Immersive Experiences To Blow Your Mind


Why just watch entertainment when you can be a part of it?

With the drop in revenue from gambling and a huge reduction in the number of production shows in existence, it’s clear that Vegas visitors are seeking new ways to be excited. People want to be immersed in an experience…that’s why the Big Apple Coaster at New York NY now offers a virtual-reality headset option (for a $5 upcharge) to go with the traditional ride.

But in this age of higher/bigger/faster, that 22-year-old thrill ride is still just a new twist on something that’s been around awhile. So let’s take a look at some newer adventures to throw yourself into…and one or two that might actually require you to turn on your mind.

Go Faster

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Who doesn’t love the rush of adrenaline? Well you can get your share and a whole lot more at Police Chase LV. Buckle into a real Las Vegas cruiser and take off after skilled “getaway drivers” on a expertly-designed course at the LV Motor Speedway. Your highly-trained instructor will be strapped into the passenger seat and actually encouraging you to drive faster and be more daring. There are no limits except for the ones you put on yourself.

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SpeedVegas offers a real racetrack experience for the exotic car enthusiast. Pick your Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche and rip down an extra-long 1.5 mile racetrack designed by a team of international experts. Off-road racing and “drifting experiences” are available, too. The 35-million-dollar SpeedVegas private facility is only ten minutes away from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign and near the gorgeous M Resort and Casino.

Soar Higher

Things are looking up for those who long to reach new heights. There are plenty of immersive adventures to lift you to the clouds and return you safely back to earth. Skydiving enthusiasts are especially lucky, as there are a number of services to take you higher.

My personal nod goes to Sin City Skydiving, located south of the Strip on the way to Primm at the California State Line. A scenic 20-minute drive (transportation is offered) takes you to a small airport where you’ll receive instructions prior to a tandem jump with an expert. Click HERE to read about my jump and how you can arrange yours.

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If the idea of plunging towards the Earth seems a little severe, perhaps a graceful hot air balloon excursion? On mornings when the air is calm and clear, colorful balloons rise all around my neighborhood and fill the sky. Vegas Balloon Rides offers hour-long weekday morning rides with views of the Strip and Red Rock Mountains for only $169.

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Sail like a bird over the Hoover Dam and swoop like an eagle over the river and summits of the Grand Canyon with Serenity Helicopters. A five-star experience that sets it above other helicopter adventures, Serenity boasts a perfect safety record and a personalized experience to make that excursion the one you’ll remember for a lifetime. You can read all about my Sunset Grand Canyon Tour and Dinner with Serenity Helicopters by clicking HERE.

Cook With A Celebrity Chef

Local “Pampered Chefs” Bring the Excitement of Italy to Your Home

Cooking shows and celebrity chefs…two great tastes that taste great together. Why watch them passively from your television set when you can be a part of it? Pampered Chef is a clever concept in which chefs from some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas help you to host a cooking party.

Gather your family and friends into the kitchen of your home, timeshare or hotel suite and join Chef Piero Barbagallo as he and his fellow culinary experts teach you how to create a masterful dish from scratch. With simple ingredients, the right tools and a little flair, you’ll be on your way to bringing world famous dishes to your own table. Read more about Pampered Chef by following this LINK.

Discover Your Inner Wizard

The best way to figure out a mystery is to observe it very closely. So if you want to uncover the secrets of the dark arts (and channel your inner Harry Potter), enter The Magician’s Study. Once inside, you’ll discover a world of mystery and astonishment. An expert magician will sit down with you and a few other invited guests for an intimate evening of up-close illusions.

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                                     Is this The Magician’s Study? 

Your host must remain a secret, but he or she is an internationally-known and charismatic entertainer. The speakeasy-style events are also shared in a unique way:

I have crafted this to be a unique experience where guests feel special being able to attend something so secretive and highly exclusive that not just anyone can purchase tickets to. Guests pass along their code word like passing along a secret to others, allowing them to experience the evening.

This writer isn’t about to give away what I’ve learned, so if you’d like to peek behind the magic curtain, it’s yours to discover. You can also reach out by calling 702.934.2481 or emailing info@themagiciansstudy.com.

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There’s another way to see up-close magic here in Vegas. This one is more of a traditional show….yet you’ll still be mere feet away from the performers. Hollywood Stars of Magic has a rotating roster of top-of-their-game illusionists. Hosted by Vegas prestidigitator Tim Wise at the charming Royal Resort (near Las Vegas Convention Center) Hollywood Stars of Magic will baffle your mind. You’ll be so close that can reach out and touch. Showtimes are every Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and it’s appropriate for all ages.

Escape With Your Life

FLO Advertising SAW Escape Experience

We know it’s hard to think clearly under pressure. But what if you’re trying to save your skin and the clock is running out? Escape rooms are the latest way to experience the thrill of suspense and mystery movies without actually perishing in a booby trap.

