Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas adds VR motion theater to Shark Reef Aquarium

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas is expanding its underwater journey to include an immersive virtual reality theater. Opening in mid-March, the Ocean Explorer Virtual Reality (VR) Theater will take guests on an unforgettable underwater voyage through two live-action films and interactive exhibitions.

The Ocean Explorer VR experience will feature a 36-seat, motion-platform theater, that will showcase two films highlighting underwater creatures, rarely seen up close and personal in their natural environment. “Swimming with Humpbacks” follows the journey and behaviors of mother humpback whales and their calves as they migrate during mating season. “Shark Dive” takes guests to Tiger Beach, a mythic underwater strip in the Bahamas where some of the world’s largest apex predators amass including tiger sharks and hammerheads.

“For years, our guests have been fascinated and intrigued by the beautiful living creatures that call Shark Reef home,” said Adrienne Rowland, director of animal care at Shark Reef Aquarium. “Now, with this immersive and interactive experience, they can discover and appreciate our oceans and animals in a whole new way.”

The new installation is a partnership between Shark Reef Aquarium and Immotion Group plc, with studios in the U.K. and California.

Rod Findley, commercial director for Immotion Group, said, “Not many people can say they swam within a few feet of a humpback whale or tiger shark in the wild. With our immersive VR technology, we’re offering guests that kind of bucket-list experience. We think our attraction, with its interactive pre-show and motion-platform theater, builds on what Shark Reef Aquarium already offers and adds another exciting dimension for visitors.”

Entry to Ocean Explorer will be included with Shark Reef admission. Additional details to be announced closer to the exhibit’s opening.

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is among the most prestigious animal facilities in the world and is the first and only Nevada institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  More than 2,000 animals are displayed at Shark Reef Aquarium, featuring 100 species, including 12 species of sharks. Shark Reef is open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit

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Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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