You may not know this, but Las Vegas once had a major theme park. MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park was part of the MGM Grand Resort, once the largest hotel in the World (now the second largest after The Venetian just up the Las Vegas Strip). The Park opened with the hotel in 1993 and was the first major Theme Park in Las Vegas.
The Park has a movie theme, not unlike the attached hotel, and was not dissimilar to Universal Studios style Parks around the World. MGM’s first foray into Theme Parks, MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park appealed to families with children who were too young to gamble. The Park covered 33 acres of the MGM Backlot, and had a strong opening day lineup, including the Backlot River Tour (similar in style to the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood), Deep Earth Exploration (a 3D dark ride motion simulator) and Lightning Bolt (an indoor, space themed roller coaster).
The Park had a steep (at the time) $25 entry price upon opening. This came down over the years, and whilst the Park operated year round originally, this changed to seasonally as time wore on. Expansion at the Hotel saw the Park’s area reduced to just 18 acres, with the removal of some attractions, including the Backlot River Tour.
The Park did excel in some areas however, with such seasonal offerings as a popular Halloween event. However, clumsy flat ride additions dominated its final years, and the Park finally closed in 2002 in favour of The Signature at MGM Grand, a large complex of condominiums.
You can see more photos of the Park below, as well as a video of the Backlot River Tour from Youtube user tbarela (and be sure to check out their channel for more MGM Grand Adventures videos):
Did you visit the MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Luke Dunsmore is a lover of Theme Parks, and is the editor of ThemeParkInvestigator.Com, a news, review and opinion site dedicated to the fascinating World of Theme Parks. He lives in Manchester, UK.