My ex-wife will tell you that she is the one responsible for getting us into
the attraction, when in fact it was a combination of talents from both of us.
I am not by any means attempting to "one-up" my ex-wife, as that would create
an incident of cosmic proportions.
However, I am attempting to give an unbiased look into what I believe is an
unbelievably awesome attraction.
And so we begin...
In the back corner of the Las Vegas Hilton you will find a part of the casino set up in a space/sci-fi theme. Slot machines galore cover the floor, as well as other gaming tables. Along one side of the wall a tiny bar sits. Then you look to the back of the room and look up. 1/8th scale models of some of the ships (1701-A, 1701-D, Voyager, and a Klingon Bird Of Prey) hang honorably displaying their extreme detail.
Beneath the ships was a partition displaying the various insignia's of each race portrayed in Star Trek
(Fed, Rom, Klin, Borg, Bajorn, Cardassian, and Vulcan), and on either side ...a security guard.
Di and I approached the guard on the left (where we saw people exiting) and I asked him if we could take a look at the displays (I knew that the bridge mock-up wasn't operational due to Intel reports from our moles), the guard said... "No."
I explained that my wife and I were on our honeymoon, and wouldn't be in Vegas for more than a few days, and he still said "No." My last try was that of "Well, in that case, I suppose that it wouldn't help any if I was High Council Leader of a Klingon Fan-club then?" Guess the response, "No." Just as I was ready to turn away, after already expecting the answers I had received, my wife said "Hon, you'll just have to call Rick when we get home." (Referring to Rick Berman, and acquaintance I made with a few years ago, and still speak to on occasion). "Yep, I guess you're right ...I will have to call Rick," I said as I turned to go, and at just that moment the guard called us back and said, "Your honeymoon eh," then he gave us his name and told us to go towards the other side of the partition and give the other guard his name. We did what he told us, and they let us into the premiere opening/test run of the Las Vegas Star Trek Experience.
As we began our journey into the unknown we passed beneath the ships hanging from the ceiling. We walked further on and discovered Spock's photon torpedo tube from ST:II The Wrath of Kahn. The further we walked the more props, costumes, and memorabilia we saw behind glass with video and still displays explaining what things are. Up a ramp and around a corner a walkway filled with display after display, ending right in front of a rope partition.
Past the Klingon Display (which I might add was quite majestic) and the Borg display there was a rope divider, the kind you see on rides at theme parks, there we waited for about thirty seconds or so, only to get shoved into a room big enough to hold about 18 people. "If you would please watch the monitors overhead," the voice of the tour guide said. And watch we did, a 4 or 5 minute film on 30 years of Star Trek. Then the guide escorted us into another room with lighted strips n the floor and the numbers 1 thru 5 between each line on the wall in front. A safety film starts after everyone is in position and waiting. Not soon after starting the film the monitors go fuzzy, lights go dark, wind rushes up from below, and a flash. Next thing you know you're standing on the transporter pad of the U.S.S. Enterprise staring at a transporter chief saying "We got them, Sir." The first thing that comes to mind is "What the heck is going on?" Among other things.
After looking bewildered for about thirty seconds or so, a Security Guard comes down to the transporter room and explains that there was a temporal disturbance that removed us from the 20th century, and then asks who is in charge of the people standing on the transporter pad, two "guides" claimed responsibility and were whisked away while we were left on the pad. Thirty seconds later another Guard comes in and escorts us out of the transporter room into a corridor (Just like off the show) and to the bridge. The doors opened and we stepped inside to receive our briefing. The bridge was alive with the sounds of computer beeps, and personnel hustling to their stations. Then the view screen comes alive with Commander Riker and LaForge briefing us on the disappearance of the Captain, and the possibility that one of the 18 brought to the future could be an ancestor of Jean Luc Picard. And that the Klingons were attempting to kill the ancestor to Picard (Which is "why" we were brought into the 24th century). After the briefing we were escorted on to the turbolift (Lights and sound just like off the show).
The turbolift starts to move sideways and then down (lights match the movement), and then the Enterprise is attacked which sends the turbolift into a free-fall for about thirty seconds (which seems like an eternity, and realistic) bouncing us around in it like rag dolls until we the security escort finally gets it under control and the safety functions stop us from certain death. We reach the destination desired (main shuttlebay) out of the turbolift we exit and follow in the direction of the guard. When we stop we are standing in front of what appears to be a pressurized area complete with lifting door. Geordie LaForge appears on a monitor explaining to us the shuttle craft safety procedures (No injuries, pregnant women, or people with back and neck injuries, then we wait. When the door lifts, a shuttle craft is sitting in the center of the bay, with the entire right side open. As we climb in we start strapping ourselves in. The seating room is enormous. Then the side of the shuttle craft comes down, sealing us into it. "Everyone hold on, during the last attack we lost power to the shuttlebay doors, I'm going to have to blow it," a voice says in the shuttle. Then the view screen turns on and away we go. Out the shuttlebay, avoiding the Klingons, into the rift (back to the 20th century), and over the Las Vegas casinos (Right by the Hilton that the ride is "supposed" to be in). Then the Klingons show up for one final fling. Now, an appology goes out to those in Klngon Fandom ...We lose. Just as the Klingons have us in their tractor beam, the Enterprise swoops down and blows them up. Picard thanks us for a job well done, and the shuttle crashes into the sign on the top of the Hilton, down the elevator chute and into the basement. A voice comes from the pilot, "I'm going to put you down as close to the ride as I can get." Unfortunately for us, that was in the basement. The shuttle lands, the door opens, and the first thing we see is a janitor from the Hilton asking us if were okay because he heard a crash from the elevators. Then the janitor explains that the ride is supposed to let out upstairs, and that he has no idea what is going on (a very convincing actor). Then as we get to the elevator another janitor is complaining about the fact that there are "trekkies" in the basement when we don't belong there at all (another convincing actor, comical too!). Into the elevator we go, and down, not up, we go. The doors open, right into the promenade of DS9. "Quarks Bar and Grill" is around the corner and there are several shops in which to purchase all sorts of Trek goodies.
The ride officially opened on Jan. 4th. My wife and I got to see it two weeks before it opened, for free. Current admission fee is around $10.00 US.
I'd pay twice that to go there again!