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The Next Generation in Theme Park Attractions

Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton is Holodeck Nirvana

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Star Trek: The Experience Vegas photo

Assimilation station- Jean-Luc Picard as a Borg robot watches over guests in the Star Trek queue.

Jeremy Levine
Updated June 30, 2014
Note: Star Trek: The Experience closed in September 2008. You can read about the defunct attraction in the following review.

One of the world's most detailed and engaging theme park attractions isn't in a theme park. Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton transports guests into the 24th century for a one-of-a-kind interactive adventure. From start to finish, the level of commitment to the storytelling is truly astonishing. More than a motion simulator ride, The Experience is a 25-minute immersion into the Trek oeuvre, complete with live actors, multiple sets, shuttle bays, and Klingons. The admission prices are steep, but if you are a Star Trek fan or a theme park fan, resistance is futile; it's holodeck nirvana.

  • About Guide Rating (0=Yich!, 10=Wow!): 10
  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4
    Typical motion simulator action. Psychological thrills may be intense for young children.
  • Type: Motion-base simulator with highly immersive pre-show.
  • Height restriction (minimum, in inches): 42
  • Location: Las Vegas Hilton, just off the Strip.
  • Admission (May, 2003): $24.99 for adults, $21.99 for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and older.
  • Also features Borg Invasion 4-D, an ambitious 3-d theatrical presentation.

Captain's log-- stardate: early 21st century. We've landed in a bold, new world. The climate is arid and inhospitable, yet the people here have built an enormous city. They have erected huge signs that emit more light than a photon beam. The female species engage in a peculiar ritual of prancing around on stages with almost no clothing except for elaborate headdresses. I've observed people taking all of their hard-earned currency and giving it away at something they call 'casinos.' The crew and I are having difficulty making sense out of this land, so I have scheduled a briefing with someone who appears to be almost like a deity here: Wayne Newton.

Star Trek meets Las Vegas? You bet! As if the famous gaming capital wasn't otherworldly enough, the ambitious Experience blasts guests to a future alterna-universe that's utterly convincing. You'll swear that you've been beamed into a real-life Trek episode.

The fun begins in the massive Hilton's North Tower. At one end of the Space Quest casino (which, with its laser beams, giant video screens, and touch-sensitive slot machines is an attraction in itself), guests enter the History of the Future museum to the fanfare of Star Trek's various theme songs. Admission is free here; tickets are required to enter The Experience part of the attraction at the end of the museum's hallway. A huge scale model of the starship Enterprise hangs from the ceiling. Props, costumes, video snippets, and other Trek drek from the television shows and movies fill the museum, which doubles as the queue for the attraction. With the displays, there's no risk of line boredom. Although, if you assemble near the head of the line to secure your place on the next "mission," you'll have to endure the watchful gaze of a robotic Jean-Luc Picard in his Borg regalia and a brief, but endless loop of "The Next Generation" highlights.

RED ALERT!

If you want to learn more about the attraction, read on. However, if you're concerned that spoilers may ruin the surprises (and there are some real doozies) before you have a chance to experience them yourself, watch "The Next Generation" repeats, wait till you make the trek out to Las Vegas, and DON'T click to the next page. You've been warned...

Next page: The Experience experience

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