Part 5: Vegas

I’ll now talk about the last three hotels of Las Vegas that I visited on my recent trip. I went to New York, New York, the Mirage and Planet Hollywood.

In addition to seeing a show, I was very keen on going to NY NY to ride the rollercoaster. I love roller coasters and had never been on the one swirling around the hotel. It’s a coaster in the middle of the city! How could one resist? So I made my way to the hotel. Like the Excalibur and Venetian, it takes its theme seriously. The façade has a mini-Statue of Liberty, a suspension bridge, and a series of mini-skyscrapers. Inside, the hotel replicates the city of NY with little buildings of the neighborhoods. It’s quite quaint. There is a magic shop with various artifacts from Harry Houdini. One neat thing: when I was looking at their books, a salesperson told me to be careful because the bookshelf was also a door. Whee!

NY NY with rollercoaster
NY NY with rollercoaster

After magic shop joy, I made my way to the Roller Coaster. To get there, you go through “Coney Island” which contains tons of games for kids. These are the games where you can earn tickets and exchange them for expensive cheap prizes. As one friend pointed out, it’s a precursor to gambling itself. I’ll admit that I had fun with these games as a kid though. When I finally found the roller coaster, it presented a quandary. We were advised to secure any loose items like hats, glasses, etc. There are inexpensive lockers for use. However, these lockers are before payment and it’s not really easy to get out of line to put stuff away. So I had to put everything away except a card and ID. And then I had to figure out the ID/Card situation. It would have been awkward if they had fallen off during the ride. But I figured it out.

The roller coaster was great. It’s a giant long yellow cab. I decided to wait a little longer and go in the front seat. Totally worth it. There were some nice drops and two upside parts. Plus it was so much fun to watch Vegas whirl around me (or…whirl around it).

On the other side of the strip, there is the Mirage. I’m not sure what theme it has, perhaps a loose interpretation of Mediterranean or Middle East? Inside, there is a wonderful atrium filled with orchids. At night, there are the sounds of crickets, which I imagine have to be recorded. This is where Siegfried and Roy have their Secret Garden and dolphin habitat. They had several baby white tigers that you can see. I didn’t get a chance to see the tigers or the dolphin habitat but I shall the next time I’m in Vegas.

The neat free thing at the Mirage is the giant volcano. Outside, there is massive series of waterfalls and landscaping. At a designated time, the music stops and the volcano starts to light up. Then fire bursts from the volcano as if it were erupting, synchronized to drum beats. It was really cool. The fire bursts acted as if it were lava spreading. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially at night.

Volcano at the Mirage
Volcano at the Mirage

The last place hotel that I’ll talk about is the Planet Hollywood. I didn’t spend much time in the casino area. I guess I would describe it as sleek and neon. There were giant lights shaped like a ball covered in crystals overhead. There also were dancing girls. The hotel had a giant mall surrounding it, which was interesting. It had a fake outdoor theme that resembled a cruise town; there was a giant cruise ship at one point peaking over a wall. It didn’t make a tremendous amount of sense. But it doesn’t have to. There was a pool were it rained every half hour to an hour depending on the day of the week. At the appointed time, mist appears. Then there is a trickle of water overhead. Next rumbles of thunder began, then flashes of light, and followed by heavier rain from the ceiling. It’s sort of a strange thing to have.

Raining pool at Planet Hollywood Mall
Raining pool at Planet Hollywood Mall

The only two hotels that I missed were Treasure Island and MGM. I’ve been to both before but I still would have liked to see them. Treasure Island has pirate ships and a swashbuckling battle of the sexes show. MGM has lions. Next time, I suppose!

That’s all for now!


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