The Las Vegas Strip may be a bustling, world-famous mecca of hotels, casinos and other entertainment venues, but many Vegas first-timers underestimate just how long it is, and walking its four-mile length in the heat of the Nevada summer can quickly become an ordeal.
Fortunately, though, you’ll never have to do this thanks to the many convenient transport options at your disposal. Among these is the useful Mandalay Bay Tram, and in this post, we tell you everything you need to know about this fast and practical mode of travel.
Mandalay Bay Tram Overview
Built in just nine months and opened on April 9th, 1999, the Mandalay Bay Tram has a total length of 2,749 feet (838m) and connects the three southernmost resorts on the Las Vegas Strip – Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay.
The tramway comprises two trains consisting of five cars each, with each car holding up to 32 passengers – so the maximum capacity of each train is 160 people for each trip.
The two trams run independently of each other. One does the direct trip southbound with no stops from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay, taking around three minutes.
In the other direction, the tram running from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur stops at Luxor and takes around seven minutes to complete its journey.
In between journeys, the trams return to their starting point without any passengers.
Although the Mandalay Bay Tram has now been running for over 20 years, the cars are still clean, modern and air-conditioned.
As a result, they provide a quick and convenient way to travel between three of MGM’s most popular resorts at the southern end of the Strip without needing to walk or brave the scorching Nevada sun during the hottest times of the year.
The trams run daily from 10am to 12 midnight. They depart every three to seven minutes, depending on the time of day, with more trams running during peak hours. On average, they leave around every five minutes.
One of the great things about the Mandalay Bay Tram system is that it’s completely free for everyone, even for those not staying at an MGM property.
How to Get To Luxor from Excalibur
Although traveling north from Mandalay Bay to Luxor is easy since the tram stops en route to Excalibur, if you’re at Excalibur and want to go to Luxor, things are more complicated since the tram doesn’t stop on the southbound route.
Instead, you have a couple of other options.
One would be to ride the tram from Excalibur all the way south to Mandalay Bay and then jump straight on the tram back, getting off at Luxor.
This would be possible, but depending on how much time you spend waiting for each tram and taking into account the time you’ll spend walking between the various stations and taking elevators etc., the whole trip could take you around 10-15 minutes.
Probably a better option for most people would simply be to walk. This is because Excalibur and Luxor are connected by a series of walkways, so you’ll never have to go outside or leave the air-conditioned complex.
The walk also includes several moving walkways, so you don’t even need to walk the whole distance because you can let the walkways carry you.
If you decide to walk, it shouldn’t take most people more than around five minutes, so for the majority of visitors, this makes far more sense than riding the tram in one direction only to jump right on again and ride it back in the other direction to reach the destination.
Other Trams and Monorails in Vegas
The Mandalay Bay tram isn’t the only tram or monorail in Vegas, so you’re not limited to riding the tram in the southernmost portion of the Strip.
Running the whole length of the Strip, you can also ride the Las Vegas Monorail, a paying service with trains running from MGM Station in the south to Sahara Las Vegas Station in the north.
For traveling from one end of the Strip to the other in the shortest amount of time and with minimal fuss, this is one of the best options.
However, if you don’t want to pay, the MGM-ARIA-Bellagio tram and the Mirage-Treasure Island tram are also free, so by hopping from one to the other, it’s possible to travel a good portion of the length of the Strip for free with only minimal walking in between.
How Long Does It Take to Ride the Tram?
Traveling southbound from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay, the direct trip takes around three minutes. Traveling northbound, the trip from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur with a stop at Luxor takes around seven minutes.
Do Non-Mgm Residents Have to Pay?
No, the Mandalay Bay Tram is free for all passengers, regardless of whether they are staying at an MGM property.
Is the Tram Busy?
During peak times, the tram can become a little crowded, and there may be a certain amount of jostling for places. However, the experience is mostly smooth and comfortable, and you usually won’t have any trouble getting on the first tram that arrives.
Are the Waiting Areas Covered?
The waiting areas at Mandalay Bay and Excalibur are covered, but the waiting area at Luxor is partially outside. There can be a certain amount of walking and taking stairs or elevators involved in transferring between the main resort areas and the tram stops.
A Convenient and Free Way to Get About
As we’ve seen, if you’re staying at the south end of the Strip – or are even just heading there for some gambling or to check out the world-famous resorts located there, it’s quick and easy to transfer between the three MGM complexes.
Even better, the whole system is free for everyone, even those who aren’t guests at MGM properties, so you’ll have no problem quickly switching to another location if you find your luck is out in the casino where you’re playing.