As one of MGM’s entry level properties, Excalibur was never designed to be about luxury. In fact, its original concept was to be a companion to Circus Circus, which until recently had consistently been under the same ownership as Luxor.
The good news about a budget property is that there tends to be a decent amount of budget-friendly gaming options. It’s also, despite some de-theming done over the years, still a pretty themed property for Las Vegas.
The downside is compared to Luxor, another budget hotel in their line-up, Excalibur doesn’t get the same level of love, and it sometimes shows.
The Casino Floor
Excalibur’s casino floor is pretty substantial in size, over 100,000 square feet and featuring more than 1,200 slot machines. The slots range in age from ancient to modern; some slots on the floor got their start at higher-end properties and moved to Excalibur; they didn’t bother to wipe out the old logos. There’s a good mix of mechanical and video reel slots, and both lower and higher denominations, including a small high limit space near the back of the building.
Like most casinos in Las Vegas today, the predominant denomination is pennies, with a decent section of quarters to dollar machines parked near the cashier.
Table games are concentrated in the center of the floor, with a decent sized pit that features a consistent $5 Blackjack table. In my earlier Vegas visits I enjoyed playing $5 craps there, but even on my last visits before COVID struck I noticed that I was only seeing $10 tables. The tables were usually very busy at night, but I got on the $5 table successfully multiple times when I wanted to just slow play for awhile.
One of my favorite pit bosses has been there. Mo, who I’ve chit-chatted with here and there both over Craps and Blackjack, would always talk about not being the luckiest person, but for whatever reason when she was around, I tended to have a good session, and always told her so.
There are a couple of OK video poker pay tables at Excalibur, but a lot of it is not that exciting. I can’t say I’ve ever played there, despite playing at many other strip casinos here and there.
Unlike Luxor, where much of the room stock has been renovated in recent years, Excalibur’s renovations were most recently done five years ago, to the royal tower… taking furniture previously featured in Mandalay Bay’s rooms. Presumably the furniture still had some wear and tear left in them, and it was likely better than what was in there, but when the new isn’t even new, it’s saying something.
That said, that’s the newer of the rooms, so if you’re going to stay there, you should opt for the Royal Tower at minimum. But you might want to consider checking things out next door at Luxor first, especially the renovated rooms there.
Excalibur, as with other MGM properties, is part of the Mlife Rewards program, and enjoy all of the benefits of that program. You can read my full write-up of the program here.
Excalibur was one of the few remaining casinos I’d seen that was still processing pit games with paper a few years ago. They’ve since moved electronically, but it was sort of interesting still seeing that around many years after other casinos had shifted to computerized tracking.
Most of the food options are chain-driven, from their food court to their sit down options like Buca di Beppo and Dick’s Last Resort. They have a half way decent buffet (dinner is vastly better than breakfast/lunch in the times I’ve visited), and have the Camelot Steakhouse as their most upscale option.
The bulk of the options are designed to be inexpensive, either sit down or grab and go options. That also means it’s not all that exciting for a city that places a lot of value on unique and higher-end dining options as a whole.
If you want to eat on a budget you’ll find a lot to like here, while those looking for a more sophisticated experience would be better suited to walk across to New York-New York for some of their options, or perhaps Luxor/Mandalay Bay for others.
One nice thing about Excalibur’s location is it’s smack in the middle of a row of MGM-owned casinos, where your Mlife Rewards card can be used to earn and redeem points, so if you want additional variety you don’t have far to go.
There is a monorail that normally runs between Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay if you don’t want to do a lot of walking, but all three are connected by walkways as well.
Excalibur sits on a pretty packed corner of the strip, with New York-New York to its north, MGM Grand to its northwest, and Tropicana to its east. The former two are both MGM properties as well. Tropicana is a property with its own fabled history; I’ll have a write-up of it coming up soon.