Friday, May 21, 2004

Las Vegas: The Non-Gamblers' Experience

 Motion simulator attractions at the Luxor.  Photo by John Blocher.

I'm back.  When we first pulled into town, John really hated Las Vegas; but the themed hotels won him over.  We'll probably go again someday, but not for a while.  Gas, food and lodging on this trip were just about all we could afford, especially when you add in the attraction costs and the few souvenirs we bought. We couldn't afford to see Penn & Teller, Blue Man Group or the Tournament of Kings, unfortunately.  Mostly, we just walked around looking at the different theme resorts, and John took a slew of digital photos. 

The castle architecture and surrounding hype at Excalibur was mostly garish and silly, but at $49 a night we had no complaints.  John and I had a friendly discussion about which sword is Excalibur, the one in the stone or the one that came from the Lady of the Lake, or somehow both.

Star Trek: The Experience was very well done and a lot of fun, although John was a little creeped out by one of the sales clerks, who kept trying to sell us LEDs to fool the Borg.  Admission included two motion simulator attractions in addition to the museum, gift shops and themed restaurant.  The Klingon attraction was based on TNG, with a combination of live actors, real sets and video.  I liked it a lot.  The Borg one, based on Voyager and set just after the end of that series, was even better, despite the fact that I don't like the Borg much as villians.  That show was frenzied and very violent. Another highlight was the meal at Quark's, with its highly original, futuristic presentation of the food.

Luxor, with its Eqypt theme, was absolutely stunning, inside and out.  So were New York, New York and the Venetian.  We never got to Paris (the hotel, not the city), but it was amazing on the outside.  Treasure Island was well done outside, not so great inside.  We didn't see the outdoor ship battle at Treasure Island, called "The Sirens of TI," because high winds scuttled the performances.  Great ships, though.  Mirage was so-so inside and out.

There were several sf/f/horror motion simulator attractions at the different hotels, only one of which, other than the Star Trek ones, we got to do. It was a Doug Trumbull production at the Luxor, about a crystal obelisk in a hidden underground temple.  The story was silly, but it was fun anyway.  The Luxor also had a Dracula's Castle attraction that we didn't feel we had the time or money to do.  Maybe next time! 

And in case anyone is wondering, we didn't spend a penny on gambling.


See also: The Sublime and the Ridiculous: LV as a SF/F Destination - updated 5/26/07

1 comment:

bgilmore725 said...

So you are still taking comments? Now here, I can leave a comment!!! LOL... and I'm so glad I checked it out because, you see, Las Vegas has been coming up in our conversations about where we could go for a vacation. My previous experience in Vegas was a 24 hour visit, spent entirely in a gambling casino. Both my husband and my father did not want to spend money on a room, so we actually did not sleep overnight. We had driven all the way from San Bernardino, CA... don't remember how long that took, but it took a very long time. I did not enjoy the trip at all. No one was interested in going to any of the shows (we couldn't afford it) nor did anyone want to go looking at all the sights. It was between 1976 and 1977. I haven't wanted to go back since. However, after reading this entry, I can now consider it as a good possibility. Thanks for bringing back one of your older entries. I didn't start journaling until 2005, or I would surely have commented in this one! bea