On the Las Vegas Strip, sharks aren’t only seen at the poker tables.
You can escape the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas Strip by visiting a world-class aquarium hidden away in a Mojave Desert casino. The aquarium is a delightful and educational diversion from the chaos of the nearby Las Vegas Strip.
It’s been a success with families searching for entertaining things to do with kids on the Las Vegas Strip, as well as regular gamblers looking for something a little different from the usual concerts, bars, gaming, and nightclubs of Sin City since the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay opened in 2000. One million people visit the aquarium each year.
Experiential Learning in the Ocean
It is anticipated that the Ocean Explorer Virtual Reality Theater, which will seat 36 people and have a motion-platform theatre with 360-degree 3-D views, will open in the aquarium’s summer of 2020, enhancing the whole experience. The cost of admission includes admission to the theatre.
Mandalay Bay’s renowned Shark Reef feature is located near the convention center on the extreme south end of the resort. The casino floor, event center walkway, and wedding chapel are within walking distance if you don’t mind a long-distance walk.
Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Ticket Prices for 2022
The Ocean Explorer Virtual Reality Experience is included in the prices shown below. In this case, the resort charges the following:
|Child (5 – 12)||$24|
|Kids Under 5||Free|
Mandalay Bay’s official website has tickets for sale here: Shark Reef Aquarium.
Vegas.com often offers general admission tickets for as little as $20 on this page: Vegas.com Tickets to Shark Reef.
(I’m an affiliate for Vegas.com and may earn a commission).
Last year, admission to Shark Reef was restricted to those who had made advanced reservations. Before, you could buy a ticket and come in whenever you wanted. Within one hour of your reservation time, you’ll need to get inside the attraction.
Ticket of the Day
You may buy “Anytime Tickets” if you don’t want to come at a specified day and time.
As the name indicates, you may arrive “anytime” throughout the attraction’s operating hours. There is a $7 difference between the pricing indicated above and these tickets.
You can still get a six-by-nine-inch commemorative picture and a gift from the gift store as part of a Shark Reef combination package at Mandalay Bay. There are two price options: $41 for adults and $36 for children ages 5 to 12.
As a reminder, Tix4Tonight kiosks on the Las Vegas Strip don’t offer reduced tickets for the Shark Reef.
Additional Shark Reef Experiential Activities:
Paying extra for some smaller, more in-depth activities with your underwater pals and diving underwater with them will allow you to prolong your stay beyond the trip.
“Stingray Feed” is among them. A VIP tour of the aquarium costs $65 for adults and $50 for children, and you receive early access to the facility.
It costs $99 per person to participate in the Shark Reef Aquarium “Shark Feed” or “Sea Turtle Feed” programs, which include “intimate, participatory feeding sessions” with either species.
Shark Reef offers discounts to Nevadans and military personnel.
Only in-person ticket purchases are eligible for a $3 discount for Nevada residents. The military discount seems to have been discontinued.
A self-guided tour of the exhibits is available once you’ve entered the museum. Like me, you’ll spend most of your time ensuring that your two-year-old doesn’t go too close to the piranha tank, which has several educational displays to keep curious minds occupied.
It will take between half an hour and an hour for most tourists to walk the whole aquarium, depending on how long they want to sit and watch the sharks.
The sharks, of course, are the name of the game on this deep-sea excursion. The aquarium boasts of housing 100 sharks in its massive tanks, home to 15 distinct species. Except for bottles of Fiji offered at the Shark Reef gift shop, the reef contains almost 1.6 million gallons of water.
Walking into a glass-enclosed tunnel with sharks swimming above and below is the last stop on the self-guided tour. As long as you can locate a seat to yourself, you may sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of these magnificent killers.
My 4-year-favorite old’s part was the “touching pool,” which is like a petting zoo for kids. We were able to interact with the stingrays on this specific day.
The aquarium also houses a golden crocodile, octopuses, jellyfish, sea turtles, and a komodo dragon, none of which may be touched.
The Shark Reef’s admission costs may seem high, but they’re rather inexpensive than other Las Vegas attractions. The Shark Reef is of great value in my book. It’s in my best interest from a financial standpoint to stay away from the poker tables whenever feasible.
At Mandalay Bay Aquarium’s Shark Reef, the hours are:
This is a new schedule. The aquarium used to be open until 9 p.m. on weekends until it was closed. (We’ll be sure to keep this updated if and when anything changes).
Sunday – Saturday: 10 AM to 5 PM
Please notice that the aquarium closes at 5 p.m., which is when the final visitors may enter. They shut down an hour after the final admittance time and forced you to leave.
Every day of the week, the box office for purchasing tickets opens at 9:30 a.m.
To reach The Shark Reef via phone, dial (702) 632-4555.
Is parking at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef included in the price of a ticket?
It’s only open to the residents in the area. Self-parking is free for Nevada residents with a state driver’s license.
If you’re staying for less than an hour, you may park for free, but everyone else must pay the normal Mandalay Bay parking cost.
On the extreme south end of the Mandalay Bay Resort, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center parking structure provides handy access to Shark Reef. However, this parking facility is not always operational. If that’s the case, you’ll have to park at the Delano and walk a great distance.
Beyond the Shark Reef entrance, there is a drop-off location where visitors may be dropped off. The Mandalay Bay Food Court is located just across the street from the aquarium if you become peckish after your visit.
The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is beyond just a way to kill time away from the tables or slots. It’s a pleasant distraction that provides two things you won’t find on the Strip: education and silence.