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Old June 26 2011, 12:51 AM   #1
T'Cal's Avatar
Location: Chicago
ST: The Exhibition & ST: The Experience

I just got back from Florida where my boys and I visited the Kennedy Space Center and the traveling Star Trek: The Exhibition. Having attended the very first one in San Diego back in 2008 (when it was first called Star Trek: The Tour), we were looking forward to seeing it again since it was to have items from STXI.

Set up in one building was a set of TOS's bridge as well as the Guardian of Forever. There were display cases nearby of costumes and props as well as TV screens with videos running that showed scenes from episodes and movies. In a second building were mock ups of a Sick Bay and Engineering from TNG, a Scorpion fighter from NEM, displays of props, and captains' chairs from the Enterprise-B & -D as well as a Klingon ship. In addition, there was a timeline dating back to the first rockets (human history) and going forward through Trek history depicting each TV series and movie. This second building had very cool decals on all of the windows that looked like hallways on the Ent-D plus had some LCARS displays, a UFP flag, etc. Outside in the walkways were huge decals on the ground with pictures of DS9, the Trek command delta, and other related pictures. The souvenir shop was the biggest disappointment as it offered only a few Trek items: TOS T-shirts, Art Asylum TOS Enterprises and phasers, tribbles, Spock ears, and bottle openers shaped like the 1701 (very cool - bought two). They should've had much, much more, though. All in all, it was very enjoyable and I recommend it to any Trekkie or Trekker.

It got me thinking about how the Kennedy Space Center would be an excellent location for The Experience. NASA embraced science fiction and its importance by hosting The Exhibition but imagine if there was a permanent Trek attraction there - something state of the art much like the Harry Potter attraction at Universal, which is fantastic BTW. I've always liked the idea of taking The Experience and adding it to an existing theme park like Disney but The Space Center might be even better. The Experience can't be a stand-alone attraction and be financially successful but it could enhance an existing park. And, with Atlantis' launch in July being the last shuttle mission EVER, there will be no major attraction at the Kennedy Space Center for the foreseeable future.
"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." -- Judge Aaron Satie
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Old June 26 2011, 08:27 AM   #2
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Re: ST: The Exhibition & ST: The Experience

The more time goes by, the more I come to believe we'll never again see the Experience.

It was planned and produced when Trek was still in it's peak days, but opened as the peak was beginning to become a slide.

The only way, outside of a rich outside banker source who asked for next to nothing in return, that there would be enough of a profit basis to rebuild such anywhere would be for Trek to be back on top, big time. And that's just not bloody likely for a long while.

I went myself during its first year, I was only 14, but it was awesome. I'd have spent the whole day there if I could. I always wanted to return, especially once the Borg Invasion ride was done, but never got the chance due to health. Sigh.
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Old January 7 2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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Location: Chicago
Re: ST: The Exhibition & ST: The Experience

Having had the good fortune of visiting The Experience several times, including renewing our wedding vows the last year it was open, I saw enough to realize that Paramount and the Las Vegas Hilton poured a lot of time, money and effort into it but then just let it languish until it died. The addition of the Borg ride was smart but the Bridge was showing some serious wear and shops and restaurant were virtually unchanged over the decade the entire thing was open. The futuristic casino that led to the Experience was a flop and it was never very busy. The large video screens that originally depicted space images as if the casino was on an orbiting station was changed to show music videos. What I got out of the whole thing was that it needed to be a part of something bigger rather than a stand alone thing. It has the potential to be a success as part of Universal Studios, Disney World, Busch Gardens, The Kennedy Space Center, etc. but IMO not as a solo "theme park."
"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." -- Judge Aaron Satie
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