With all of the gambling and designer hotels in Vegas, it would be hard to believe that there was anything Big Apple themed there, let alone a roller coaster, but that is very inaccurate. The Manhattan Express, located on the outside of the second floor of the New York New York hotel opened in 1997, themed to be a ride through the New York skyline in taxi themed ride trains. The ride begins with a 180-foot lift and a 76-foot drop, followed by another hill and a 144-foot drop. The train then travels through two inversions, a standard vertical loop and a dive loop, where the train performs a 180 degree spiral and then performs a half-loop maneuver. The rest of the ride is executed on the roof of the casino, and features small hills and a helix.
The ride’s station is themed to a New York subway station. It was built by TOGO, and, like most TOGO coasters, had a reputation in the past for being a rough, even painful roller coaster. Some riders have gotten bruised on the shoulders from the old trains due to the roughness of the ride and negative G-force. In 2004 Premier Rides installed magnetic brakes on the ride. In August 2006, Premier also installed new trains to replace the original and somewhat painful, TOGO trains. Since the Premier train installation, the ride has been noticeably smoother, as opposed to when the TOGO trains were in use. Although this ride isn’t a massive or record breaking coaster, it is a great way to pass time in Vegas in a more “family friendly” way.