Big Apple Coaster (formerly Manhattan Express) is one of the most notable features of the Las Vegas skyline. You’ve probably seen it in countless movies and TV shows. The red TOGO-designed steel coaster traverses loops, twists, and turns on top of the New York, New York Hotel & Casino. Fittingly, the ride has scaled down versions of popular New York City buildings as an excellent backdrop. And, it has one of the coolest locations and a pretty strong theme, but I’m afraid that the praise for the Big Apple Coaster stops there. After visiting Las Vegas, I can clearly understand why people have called the city, “A Theme Park for Adults”. The themes of the top casinos were very impressive in scale and in their details. After a long stroll down the busy Las Vegas strip, I saw the mini Statue of Liberty and rest of the mini-NYC buildings. My friends and I entered the New York New York Casino and weaved our way through the interior which looked like New York City streets; complete with storefronts. We walked past the slots machines and other games on the floor and eventually found our way up to the ride’s entrance. When I rode it in 2016, the ride cost $14 for one ride or $25 for an all-day pass. Given what I’d heard about Big Apple Coaster, I figured one ride should suffice. Extending the theme of the ride, the queue was themed like a New York City subway and the trains looked like taxi cabs. The seats had lap bars and over the shoulder restraints. According to RCDB, while the ride was designed by TOGO, the original trains were replaced by newer trains from Premier Rides in 2006. Big Apple Coaster begins with a long slow climb offered an excellent view of the casinos nearby and even the mountains in the distance. Some 203 feet above the Strip, the accent ended. The first drop was rather small (76 feet), but fun. Then (reminiscent of Phantom’s Revenge), we plunged down a second and much larger drop of 144 feet. So far so good, but I knew that the twisted mess of steel ahead might get rougher. And it did. First, we traversed a vertical loop, which was followed by a dive loop. I don’t remember the vertical loop being all that bad. The dive loop started out great with a sensation of being suspended upside-down for longer than usual. Unfortunately, exiting the dive loop was quite rough. From here on, Big Apple Coaster was a head-bang-a-thon. And not the good kind like you’d find at an 80’s hair metal reunion. I called on my defensive riding skills so my head wouldn’t bounce off the over-the-shoulder restraints too much. The smaller hills and final helix were much rougher than they should have been. Then the train re-entered the building and we returned to the station. Unfortunately, Big Apple Coaster (Manhattan Express) lived down to its reputation as one of the roughest roller coasters around. The 20 year old ride is the last TOGO-designed roller coaster in the United States. TOGO also designed the rough (and now defunct) Shockwave at Kings Dominion. My Take on Big Apple Coaster The Big Apple Coaster has a strong theme and a really cool and unique backdrop. So even though the potential is there, the ride that the roller coaster gives is just a bit too rough for me to recommend. I’m not saying you should avoid it at all costs, I just didn’t find it too enjoyable (beyond the theme and great view). I rate Big Apple Coaster a generous 4 out of 10. I’m not sure the average thrill seeker will dislike it as much as I did. If you’re in Las Vegas and love roller coasters, it might be worth a ride. Just be ready for some roughness. Final Rating: 4.0 (Below Average) For more on Big Apple Coaster, visit the New York New York Casino and the Roller Coaster Database. Also, here’s a POV video of Big Apple Coaster: What’s Your Take? Have you ridden this coaster? What’d you think? Leave a comment or question below. 7 Responses Josh (TwistedRideOp) March 11, 2017 Wow! A 4/10! If not for this somewhat-positive review, I would have skipped it when I go to Las Vegas this summer Reply Josh (TwistedRideOp) March 12, 2017 Oh yeah, and BTW, are you going to update your favorite lists? I’ve seen some pretty highly rated coasters you’ve reviewed that aren’t there o Prowler o Mystery Mine o Fury 325 Reply Ryan (CCF) March 20, 2017 I believe he said that those were all excellent coasters they just didn’t quite make it. Josh (TwistedRideOp) March 29, 2017 He said Fury 325 was in his Top 10 Matt McIrvin March 11, 2017 I haven’t ridden this coaster, but you’re definitely not the first person I’ve seen saying it’s inexcusably rough. Years ago, I recall user “ikkyu2” on LiveJournal mentioning that it messed up his vestibular system and gave him persistent vertigo. Reply Mike M. March 16, 2017 I rode the Big Apple Coaster for the first time this past January and, given all the complaints and bad reviews the ride receives, I was actually pleasantly surprised by it. Nice first two drops, decent inversions, and surprisingly fun hills and turns. As for roughness, while I wouldn’t expect it to be as smooth as a B&M, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. I’d put it on par with any typical Arrow looper as far as roughness goes, BUT, the seats and restraints are far more comfortable. Probably won’t be a coaster I’ll ride again and again at $14 a pop, BUT if you’re a coaster enthusiast you should definitely ride it at least once. Reply Rebecca Lipsey September 28, 2019 RUDE workers, especially George pronounced hor-hey, not worth it and the workers are awful! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.