Las Vegas mini trip report!


<font color=darkorchid>My twins fight over who too
Oct 5, 2004
People are always asking about Vegas on these boards, so I thought I would post a quick TR for those who are planning a trip there!

Hotel - We stayed at the MGM Grand. We liked it a lot, would definitely stay there again. Yes it's big, but so is every other hotel in Vegas. Rooms were very nice, large and quiet. We had an AWESOME view down the strip, bed was one of the nicest I have slept in at a hotel, service was top notch. Pool area and lazy river were great too. I think this must be a very popular hotel with international visitors, because we met a ton of Brits, Asians and Germans on the elevators.

Casinos - We visited and played in a ton of them to get a feel. Our 3 favorite, hands down, were MGM Grand, Bellagio and Planet Hollywood. MGM Grand definitely had the best vibe. We liked Bellagio because they poured the drinks strong and many of the people there were our age (mid 30s) and not so many young, pretty 20-somethings whooping it up. Planet Hollywood was not smoky at all (a good thing) and it's in a great location. My casino awards:

Most beautiful casino - Paris Las Vegas
Least smoky casino - Planet Hollywood and Mandalay Bay (tie)
Smokiest casino - Bill's and anything downtown
Best casino cocktail service - MGM Grand had the most frequent visits, no matter if you were playing the penny slots or in the high roller room, you got very frequent visits by the waitresses. Stiffest drinks were poured at the Bellagio, by far.
Most helpful dealers - MGM Grand. I was a complete newbie at Blackjack and those guys (and gals) talked me through it, told me when to hit or not, and the theories behind the strategy. I was a pro by the time I left.

Food - We were on a food budget, so we didn't eat at any of the top-notch, uber-expensive places. But for the most part we liked what we had! The best deal in town by far is Earl of Sandwich at Planet Hollywood. We all now how awesome the food is here (it's my favorite TS in Downtown Disney) but what made it even better is that the prices were not jacked up to high heaven like everywhere else in town! DH and I each had a sandwich and a brownie, split a coke and chips, and the total was around $15. Trust me, in Vegas this is about as cheap as it gets inside the hotels/casinos.

We both loved FiaMMA in MGM Grand. It's an Italian trattoria right on the edge of the casino. We had a PRIME people viewing spot for 9pm on a Sat. night. People from all walks were entering the casino, and we especially had fun watching the door guy from Studio 54 try and hand out passes to all the beautiful people, lol!!! The food was amazing, my Gnocchi and Lobster was to die for, and DH loved his Filet Mignon. The drinks are pricey, though, and the bread was downright awful. Still, the people viewing here was worth it all, total bill for 1 glass of wine, 1 beer and 2 entrees was $120 with tip. Oh, and they gave us complimentary champagne because it was our anniversary!

Another favorite was Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill in MGM Grand. I had the Ricotta Gnocci which was fantastic!!! DH had the Eggplant Calzone which I thought was tasty, but nothing out of this world. The restaurant is smack dab in the casino so it was a bit smoky (a downside in our books).

I adored Mon Ami Gabi in Paris Las Vegas. The bread was served hot and delicious, the French Onion Soup was heavenly, and my steak and frites were amazing as well. Keep in mind this is a thin-pounded top sirloin so it's not the usual steak consistency, hence the reason my husband hated it. Oh well, we had seats on the patio directly across from the Bellagio fountains so the view was spectacular!

Buffets - We did breakfast and Sat. brunch at the MGM Grand Buffet. Both were fine, nothing special but not horrible. We did lunch one day at the Bellagio buffet, after many friends told us we HAD to eat there. Ho hum. Way overrated in my opinion. Still, we were able to eat for $40 (including drinks and dessert) so it's actually a decent deal. The lady that was in charge of seating customers was BEYOND rude though, to customers and employees alike.

