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My ?Star Trek, The Experience? experience

Commander_Dan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 184

Report this Oct. 08 2006, 10:19 pm

Well, my wife and I recently returned from Las Vegas, and one of our primary reasons for going was to visit Star Trek, The Experience. Overall, it was very nice, and reasonably well done. I was certainly "fascinated" with the large models, and we took tons of pictures! (A few of which, I have posted.)

The model of the refit Enterprise was not illuminated, or at least, not to the degree as the other ships. As I understand it, the model originally was lit, and according to our tour guide, the neon "burnt-out" a few years back. Indeed, if you look closely, you can see some ever so slight light from within the model, but it is admittedly very dim. I was told the other models have florescent lighting. When you position yourself at a point where you can begin to see the top of the refit, you can see a LOT of dust! All of the models appear to stay illuminated 24/7.


Enterprise Refit
Enterprise-D
Enterprise-D & Voyager
Klingon Bird of Prey and Enterprise-D


I caught our tour guide seemingly making at least one error. He stated that the Original Series wrap-around tunic on display was seen only in the Trouble with Tribbles. When he said this, I immediately thought of Mirror Mirror and The Doomsday Machine. Nonetheless, I kept my mouth shut.


Original Series Uniform


Also, the Enterprise-D Bridge, while very well done and extremely cool, is not 100% accurate, despite our tour guide's claim to the contrary. The most noticeable difference from the set is that there is considerably less elevation between the rear of the bridge and the front. Still, it is a nice representation.

Here are some inconsistencies I noticed on the "Klingon Encounter": When you are beamed to the Enterprise-D, there is no step down from the transporter pad onto the main floor. You then exit into a corridor, take a right, and that corridor leads to the bridge, starboard aft. (This is, of course the corridor that would normally lead to the observation/conference lounge. I failed to look to the left and see if there was a "dummy" door that might have actually read "observation lounge." Even so, given the physical design of the ship, no transporter room could really exist in that location and the corridor was too long.)

We left the bridge in the port-side aft turbolift, which was deliberately oversized (according to the tour guide earlier) to accommodate all of the people for the "ride." (Too bad they simply didn't also make the port-side forward turbolift, and have two turbos closer to "normal" size.)

We exited the turbo into a forced perspective two-story corridor that is meant to be somewhere in the main saucer (presumably on deck 4, since that's where the main shuttlebay would be). An effort was made to build windows on the ceiling that are similar to windows seen on the exterior of the saucer section, but the windows are too "fat" to be accurate, with one of these "fat" elongated windows running perpendicular to the others. Needless to say, this window set does not correspond to any windows on the filming model. (I know this is really nitpicking, but I'm surprised that they didn't get this right. It would have been an easy detail to build correctly.)

When boarding your shuttle, the room is deliberately dark, and as such, you never get a look at what is intended to be the (main?) shuttlebay. The simulator ride was hokey, but fun nonetheless. I certainly preferred the "Klingon Encounter" to the "Borg Invasion" simulator we rode earlier in the day.

You exit the ride into the supposed Deep Space Nine Promenade, but I was most disappointed that the "look" of the DS9 Promenade has pretty much been destroyed. They have built a VIP/reception lounge above the promenade area for weddings and such, and as a result, the promenade is now only a single story with a conventional ceiling overhead. This, in my opinion, totally destroys the look and feel of being on DS9.

We ate one meal at Quark's, and the food was reasonably good, though perhaps a tad overpriced (though isn't everything in Vegas?). We had our pictures made on the Bridge, and this was an incredibly disorganized fiasco.

My wife and I both had tickets (they came with our package), but the attendant I asked (where pictures are printed and distributed) did not know if we needed to "add-a-person" so that April and I could have our picture made together in one of the shots (as opposed to a picture of her and a separate picture of me). We went ahead and purchased a single add-on, thinking we would have a picture taken of both of us, and then one of just me. When we got to the bridge, we discovered that we did not need the add-on. We never disputed the $5, and just ate it.

The most disappointing aspect of the picture taking was our tunic rental. I would NOT recommend this to anyone. We decided we would rent a Next Generation tunic. We knew that it would not be a full uniform, or even a custom fit, but we thought it would be fun nonetheless.

We informed the woman taking pictures that day that we had rented tunics, and she simply grabbed two from a closet and handed them to us, without asking our size or even the color we wanted. It was apparent that they had different colors and sizes (even if only a few), but we were given no choices. As a result, I got a tunic that was too small (and ripped), and April got one that was too big. As a result of that chaos, we had another picture made the next day in regular street clothes.

