Apart from the Stratosphere, if you want to visit a McDonald's inside a Strip casino, you need to head to a MGM Resorts property. Circus Circus, Luxor, Excalibur, MGM Grand and the Monte Carlo all feature Mickey D's in their food court. Squeezed next door to the Casino Royale, the very popular Harrah's Casino McDonald's technically resides on their land parcel, but is not promoted by the resort.
A perennial fixture of online lists featuring the most unusual McDonald's around the world, the Harrah's McDonald's offers an escalator to take you upstairs to its patio and then leaves you with a steep walk to get you back down to the Strip.
The McDonald's "Golden Arches" logo dates back to 1953 when huge double arches stood astride their restaurants, creating buildings acting as their own signage and easily visible from a passing car. It was five years before it was noticed the two semicircular arches could be combined to make the letter "m."
At this Strip location, the branded message to hungry visitors is now so self-evident the arch doesn't even need to complete a half circle. Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the unfinished curve lures diners upstairs. Once inside, the 24-hour destination features a mezzanine, a mural featuring McDonald's marketing buzz words and a ceiling design overlooked by most of its customers.
A trompe-l'œil effect gives the impression the architects went to the trouble of inserting moldings and millwork on the ceiling and the mural was hand painted. However, a currently peeling piece reveals the secret. The mural was printed onto a sheet, then stuck to the ceiling and light fixture.
The design features images of a "Welcome to Las Vegas" and neon casino signs, plus a tribute to Speedee, the first McDonald's mascot and the company logo before the Golden Arches took over. Today, the much photographed arch leads a constant stream of guests to this busy, but very efficient outpost, where most diners fail to look up and notice a nod to piece of its fast-food history.