At a Glance
What is it?
A zipline style thrill ride that sends people 800 feet between the two hotel towers at The Rio at speeds of up to 33 mph… and then backwards to the original starting point.
Where is it?
At The Rio just off The Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
Thrill ride junkies will probably think so.
What else do I need to know?
Those with a fear of heights should obviously avoid this one.
What’s the bottom line?
You have fun now… let me know how it is.
I’m still of the mindset that if you’re looking for a thrill in Vegas go play a $100 per pull slot machine or get a lap dance at the nearest Strip club. But for those who prefer their thrills more in the thrill ride category, there are plenty of options including the extreme zipline-style attraction VooDoo Skyline at The Rio.
The “zipline style” caveat is important. This is not a traditional zipline where you get into a harness and then let gravity do its job between point A and point B – it is a motorized contraption that sends riders between the two hotel towers some 500 feet up above the pool.
The ride was designed, in part, by Stan Checketts, which is a name most of you have never heard of but is quite the big deal amongst the thrill ride faithful. He and his company were responsible for such high-profile adrenaline pumpers as the El Loco coasters (one of which is now at Adventuredome) and the Big Shot at The Stratosphere among others.
The experience here starts on the second floor shopping area in the Masquerade Village part of the casino. Here you pay your money, sign a bunch of papers that say your relatives won’t sue if you wind up as a stain on the Rio’s pool deck, and then wait to be escorted upstairs. Alternately, when the nightclub is open there’s a desk out on the patio where you can sign up if you haven’t been partying too hard at the adjacent bar – anyone deemed too inebriated will be politely asked to step out of line by the bouncer-like ride attendants.
You can’t keep anything in your pockets or carry anything with you but they have small lockers to hold your stuff while you fly.
Then you are strapped into a seat that is almost like one you’d see at a ski-lift, with a high-back and a full bench that accommodate up to two people with their legs dangling. You start at the top of the VooDoo tower at the nightclub some 500 feet up and then the seat is sent the length of the line to the lower Impanema tower via a motor that propels riders at speeds up to 30 miles per hour over the pool.
Once you get to the other end, you go back to the starting point… backwards!
Although it operates during the day, it’s probably best in a lot of different ways to ride it at night. It’s the only thrill ride associated with a nightclub so that’s unique, but the views from up there are downright spectacular so there are few better ways to see the lights of Vegas.
It is appropriately terrifying. I will freely admit that I refused to do it so I can’t give a first-hand account of what the experience is like but everyone I saw riding it ranged between a little and a lot freaked out beforehand and exhilarated afterward so that bodes well for the thrill ride fans out there. I’d say it’s more extreme and scarier than the SlotZilla zipline (which I did) but not as much as the rides atop the Stratosphere Tower, which I refuse to do under any circumstances no matter how dire. If I had been able to have a shot (or two) of liquid courage, I might have wound up in the Skyline chair so I am grateful that the bar wasn’t open.
It is worth noting that no one under 21 is allowed to ride after 8pm. You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride, weigh no more than 300 pounds, and no more than 450 pounds combined for two riders.