On a business trip to Las Vegas a few years ago I was excited to try out the city’s roller coasters. After taking a rough ride on the Manhattan Express/Big Apple Coaster, and seeing that it pretty much was as bad as I’d heard I was eager to get to Adventuredome, an indoor amusement park attached to the Circus Circus casino. The experience of walking through an older casino with all of its sights and sounds of gambling and a clearly more dated look than the newer casinos was an experience in itself. It was hard to imagine I was going to find a theme park at the end of my journey down the Las Vegas strip and through this old-school casino.
Eventually, I found it. It was night so the park’s glass dome overhead was mostly black, aside from the steel structure holding it up. Canyon Blaster is the park’s signature ride. It’s a custom Arrow looper that opened with the park back in 1993. I was hoping that since it was closer to the end of Arrow’s run, it’d be a better design along the lines of Dollywood’s Tennessee Tornado.
Canyon Blaster is situated within a themed rocky mountain that stretches along the center of the park. There are other attractions and pathways along the sides and beneath the ride, but the mountain and this coaster are the centerpiece of the park allowing for some great photo ops and perspectives from on-lookers.
The ride starts within the South Western-themed station where you board the typical Arrow trains with those over-the-shoulder restraints. Once the train is dispatched, it dips down out of the station and takes a right turn passing under a themed pathway bridge. Then, the train enters a short rocky tunnel before beginning the ascent up its 94-foot lift hill. As you climb, you can see the jam-packed amusement park below with flat rides a few other coasters below. Above, the glass dome gets closer and closer. It all adds up to a pretty unique experience especially if you’ve never been in an indoor theme park; which I hadn’t.
Once you crest the top, the train takes another small dip and then a left-hand turn swooping by and through some rocky walls. Then after a short drop, you’re treated to two well-executed back-to-back vertical loops. With just a quick turn to catch your breath, the train charges through two more corkscrews right over the park’s pathways.
After passing through some more rock, you enter the ride’s strongest section, a tunnel-helix where the train flies into and out of a tunnel and then back into a final tunnel, all while winding its way through a helix. It’s a very memorable section where this relatively slower ride feels like it’s blazing fast thanks to all of the elements that are whizzing by. It’d put this tunnel-helix section among my most memorable coaster moments. Finally, the train climbs out of the last tunnel and into the station brakes.
Canyon Blaster is a great example of a ride that’s much better than it should be thanks to theming and its surroundings. On paper, it’s a double loop and double corkscrew steel coaster with a helix, but thanks to its unique surroundings and solid theme elements it feels much longer and more like a real adventure.
Final Rating – 7.0 (Good)
What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Canyon Blaster? What’d you think? Leave a comment below.
This was a part of our 12 Days of Coasters special! Every day from Christmas until January 5th, we gave away a roller coaster review for you to enjoy. You can check them all out here. We thank you for reading, hope you’ve had a merry holidays, and wish you a happy New Year!