A couple good friends have recently e-mailed and facebooked me information about a new Star Trek attraction that is being built in Jordan. The news seems to be spreading pretty quickly, and when my friends hear “Star Trek” they immediately think of me. 🙂 These messages usually start with “Do you know about this?” Or “I thought you’d want to be the first in line!”
This really is exciting development with a fascinating background, so I thought I’d share all I know about this Star Trek attraction. Back in May, TrekMovie.com reported that “The Rubicon Group announced today they had signed a deal with CBS to include a Star Trek themed center as part of The Red Sea Astrarium (TSRA), a $1 Billion themed entertainment resort located in Aqaba, Jordan.”
This shouldn’t be a big surprise. His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a well known Trekkie. So much so that back in the 90’s (when he still just Prince Abdullah) he made a cameo appearance on Star Trek Voyager! He was in the 1996 episode “Investigations”. It was a non speaking part due to SAG rules.
Abdullah’s cameo was actually arranged as a surprise for him by his US adviser. The prince said, “I would have been thrilled just to visit the set but this is too much.” (TV Guide, 17-23 Feb., p. 26)
In 1999 Abdullah was crowned King and in 2011 he suggested that Star Trek become a part of a planned resort to be built on the Red Sea. This is proof that “it’s good to be King”! Can you just imagine of other Trekkies had great power? I’m envisioning the US congress all dressed in Starfleet dress uniforms! A constitutional amendment with the prime directive! Haha!
But more about the attraction, the Star Trek component is just part of the larger resort. According to TrekMovie.com it will be based on the 2009 J.J. Abrams movie and is set to open in 2014. The press release says:
[The Star Trek-themed center] will deliver a variety of multi-sensory 23rd-century experiences, culminating with a state-of-the art space-flight adventure that takes real-time immersive entertainment experiences to bold new heights. This exciting, world-class attraction will serve as the cornerstone of the TRSA sector’s world of tomorrow.
This is all very exciting right? But why am I not happy? I wish it was in the US! Ever since the closing of Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas we’ve desperately needed a new Trek attraction! I really loved The Experience and miss is terribly. There was some talk of it re-opening in downtown Vegas, but those rumors have died down– much to my disappointment. I’d love it if there was a “Star Trek Island” at Universal Studios, Orlando. Wouldn’t that be amazing??
But, alas. There doesn’t seem to be any hope for us to get something like that here. We’ll have to either go to the Paramount park in Spain (which is supposed to get some kind of Star Trek presence) or go to Jordan. Frankly, I doubt that I’ll ever travel to Jordan. I do want to travel abroad (my passport still has no stamps) but I’m sure that some other destinations will fall on my itinerary first. I’d love to go to London, for example. Oh, to see the Globe Theatre! The RSC! Theatre on the West End! I’m sure this will happen long before I end up going to Jordan.
So, is this project still a go? I agree with you that it should be in the US, but maybe it costs so much only a Prince can finance it. I also agree that the closing of ST The Experience in Vegas leaves a big Trek hole. I loved that place. And you are right on it with a Trek Island at Universal. The heck with Harry Potter ! :o)