Shows - We saw Cirque du Soleil KA in the MGM Grand. We got a great deal - just for signing up for the MGM Mirage Players club we got 2-for-1 tix. We loved the show! I have never seen a Cirque production and visually it was stunning. I have nothing to compare it to, but have heard it's one of the best Cirque shows in town.

(Almost all the casinos were giving away great deals for signing up for their free players club cards, anything from deals on show tix to free slot play. Definitely worth doing!)

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Any specific questions, just ask!


Planning again, after a long break
May 2, 2005
This was very helpful! Thanks!

I was just doing a search hoping to find this exact type of thing!


Earning My Ears
Apr 11, 2010
I'm not much for big long trip reports, so here are a few thoughts on my recent trip to Vegas, Hoover Dam, and Grand Canyon. We traveled from Feb 28th to Mar 4th. We flew out of PHL into LAS and out of FLG through PHX into PHL. We stayed at the Mirage in Vegas, and at the Tusayan Holiday Inn Express.

Mirage resort fee was a total rip off since the pools were closed, and we didn't get any discounted entrance to the Dolphin Habitat. Honestly, what is the $15/day for when the pools are closed? We stayed in the "King Deluxe". Felt like a basic 3-star room to me, maybe a bit wider. Bathroom was teeny. HDTV had about 10 HD channels available. 3rd floor room had a nice view of the air handling units on the roof of the casino. "Free" newspaper required waiting in line of people checking-out at the front desk, so we never picked it up.

Holiday Inn Express was nice, but a bit overpriced due to its location. Standard 3-star amenities, although a pretty good free hot breakfast buffet was included in the room rate. That was nice to help us gear up for a day of hiking. We stayed in a "king mini-suite", which was bigger than the Mirage room and cheaper. The bed wasn't quite as comfortable, but still fine. Had two HDTVs (one in the bedroom, one in the sitting room) but no HD channels. 2nd floor room had a view of the parking lot. The maid left an open bottle of Sprite in our room during the day. We left it there for him/her :)

Both hotels were a bit slow on check-in, but our rooms were ready immediately. At the Mirage we felt nickeled-and-dimed; at the HI we felt left alone.

If I return to Vegas, I'd definitely stay somewhere else. It just felt the the other hotels in the area (e.g. Caesar's, Venetian, Wynn) offered a much more complete package, while the Mirage was really just a hotel with a casino.

We saw the volcano erupt and the pirate show at the Treasure Island next door. Wow were they lame. The volcano might be fun if you were 10 years old. The pirate show was definitely not for kids (lots of innuendo), the songs were bad; overall it was just not worth waiting in the crowd to watch.

The reason for our trip was to see the Beatles LOVE show and it did not disappoint. It was my first Cirque show, and I honestly believe I could see it 5 more times and see something different every time. There was almost too much going on. Definitely worth seeing if you're at all a Beatles fan.

Now on to some general thoughts:
#1. I was worried about being close to the Mirage. I feel stupid. We could have stayed anywhere north of Paris (and gotten a better room rate) and still been fine walking, and anywhere on the Strip and been fine taking the Deuce.

#2. $2 public bus from airport to South Strip Transfer Station, then $7 24 hour pass to the Deuce bus to get to hotel. The only other options are taxi or pre-scheduled, privately-owned shuttle bus. The Mirage does not operate a shuttle.

#3. We could have waited to get tickets there for major discount or even free. The theater was about half full and they moved 300 level people into the 100 level so it would look fuller. I don't know if this is because it was a Monday night, but I felt stupid for paying so much.

#4. Vegas was neat but not being a gambler or nightclubber, I don't think I'll be back.

#5. Rented a car from Hertz at Caesar's Palace and drove to Grand Canyon, stopping at Hoover Dam on the way. It was a great way to see the scenery, which is VERY different from the northeast (duh). Left Vegas around 9:15AM, got to Grand Canyon around 7PM (Arizona time). That included two meal stops and about 2 hours at the Hoover Dam.

