Ride the "Manhattan Express" Roller Coaster in Las Vegas

The only thing more fun than going on rides is going on rides with other people who hate going on rides. Call me twisted, but it delights me to hear their cries of fright and anguish - it makes me laugh and enjoy the ride all the more. (This must be genetic, because my mother is the exact same way, and... oh god, I’m turning into my mother!)

It’s not that I want others to be hurt or in pain... it’s just funny that they are scared and I am exhilarated. While I’m letting out little, “Woo!” sounds, they are either shrieking, swearing, or praying to their deity of choice. It is entertaining, to say the least.

amusement park rides, floorless roller coaster
I love roller coasters!  Photo source: unknown.

I am a ride enthusiast. I’ve been to Six Flags, Euro Disneyland, and my local Calgary Calaway Park. I hit up the rides at the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. I even love when the fair comes to town - how those rickety, constructed-in-a-day machines are so thrilling, because there is a real possibility that they’ll fall apart with you in them.

things to do in Calgary, amusement parks in Alberta
Ready to go on a fun ride at Calgary's 'Calaway Park' - at least, I am.

This is why I just had to ride the roller coaster that loops and snakes around the New York, New York casino in Las Vegas when I visited with my cousin over the March spring break. My husband and I had checked it out when we explored Vegas in 2009, but we had decided it was too much money for one little ride. This time, however, I had pre-planned to ride “The Manhattan Express” and had printed out some coupons for Marriann and myself. Instead of paying $14.00 each, we paid $10.00 each - still a bit expensive but better than no discount at all. (All I did was Google “Manhattan Express coupons” before we left for Vegas, and found several sites with printable coupons - it was quick and easy, so do it, people!)

entrance Manhattan Express, New York New York casino roller coaster
Entrance to New York New York's Manhattan Express roller coaster ride.

The line-up was relatively short, but just long enough that Marriann had time to have second thoughts about riding a roller coaster that looped around a very tall casino. She is not one for rides, especially ones that drop her straight down or spin her upside down. She began to panic. This I enjoyed. I calmed her and assured as best I could, all the while sporting what I suppose was an infuriating grin. I wouldn’t even let her read the “Warning” sign posted by the roller coaster platform, whose final line stated happily that all riders should be prepared to exit the roller coaster in case of failure and climb down extremely steep stairs to return to solid ground. I don’t think she would have gotten on if I’d let her read that first.

Manhattan Express roller coaster
New York New York casino, which features the Manhattan Express coaster.

The ride was quite fun in itself. It began with a very steep, very slow climb upwards, which revealed the south end of the Vegas strip and surrounding cityscape one rail at a time. I had a brief moment to enjoy the view, and then it was virtually straight down the first drop. I think I left my stomach somewhere at the top of that first hill. According to the website, the first drop is 144 feet down and the coaster can reach up to 67 miles an hour, and I felt every inch of it go by. Then it was back up a second hill, and another straight drop. There were two upside down flips, several corkscrews, and lots of little twists that left you banging your head from side to side on the harness (I didn’t enjoy that part as much).

New York New York roller coaster, Las Vegas roller coaster
Going up, up, up the Manhattan Express.

I left the ride with a small headache, but I can’t be sure if the headache was from banging my temples against the sides of my harness, snickering at Marriann who was screaming and swearing at me simultaneously for taking her on the ride, or from laughing uncontrollably at the poor man who was sitting behind us yelling, “AGGGGGGHHHH!” in a throaty growl verging on hysteria. For half of the ride I missed the view, because my eyes close when I’m laughing that hard. It was a very entertaining journey all around.

New York New York roller coaster, Las Vegas roller coaster
At the top of the coaster, with a great view of Las Vegas.

We did not purchase the cheesy photograph at the end of the ride. It was $20.00 for one picture, and the quality had much to be desired. There are plenty of other great photo ops in Vegas - the picture booth at the Manhattan Express is not one of them. I did learn one interesting fact about the roller coaster, however, while doing a bit of research on it: you can get married right atop the coaster at the top of the first drop (Catch Phrase: “Take the plunge and then take the plunge!” I made that up, but the casino can feel free to use it.) It is $600 to get married on the coaster in the morning, and $700 to have a beautiful and classy evening ceremony. Someone please do it, and invite me!

Take the plunge, and then take the plunge! Photo source unknown.


  1. I love this rollercoaster. I ride it every time I go to Vegas, which has been 5 times now.

    Something you should do next time you're in the Vegas area: Rent a car and drive to Zion National Park in Utah. It's no more than a few hours from my memory. I went sky diving early one morning then drove out there to hike Angel's Landing which is one of the most intense hikes I've ever done. You literally hold on to a chain in the side of a mountain at parts, and I was expecting a brisk walk!! I'll never forget that day or the feeling when we reached the top. Amazing.

  2. Sounds amazing! I will most certainly be doing this... For a long time I've toyed with the idea of sky diving, and this sounds like the perfect opportunity to do so! Thanks for the great suggestions.

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