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Enjoy the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay

Shark Reef Aquarium is an aquarium on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The aquarium is situated at and owned by the Mandalay Bay Resort. It opened in the year 2000 and is 105,000 square feet and has several species of fish, sharks, reptiles, and other marine life. The Shark Reef Aquarium offers 14 exhibits that contain 1,200 species of exotic and endangered marine life. Today we will look at the various things to do at Shark Reef Aquarium in a depth analysis.   

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About Shark Reef Aquarium

Shark Reef Aquarium is similar to an ancient temple that is sinking into the ocean. The tunnel that has the five species of sharks and the aquarium’s largest animals is designed to look like a sunken shipwreck. Visitors can also look at a scuba diver’s view of these amazing creatures including nurse sharks and tiger-striped sharks that can measure up to nine feet and also two tiger sharks that can measure more than six feet in length.   

Divers that swim in to clean these tanks wear a stainless-steel mesh that is similar to what knights used to wear. Metal is there to keep the animals away from the humans so that they don’t think of them as food. For those looking for an in-depth, personal enrichment about the animals, audio wands are available in languages such as Spanish, Japanese, and English.   

What to do at Shark Reef

As mentioned above, the 14 exhibits at Shark Reef are dedicated to more than 2,000 animals including crocodiles, piranha, and 15 different species of sharks. Visitors can also experience a 30-degree view thanks to a 1.3-million-gallon shipwreck that is teeming with sharks and fish through a tunnel. Here are some of the best things to do at Shark Reef Aquarium.    

  • Polar Journey – This is Shark Reef’s new interactive adventure giving guests a look into the Earth’s polar regions and the animals that call them home. You can immerse yourself in it with 8 interactive scenes including films, touch walls, teaching robot penguins, simulated ice flow, and 270 degrees CGI film with motion simulator. It has been included with regular admission to Shark Reef.  
  • Shark Feed – Aquarists will teach you about how shark food is prepared, what kinds of food are used, and how they feed them as you stand alongside them. You can then grab a feeding tong and try feeding lunch to their resident zebra sharks. This tour is available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1.15 pm and the cost is $80 per person.  
  • Sea Turtle Feed – This interactive feeding program allows you the chance to get up close and personal with sea turtles. You will be able to feed 300-pound sea turtles and then walk above the 1.3-million-gallon shipwreck to experience a mealtime at Shark Reef. The cost per person for this adventure is $80 and the minimum age is 13 years or older.  
  • Underwater Proposal – You can propose here to your lover for $100 as Shark Reef will provide you with a romantic experience with a loved one that you shall never forget.   
  • Dive with Sharks – This exhibit gives you the chance to dive into a place with a higher concentration of exotic sharks than you will ever find in the wild. In total, there are more than 30 sharks here which include Sandtiger, Sandbar, and White Tip Reef Sharks. It is available to Mandalay Bay guests to people who are certified divers and costs $650 per diver.  
  • Touch Pool – Here you can touch a wide collection of animals such as sharks, rays, jellyfish, and horseshoe crabs. The Touch Pool has been included in the original ticket price and there is no extra charge.   
  • Mandalay Bay Beach Complex – When you buy a Shark Reef Aquarium ticket, you also get free access to Mandalay Bay Beach Pool Complex which is considered the top pool in Las Vegas. Access is limited though and is available on Monday through Thursday and should be within 48 hours of your Shark Reef visit. 
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Admission & Hours

Shark Reef Aquarium ticket prices start at $14 for children between the ages of 4-12. The ticket prices for regular adults are $20 and tickets for a family of four start at $68.  

Shark Reef Aquarium is open from 10 am to 8 pm from Sunday through Thursday and 10 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday.   

How to get there

The address for Shark Reef Aquarium is 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, and is situated at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.   

If you are looking to reach Mandalay Bay by car, you can access it from the Las Vegas Strip. There is parking available over there and you can just follow the signs for self-parking or valet. You can even utilize ridesharing apps such as Uber or Lyft to get a convenient ride over to Mandalay Bay. To arrive by Mandalay Bay Tram, you should know that Mandalay Bay is connected to the Excalibur and Luxor resorts via a free tram. If you are staying at one of the resorts, you can simply take the tram to Mandalay Bay.  


After you finish visiting Shark Reef, you can enjoy dining at one of the restaurants at Mandalay Bay.  

  • Bayside Buffet at Mandalay Bay – It has a tropical decor that features natural lighting from large bay windows and a great view of the Mandalay Bay pool. It is one of the best value-for-money places in Las Vegas. Every meal of the day allows kids under the age of four to eat for free.   
  • Burger Bar – It is right in the heart of Sin City and is a culinary haven for a simple yet sophisticated fare that will indulge the child within you. Chef Hubert Keller is behind this internationally acclaimed place and reflects his keen eye for detail, flavor, and quality. Everyone craves the simple things in life such as a thick, juicy burger and the Burger Bar will deliver on it.   
  • Foundation Room – It was originally a member-only secret that was only accessible via a private elevator in Mandalay Bay. Distinguished with tasteful vintage decor, the food mirrors the appointment inside.   
  • Border Grill – It offers bold flavors and food from Mexico in a unique, waterfront setting. Chefs and owners Mary Sue and Susan Feniger opened the restaurant in 1999. Whether you decide to sit indoors or outdoors, you are sure to enjoy authentic Mexican fare in a fun, airy, and casual setting.   
  • House of Blues – It is nestled right in the middle of Mandalay Bay and is one of the most sensory-driven dining experiences along the Las Vegas Strip. It will draw you in with its big iron doors and the smell of Southern cuisine.   
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  • You should look to purchase tickets in advance in order to avoid big lines, especially during peak times. You should also look for a combination of tickets that gives you access to other attractions.   
  • If you visit Shark Reef during the week or during non-peak hours you will be able to avoid large crowds.  
  • You will be walking around a lot so remember to wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes.  
  • Make sure you bring your smartphone or a camera to grab some great pictures of yourself and marine life.  

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