Las Vegas has redefined the word "thrill," Far from your regular Six Flags experience, Las Vegas is its its own electrifying amusement park, and most of it is outside of the gaming rooms. From soaring through the clouds in a fighter plane like Maverick, to dropping 855 feet off the side of a building; riding a seesaw in the sky or loop-de-looping through a massive replica of the New York City skyline, these Las Vegas thrill rides offer something for everyone’s brand of excitement. Most of these are family friendly attractions in Las Vegas, but some of the more extreme rides are better suited for teenagers and adults.
The longest controlled free fall in the world begins at the 108th floor of the Stratosphere Tower. Guests get into the blue jumpsuit, which is harnessed in safely around the waist. From the descender, it’s a thrilling 855 feet down, lasting only a matter of a few heart-stopping seconds. There’s an option to attach a "wristcam" to the suit, allowing the jumper to record their daring feat. But no one really wants to scream uncontrollably on camera, do they?
For more information on the Stratosphere and its thrill rides, see Hopper's travel spotlight on the Stratosphere
Photo by Exotics Racing via Flickr
For the person who dreams in Jason Statham movies, whose hearts leap at the names Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes SLS and Audi R8. Thirteen different models of cars are available for an experience far beyond a simple test drive – a seasoned driving instructor primes temporary speed-demons with a one-on-one tutorial, and then it’s five laps around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ride-along trips are available, for back-seat drivers, with a few laps with a professional race car driver.
Racing fans won't want to miss this collection of Las Vegas attractions for sports fans, which includes some racing experiences
It’s kind of like any other old seesaw, except this one is placed over 1000 feet from the ground, rocks at varying but nevertheless terrifying speeds, and – oh yeah- there’s nothing underneath except the sprawling valley of Las Vegas. Visitors are tilted face-first at a 30 degree angle towards the very distant ground, and as soon as they think they’re going to slide off and over, the ride jolts backwards towards the sky. Acrophobics need not apply.
Visitors traveling with their families can also see our article on Las Vegas attractions that are perfect for teenagers
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Channel your inner Maverick at Combat Ace – buckle in with a real fighter pilot in an Extra 330 aerobatic plane. Duke it out with another visitor, chase them through the clouds, do vertical loops and barrel rolls 6000 feet above the ground. With special effects built into these planes, watch the smoke billow out of your opponent’s plane as they gently descend to the ground.
If you find fighter jets interesting, you may want to check out this article on Las Vegas attractions for military fans
Photo by Keith Watson via Flickr
Soar through the New York skyline, twist and loop between buildings at a top speed of 67 miles per hour. This isn’t New York, New York, per se, but it’s New York – New York Las Vegas, an excessive homage to the bright lights and big city on the other side of the country. The mock skyline is made up of hotel towers a third of the size of what it’s meant to represent, and zooming around the property is an unparalleled tour of New York on a dip-diving roller coaster, with trains that look like New York City cabs.
Also check out Hopper's picks for the 10 best theme parks in the United States to see more about roller coasters