(Actually, my wife and I both have our own Next Generation Uniforms, but unfortunately, neither of us can fit into them anymore!):

Me and my wife in Uniform

We opted to get our pictures on CD, and I am glad they had that option available, as the photo paper they were using for pictures was quite cheap. I thought it interesting that our "Backstage Tour Certificates" are printed on higher quality paper than our photos! (In addition, the images are only 72 dpi. Both mine and my wife's camera has higher resolution than that!)

In the end we had a really good time, despite what you might think from reading some of my complaints above. They have definitely created a place where you feel you really are in the "Star Trek Universe," and we would gladly return!


Me and my wife on the Bridge

nthdrone

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 17288

Report this Oct. 09 2006, 11:08 am

Wow.  That was very enjoyable reading.  I've only been on this site for under a week and that was the first post that really grabbed my attention from beginning to end.  Perhaps it was the pics, or maybe it was just written very well.

trekker670

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 546

Report this Oct. 11 2006, 9:06 am

Very good review! Most of the innacuracies listed are do to either the amusment park Code, money, and/or the practicality of it. When you rent a tunic, is it the same as the one they have for sale, or is it similar to the ones that the actors use in the attraction?

Commander_Dan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 184

Report this Oct. 11 2006, 1:59 pm

Actually, neither. They were certainly not what the actors wear (on the show or the attraction), nor are they quite what is currently available in the gift shop. They may have been an older version of what once was for sale (hence why mine was ripped). We were well aware that it would not be a full custom fit uniform, so that wasn't the issue.

They really either need to do away with the tunic rental, or supply some better options for patrons. As I said before, my wife and I weren't even given any kind of choice for size or color, and that was the real problem. We were just handed something.

This was really the only thing that detracted from an otherwise wonderful experience.



Yeah, I figured most of the inaccuracies were due to functionality and making the attraction practical. Even so, those mismatched observation windows really bugged me. It's not as if it would have cost any more money to build 'em right!

trekker670

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 546

Report this Oct. 11 2006, 5:16 pm

If you would like, you can contact the experience, at info@startrekexp.com  and you should also post a review and your experiences at startrek.19gi.com

juise15

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POSTS: 816

Report this Oct. 11 2006, 9:32 pm

Let me see if I can explain anything.  The uniform are actuall replicas of the orignal including color and materials.  I had chance to wear one and they are incredibly comfortable but weird (isnt spandex always weird).  The uniforms are made in a variety of sizes and colors and even have battle damage on them (for what reason I dont know).

The bridge is pretty accurate to specifications.  Remember set designers are always putting in jokes and such to add their own touch to the set.  Right when you exit the corridor and go on the bridge, notice the door right im front of you; it says "Head" (bathroom).  Almost no one notices this when going on the ride.  

The shuttlecraft is dim for this reason.  They have to have a way to hide the projector screen.  This is the reason for the blue lights above your head.  

The transporter room is easy explain.  There are no steps for liability reasons.  If they had some steps someone could trip, fall, and sue.  I too was disappointed by this, but can live with it.  

Now that grand corridor used to be a bigger set.  There are mirrors at both ends at top to depict that the room is bigger.  While this room was never seen in the show, it was on the blueprints for the ship.  The metal grid and such at the end of the corridor goes to the other corridor in the Borg Encounter.

I actually have shot a fan film on the bridge set.  A lot of people commented on the realism that it showed.  The only thing that terrible was the fact that there isnt more to the ride.  Shoot I wish they had sickbay and engineering and stuff like that.  I also wish they would have other stories to go with the ride.

Commander_Dan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 184

Report this Oct. 12 2006, 12:33 am

Thanks, but with all due respect, no explaination is needed. Almost everything you explained above was indeed described on the backstage tour, so no new info there.

As stated before, however, there is indeed a pretty big discrepancy between the elevations of the real Bridge set and the Experience Bridge.

Here are a couple of pics of the actual Next Generation set:

Enterprise-D Bridge
Enterprise-D Bridge

And for comparison, here is my Experience pic from Vegas:

Vegas Bridge

Notice the difference in front-to-rear elevation between the two sets. Also notice the proximity of the three chairs to one another, as well as the width of the chairs themselves. In addition, the backless seats that are adjacent to the first officer's chair and counselor's chair are not even present on the Experience reproduction.

And yep, I noticed the head. I actually went looking for it to show my wife.

