The wildest roller coaster ride on The Strip is getting a high tech upgrade, as the New York New York hotel and casino in Las Vegas has announced that they are adding an optional virtual reality experience to their Big Apple Coaster.
The Big Apple Coaster Virtual Reality Experience debuts Feb. 7, 2018 at New York New York. The first of its kind in Las Vegas, this attraction takes the real G forces, drops and the high speeds of the Big Apple Coaster (which opened in 1997 as “Manhattan Express”) and adds virtual reality helmets for an immersive 4D experience.
The new VR experience begins as riders are equipped with virtual reality headsets, and they take on the role of a scientist in hot pursuit of an alien that escaped their research facility. The virtual chase soars high above the Nevada desert and up the Las Vegas Strip.
This new experience was designed by VR Coaster, creators of virtual reality coaster experiences for Six Flags and Orlando’s Fun Spot. The coaster’s passenger trains are equipped with sensors that use wireless connectivity to precisely synchronize the virtual reality visuals with the real ride. This advanced, lightweight technology was developed to withstand the ups, downs, dives and loops of a roller coaster without losing connection to the virtual reality headsets. The experience utilizes VR Coaster’s proprietary graphic system, “Hybrid VR,” to deliver 3D footage in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.
“The Big Apple Coaster has provided heart-racing excitement to millions of visitors,” said Cynthia Kiser Murphey, president and chief operating officer of New York-New York. “Combining leading-edge technology with the thrill of our coaster overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, we are now able to offer visitors an experience that is new, adrenaline-inducing and something you can only find at New York-New York.”
Thomas Wagner, co-founder and managing partner of VR Coaster, said, “We’re very proud to have had the opportunity to work on such an iconic attraction. The creative freedom New York-New York gave us on all aspects of the ride, from storyboards to the final virtual reality application, was invaluable. Our most exciting accomplishment with this experience was the fact that we had never before incorporated three completely different environments into a single ride… the research facility, the desert and The Strip… each with its own creative and technical challenges.”
Measuring 4,777 ft. in track length, The Big Apple Coaster is the longest roller coaster in the world equipped with virtual reality. The coaster also is the world’s first to feature a 180-degree “heartline” twist and dive maneuver, along with loops, negative Gs and top speed of 67 mph.
Murphey said, “We are thrilled our partnership with VR Coaster allowed us to bring this new, exciting opportunity to New York-New York, and we couldn’t be happier with the relationship or results. And for guests who adore The Big Apple Coaster just the way it is, or aren’t quite ready for the virtual reality option, never fear. You can still enjoy the experience just the way you want it.”
Tickets are $20 for The Big Apple Coaster Virtual Reality Experience and $15 to ride the roller coaster the traditional way. All passengers must be at least 54” to ride and a minimum of 13 years old to ride with virtual reality.
For more information, visit mgmresorts.com/nyny, and for more about VR coasters, watch these videos: