Big Apple Coaster
Previously known as Manhattan Express (1997–2006)
The Roller Coaster (2007–2015)
NewYork-NewYork19.jpg
The Big Apple Coaster and the New York-New York Hotel & Casino
New York-New York Hotel and Casino
LocationNew York-New York Hotel and Casino
Coordinates36°6′7″N 115°10′25″W / 36.10194°N 115.17361°W / 36.10194; -115.17361Coordinates: 36°6′7″N 115°10′25″W / 36.10194°N 115.17361°W / 36.10194; -115.17361
StatusOperating
Opening dateJanuary 3, 1997; 25 years ago (January 3, 1997)
Cost$25 million
General statistics
TypeSteel
ManufacturerTOGO
DesignerTOGO
ModelSitdown Looping
Track layoutCustom
Lift/launch systemChain lift
Height203 ft (62 m)
Drop144 ft (44 m)
Length4,777 ft (1,456 m)
Speed67 mph (108 km/h)
Inversions2
Duration2:40
Max vertical angle55°
Height restriction54 in (137 cm)
Trains3 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 18 riders per train.
Big Apple Coaster at RCDB
Pictures of Big Apple Coaster at RCDB

The Big Apple Coaster (formerly Manhattan Express and The Roller Coaster) is a steel TOGO hyper roller coaster at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The ride's trains are themed to New York City taxicabs. It is the only roller coaster by TOGO still operating in North America.

History

The original TOGO-built train in 2005, since replaced with a new train set built by Premier Rides
The original TOGO-built train in 2005, since replaced with a new train set built by Premier Rides

The ride, originally called the Manhattan Express, was built by TOGO, and was one of only two roller coasters in the world to feature a heartline roll and dive.[1] The ride was conceived by Gary Primm, owner of Primadonna Resorts, which co-developed New York-New York.[2]

The ride cost $18 million to build. It opened along with New York-New York on January 3, 1997. Within two months, 500,000 people had ridden it. In March 1997, Clark County building officials shut down the Manhattan Express over safety issues, which the resort failed to report to the county.[3] The ride contained 250 steel tension rods.[4] Approximately 40 of the rods had snapped, and the resort was cited for continuing to operate the ride despite the breakages. Repairs were made, and the ride reopened and closed several times that month, as more rods broke.[3] The initial 40 broken rods had been replaced using stronger material, which strained the weaker rods and caused them to snap. The strain also created fine cracks in the coaster track.[4]

The Manhattan Express reopened in April 1997, after two weeks of repairs and safety improvements.[5] Further rod breakages occurred on several occasions later in the year. The rods were repaired as they broke, and the county deemed the ride safe despite the frequent breakages.[6][7]

The coaster had its one-millionth rider in July 1997.[8]

It had a reputation in the past for being a rough roller coaster. Some riders have gotten bruised on the shoulders from the old trains due to the roughness of the ride and negative G-forces.[citation needed] In 2004 Premier Rides installed magnetic brakes on the ride. In August 2006, Premier also installed new trains to replace the original TOGO trains. Since the Premier train installation, the ride has been noticeably smoother, as opposed to when the TOGO trains were in use.[9]

The ride was renamed as The Roller Coaster in 2007,[10] and as the Big Apple Coaster in 2013.[11]

In February 2018, the ride introduced a virtual reality coaster option.[12]

For the 2021 season, the ride received another set of new trains from Premier Rides; a more modern variant that were first seen on the Sky Rocket II models. These consist of more open-air seating and can hold up to 18 riders, thus increasing the coaster's capacity. Testing began in December 2020, with the ride slated to reopen in February 2021.[13] However, an accident occurred in mid-December, where the middle car of one of the new trains derailed on the lift hill, causing severe damage to part of the catwalk.[14] The ride reopened on January 30, 2021.

Ride experience

The ride travels on a 4,777 ft (1,456 m) track.[15] The ride begins with a 180-foot (55 m) lift and a 76-foot (23 m) drop, followed by a hill and a 144-foot (44 m) drop. The train then traverses two inversions, a standard vertical loop and a dive loop (twist and dive element), where the train performs a 180-degree spiral and then performs a half-loop maneuver.[9][16] This element is found on another coaster: the "Mega Coaster" at Hamanako Pal Pal Park in Japan.[17] The rest of the ride is executed on the roof of the casino, and features small hills and a helix into the brakes.[16] The ride's station is themed to a New York City Subway station.

Currently, the ride costs $19 per individual ticket and $10 for a re-ride. An all-day pass can be bought for $35. Las Vegas residents with valid ID, and military personnel also receive discounts.[18]

References

  1. ^ "Twist should put New York roller coaster on ACE map". Las Vegas Sun. June 27, 1996. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  2. ^ "Coaster at NY-NY a whopper". Las Vegas Sun. December 31, 1996. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Greene, Susan (March 18, 1997). "Strip resort roller coaster grounded". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on September 16, 2000.
  4. ^ a b Greene, Susan (March 25, 1997). "Troubled roller coaster grounded for third time". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on September 16, 2000.
  5. ^ Greene, Susan (April 9, 1997). "Back on a Roll". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on September 17, 2000.
  6. ^ Greene, Susan (July 9, 1997). "Roller coaster suffers more ups and downs". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on September 17, 2000.
  7. ^ Bates, Warren (September 14, 1998). "Ups, downs continue for New York-New York roller coaster". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on October 10, 1999.
  8. ^ "12-year-old gets thrill on coaster". Las Vegas Sun. July 15, 1997. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Big Apple Coaster". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Roller Coaster". New York-New York official website. Archived from the original on January 6, 2007.
  11. ^ "The Big Apple Coaster & Arcade". New York-New York official website. Archived from the original on September 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "The New York-New York Roller Coaster adds virtual reality". Las Vegas Weekly. January 17, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  13. ^ "Big Apple Coaster in Las Vegas gets new trains and technology upgrade from Premier Rides". Great Adventure History. December 13, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  14. ^ Coaster Nation (December 23, 2020). "New York New York's Big Apple Coaster Suffers Derailment Testing New Cars". Coaster Nation. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  15. ^ "Ride safety checks a never-ending duty". Las Vegas Sun. August 30, 1997. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  16. ^ a b "Big Apple Coaster front seat on-ride HD POV New York, New York Hotel & Casino". CoasterForce. December 24, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2019 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ Marden, Duane. "Mega Coaster  (Hamanako Pal Pal (Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan))". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  18. ^ "Roller Coaster - The Big Apple Coaster & Arcade at New York-New York". www.mgmresorts.com. Retrieved 2019-08-14.