The Las Vegas Cityscape really takes on a different shape when you view it from above. There are many ways to get up high and see the city from high up. An expensive hotel room, Helicopter Ride, or even the Stratosphere Observation deck. But in 2014 the High Roller Observation wheel Opened and is currently the world’s highest observation wheel.
Situated at the Linq promenade it is a fantastic way to get up above the City. Our High Roller Las Vegas Review will guide you through the best way to enjoy the Wheel. Day or Night? Happy hour or Regular? We find out if the High Roller Las Vegas is worth it?
What is the High Roller Las Vegas?
- Attraction – The High Roller Observation Wheel
- Location – The Linq Hotel and Promenade
- Type – Giant Observation Wheel
- Height – 550ft / 176m
- Duration: 30 Mins
- Prices – Adult – $27-$60 – Youth (7-17) – $12-22 – Child (<6) – Free
- Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.4 Stars
Standing at 550 feet tall the Las Vegas Highroller is an observation wheel in the same vein as the London Eye. These Giant Ferris wheels offer a very stable slow rotation that feels more like a building than a Ferris wheel. As of 2021, the Wheel is still the Tallest in the world (Dubai has a rival under construction). As the wheel rotates the Observations PODs offer fantastic 360 Degree views of the City from RIGHT in the heart of it.
Being Vegas there is a twist and that comes in the form of an optional Open bar for the 30mins it takes for the wheel to whizz, or crawl depending on your perspective, around its rotation.
Time may be ticking on the Status as the world’s largest as Ain Dubai‘s scheduled opening date is fast approaching…but it is already 5 years behind!
How Much Does The High Roller Las Vegas Cost?
Day – Online Price
- Adult – $27.00
- Youth(4-12) – $12.00
- Happy Half Hour(21+) – $n/a
Night – Online Price
- Adult – $40.00
- Youth(4-12) – $22.00
- Happy Half Hour(21+) – $60.00
Children 3 years and under are free
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Should We Go During the Day or Night?
The first decision you need to make is whether to take a day or night ride. As you can see the Night rides carry a $10-13 Dollar Premium over the day trips. It will also be busier with long queues. This is because the night rides are just so much more popular. People want to see the City lit up in all its evening glory. But is it that much better?
Really, there is nothing like Vegas and its dazzling nighttime light show. From the Wheel, you can see the Bellagio fountains going off, along with all the lights and colors of the strip in its full spectacle. The Views from the High Roller is incredible at night and makes for a real once-in-a-lifetime experience.
However, the Daytime view is still something to behold. The Giant shiny hotels actually look better, in some ways, during the day than the night. The Glistening towers of steel and glass really do look fantastic in the Desert Sun. Anyone taking a trip during the day will not be disappointed.
Our advice is if you are only likely to do the wheel once, or this is your first time, then plump for the night. Vegas really is spectacular from above at night and you shouldn’t miss this. An exception would be if you are going to see the City from above another way. Helicopter tour, stratosphere, etc… If you can see the City in Both lights, and decide for yourself which is the best. We think it’s a shame they don’t offer a duo ticket. If you are planning on doing the Happy Half Hour we definitely recommend doing the evening as we just prefer drinking in the evening. Talking of Which…
Is the Happy Half Hour Worth it? – 21+
We are always worried about Open Bar’s with time limits. As are paying for the service you want to ensure you get a good deal and with up to 40 people packed into a pod it’s a worry you won’t get any good service, after all, the fewer drinks they serve the more profit right. And at $25 extra you need to get a few in to ensure it’s not a waste of money!
Fear, not these guys and girls are very good. They have a very defined method of getting everyone a drink FAST and then manage very well getting you a 2nd/3rd even 4th drink.
We always stick to simple drinks, rum, and coke, vodka cranberry, stuff like that as simply getting drinks out quick is the name of the game, However, if you really want, you can order what you like but expect complex drinks to be refused, and even if not expect groans from your fellow passengers.
Obviously, don’t expect top-end spirits, but it’s not bottom-of-the-barrel stuff either and the bar is well stocked with loads of options so just shout up what you fancy or ask for advice from the bartender. But be fast, there is a queue. Look to your other guest’s orders for inspiration too. It’s the perfect chance to try something new and if someone else’s drinks look or sound just shout up “one (or two) of those please! “
So is it worth it? Well in purely monetary terms 3 drinks for $20 Dollars isn’t too bad really. There are not many places in Vegas where you can beat that. However, it is a little bit more of an experience than just pricing up how much the drinks are worth. The Bar Staff do a really good job of keeping things fun and the whole experience is one of fun and high spirits. On that basis, we would not do it any other way. Well not in the evening anyway. For us, the daytime experience is more about the views than the drinking, but as nighttime hits and Vegas comes alive the Happy Half Hour is a great way to start the evening.
UPDATE – Currently the Happy Half Hours is running at 25% capacity. The 40 people packed into each pod is a memory of the Pre Covid World. Now only 10 guests are permitted into each pod. Prices are higher as the Wheel attempts to recoup the cost of the limited capacity but you are getting much more attentive service. You really are only limited by how much you can drink.
However, the experience is a little different now. It’s much less Bachotlour party and much more refined and relaxed. Now you sip your drinks as you enjoy the relaxed ride over the incredible Vegas Skyline.
We expect this to be a temporary setup and the more lively 40 to a pod service to return as the Pandemic begins to ebb away…but who knows!
Of course, it shouldn’t need saying but if you are not a big drinker, or not at all, then this is probably a bust! Just head up and enjoy the incredible views in a regular pod. Again it can get a bit rowdy and sometimes you are stuck in with a large group (Ask/Demand to wait for the next POD if this really isn’t acceptable) if this isn’t your thing maybe save the money and enjoy a more relaxed drink before and after while taking in the incredible views. You may get lucky and hit a quiet Pod but that isn’t the norm.
