Las Vegas is a city of extremes and its Ferris wheel is no exception. At 550 feet(167.6m) it is the tallest in the world. It opened in 2014 as the anchor of a new tourist area called The LINQ, which like everything else is located on the Strip. There are twenty-eight large cabins, each capable of holding 40 persons except for when they change to a bar layout.
Walking into The Link from the Strip is like stepping into a towns main pedestrian street. There are pubs and restaurants lining both sides of an immaculately clean and crowded pedestrian walkway. Towering over the background is the High Roller. During the day it is a massive white bicycle wheel spoke and at night it transforms into a stunning neon alien hula-hoop. After sitting down for a meal and refreshing beverage you carry on towards the Ferris wheel, stopping to laugh and pose at the cupcake ATM.
Like all tourist attractions you want to avoid the High Roller at peak time unless you enjoy standing in a queue for hours. Time it correctly though and you can walk through the maze of twists and turns and escalators without so much as slowing down. Shortly before getting to the boarding area there is a lobby with toilets and a bar, which are nice if you do get stuck in a queue. At the boarding area you will be split into two groups depending of your ticket. One for those with, and one for those without, the drinks package. Thirty-eight of the cabins do not have a bar so there is usually a very short wait. Being only two drinks cabins you have to wait fifteen minutes for one of the cabins to arrive, as it takes thirty minutes for a full rotation of the wheel. While waiting you can get to know your fellow riders or, more likely, just stare as the massive wheel slowly spinning next to you. When it is your turn to hop on you simply walk onto the cabin as it slowly glides by. The High Roller does not stop or change speeds. Do not be afraid of falling to your doom as there is a net below the loading area for those that have had one too many and have difficulty either seeing the cabin or controlling their legs.
Once on board you can sit down if space allows or more likely stand so you can get a better view and view all sides. There are television screens above your head spouting out information about the journey. Things are a bit different in the drinks cabin as the bar takes up a decent amount of space. There is no order to the drinks ordering so it will depend on how pushy you are and how friendly your traveling companions are. The one bartender will be overwhelmed at first but the drinks are well made and you will get yours faster than you think. During the full rotation you could possibly pound quite a few if that is your thing but most people will just get through two drinks. As the drink cabin is crowded, sticky, and noisy, and expensive, I would recommended drinking before and after the journey and just enjoy the rotation in the normal cabin. Unless of course you are there to drink as much as you can then the drinks cabin may be worth it to you.
The view during the rotation is fabulous. You will have excellent 360 degree views of the city and will tower above most of the giant hotels. The television screens will announce when you reach the top, and then it is fifteen minutes back down to the bottom. The whole ride is perfectly stable and uneventful. The cabins are largely windowed so those with a fear of heights may be quite uncomfortable. Once at the bottom of the rotation you simply step off your cabin and walk down a long ramp back to The Linq. Again the safety net covers all open areas where you may feel a desire to walk off an edge.
The High Roller is a fantastic addition to the hundreds of other tourist attractions of this city. Save some money from the gambling and prostitutes and instead go for a ride on this Ferris wheel. Perhaps even purchase a cupcake from a machine on your walk there.