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           Creator Jason Egan and actor Tobin Bell, the iconic “Jigsaw” himself…

The most cleverly-crafted Las Vegas escape room recreates chilling and gory hazards of a wildly popular horror franchise. Saw Escape Room is brought to life by Jason Egan, the brilliant artist behind Circus Circus Fright Dome. Endorsed by Lionsgate Studio (makers of the SAW films) and star Tobin Bell (Jigsaw), Saw Escape Room was ranked #1 in the nation last year by readers of USA Today.

Search for Aliens

If none of those things strike your fancy, there are plenty of other “out there” options, from a Scavenger Hunt at Area 51 to Stripper 101 classes and even Blackout Dining In the Dark.

So the next time one of your friends says “Let’s do something different in Vegas” you can be the clever one with all the suggestions.

 

 

 

 

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Close Encounters with Area 51’s Men In Black


Guest author Tasja Dubenko returns with a continuation of her eerie experiences in the Nevada desert…

I can recall vividly about seven years ago my friend Crysti and I doing endless research about Area 51. We would stay up late, sometimes even until 5am exploring Google until there were no more search results available. We had multiple books cracked open to various pages next to our laptops as we relentlessly combed through every tidbit there was to know about the subject.

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We were only nineteen or twenty at the time, but the subject absolutely fascinated us. We couldn’t gain enough knowledge and even came up with our own conspiracy theories about what experiments took place there. Thinking about Area 51 excited us. It was like reading about something sci-fi with so much mystery encasing a hidden truth in it.

As I recall, we did this almost every weekend for months. Crysti would often sigh and exclaim, “Wouldn’t it be so awesome if one day we could at least just see the entrance? If we actually took a trip specifically just to see Area 51?” We would continue to dream about the opportunity that seemed so far-fetched. Little did we know that we would in fact do just that several years later. However, we may have gotten a little more than we bargained for.

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We had just gotten done doing a four hour hike in the middle of the desert on our geocaching adventure that was relatively close to Area 51. But our day was not complete. We absolutely had to see the enigmatic place that holds some of the greatest secrets that have been hidden from civilians for years.

Crysti guided me as I drove for what seemed like an eternity that appeared to lead to nowhere. And I mean nowhere. We literally drove at the bare minimum for an hour or two from our last destination at the Alien Head where we had geocached. I was going a little faster than I should have on the heavily graveled road, as the drive seemed endless and we had no concerns of encountering anyone else.

As expected, it was in the middle of nowhere and a very unusual place. There were several side roads that seemed to just disappear out of view. They would either lead towards a mountain where you could no longer see the road, or even on a flat terrain that seemed to just continue on, leading to nothing. As I continued driving, I got to a point where I thought to myself, “This is really weird. It’s like a maze deliberately trying to deter us with no real end point.”

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I also had a weird vibe about the area. It was exciting as we had dreamed about doing this for years, but something was off. Something just didn’t feel quite right. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. My friend and I had been in a deep conversation for quite some time about certain events that happened in our earlier years when she abruptly interrupted the conversation to say, “You know, I have a really weird feeling about this place. It’s like a really weird feeling I’ve never had before and it’s not good.”

We discussed it briefly and came to a consensus that despite our peculiar feeling, we had come too far to turn around. So we pressed forward. We took a few random turns according to the map while Crysti convinced me we were on the right path. Nothing made sense out there, but maybe that is precisely their reasoning for it.

Suddenly the gravel road began to transition into a paved road. “We are only about thirty minutes away now!” she exclaimed. I continued to follow the random directions to Area 51 and as I did, the anticipation and excitement continued to grow and grow along with the uneasy feeling.

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When we saw the gate entrance in our horizon, we couldn’t have been any more exhilarated. After all these years, our dreams of this day happening had finally come true. As we drove closer and our destination became tangible, we became overcome with feelings of anxiety. “I feel like we shouldn’t be here,” I said quietly.

“I know. I feel weird like we are being watched from every angle” Cristi replied. “Don’t park too close to the gate. Should we even get out?”

“I didn’t drive all this way not to!” I said as I jumped out of the car.

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We only walked a few short feet away from where I stopped the car. We could feel as if a thousand eyes were watching us although we didn’t see anyone. It was the mother of all Big-Brother kind of feelings. “Let’s just take a few quick pictures and get out of here!” Crysti suggested. I was more than happy with that idea.

For being in such a remote area, I never had such an uncomfortable feeling before in my life. However, we both have always been extra sensitive to feelings and vibes we get, whether it is from a person or place. I quickly pulled out my phone and hit the button as many times as I could in the shortest amount of time possible to get a selfie of us.

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The sun was blinding us as we faced it to capture the gate and building behind us. But I couldn’t stop. “Let’s go!” she shouted to me as she began to walk to the car. “I want to get a quick picture of the sign!” I yelled back. I snapped a few of a post that had a sign that read ‘Military Installation, Off Limits to Unauthorized Personnel.”