As far as the corridor windows are concerned, they simply exist nowhere on the physical model as they are seen in The Experience. Here is a general representation of the windows as seen on the ceiling of the corridor in question:

Corridor Windows

Here is a schematic of the top of the Enterprise-D.

Enterprise-D, Top

(Or, if need be, just grab your copy of The Next Generation Tech Manual or Enterprise-D Blueprints.)

I challenge anyone to find those "Experience corridor windows" (or even the corridor itself) on the filming model or blueprints. I've got a copy of the blueprints, so when you find it, feel free to direct me where to look.

Also bear in mind, I've actually built and lit the AMT/ERTL Enterprise-D kit (seen here: My Enterprise-D Model) so I am rather familiar with the configuration of the windows on the ship (since I had to drill out so many of them! What a chore that was!).

And oh, the uniforms that were available for rental were NOT replicas of what was worn on the show, or even what the actors at The Experience wear. They were simply pull-over tunics, as was explained to us before we even rented. My wife and I actually have custom made Next Generation Uniforms (seen here: My Wife and I in Uniform ), so again, we are familiar with TNG uniforms; whether it be 1st-2nd season jumpsuits, the 3rd season two piece uniforms, jumpsuits w/collar, etc. (We just can't fit into ours anymore!)

Anyway, the uniform tunics they had weren't even accurate, as they did not have the black material on the sides (that extend from your torso up to your arm-pits). This is what they had: TNG Tunic Notice the screened combadge. On the one they rented to me at The Experience, there was actually a communicator-pin over the screened emblem. Actual replicas of the original? I think NOT.

And as far as the "battle damaged" uniform is concerned, well that's a ridiculously poor explanation for renting tunics in such mediocre condition. Please...

Mandemus

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 451

Report this Oct. 20 2006, 5:51 pm

With regard to the elevation difference on the bridge, our guide explained to us that they had to change the elevation to comply with building codes.

MajorR81

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POSTS: 2370

Report this Oct. 20 2006, 10:13 pm

First of all, Welcome to the boards Commander and thats a great review ya got goin on right there! I'm surprised I actually read all of it for once (since I never really do) but only one problem some of the links you put on there aren't working right.

juise15

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 816

Report this Oct. 20 2006, 11:38 pm

Yea the pictures dont work

Commander_Dan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 184

Report this Oct. 25 2006, 4:04 pm

Quote (juise15 @ Oct. 20 2006, 11:38 pm)
Yea the pictures dont work

Sorry. I moved recently and my webspace changed. I just reuploaded them.

Try 'em now.

juise15

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 816

Report this Oct. 26 2006, 1:35 am

Well now that I see the pictures...

I think the photo bridge (which you are on) is a bit different than the ride bridge.  When I filmed on the ride bridge the proportions were correct as far as I know.  I need to look at the photos again but I am pretty sure they were.  I have copies of the concept art for the Experience as well.  I will see if it sheds light on exactly where the Grand Corridor is located.

Commander_Dan

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 184

Report this Oct. 26 2006, 10:50 am

We visited the "ride" Bridge on the backstage tour and to my recollection, it was identical to the "photo" bridge. Why, in fact, would one be constructed any different than the other; especially considering that both bridges were originally used for the ride? As was described by our tour guide, when the Borg 4D ride was created, they divided the grand corridor into two sections, and one bridge was dedicated to photos and weddings. I would think that Mandemus' assertion that the change in elevation to meet building codes is likely the case here.

The problem with the corridor is the windows; or more specifically, the window that runs horizontally in relation to the others. That window configuration simply does not exist anywhere on the Enterprise-D filming model (on any of the Enterprise-D filming models, for that matter).

trekker670

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 546

Report this Oct. 26 2006, 3:09 pm

I really dont think that we can determine if this window does exist, because they would change things in the show whether it be the sets, costumes, or the model itself to fit into the story line.

I do think that your model looks great though!

trekker670

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 546

Report this Oct. 26 2006, 3:22 pm

Sorry for the double-post,

I do believe the 'battle-damaged' uniforms, because my guide said that there were some made for different parts of the ride. This would also make sense, because when STTE first opened there were people walking through the Grand Coridor, so it would be logical for people to have been injured during a klingon attack.

You also have to remember that with the height of the aft of the bridge, not only was it code, but originally people werent going to be going to the forward part of the bridge to be able to really notice the error in the height. It wasnt until the Bridge Photos and the Tour came along that people were allowed in the front of the bridge.

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