Las Vegas is the ultimate altered reality. There’s an Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Egyptian pyramid and an active volcano, all on the same glittering street.
Believe it or not, this adult fantasy world is becoming even more fantastical. Virtual reality attractions have many Vegas visitors trading their rose-colored glasses for VR headgear. Virtual reality has even made its way to the casino floor.
Here are 8 ways to enhance your Las Vegas vacation with virtual reality.
Virtual Reality Powered by Zero Latency
Navigate the zombie apocalypse. Escape from deadly drones. From competitions to collaboration, the VR experience inside Level Up at MGM Grand provides an adrenaline-inducing 30-minute adventure for up to eight players, ages 13 and up ($50).
The stakes may feel high for you and your team within this interactive digital universe, but don’t worry. None of you are in actual danger. Really, you’re freely wandering around a 2,000 square foot arena with a VR headset, backpack and super cool techie gun. Motion capture technology and other bells and whistles let you to interact with other players and detect obstacles (so you won’t run into the walls).
If you think a charter bus with a bathroom is luxurious, wait until you learn about FlixBus from FlixMobility. The fancy fleet of long-distance buses are equipped with modern conveniences like Wi-Fi, power outlets and an onboard entertainment portal.
Now those traveling on select routes between Las Vegas and California or Arizona can also pass the hours by floating in outer space, playing virtual basketball or meditating. Travelers who book panoramic seats on these routes (online or via the FlixBus app) have access to a lightweight Pico Goblin 2 VR headset loaded with 50 virtual reality games and travel experiences for no extra charge.
It’s a lot more exciting than staring out the window at tumbleweeds, and the perfect way to avoid conversing with a chatty neighbor.
VR Spa Treatment
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of your stress, even at the spa. A new spa treatment at Qua Baths & Spa has a VR twist to help the outside world melt away and put you in the mindset for total relaxation.
Created in honor of Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace’s fifth anniversary, the 100-minute Nobu Go treatment ($555) begins as your therapist affixes your VR headset for an immersive virtual reality experience from Natura Bissé. Sights and sounds are combined with real-world touch to allows guests to quiet their thoughts. This is followed by a luxurious and hydrating facial with Natura Bissé products.
The path to tranquility may be augmented, but the lift to your skin is anything but.
A Virtual Roller Coaster
The Big Apple Coaster at New York New York travels through loops, turns and dives at thrilling speeds with the Las Vegas Strip as your backdrop – and that’s without the assistance of augmented reality. The virtual reality experience, designed by VR Coaster, combines the ride’s real G forces and landmarks with creative graphics for an immersive 4-D experience.
Riders who add VR ($20), are equipped with a headset offering high-resolution visuals. Instead of just riding the roller coaster, you take on the role of a scientist chasing an escaped alien across the Nevada desert and the Las Vegas Strip. Sensors in the passenger trains enable visual synchronization with the actual bumps and drops of the ride, including a real 180-degree “heartline” twist.
Too chicken to zipline or parachute in Vegas for real? That’s ok. You can simulate the experience at VR adventures, located along the LINQ Promenade.
The attraction immerses players, wearing an Oculus VR headset, into a virtual world where they can fly Superman-style over Las Vegas, sneak through a heart-wrenching haunted house, or pilot a flying machine in the alps while shooting down enemy drones. You’ll walk, jump and use your own hand movements, just like a real-life video game.
Madame Tussauds VR Room
Madame Tussauds has made room for virtual reality among its realistic gallery of wax figures. The museum’s new Virtual Room experience lets teams of two to four people, ages 12 and up, collaborate in a virtual world (cost TBD).
Players each have their own dedicated room, equipped with high-quality HTC Vive gear. Though you’re each moving around your own space, your movements are tracked in the virtual world, so you can work together as you travel through time and ultimately save the universe from destruction. No pressure or anything.
Casino Virtual Zone
Casino shooting skills typically apply to dice, but at The Orleans Hotel and Casino it refers to bows and arrows. The casino is hitting the virtual mark with two tournament-compatible archery games.
Players in the casino’s Virtual Zone compete for actual gambling money. Two-person teams can win up to $300 in Slot Play in the Siege VR tournaments ($30 entry fee per team) while individuals can compete in Archery VR for a chance to win up to $125 in Slot Play ($10 entry fee). Score!
Star Wars VR Experience
Participating in “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Palazzo and Venetian Las Vegas ($32.95) is almost like starring in your own science fiction film. Teams of four go undercover as Stormtroopers to recover intelligence that’s vital to the rebellion’s survival. You know – Star Wars stuff.
The hyper-reality experience from Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID explores the final frontier (oops, wrong space show) with interactive sets and real-time effects such as heat and scents to simulate the molten planet of Mustafar. Players wear a helmet, backpack, mobile computer and microphone to communicate and solve puzzles with their fellows in the Rebel Alliance.
May the VR be with you.