Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium

Have you ever watched one of those underwater marine life shows and sat in awe of what it must be like to be surrounded by all the cool animals of the oceans and seas? At the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, you can experience an up-close and personal scuba diver’s view without all the heavy equipment. 

The Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay is one of the largest and most impressive in the United States. It has attracted millions of visitors in its more than twenty years of operation and is one of the must-see attractions for all ages when visiting Las Vegas. 

Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium

The Shark Reef Aquarium is a massive 1.3 million gallon aquatic experience. The aquarium is home to approximately 2000 animals, including exotic sharks, sailor and horseshoe crabs, stingrays, piranhas, jellyfish, sawfish, and endangered green sea turtles, along with other marine life. Several species of land-dwelling animals, like the 8 ft komodo dragon and a Burmese Python, also claim the Shark Reef Aquarium as their home. 

A trip to the Shark Reef Aquarium is easily an all-day experience with sights and activities that will appeal to the inner marine biologist in you. Two underwater tunnels offer a unique, immersive perspective of the mesmerizing creatures of the underwater world, and there are many activities that allow you to interact with sea turtles, sharks, and other creatures are something all ages will enjoy. 

The Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay also isn’t your typical tourist attraction. They’re committed to the preservation of natural resources and the ethical treatment of animals. The coral used in their aquatic displays is synthetic and designed to help support a healthy aquatic ecosystem without taking from or damaging the delicate coral of the Earth’s waters. 

Additionally, exhibit water is recycled, ecologically friendly lighting is used, and sustainable seafood is purchased for the carnivorous animals at the facility. All animals are taken care of with the highest standard of care to provide the best possible life for them during their time at the aquarium at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

So, if you’re looking for a fun, educational, and mesmerizing activity that will leave you with some feel-good vibes at the end of the day, the Shark Reef Aquarium checks off all of those boxes.  Here are more Shark Reef Aquarium details for planning and enjoying your visit. 

What To Do at Shark Reef Aquarium 

The Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay is home to some unforgettable exhibits and experiences. Here is a rundown of what you can expect. Just know that exhibits and experiences are subject to change, so if you have your heart set on something, it’s best to check what’s open and available ahead of time. 

Shark Reef Aquarium Exhibits

Your admission ticket to the Shark Reef Aquarium buys you access to the many fun and interactive exhibits. Here are a few that you’ll see as you spend some time strolling through the aquarium. 

Shark Tunnel 

Shark Tunnel 

The Shark Tunnel is one of the most famous exhibits, and it’s the one that you’ll find the most pictures of if you do a quick Google search of the aquarium online. The aquarium is built to include two clear tunnels that you can walk through, providing a unique perspective as sea life swims and carries on around you. This is as close as you’ll get to a snorkeler’s view without actually getting into the water. 

Because these tunnels are also designed as a passageway, it’s common for people to feel the need to move through quickly. Our advice is to take your time and enjoy the view. These are sights you don’t get to see every day, so there’s no reason to rush. If traffic is heavy, just make sure you’re off to the side a bit, so you’re not blocking the flow of traffic. 

Shipwreck Exhibit

The Jungle 

The main tank area of the aquarium is designed to bring to mind a sunken shipwreck and the bountiful aquatic life that would surround it. The exhibit has been very artfully designed to look incredibly real. Here you’ll find many species swimming around and effortlessly cohabitating. This includes several species of sharks that are nothing short of magnificent when viewed up close. 

The floor-to-ceiling panoramic view into the aquarium offers the chance to beautiful schools of colorful fish, saw fish, giant rays, and many more species of aquatic animals that will inspire your curiosity, no matter how young or old you are. 

You’ll also want to keep your eye out for the other tanks and aquariums that feature freshwater fish and visually stunning creatures like illuminated jellyfish. They truly look like something you’d see in a fantasy painting. 

Touch Pool

Touch Pool

The Touch Pool is your chance to actually stick your hands in the water and touch several species of marine life. Common occupants of the Touch Pool include horseshoe crabs and some friendly rays. Rumor has it that sometimes you might find a baby zebra shark swimming in there, too, although this isn’t a regular occurrence. 

The Jungle 

The Jungle at Shark Reef Aquarium

The Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay offers more than just some out-of-this-world aquatic exhibits (as if those weren’t enough on their own). Another favorite of visitors is The Jungle, a lush, Amazonian-style jungle display where you get the rare chance to view up close the enchanting and often predatory creatures of the jungle. 

The Komodo Dragon is a showstopper, as many visitors are surprised at how massive this creature is in real life. In the Jingle, you’ll also experience exhibits featuring crocodiles, including rare golden crocodiles, along with a Burmese Python, and piranhas with fangs that definitely intimidate. 

Shark Reef Aquarium Experiences 

Shipwreck Exhibit

The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay also offers visitors the chance to enjoy interactive experiences. Many of these experiences require the purchase of an add-on ticket, but the fun and memories you’ll make are well worth the price. 

Dive with the Sharks 

Dive with the Sharks 

If you’ve ever wanted to dive with sharks in a safe setting, this is your chance. This unique experience offers about 3-4 hours of preparation, diving, and swimming with an array of exotic sharks while also enjoying a guided tour of their habitat. During this experience, you’ll swim among more than thirty sharks, including white tip reef sharks, sand tiger sharks, and several other species. 

You’ll leave the experience forever changed, and you’ll also receive a complimentary video of your dive, and the Shark Reef offers you to bring along up to four guests to view your experience. 

