This Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas review is not sponsored.
When we were planning our Las Vegas trip, we were looking for things to do.
Mostly things to do indoors because it was between 102° F and 107° F every day that we were in Vegas. With the heat, we didn’t want to be outside too much and didn’t intend on walking around.
Joke was on us, though, because the first day of our trip, we walked 20,000 steps. And every day after that wasn’t too far behind. Not even the day where my sandal broke.
But, our intention was to mostly stay indoors and walk very little in the heat, so we added the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas on our Las Vegas things to do list.
Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Review
We were able to get free tickets for the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas (3950 S Las Vegas Blvd) through the MyVegas Slots app (We have no affiliation with the MyVegas app, just like to play the game).
And, after were done with the aquarium, we were so happy we were able to get free tickets through the slot machine app. The aquarium was fun, but it was pretty small. Tickets are $29 for adults and it took us under 30 minutes to go through the aquarium. So it cost about a dollar a minute.
Now, your money might go just as fast in the slot machine, and you won’t see any sharks there, so keep that in mind.
If you have kids with you, tickets for them are a little cheaper, plus kids can’t gamble. So if you’re looking for something to do to entertain them, this is a good choice.
There are two options for Shark Reef Aquarium tickets: There’s a Timed-Entrance ticket (starting at $29), where you buy a ticket for a specific time and it’s valid during that hour, and there are Anytime Tickets (starting at $36), where your ticket is valid all day long on a specific date.
Both ticket prices include the new Undersea Explorer VR Experience, which is a five minute virtual realty movie that concludes your time at the Shark Reef Aquarium.
The aquarium boasts 2,000 animals, which sounds like a lot until you realize how small fish are. And there are a lot of fish.
But the aquarium is home to a lot of really large animals too, like crocodiles, sea turtles, and the largest Komodo dragon we’ve ever seen.
My favorite animal at the aquarium was the parrotfish, which had these wild looking beak for a mouth. Imagine a parrot’s beak on a fish. It looks so out of place, so photoshopped (very much like the whole Sonic the Hedgehog with CGI teeth debacle) and yet, somehow, it’s real.
There aquarium is designed to look like an ancient temple and a sunken shipwreck, with 14 permanent exhibits spread throughout, including a touch tank. We watched the sting rays in the tank, and wondered why it’s always sting rays in the touch tank. Despite carrying hand sanitizer all over Las Vegas (mostly because, before you eat anything, you want to clean your hands after touching all those slot machines), we decided not to stick our hands in the touch tank.
The biggest focal point is the shark tunnel. You walk through the tunnel and can watch fish and sharks swim next to and above you. Unlike the shark tunnel at Sea Life Orlando, the floor of this shark tunnel is solid. You don’t get the chance to see fish and sharks swim below you.
There were a few other fun things to look at, like the jellyfish exhibit. But overall, despite being over 90,000 square feet, it was pretty quick to go through.
Can you swim with the sharks at Mandalay Bay?
You can swim with the sharks at Mandalay Bay, usually. But, due to the current state of the world, this portion of the attraction is temporarily suspended.
As an overview, though, it costs $650 per diver for the Dive with Sharks program (two divers booked together is $1,000). All divers must be 18 or older and must be dive certified.
The Dive with Sharks program includes a guided tour of the aquarium, access to showers, the dive experience, and more. It takes three to four hours to experience the full Dive with Sharks program at Mandalay Bay.
How long does it take to go through the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay?
It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to go through the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay in its entirety.
What type of sharks are at Mandalay Bay?
There are 15 types of sharks at Mandalay Bay, including a great hammerhead shark, sand tiger sharks, Galapagos sharks, zebra sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and more.
Before you go to the Shark Reef Aquarium:
The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is a completely indoor activity. Be sure to check with the local news for current travel advisories and any requirements or stipulations for indoor activities.
Tickets may sell out, so it’s best to reserve tickets ahead of time. You can either use paper tickets to get in or your ticket can be scanned from your phone.
You can purchase tickets here.
Shark Reef Aquarium At Mandalay Bay: Frequently Asked Questions
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd; Las Vegas, Nevada (inside Mandalay Bay)
Daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Timed-Entrance tickets are $29 for adults, $27 for seniors (65+), and $24 for children (ages 5 to 12). Kids under 4 are free.
Anytime Tickets are $36 for adults, $34 for seniors (65+), and $31 for children (ages 5 to 12). Kids under 4 are free.
You can purchase tickets here.
There is no food available within the Shark Reef Aquarium and no food can be brought into the aquarium.
Is the Shark Reef Aquarium worth it?
The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is really interesting and has a few different fish that you may not have seen anywhere else. It’s a good excuse to get out of the heat and away from the table games, even if it is just for a half hour.
But is it worth the $29 entrance fee for adults? Not really. Is it worth the $0 price we paid thanks to cashing in our rewards points? Absolutely.
Planning a Las Vegas visit?
If you’re planning to visit Las Vegas, we have a few other posts that will help you figure out your Las Vegas itinerary.
- 5+ Reasons To Stay At Excalibur Las Vegas
- Guide To Visiting The Neon Museum Las Vegas
- Complete List Of Free Las Vegas Shuttles
- Saving In Las Vegas With The MyVegas Slots App
And don’t forget to read our Las Vegas Packing List.
Did our Shark Reef Aquarium At Mandalay Bay Las Vegas review help you? Let us know in the comments.