We recently visited a coaster that is usually closed when we pass by. It’s one of the tallest and largest coasters on earth, but it is not often discussed. We took a drive out through the middle-of-nowhere to finally get on Desperado, and we loved it! Check out our review of the ride and look at the big hyper coaster in this article!
– Recently our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that no one mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –
Desperado is an Arrow hyper coaster located at the Buffalo Bill’s Hotel and Casino, in Primm, Nevada. For those of you who do not know where Primm is, it is about 45 minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip, right on the border of California and Nevada. Everyone who visits this complex must enter through the hotel’s massive casino. Be warned, although this casino is immense, it is seldom full, giving an almost eerie feeling when compared to the casinos of Las Vegas Proper. You wind yourself through the countless slots and tables, and through the hotel’s food court to the theme park ticket counter. Once tickets or wristbands are purchased, the coaster boarding is just a short walk upstairs from the ticket counter.
Riders then board one of the three trains of the coaster, putting emphasis on the word “one”, as they often don’t operate more than one. When the train leaves the station it makes a small dip before going up the 209 ft tall lift hill. The first bit of the lift hill is indoor, but soon after riders are welcomed by the intense Nevada desert heat and white roof tops of the resort, nearly blinding them.
Once on top of the lift hill, the train descends down a 225 ft tall drop at a 60 degree angle past the resort’s tallest tower. The bottom of the drop quickly levels out at a speed of 80MPH in a tunnel and shoots riders back up into the sky.
The train then makes a very uncomfortable quick left turn while still ascending the second hill of the ride. Once on top the riders have a quick moment to recover before entering a shallow drop that turns into a high-speed large left turn down and then up. The banking in this turn is generally good, but with the high speed and the age of the ride, it does throw you around a bit. Not nearly as much as the rest of the ride does though.
On top the the large upwards turn, the coaster’s track makes a turn to the right and enters a series of somewhat oddly banked turns in hills and drops. These hills are by no means steep, but offer forceful and snappy airtime moments. After these hills the coaster has now traveled around the hotel to the very front of the parking lots and makes a turn to the right facing the resort’s massive tower. This is where the coaster hits the mid-course brake run.
Following the mid-course brake run, the ride begins to descend towards the hotel before throwing riders into a left turn to parallel the monorail tracks.
The ride then goes through the second level of the valet office and approaches a mountain from which the resort’s log flume drops.
After passing the flume drop on the left, and the cameras on the right, the coaster dives into the mountain for a helix around the first indoor section of the log flume ride.
We were shocked how incredibly smooth this portion of the ride was, as it definitely was one of our highlights of the coaster. Not to forget the element was filled with headchoppers. The train emerges above where it entered the mountain, and takes riders around the outside of the mountain before diving under the monorail tracks, and onto the final brake run. The most satisfying part about the end of this ride is re-entering the air conditioned station/casino.
Desperado opened as the world’s biggest coaster in 1994 and still lives up to the original hype. To an extent. The ride has aged, and I’m not sure if it aged too well. The coaster is very enjoyable, offers a nice amount of air (not an airtime machine by any means) but has seriously rough transitions in the first half of the ride.
If you sit in the center if the train, you’ll have the smoothest ride experience. Nonetheless the roughness of several turns and transitions by no means ruins the fun-aspect of the ride. Overall it’s a wonderful coaster, and I can’t wait to get back to Primm to ride it.
Thank you for reading about Desperado! Another one of our Out-of-State summer articles! Do realize that it’s literally a few feet out of state, so if you get the chance to ride this coaster, we highly recommend you step by!
We also went on some more trips out of state recently, and we have some kick-ass trip reports you can’t miss in addition to our NEW Out-of-State page!: