Ahhh .... the memories of Star Trek: The Experience ...
What? You've never heard?
Well, all the way back in 1998, one of the greatest attractions for Star Trek enthusiasts around the world opened when the Las Vegas Hilton hosted Star Trek: The Experience for its gala debut. For all intents and purposes, the exhibit literally 'transported' consumers into the 23rd Century with a theme park style ride that started out on the transporter pad to the USS Enterprise-D. From there, you were whisked to the bridge where -- if I remember correctly -- it was Commander William Riker who provided a briefing via the main viewscreen. It would seem that all of us Regular Joes arrived on the cusp of some engagement with some nefarious Klingons -- in a Bird Of Prey, no less -- and when things went south all of us were marched off the bridge and evacuated in shuttlecraft. Here, we'd zoom through outer space and into the vortex meant to deliver us back in our proper timeline ... only, then, we'd look out to find that the Klingons came back with us, requiring the flagship of the Federation fleet to, ultimately, blast them out of the sky!
Ahhh ... what great fun!
What? You don't believe this was ever a thing?
Well, here's the simulator ride video footage, compliments of a YouTube.com link, just to put your doubts to bed.
Yes, yes, and yes: if you can't tell, I miss it dearly.
The wifey and I managed to squeeze in one last trip up there not long before the doors closed, and we even enjoyed a backstage pass style fan experience wherein we were allowed onto the Bridge without the main attendees for photo ops and the like. The place wonderfully captured the feel of TNG and DS9; and, of course, there were rumors that it was going to be resurrected for some time at a different venue in Las Vegas. Sadly, nothing ever came to life, but here's hoping this wasn't the last we'll ever see of Star Trek: The Experience.
If you want to see what the whole simulator experience was like, then check out this feature also up on YouTube.com:
Now imagine doing it live. I think on my first trip there I rode the full ride three times. By the end of the day, my back hurt a bit because of the bumpiness of the simulator, but it was worth it.
Naturally, I'll say that if Paramount could get its act together with the handling of the intellectual property, it would be grand to see such a destination pop up again. I believe we went a total of four times over the years, and we'd still be heading there on a regular basis were it still in operation.
In other news, here's what you're really here for today ...
Surf on over to the Daily Citation Page for January 4th, and I think you'll find plenty of trivia to keep you satiated for the duration.
As always, thanks for reading ... thanks for sharing ... thanks for being a fan ... and live long and prosper!