A new moon-shaped casino has been announced for Vegas, but Disney is a better choice for space fun


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  • Image via Moon Resorts World
  • Concept drawing of a planned moon-themed resort in Las Vegas

While billionaires try to beat each other by shooting themselves into space, there is a lot of movement in space tourism for us people who don’t have our own rocket companies that we can promote. From Disney to Vegas, space seems to be the hottest new topic in tourism.

We are still years, possibly decades, away from affordable and accessible Alien Tourism, but meanwhile there is a surge in new space-themed tourism experiences.

The most famous projects are both at Walt Disney World. After unprecedented delays that Room 220 Restaurant opened at EPCOT last week. The themed dining experience is centered around a fixed space station located 220 miles above Orlando and is similar to the California Grill or Coral Reef, but with large hyper-real projections of the Earth. The new restaurant is also one of the most realistic looks of how a space elevator would work. Like its predecessor, the Hydrolators at The Living Seas, the Stellarvator, as the space elevator is called, has obvious problems that keep it from being too authentic.

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Conceptual art of the stellarvators that were used to transport guests to the Space 220 restaurant - IMAGE VIA DISNEY

  • Image via Disney
  • Conceptual art of the stellarvators that were used to transport guests to the Space 220 restaurant

The same goes for the coming Stars Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser that’s set to debut next year. With similar hyper-real simulated windows, the Starcruiser gives guests the experience of a cruise ship in space. This idea is nothing new, but with the latest technology and an effort to ensure thematic consistency during the three-day and two-day “cruise”, the Starcruiser will come closest to a space vacation for many. Disney is also planning one Star Wars style bar on his upcoming cruise ship, which will offer a similar window into space.

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The Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge is coming to the cruise ship Disney Wish - IMAGE VIA DISNEY

  • Image via Disney
  • The Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge is coming to the Disney Wish cruise ship

This isn’t Florida’s premier space attraction. Since the beginning of the Cape Canaveral launches, the Kennedy Space Center has helped connect with the US space program. In nearby Titusville was a science-oriented Mars-themed resort suggested. The project, known as INTERSPACE Florida, was a mix of a research facility, a multi-day resort and a science museum. Originally presented in 2008, INTERSPACE was postponed to 2014 due to the Great Recession. Although the project is more than a decade old, it has many of the same features as projects that are now moving forward. One round of funding raised more than $ 15 million for the project, but it never came to fruition. The project’s co-founder, Joseph Palaia, confirmed to Orlando Weekly that the project was canceled due to lack of funding. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to complete the necessary investments at this point and my co-founder and I got on with our lives. In fact, it was an idea that was ahead of its time.”

But by far the most ambitious simulated space tourism project is a new resort announced for Las Vegas. Using a construction technique almost identical to that of Space Mountain, the new casino resort will have a central tower supporting a huge, 273-meter-high moon-shaped building, the largest replica of the moon ever attempted. Inside, guests will have hotel rooms with views of the lunar surface, and there will be a spacious area for guests to explore the simulated lunar surface.

Some think that the highly regarded Moon Resort, expected to cost $ 5 billion, will follow the same path as the Titusville project. Scott Roeben of the Vegas news site Vital Vegas is one of those skeptics. He sees the recent trend towards space-themed tourist attractions as a link to recent launches and unusual themes. “I think it’s always fun to talk about over-the-top announcements, and this story is mind-boggling when it comes to ridicule. Beyond the fancy, space is a thing right now. Every billionaire chases their way into space, so it’s in the zeitgeist, even though this particular project is completely science fiction. ”

Roeben admits that Vegas has always had a unique fascination with space, including previous proposals for a lunar-themed resort aptly named “Lunar world. ‘ This specific project seems unlikely to him due to the location, the costs and the design concept. “The proposed site appears to be on land owned by Wynn Resorts and I can guarantee that there is no price they can buy what is arguably a cheesy monstrosity on this site. I know, Buzzkill. “He admits that the bars would be interested in Moon, but quickly adds,” Unfortunately this project has no hope of ever existing. It’s pure fun. ”A second Moon Resort is being proposed for Dubai.

2016 was a concept similar to the doomed Titusville suggested for Vegas. It would have simulated Mars in a massive dome, almost as high as the Great Pyramid of Giza. A large retail and entertainment complex would arise around the simulated area. This project, too, now seems to have stalled. This does not surprise Roeben, as he notes, “Vegas is about big dreams and the vast majority are whistles.”

Tourists have long been fascinated by space. One of the most successful early Coney Island attractions was a simulated one Ride to the moon. This attraction made its debut at the Pan American Exhibition in 1901, where guests paid double the price of other attractions. The high costs did not deter the guests and were among the most popular exhibits at the expo.
A similar attraction opened in 1955 in Disneyland, where large crowds could also be seen. Epcot’s Mission: Space, a space attraction with the thrill of G-forces, opened in Epcot in 2003 Post ride area, guests can explore Mars using a computer simulation.

There is also a push towards actual space tourism. Las Vegas has plans for a spaceport just outside the city, though Roeben thinks this is another pipe dream, largely due to the lack of skilled labor in the city. Back in Florida, Brevard County tries to maintain its space hegemony Amendment proposal named the county on Space Coast to better market the region. Numerous companies have now set a goal of making regular space tourism trips by the end of the decade, with many of the projects starting out of Brevard County.

Earlier this year Virgin Galactic made the news when it launched one of Disney’s most famous imagineers, Joe Rohde. In his new role, Rohde’s mission is to provide a seamless experience for tourists visiting Virgin Galatic’s purpose-built, luxurious New Mexico spaceport.

In the 1980s when EPCOT was new, it was the first introduction for many Guests of the global cultures celebrated therein. Since then, access to these distant lands has become much easier for many. Space 220 will also be the first “taste” of space that many guests encounter. But with dozens of other space-themed attractions and authentic space tourism suggestions, in a few decades the restaurant may feel as dated as the country formerly known as Future World.

Right now the space is reserved for the brightest and richest. Maybe one day that won’t be the case, but in the meantime, Disney and Vegas ghost dreams keep popping up.

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