I already get nervous about driving on the Las Vegas Strip on a Saturday night. So you can only imagine how much more intimidated I felt taking on a bulldozer. But after my experience, Dig This is one of my top thrill attractions of all time — and that’s saying a lot.
Thanks to Phil (my patient and super-friendly instructor), I was able to gain the confidence I needed out in the huge, five-acre “sandbox.” Dig This, a brand-new attraction that opened late last week, is located where Scandia Amusement Park used to sit. Unlike the video games, racecar driving and mini-golf Scandia once offered, Dig This allows you to do all the things you daydreamed about as a kid. Take that, Bob the Builder!
When I first arrived, I was so worried that I’d crash into something, break the machine, flip over, go in circles — all these worse-case scenarios. During my safety orientation, when the toy model excavator accidentally got knocked over during the demonstration, I thought to myself, “Oh great.” Phil laughed and promised me that won’t happen during the real thing. Thank goodness.
It may seem like there are a lot of gears to memorize, but once you’re out there, I promise it gets easier. Once you’re at ease, you’ll operate the heavy machinery like a pro. Plus, your instructor guides through everything via radio. After I got comfortable, I was doing turns, circles, going forward and backward like nothing. When I was going back and forth on the mound I built, it felt like a roller coaster. I kept giggling because I was concentrating so hard and the dips took me by surprise.
I also got to push around a boulder, pick it up and drop it in the trench I dug up. Creating my hill and riding it like a roller coaster was definitely the highlight of my “mission,” but bullying the boulder and pushing it everywhere made me feel real tough.
At the end of my adventure, the staff congratulated me for a job well done and gave me a personalized certificate. I might even try the excavator next time (the excavator actuallly reminded me of the dinosaur Fred Flintstone used for work). With this machine, you get to balance 2,000-pound tires in a shape of a pyramid and pick up basketballs and place them on cones.
If you’re one of those who may ask, “Now why would I want to drive around a dozer?” Easy — because it’s fun! Founder Ed Mumm came up with this wild idea when he operated heavy machinery while constructing his home. He enjoyed it so much, that it inspired him to turn something like this into an attraction.
This is definitely worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience. If a scaredy cat driver (like me) could master this, you’ll definitely have a blast. I didn’t even want to take my hard hat off. In fact, I almost walked out with it.
If you go this weekend, you can enjoy a one-hour session for only $119. Beginning Monday, “Big Dig” will run as a three-hour activity (giving you tons of time to play) for $400. This price also includes shuttle service.
So in the words of the popular ’90s group, Tag Team — “Can y’all dig it (we can dig it)!”