Sunday, July 20, 2008

Star Trek The Experience Part 1

Between getting back from Vegas, returning to work, and moving into a new house - well - these pictures took longer than I wanted so my apologies!

I've been to Las Vegas numerous times but as a non-Star Trek fan (just never really watched it, nothing against it) I never wanted to shell out the cash to check out the Star Trek Experience. Well, this time was different as it's now been announced that the attraction is closing Steptember 1st.

Considering it was 110 degrees the day we went to the Hilton to check the attraction out, we took the monorail:

... which I totally love and think that every town everywhere should have one. (why do they have to be so expensive to build?) The Hilton is way up and sorta off the strip, so walking there was not a possibility.

What's that I see? We must be in the right place, as the experience is advertised prominently on the Hilton's massive sign out front.

Star Trek the Experience is celebrating 10 years of operation this year. It opened January 3rd, 1998 as a $70 million, highly themed attraction that wet the pants of Star Trek fans everywhere. Designed by Landmark Entertainment Group and Paramount Parks, the attraction was a unique outside-a-theme-park themed experience that IMO only Las Vegas would have been a proper home for.

So the monorail drops you off and you enter the casino, and you actually end up in the Star Trek themed part of the hotel right away. As you can see above, the theming hits you right away as even the sign for the monorail is themed.

The casino located outside the entrance to the attraction is themed really nicely. As I said I don't know Star Trek so I'm not sure exactly what you're supposed to be in, aside from the obvious space ship of some sort, but it works. The lighting is really great on top of all the theming.

Sorry for the blurry, but you can still get a feel for the cavernous inside of the Trek casino. It's not just a static area, either, as the lighting is constantly changing and there's some props that move giving the area an 'alive' feeling.

There's a nicely themed bar in the casino section, as seen above. This is not Quark's Bar and Restaurant, though, that's located in with the attractions. Quark's is also apparently a huge hit with fans.

I really liked this 'window' that was behind the bar, obviously you can't get the feeling for it in a photo but the lights that are the 'stars' outside the window were great, flickering and changing.

The same bar, again. I can't stress enough how well done the lighting is in the place, whoever worked on that deserves much credit indeed.

Next I'll cover the two attractions of the experience, Klingon Encounter and Borg Invasion 4-D.


Chris said...

I'm a fan of Trek, and thank you so much for these pictures. As for what setting they are actually supposed to be- it doesn't look like anything directly Trek (although you can see how it is inspired by Trek-- such as the tunnel doors). It would seem this is a more generic space future theme rather than trying to be stylized after Trek's idea of the future. It could be that this section stays intact after STE shuts down, since nothing here seems like it uses the paramount licensing.

It's great to see future theming. You see it so rarely these days. In the nineties, Disney copped out on the need to refresh future theming by changing Tomorrowland in Cali and Fla to the future as depicted by Jules Verne era scholars. You see Disney coming back to actual future theming- in Hong Kong's Disneyland.

If you have ever seen the art work for Tomorrowland 2055 (the "alternate" Cali Tomorrowland refurb concept)- it looks very similar to these pictures.

I'm really hoping to be able to take a side trip to Vegas when I'm out in Anaheim for a conference in less than a month!! If I do, this will definitely be on the agenda.

Justin said...

Monorails are good for niche markets, such as Vegas, or Themeparks, but they are not so good in a transit network, mainly due to the complex switches needed to change tracks.