#6. If you don't mind walking, the parking is free on the Arizona side of the Dam. It was $7 on the Nevada side.

#7. Powerplant tour was $11 but worth it IMO.

#8. Surprise! Grand Canyon is in the mountains. I always thought it was in the desert. There was about 5 inches of snow on the ground.

#9. Desert View is the best view of the canyon along the South Rim, IMO.

#10. Hiking down into the canyon is too slippery for sneakers in the snow. Hopefully we'll be back in warmer weather.

#11. Going into the park at night is really creepy but totally worth it for the thousands of stars in the sky. I don't think there is anywhere that dark in the northeast.

#12. No ranger checks after 9PM or so, so if you're staying in the park, it might be a way to get in for free. Normally it's $25 per vehicle for 7 days.

#13. Flagstaff airport is about 1:15 drive from Tusayan. It has only one gate, and the check-in staff also does boarding, so you need to check in at least 15 minutes before boarding starts or you'll miss your flight
  • AllyAshantiBrown

    Earning My Ears
    Apr 16, 2010
    I was hoping to have a bunch more photos from my weekend in Vegas, but my camera’s battery died in the middle of the trip! So, it’s pretty much a Palazzo and Venetian gallery. Here’s a quick trip summary:
    Who: I went with my mom who, like me, enjoys a little gambling every now and then.
    Where: We stayed at The Palazzo, which is the new hotel attached to the Venetian. Rooms are similar in layout to The Venetian, but a little more modern-looking (and less Italian). We both really liked it… lots of TVs, automatic curtains, and an amazing shower! Plus, it doesn’t take forever to get in and out of the place. Would definitely stay there again!
    Best meal: Mesa Grill at Caesars. This is Bobby Flay’s restaurant and it was really good. Expensive, but mmm good.
    High roller moment: Apparently I gambled enough at The Wynn when I was at PMA to earn some comps! I got two free buffet meals, plus a line pass… which saves you an hour wait! Food was pretty good, though mom felt crummy soon after we ate.
    Low roller moment: While I started off great, lady luck was not on my side… this was NOT a good weekend for gambling. I guess that’s how they can afford to build all these nice hotels!
    A few more pics after the break…


    See you at Fenton's
    Dec 10, 2003
    The best deal in town by far is Earl of Sandwich at Planet Hollywood. We all now how awesome the food is here (it's my favorite TS in Downtown Disney) but what made it even better is that the prices were not jacked up to high heaven like everywhere else in town! DH and I each had a sandwich and a brownie, split a coke and chips, and the total was around $15. Trust me, in Vegas this is about as cheap as it gets inside the hotels/casinos.
    Great tip! Last trip I saw a sign that said EoS was open 24 hours. It is very near the Strip (street) entrance to Planet Hollywood, so fairly accessible for those on foot.


    Earning My Ears
    Oct 4, 2010
    Our stay was at the MGM Grand....It was quite a great experience...And Hotels in Las Vegas offer an option for every vacationer.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 5, 2004
    We also love staying at the MGM Grand, but hate that their "resort fee" just keeps getting bigger!!!

    Talk about a great meal deal ... you should try the BOGO Free deal at Nathan's in the MGM food court. It doesn't have to be a hot dog either. Both my DH and I can totally stuff ourselves for less than $10 !!!

    Here's the link to the coupons:

    Also, can't beat the steak and eggs special at Ellis Island ... it's not on the menu, but I think it's about $4.99 and the steak is actually very, very good!
  • dgbg100106

    Missing the Tag Fiary
    Mar 24, 2008
    I will be surprising my DH with his first ever trip to Vegas this coming May... I am gathering as much info as I can to prepare...

    Thanks for this...


    See you at Fenton's
    Dec 10, 2003
    We also love staying at the MGM Grand, but hate that their "resort fee" just keeps getting bigger!!!
    Yes, resort fees are a crock. We stayed at Paris last time to avoid them. No resort fees at Harrah's properties (as of last visit).