And do we need to mention this is 21+ only? And yes most people without grey hair and wrinkles will need to provide ID.
A great option is to buy your drinks on the ground. There is no restriction on taking your own drinks on board (Pretty rare for this kind of attraction!), only limits on Glass containers (no coolers either but you are only up there for 30 mins). So feel free to buy a take-away cocktail from the Linq Promenade or even bring your own drinks from the Drugstore/supermarket!
What Is It Like To Ride The Highroller ? The Experience
The Experience is pretty straightforward. As you head down the Linq promenade you will see the very obvious entry to the High Roller. Head on in and join the queues for the ticket kiosks. Here you will either buy your tickets or exchange your pre-ordered tickets or Attractions passes to get actual tickets to the Wheel.
You then head through the queue “maze” which is invariably empty until you get to the loading area. Here you are in the hands of the loading crew who will hold you until the next pod is available.
One occasion, as we were loading, in front of us was 10-15 Batchelor party lads. Very drunk and very rowdy. We have no issues with people having a good time, after all, they are in Vegas. We, however, didn’t really fancy sharing the Pod with them for the next half hour. We politely asked the Crew if we could wait for the next POD. The Crewmember was initially hesitant as they thought we were just after a quieter POD and are trained to fill the PODs. But when we explained there was no WAY we were getting in with them they relented. Be firm but polite. You are the customer.
Once in the POD, if you are doing the Happy Half Hour, the Bar Person absolutely takes over. They don’t allow you a preferred position or any messing about but simply fill the POD and start getting everyone a Drink. They have a fast and efficient system of getting around everyone and before the pod is high enough to see anything of interest you will have your first drink.
You are then free to return as many times as you please for refills or different drinks. The only limit seems to be the time it takes for the wheel to rotate. We always get 3, normally 4, drinks even in a busy pod. When quieter we normally only drink the same as there is less urgency and we drink more sensibly.
From a little over halfway up attention turns from ransacking the bar to the views. The High Roller is slap bang in the middle of the Strip and the views out of the entrance side of the POD are astounding, Day or night.
We find your position in the POD quite irrelevant as people move about and don’t hog. There is time for everyone to get a fantastic lookout and an Instagram selfie (we always recommend in these situations offering to take someone’s photos as they invariably offer to return the Favour). You get a great view of most hotels, with the Bellagio. Mirage and Caeasers palace right in front of the wheel and you get great views of the Bellagio fountains if they are going off, you are up there for half an hour so they normally do at night!
While half an hour is plenty of time to get your fill of the view and hit up the bar. It does fly by really by and before you know it you will be back at the unloading station and heading out back onto the Linq Promenade, just a bit tipsier than you were 30 mins ago!
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Is the Highroller Scary?
It is very high and people with a distinct fear of heights may suffer. However, the PODs do not feel anything like regular Ferris wheel gondolas. They offer a very stable platform and it feels more like you are stood in a building than a wheel. The sensation of movement is almost non-existent and for the most part, you feel stationary. I have a mild fear of heights and regular Ferris wheels leave me very uncomfortable but these Giant Observation wheels do not affect me at all.
What are the Downsides to the HighRoller?
The BIG issue for us is the reflective Windows. These make photography really hard, especially at night. The reflections of any light or bright clothing inside the cabin show up easily on any photos, especially at night. Nighttime is a tricky proposition for good photos anyway. But these reflections ruin most of our shots. The curved glass also means the usual trick of a polarizing Filter does not help much and is no help for mobile Photography. This is not a big issue for causal visitors but it’s not a great place to come to try and really photograph the Vegas Skyline!
A much better option for this would be the Eiffel Tower Experience that offers some of the best views of the City available and these are not contained behind reflective Glass!
There is also the issue of your pod-mates. You are almost certainly going to be sealed in the enclosed space with people you have never met. Most of the time this is great, but there is always the chance you are not going to get along, and this can lead you to focus more on the other occupants rather than the view. For us, that would be very loud and noisy pod mates but we all have our own bugbears, and you get no say to who you are sealed in with for 30-mins.
Of course, that’s going to be a worry for people still nervous about covid, but we would probably not suggest the attraction just yet if that is you. It is worth noting that at quiet times, especially during the day we have bagged pods entirely to ourselves. Which is really cool.
Of course, that leads us to the biggest issue. Peak times the queue can be pretty unbearable. We are really used to walking straight on so when a large 30+ minute queue forms which happens often at peak weekend times, we cannot justify the wait! Our solution is to come back another time but of course, this may not be an option.
Overall the downsides pale into insignificance to the advantages. The Highroller offers such incredible views out over the City it’s a real must-do. The Linq Promenade is a great part of the City to check out and you simply have to go up on the Highroller Wheel while there.
Las Vegas Go Card / Explorer Pass
The High Roller is included in the Las Vegas Go Card and the Las Vegas Explorer Pass, however, They only have the daytime experience and No happy hour. Not a good choice on the Explorer unless you really want a sober Daytime ride. It’s fine on the all-inclusive Go Card but you may want to book a separate trip to go back for a Happy Half Hour. That way you get both experiences.
From Time to Time this experience comes up on Group-On at a discounted price. Keep an eye on that as you plan your trip as you can save a bit that way. The Wheel doesn’t sell out so you can leave your regular booking pretty late waiting for the Group-On to become available.
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Have Your Say
Have you been on the High Roller? Did you go day or night? Did you do the Happy Half Hour? Let us know in the comments. Or if you have any questions or queries please just ask away below in the comments.