Las Vegas isn’t home to any old observation wheel. We’re home to the High Roller, the tallest observation wheel in the world.
Just think. When you step inside the High Roller, you’re riding inside a Guinness record-holding entity — an observation wheel that’s taller than both the Singapore Flyer and the London Eye. From the outside, the High Roller permanently changed the Las Vegas skyline. From the inside it provides 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Strip and valley.
While the High Roller is a ride to remember, here are some tips from to help you make your ride that much more memorable.
Park like a pro. The High Roller is located at The Linq in between the Flamingo and the Quad hotels. While both hotels have parking garages, they aren’t your best option for parking. Instead try The Linq valet, conveniently located directly beneath the High Roller. From the Strip, take Flamingo Road east to Linq Lane (formerly Audrie Lane) and follow the signs. Parking is free, but you will want to tip the valet when you pick up your car. If you don’t have any cash, there is free self-parking steps away in a lot to the east of the High Roller.
Hit the bathroom before you board. From boarding to exit, a full rotation of the High Roller takes about 30 minutes. While half an hour may not seem like a long time to wait for a bathroom break, take it from us, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. So go before you … go. There are bathrooms located in the High Roller building before you enter the boarding area. This tip especially holds true for kids. There’s something about being enclosed in a glass pod with no chance of escape that’s like an open invitation to a little kid’s bladder. And if your child (or you) are busy doing the pee pee dance the whole time you’re on board, you aren’t going to enjoy the view.
Bring a camera. With cameras on every smartphone, traditional cameras are an afterthought for many tourists. If you enjoy taking photographs, the High Roller is one attraction worth lugging a camera for … particularly a camera with a telephoto lens (if you have one). Sure you can snap some nice photos — and plenty of above-the-Strip selfies — with your iPhone, but they won’t compare to the shots you’ll get with better equipment. If you do use your smartphone, head over to the Polaroid Fotobar after your ride and explore their options for turning digital images into cool keepsakes.
Mind the gap. Boarding and exiting the High Roller are pretty easy. Basically, you walk right on and off. But make sure you watch your step. The pod doesn’t stop (it moves 1 foot per second) and the boarding platform is elevated high above the ground. If you’re wearing heels or you’ve been drinking, you’ll want to be extra careful. If you’re wearing heels AND you’ve been drinking, good luck.
Stake out your spot in the pod. With 360-degree views of the valley, there’s something to see from every angle of the High Roller pod. But the southwest corner (your immediate right when you enter the pod) offers the best Strip views at the highest point. If you happen to nab this sweet spot, be courteous to other riders. There may be up to 39 other people riding with you in your pod. They want photos too.
Hold onto your drink. The High Roller doesn’t have any cup holders, unless you count your eager-to-please significant other. So if you bring your drink along for the ride you will have to hold it the whole time — or bribe someone else to. Drinks purchased in the adjacent High Roller wheelhouse are permitted, but outside drinks — and glass — are not.
Forgo your fear of heights. Even if you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, you may be surprised by how well you handle the High Roller. It moves so slowly you won’t even really realize you’re rolling up so high. Folks we know who struggled with the Eiffel Tower because of their fears handled the observation wheel just fine. The spacious pods provide plenty of room and excellent vantage points so you don’t have to venture right up to the window to enjoy. That being said, severe Acrophobics may want to skip this attraction.
Ride at night (or better yet sunset). No matter when you ride, the 360 degree view from the High Roller of hotels, the mountains and the valley is unparalleled. But in a city known for its bright lights, the views are better at night. It’s as simple as that. In addition to seeing the Strip in its glitzy glory, you might catch the Bellagio fountains in action during an evening ride. A sunset ride, on the other hand, is like the icing on the cake, providing an uninhibited view of the sun setting colorfully over the mountains as the bright lights of the Strip are switched on. The daytime view is still a sight but could also be the subject of a fun drinking game: Take a drink for every green car you see parked on a parking garage roof, etc. The price to ride The High Roller goes up by $10 starting at 6 p.m.
The High Roller is open noon to 2 a.m. daily. Tickets range from $24.95 to $59.95.