    Earning My Ears
    Jun 9, 2014
    Nice sharing the all community members about the Las Vegas mini trip resort. This one is really helpful in my next trip. I am little confused that why the members did not interested in the trip.Its an interesting information here.Would anyone like to guide me about the next trip to las Vegas any suggestion would be much appreciated.


    DIS Veteran
    May 10, 2014
    As a person that frequently goes to Vegas, I wanted to throw some of my tips and advice in....

    I have ALWAYS stayed at the Golden Nugget downtown and LOVED it. They frequently have good deals on rooms. We have stayed there with an upgraded room with a coupon book AND free tickets to their house show (Gordie Brown) and the room rate was around $40/night. Yes, I said $40. You may think, "eww, what kind of No-tell Motel is that?" but I swear it isnt. It is a really nice place. I absolutely love walking around down there at night with a cold drink in one hand and some unhealthy snack from Mermaids in the other and watching the Fremont Street Experience. It isn't as wild to me as the Strip.

    ---Mermaids downtown has a snack bar in the back. THe casino may not be the best to look at, but the snack bar has great unhealthy bar food like fried oreos, the big fat green hot dog, chocolate covered frozen bananas, etc

    ---DuPar's at Golden Gate downtown has the BEST shrimp cocktail ever. Last time I was there I wanted a slice of apple pie and they asked if I wanted cheese on it. I thought I was losing my mind, but the waitress explained it was the new thing--apple pie with a slice of sharp cheddar melted on top. I tried it and it was aMAZing. You taste the nuttiness of the cheese mixed with the apples.

    ---The dinner buffet at Paris is my absolute favorite. Crepes, duck, best gouda cheese ever, prime rib, etc etc.

    ---Mr. Lucky's 24/7 at the Hard Rock Casino (it is NOT walking distance from the strip)....NOT the Hard Rock Cafe, it is INSIDE the casino. Ask for the Gambler's special. It's a steak, 3 shrimp, potato, carrots and was sooo yummy.

    ---Serendipity 3 down by Caesar's on the Strip. People go there for the frozen hot chocolate which is AMAZING on a hot day. We also got a burger and buffalo strips to share and those were good too.

    ---I will try to remember where that Hangover Burger is from. I KNOW it is downtown, but I can't remember the casino name off the top of my head. It's a tiny dive looking cafe in the middle.

    Stuff to Do
    -do the touristy stuff...Bellagio fountains (free), Mirage volcano (free), Eiffel Tower elevator ride (not free), Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum (not free)

    -See the Mob Museum (not free) it will help you learn the history of Vegas
    -See the garden/floral exhibit at the Bellagio and the Chihuly ceiling
    -Take in a show (I wish you could see Phantom at the Venetian, but it closed :worried::(
    -if you drink, be a fool and get one of the tacky souvenir glasses...(guitar, football, Margaritaville pitcher, chalice, etc)
    -see the lights at night and the Vegas sign
    -go to Bonanza and see all the CRAZY souvenirs and gifts
    -DO NOT TAKE CARDS FROM THE SMUT PEDDLERS ON THE STREET (however, to shock my grandmothers I DID buy a shirt like they wear at Bonanza that says something about live girls direct to you and has a sillhoutte of an exotic dancer)
    -be sure to get you the discount/coupon books. I usually find them in the taxi I know one is called What's On and you can also find it online. I had 2 for 1 ticket coupon for the Eiffel Tower from there.

    -If you are not used to the dry climate, be sure to take lots of water, lotion and chapstick.
    -like with Disney, there is a LOT of walking involved here if you plan to walk all of the strip and downtown
    -if you see food or drink that looks interesting, TRY it
    -if you see a neat attraction, DO it
    -you dont have to spend all day gambling

    If you have ANY questions, feel free to PM me and I will do my best to answer.

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