New York New York Roller coaster Review – The Big Apple Rollercoaster, Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of our favorite places in the world, along with New York, and Rollercoasters are one of our favorite things to do. So combining all three into a single package sounds like a real winner! We can’t think of another example of a rollercoaster that winds its way through an actual city center, with stunning views of the cityscape and skyline as it whizzes past the city streets and landmarks. This makes the Big Apple Rollercoaster at the New York New York Hotel and Casino Las Vegas a truly unique and captivating experience.

But is the coaster any good? Is it all gimmick and no substance? Or can the coaster cut it as a bonafide coaster experience, and is worth both your time and money to ride the Manhatten Express? Find out in our New York New York Roller coaster Review as we take a ride on the Big Apple Coaster Las Vegas.

New York New York Roller coaster Review
  • Fun
  • Thrill Rating
  • Uniqueness and Theming
  • Smoothness and Comfort
  • Value

What is the Big Apple Roller Coaster

The Ride seems to have a few names, The New York New York Roller Coaster, the Manhattan Express, and the Official name the Big Apple Coaster. Whatever you call it, here is what to expect.

Situated in the New York New York Hotel and Casino is the Big Apple Roller Coaster. We are not overly sure why a New York-themed Hotel was decided as the natural home for a roller coaster, it’s not a city synonymous with coasters (there are a couple on Coney Island we suppose) but the ride seems to fit.

Is the Big Apple Coaster any good?

While you might expect the roller coaster to be a fairly tame and family-friendly ride one that takes in the cityscape and rooftop vistas more than a hardcore white knuckle ride, this is certainly not the case. While the ride is not a world-beater in any sense, it is a real and very credible coaster. The main drop is over 140ft and the cars reach speeds of up to 67mph and there are two inversions, including a fairly rare and exciting dive loop element. The ride even creeps into the Hyper-coaster Category, of which there are only 70 of in the world!

The Coaster route is almost completely outside and takes in some amazing views of the strip as it winds its way around the Hotels facade. Overall it’s quite an enticing prospect for coaster fans!

How Much Does The New York New York Roller Coaster Cost?

As the Coaster is based in a Hotel and not a theme park tickets are on a per-ride basis and are priced at a rather Steep $19 per ride. That is quite a big price tag for just one ride on a roller coaster.

Fortunately, repeat rides are only $8 extra and $30 gets you an all-day pass. There is also a Family Bundle for $86 that gets you 4 rides and a couple of souvenir photo’s

While $19 is quite an outlay the $30 scream pass does seem like great value but as you will see later this would be a mistake as you are unlikely to ride more than twice.

We are big fans of Attractions Passes and the Big Apple Coaster is included in quite a few of these, and having the ride basically for free makes it feel like really good value.

What is the Queue like?

Every time we ride the Big Apple, there are basically zero queues. The whole process of walking through the arcade/gift shop takes a few minutes but there is usually nothing in the way of actual queueing. You simply walk up, wait for the next car and jump in. If you want front-row seats you may need to wait for 2-3 turns until the seats are free.

Naturally, at REALLY busy times there is the possibility of a queue and there is a queue line present, but we really have found this wishful thinking by the Casino!

What is the Big Apple Roller Coaster like?

Ok, first, let us just say we are big coaster fans. We have ridden some of America’s best and are not scared of stepping up and riding the baddest rides on the planet. quite the contrary we seek them out. We have ride reviews on coasters from all over the States and have yet to run into anything that’s too scary for us! So bear this in mind as we review the Big Apple.

This coaster is BAD. It is one of the worst monstrosities we have ever ridden. We really didn’t know how rough a roller coaster can be until we rode the Big Apple and that’s AFTER the 2006 upgrade that made the ride smoother, really before that it was unrideable!

The Ride is not bad by design, it has a great layout and the inversions are really fun, there is a classic roll and the Dive loop is a really classy element! The views are also spectacular and we really, really want to love the ride, but we can’t.

The Ride Starts off in a replica Subway station and the cars resemble New York Taxi Cabs, after leaving the station…in a cab? you head up a large lift hill that climbs to well over 200ft above the City. The first drop is not the main event and simply takes you back up a smaller hill ready for the big plunge, 144ft along the Las Vegas Strip at up to 67mph.

Another small drop leads to the vertical loop before you enter the Dive Loop, this Fighter jet-inspired element is really cool, and leads you out of the main section of the ride. After a brake section, the ride continues on with hills, small drops, and helix sections, less exciting than the main section but still fun with great views.

This description sounds fantastic written down, and videos show a fun, fast thrilling ride and on the face of it, we should love it! But it is just SO rough, it really is hard to explain. You exit the ride feeling like you have been in a fight. We have done rough coasters before, but nothing has come close to this. it bangs and clatters its way around the track leaving you in anticipation, not of the next drop or thrill, but the next calamitous impact and back-breaking Jarr!

Is the Big Apple Roller Coaster Worth it?

New York New York Roller Coaster
New York New York by Tomas Del Coro on CC2.0

Here is where things get a little confusing. As yes, we still think it’s worth it! Even after a stinker of a review like that! Why?… Because this is Vegas and where else can you ride a coaster right along the main boulevard of a City! This is just one of those quintessential Vegas experiences that you need to do.

If this was purely a ride review, then we would call the Big Apple a stinker and ask the offending theme park to remove it. But this is more a Vegas Attraction review and in that context, it’s a must-ride! We still ride it, even knowing how bad it is!

There are a few caveats though. This ride is insanely rough. People with back problems or any sort of skeletal muscular issues should steer well clear. This thing bangs and crashes like you would not believe, Don’t think just because you have ridden other big coasters you will be ok here, it really is a shockingly bad ride.

And again this is a Hyper-Coaster, which means it is big, and fast even by other rollercoaster standards, don’t underestimate it, this is one wild ride, and nervous riders and younger kids can be susceptible to under-estimate it, thinking it’s a Vegas “fake” and real coasters are only in theme parks. This can lead to quite a shock as you plummet from 200ft+ at 67mph! Unless you have your big boy pants on, skip this one!

The price is really, really steep for a single ride and while the Repeat ride options make the price all the more reasonable, you are unlikely to want another go anytime soon. Two rides back to back is a real headache, literally, and we just could not imagine 3 or more rides on this thing.

As far as value goes the ride is definitely best enjoyed via an Attraction Pass.


Really this is a big shame the Big Apple Coaster has all the right ingredients for a great ride. It’s all there, fantastic setting, unique experience, Big, bold track layout, and some great elements. It should be a winner every time. But something went wrong. We are coaster enthusiasts but not engineers, so exactly what is awry is anyone’s guess, but Awry it is, and our teeth are still rattling!

Have Your Say

Have you braved the bone-shaking, back-breaking, head-rattling New York New York Roller Coaster? What do you think? As bad as we make out or are we just soft Jessies who can’t handle the rough? Let us know in the comments, and let us know if you enjoyed the experience despite the bone-rattling?

Any questions just fire away and if you would like to know if we think the ride is suitable for you, just let us know your situation.

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