Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino invites guests to abandon their day jobs and get their feet (or in this case, hands) wet as a guest Aquarist with three new experiential programs.
Aptly titled Animal Encounters, the program takes participants behind-the-scenes to assist in feeding the Aquarium’s most-admired residents including stingrays, green sea turtles and zebra sharks.
Guests can experience Las Vegas’ premier aquarium attraction like a true VIP with exclusive access prior to daily opening. An expert guide will tour participants through the 90,560-square-foot Shark Reef Aquarium which holds nearly 1.6-million gallons of water. After the private tour, guests are invited to roll up their sleeves and reach down into the touch pool to feed stingrays and horseshoe crabs a breakfast smorgasbord of shrimp, krill and fish. At the conclusion of their experience, guests will receive a memorable keepsake photo to take home and show off to friends.
The one-hour Stingray Feed experience takes place daily at 9:15 a.m. and is limited to four guests per session. Tickets are $50 per adult and $40 for children ages 5-12. Annual Pass member pricing is $45 per adult and $25 for children ages 5-12.
Sea Turtle Feed
OD the sea turtle captured hearts and headlines after a cross-country journey to Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium last summer. Now, participants can get up close and personal with the beloved OD and his new Shipwreck mates during the Sea Turtle Feed program. This 45-minute experience begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of Shark Reef Aquarium where guests will gain insight into the facility’s daily operations. After picking up a nutritious feast from the Shark Reef kitchen, guests will be taken above the Shipwreck Exhibit to meet the 300-pound turtles who eagerly wait to be served. Participants may even get the chance to meet some of the other toothy residents of the exhibit during their feeding time.
The Sea Turtle Feed experience takes place Sunday – Friday at 12:45 p.m. and is limited to four people per session. The program is open to participants 13 years of age and older. Tickets are $70 per person and $60 for Annual Pass members and include admission to Shark Reef Aquarium as well as keepsake photos of the participants in action.
What sharks eat and how they prefer their meals are just a couple of the questions participants will have answered during this one-hour interactive experience. Beginning with a behind-the-scenes tour of Shark Reef Aquarium, guests will admire the jaws of various species of sharks while demystifying myths and truths about nature’s most intriguing marine animal. Participants can then grab a feeding tong and serve lunch to the stunning zebra sharks while Aquarists demonstrate the feeding technique for the larger species. Staff members will capture guests in action and provide keepsake photos to ensure that every exhilarating moment is remembered.
The Shark Feed experience takes place Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:15 p.m. and is limited to four guests per session. The program is open to participants 13 years of age and older. Tickets are $70 per person and $60 for Annual Pass members and include admission to Shark Reef Aquarium.
Participants in the Sea Turtle or Shark Feed programs can purchase a supplemental guided tour through Shark Reef Aquarium with an expert guide for an additional $25.
Each of these programs can be booked online at mandalaybay.com/shark-reef/animalencounters/
Shark Reef Aquarium
Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is not your typical aquarium. It’s a total sensory experience designed to transport visitors to an undersea ocean of fantastic sights, sounds and encounters. Featuring dangerous and unusual aquatic animals from the world’s tropical waters, Shark Reef Aquarium takes visitors on a journey through an ancient temple slowly being claimed by the sea.
Fourteen breathtaking exhibits are devoted to dangerous aquatic predators. The largest exhibit is the 1.3 million gallon shipwreck where visitors experience an almost 360-degree view, teeming with sharks and fish, through an acrylic tunnel. The Touch Pool is a popular attraction, where guests can touch an ever-changing collection of animals including sharks, rays or horseshoe crabs. More than 2,000 animals are displayed at Shark Reef Aquarium, over 100 different species and featuring 15 species of sharks.