A couple months ago I happened to be in Las Vegas, and knowing that a new coaster had recently opened there meant I had a mission: to ride it. Of course! The last time I was in Vegas the ride was partially built, but it opened last February to riders.
El Loco is at the Adventuredome, the giant indoor theme park adjacent to Circus Circus. Seen above, the ride is packed into a small area at the park, where real estate is a premium.
El Loco is a custom designed roller coaster from S&S, who's line of these roller coasters is also named El Loco. It utilizes small cars with four seats that are able to navigate tight turns, drops, and inversions. That ride system made it a perfect fit for the very condensed Adventuredome, which removed the shoot-the-chutes ride that opened with the property in order to bring in El Loco.
Above is the ride's first drop, which is nearly vertical. The cars climb the lift, move through a tight turn, then quickly fall toward the ground. The drop is sudden, and you can get some nice air-time on the way down.
Speaking of El Loco's trains, here's a close up photo of one of them - #5 according to those front panels. The trains are very comfortable, and feature only lap style restraints that allow your upper body to be totally free, and give you a great view. There is also on board audio, you can see the speakers built into the back of the tall seats. I also love the light up front panel that has the ride's logo on it!
El Loco is somewhat similar to the other El Loco rides that S&S has manufactured, though definitely a custom ride overall. After the first drop the cars head back up to a wild mouse-style section of track that is the same as the previously produced coasters. There are outward banked turns followed by a 180 degree roll that then drops to the ground once riders have hung upside down for a second or so.
After another climb the coaster hits the more unique section, which was necessary in order to utilize the former water ride's station for the coaster. After another block break (there are several due to the individual style cars) there is a wacky outward banked straight section of track (seen above), and then one more roll/drop inversion. The trains are quickly slowed on the brake run, then move back into the station.
I hadn't been on an El Loco prior to this one, with only one other one located in the U.S. The ride was fast and comfortable, even during the inversions. The little kids that I saw riding El Loco certainly seemed to love it! It's nice to see Adventuredome get a major new attraction, since the days of rides seem to be over on the Vegas Strip.
Here's a short video of El Loco in action:
I also noticed this "History of the Roller Coaster" display that Circus Circus had near one of the resort's entrances:
It was hard to get a good shot of this, but I think that ACE featured it at last year's IAAPA show as well. Nice of Circus Circus to help spread the word of our favorite rides!