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As I began to walk back to the car, I briefly looked over my shoulder just to catch one last glance of the gates that led to Area 51. Suddenly, my heart briefly stopped. There was another sign I didn’t see before that stated something along the lines of ‘Will Use Deadly Force.’ Shit. We had literally just cracked a joke about us accidentally dying due to getting lost and shot because we came too close to Area 51.

It was all fun and games when we were in the car joking about it, but now it felt like a real possibility. As we power walked to the car, suddenly we saw something coming towards us in our horizon. It was another car. In uncomfortable times we tend to make jokes. We laughed about the idea of another tourist getting lost and ending up where we were now. That joke quickly ended.

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As we sat in our car waiting for the other vehicle to drive closer to us, it suddenly pulled over and came to an abrupt halt still at a far distance from us. We were puzzled. “What should I do?” I asked. “Just drive, maybe they really are just tourists and are waiting for us to leave so they can take pictures,” she answered.

They were not tourists. As I began to drive the car slowly forward, the other car began to do the same. When we finally began to pass them, Crysti and I couldn’t help but stare. I mean, I could be wrong about them not being tourists, but both the driver and the passenger were dressed in suits with thin sunglasses that made them look like the Men in Black. They weren’t like any tourists I had ever seen before.

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“Drive slowly, I want to see them go through the gate.” I slowed the car to a crawl. We waited to see if they would go through the gate. They sat there directly in front of it, not budging. We were almost out of eye-shot when I started to see the gate lift and the car go forward right as they disappeared from site of our rear view mirrors. We wondered why they would wait until we were so far away before they actually went through, as we must have been a mile away.

We laughed it off and continued to joke that maybe they were actually not humans but maybe a part of some experiment that was being conducted at Area 51. We quickly dismissed the encounter as anything to be alarmed over and continued to drive for some time.

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At this point, we forgot about the car and had gotten into another in depth conversation that was suddenly interrupted. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw a vehicle hauling ass towards us kicking up every bit of dust possible. We were now back on the gravel roads and a ways away from the gate at Area 51.

“Did you notice that white pick-up truck at the gate?” “Yeah.” “Is that the same one?” Holy crap it was. When we were taking pictures, we had noticed a truck behind the gate next to the building. But we didn’t see anyone there. I guess people really were watching us the entire time.

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Now they were after us, coming in hot. I began to panic. “What should I do?” “Pull over and see if he passes you,” Crysti said with some concern in her tone. I pulled the car over and the truck came to a screeching halt. It felt like a standoff with neither vehicle moving. The moment seemed to last forever even though it was only ten seconds or so. Still, the truck wouldn’t move.

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I began to drive again slowly. The truck waited for me to drive an acceptable distance before turning 180 degrees and drove off at an incredibly slower pace than when he was tailing us. The truck made it a point to ensure we were still continuing to drive in the direction away from the gate at Area 51. It was obvious our every move was being tracked and watched.

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Whoever they were, did not take unsolicited visitations lightly. They were willing to hunt our location down to protect their territory. As we watched the truck drive until we were out of view from each other, we breathed a sigh of relief thinking all this nonsense was behind us. We were actually eager to get out of there and back to our hotel hundreds of miles away.

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When we were (semi) close to getting back onto the highway, I noticed the road I was on didn’t look familiar and asked Crysti if we were on the right path. “I mean, the map says we are but I don’t recognize this either.” We continued to follow the directions, turning onto roads we obviously didn’t take when we started the journey.

We saw a few houses, but had another weird feeling about the direction we were taking. Finally, we saw the highway and were able to get onto it after a few more turns. Crysti seemed puzzled. “It’s weird because the last five roads we took aren’t even on the map.” “What do you mean? You told me to go this way,” I questioned. “I know but it just isn’t on the map. There are no roads names listed. It only told me to take a right or left. Like none of these roads exist on GPS or Google Earth. Even the houses aren’t showing up as listed addresses.

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What’s even weirder is that when we were headed to Area 51, the option of taking a right or left on these roads wasn’t there. I didn’t even see this area.” “What do you think that means?” I asked. “I have no idea, I’ve geocached all over the place in some really weird places but never had this happen. It’s almost seems like someone changed the routes on our map to make us head a different direction. I wonder if these homes belong to the people who work at Area 51?”

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This area wasn’t even visible when we started driving to Area 51. It was carefully tucked away and apparently hidden even from maps. Whether they belonged to anyone who worked at Area 51 or not, we were relieved to be out of there and on the highway again.

“Thinking back, did you ever think we would actually do this?” I asked. “We talked about it for years but I never thought if we ever did, we would have gotten chased down, discovered unlisted areas, or have seen the MIB!”

Be sure to check out Tasja’s previous article “Area 51 and the Alien Head” by clicking here.

All photos provided by the author (well, maybe)…