Sea Turtle Feed

Sea Turtle Feed

The Sea Turtle Feed offers you the opportunity to hand feed and interact with giant green sea turtles. Don’t worry. The gentle giants who weigh an average of 300 lbs each won’t bite. You’ll be taken up above the giant shipwreck exhibit to a special location for some one-on-one time with these huge, mesmerizing creatures. The experience lasts about 45  minutes, and you’ll receive photos of your adventure. 

Shark Feed 

mandalay-bay-amenities-shark-reef-shark-feed

Are all sharks really the ferocious, terrifying creatures that we see on television? After your Shark Feed experience, you won’t think so at all. During your 1-hour experience, you’ll have the chance to learn a little more about the sharks, what they eat, how to prepare their food, and how to safely feed the resident Zebra sharks. You’ll also have the chance to stand close by as the trained staff offer a meal to the more dangerous inhabitants of the aquarium. 

Stingray Feed 

Stingray Feed 

The Stingray Feed allows early risers to enter the Shark Reef Aquarium before it opens to the public and enjoy a guided tour and the chance to touch and feed the stingrays. Experience what it feels like to have the sea creatures nibble shrimp, fish, and krill straight from your hand. This experience lasts about an hour and is offered at 9:15 am daily.  

Undersea Explorer VR Theater 

The Underwater Explorer VR Theater is a must-see among Las Vegas attractions. With the help of VR technology, you can experience what it’s like to swim alongside humpback whales and newborn whale calves. If you prefer more of an adrenaline rush, choose your VR experience to include interactions with hammerheads and tiger sharks. 

More than just an exciting VR experience, this is also very educational. You’ll learn about the aquatic life of all the sea creatures you’re about to interact with virtually. 

Underwater Proposal 

Underwater Proposal 

That question you’ve wanted to ask is one of the most important of your life, so here’s your chance to make it extra special. The Underwater Proposal includes a personal guided tour through the Shark Reef Aquarium and a professional diver that will present your proposal to your cherished someone special. Don’t worry. A photographer will also be close at hand to capture the essence of the magical moment. 

Shark Reef Aquarium Ticket Prices & Coupons

Please note that ticket prices, coupons, and the availability of experiences are subject to change. 

When purchasing Shark Reef Aquarium tickets, you can choose between timed entrance tickets and anytime tickets. Timed entrance tickets are ideal because they help you better plan your day and also help you avoid lines at the aquarium entrance. The timed entrance tickets are good for one hour from your scheduled time, so you don’t have to worry about arriving at exactly the right minute. 

Anytime tickets allow you entrance anytime during the Shark Reef’s operating hours. They offer more flexibility, but only a limited number of these tickets are available to avoid overcrowding. Make sure to inquire early if you’re interested in anytime tickets. 

Current standard pricing, excluding coupons or deals, for Shark Reef tickets are as follows:

Timed Entry Tickets:

  • Adults: $29
  • Children ages 5-12: $24
  • Children ages 4 and under: Free
  • Seniors ages 65+: $27

Anytime Tickets:

  • Adults: $36
  • Children ages 5-12: $31
  • Children ages 4 and under: Free

Best Value Package (includes admission, photo, and souvenir) 

  • Adults: $41
  • Children ages 5-12: $36

Stingray Feed (4 guests maximum, ages 5 and over):

  • Adults: $50 per person
  • Children $40 per person

Shark Feed (4 guest maximum, ages 13 and over)

  • $80 per person

Sea Turtle Feed (4 guest maximum, ages 13 and over)

  • $80 per person

Guided Tour Add-on

  • $25 per group

Underwater Proposal 

  • $100 per couple

Dive with the Sharks: 

  • $650 per person or $1000 per couple

Annual passes and discounts for Nevada locals are available. 

Shark Reef’s Hours

The Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay Las Vegas is open daily from 10 am – 6 pm. Even though they are open until 6 pm, the last admission is at 5 pm to ensure that all guests have the time to explore and get the most from their visit. 

Certain tours and special experiences happen before the aquarium is open to the public. In this case, you will be instructed as to where and how to enter the building. 

Location

The Shark Reef Aquarium is located in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Las Vegas. Mandalay Bay Resort is located at 3950 South Las Vegas Blvd, also known as the Las Vegas Strip. 

If you’re already inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel, you can find the Shark Reef Aquarium location by walking past the guest elevators near the front desk until you reach the casino floor. Then follow the path on the left, and continue until you meet the cobblestone flooring. Continue toward the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and past the wedding chapel. You will find the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay located to your left. 

FAQs

How long does it take to go through the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay?

If you’re planning on just touring the aquarium, enjoying the sea life, and experiencing the VR Theater, plan on spending about 1-2 hours wandering around at your own pace. If you’ve added any experiences onto your ticket, add the estimated time of the experience onto your visit. Many people spend 3-4 hours here easily. 

Can you swim with the sharks at Mandalay Bay?

Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas is one of the few places in the world where you can safely swim with sharks in a protected environment with the guidance of an experienced guide. Plan on spending about 3-4 hours for the entire experience of diving with some of the aquarium’s largest animals. This includes preparing for your dive, becoming acquainted with the equipment, and the experience itself. 

Experience the Underwater World at the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay 

Experience the Underwater World at the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

There is an entire world living underwater that most of us never get the chance to see and experience firsthand. The Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay offers the chance to see sharks, endangered sea turtles, stingrays, jellyfish, and other sea life, all up close and personal. Hop online to purchase your Shark Reef tickets and experience an underwater adventure in Fabulous Las Vegas. 

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