turns all over the place. It's a blast. It's definately a bit unrefined but I think that adds to it's charm.
Up next was Canyon Blaster, the park's classic Arrow looper. Back in "the day" (Sh*t did I just say that? F*ck I'm old), this coaster was widely regarded as one of the best Arrow loopers out there. When I visited Las Vegas as a kid, I remember riding it and enjoying it a lot. That was almost 20 years ago though, and since then I've seen a lot of less favorable reviews for the ride so this time I didn't really know what to expect going in. Was the ride getting rougher? Were the negative reviews just a product of the fact that people are spoiled now to the point where they complain about roughness in the corkscrews on B&M floorless coasters? I didn't know but as we hopped into the front row of the back car I was really hopeful that Canyon Blaster still rode like it did when I last rode it in 2001.
Unlike El Loco, Canyon Blaster was a complete walk-on. That probably didn't bode well, but we told ourselves that it was probably a capacity issue and not due to the fact that we were about to take a massive beating (well, spoiler alert... we WERE about to take a massive beating at Circus Circus, but we were hoping it wasn't going to handed out by Canyon Blaster).
We rolled out of the station, rounded the curve and began our trek up the mountain. I love the Canyon Blaster mountain. It's just nice enough to look respectable-ish, but just sh*tty enough to remind you that you're in a giant tourist trap that's so quintessentially "Vegas" that it's almost charming. After crossing over the old Rim Runner track, we made a quick left hand turn and descended down the drop hoping for the best but preparing for the worst...
... okay. I have to say, even after all these years this thing is an absolute (get your groans ready) blast. The loops are awesome and incredibly forceful, the coat hanger turn into the corkscrews isn't THAT bad, the corkscrews are great and the Papier-mâché mountain helix finale is really cool and surprisingly intense. It's a little jarring, but it's not rough. It's basically just Kumba's double corkscrew and helix finale but on meth.
I'm split on Arrow loopers. I love some and I hate some. I was worried going in, but I really like Canyon Blaster. It's short, but it's intense and relatively smooth. It's not Tennessee Tornado smooth or Loch Ness Monster smooth, but for an old school Arrow that's loaded with high speed turns, it's really good! I know most people give this designation to El Loco by default, but I actually think Canyon Blaster is the best coaster in Vegas. I like El Loco though, and for a $20 a night sh*thole Casino this place has a great 1-2 coaster punch.
If we had more time we could have stayed at the Adventuredome for hours but we didn't really want to spend our whole day in Vegas at an amusement park so we decided to ride one last ride and then head out. I love Canyon Blaster and El Loco was super cool but there was honestly no chance in hell of me making either of those our final ride of the day. Brit probably would have lobbied for Canyon Blaster under normal circumstances, but she puts up with my bullsh*t and instinctively followed me over to my beloved Chance disaster ride that caused me to drop 40 bucks in cab fare in the first place.
I'll admit, it was sort of sad knowing I was probably hopping onto a Chance Chaos for the last time. I practically grew up on this thing. Every year since the year I was born we go on a week long family vacation to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. I was riding the Paratrooper at Funland in mom's arms before I was old enough to talk (those were the days, am I right?). As I got older, I remembered graduating to their bigger and scarier rides. It took me years of staring at their Chance SeaDragon before I finally worked up the nerve to ride it. Conquering that was a big deal, but there was one more ride I needed to conquer.
For years, I remembered watching the "Wagon Wheeler" ride while riding the nearby kiddy rides or standing in line for the Paratrooper. It was sort of like a more modern version of the Knoebels Loooper, only you didn't control it yourself. I wanted to ride it for years, but always chickened out at the thought of riding a ride that went upside-down. That seemed absolutely crazy to me.Funland's old "Wagon Wheeler". Image pulled from FunlandRehoboth.com.
Finally, after years and years I worked up the nerve. I was probably about 10 years old, and I could barely wait to go down to Funland and ride it. As soon as we got to the beach after our 5+ hour trek down, I waited about as patiently as you would expect a ten year old to wait as mom and dad unloaded the car. After packing up that poor Pontiac with 2 kids and a weeks worth of crap, driving 5 hours in traffic with kids in tow and then unloading everything the car, I'm sure my parents wanted nothing more than to have a drink, sit on the porch and look at the ocean but too f*cking bad. I was annoying little sh*t and I wanted to go to Funland.
As we made our way down the boardwalk, my anticipation grew. I was scared sh*tless, but I was going to do it. We reached the park, walked through the arcade, walked up to Wagon wheeler and...
It was gone. Not only was it gone, but it was replaced by a much larger and more terrifying contraption known simply as "Chaos".
I was ready for Wagon Wheeler but this thing looked terrifying. I was definitely close to wimping out but after as much of an "internal struggle" as my 10 year old mind was capable of at the time, I reluctantly decided to do it. We bought our tickets, made our way over and hopped on. I was terrified as we reached skyward, heard the "you're f*cked click" and started to tilt but by the end of the ride I was hooked. Forget Wagon Wheeler...I conquered Chaos! I went upside down and it wasn't scary! It was fun!
Fast forward to the present (well... a couple months ago), I was thrilled to be able to ride a Chaos again but I knew I was most likely doing it for the last time. I pulled down the weird locking thing, the ride operator checked the ride and we were on our way. It was awesome, nostalgic and a little sad all at the same time. This time, the ride gave a much more typical Chaos ride. It did a lot of rocking, but very little flipping. It was basically like taking a disappointing tilt a whirl ride and flipping it on it's side but I was okay with that... that was Chaos. Our first ride was the Chance Chaos they probably advertised in their sales material that was basically a bunch of bullsh*t, our second ride was a real Chaos ride. Fun but frustrating, in no way "Chaotic" but still an absolute laugh fest.
As we touched back down to earth, I was loving life. It was almost surreal riding one of these things again and as sh*tty as they are, I love them. We tried to get off, but it locked us in and the operator had to release us manually. We couldn't help but laugh. This ride is such a piece of sh*t but whatever. As pathetic as it is, that sh*tty little ride in an equally sh*tty casino was one of the highlights of a trip already loaded with highlights. Thanks Adventuredome for keeping this abortion of a ride running for some inexplicable reason.
Goodbye you wonderful sh*tty thing.
Up next: The Finale of our Vegas Trip, featuring the world's tallest Ferris wheel and another type of wheel that we really should have stayed away from. lol