Mirage, Las Vegas
The Mirage Volcano, once the free number one star attraction of the strip, took some time off for quiet time for almost a year. Now that it has been remodeled, it has been reborn into a spectacular fire show with lights, music and huge fireballs that shoot 12 feet in the air. I will tell you, you can feel the heat coming from this attraction so it is very realistic. A very awesome show that I think every one will enjoy. Make sure you get there early so you can have a good view of the show. It continues to erupt every 15 minutes until 12am.
The Mirage has this really beautiful aquarium that is 20,000 gallons of saltwater that is home to angelfish, puffer fish, tangs, and many other beautiful exotic creatures. The tank is 53 feet long, eight feet height and six feet wide. The walls are 4 inches thick. This aquarium houses up to 1,000 coral reef creatures that come from 60 countries such as Australia, Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji, the Red Sea and the Marshall Islands, Sea of Cortez and Caribbean. It is very beautiful and impressive. If you walk in from the main entrance from the strip, take a right and located behind the reception desk.
I was a bit skeptical about dolphins in the desert but there are 8 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
A bit expensive for the 15 minute tour ($12.00) but that also provides admission into the Secret Garden of Siegfried and Roy where you can see rare white tigers and other endangered species.
The dolphins live in a 2.5 million gallon saltwater tank and seem to be very connected to their trainers. There is an underwater observation tank and vistitors can watch tapes of baby dolphins who were born at the habitat.
Hours: Week days 11-7 Week ends: 10 -7
Secret Garden closed on Wednesdays.
This use to be a Free exhibit, but I guess after the loss of Siegfried & Roy Royal White Tiger show, they have incorporated this into the Secret Gardens. So now it cost to see them:(
Siegfried & Roy's Royal White Tigers is available for viewing for purchase in the Secret Gardens. Siegfried & Roy have dedicated their lives to preserving these rare animals, and their efforts have helped save them from total extinction. After securing the offspring of a perfectly matched pair of these beautiful animals bequested to this country in 1958 by the Maharaja of Rewa, Siegfried & Roy established their own Royal White Tiger breeding line.” – Mirage Hotel
Another cool Vegas freebie is the volcano in front of the Mirage Hotel & Casino. It erupts nightly (except in inclement weather -- I love it!), about every 15 minutes (between about 7 and midnight). Be warned that if you are up close to it, the fire effects can feel very hot!
The white tiger habitat is located along a long hallway in the Mirage Hotel. Here you can see the famous and beautiful white tigers from the former Seigfried and Roy show. The tigers roam around this area which consists of a swimming pool and cave. This is a free exhibit you can walk past on your way into or out of the Mirage.
The famous Volcano at the Mirage Hotel/Casino is bigger and better than ever. After a year's closure for renovation [which cost $25 million], it has returned and erupts every 15 minutes until midnight. [See Photograph #1] It's set on a small lagoon with 3,000 lights that are computerized to simulate the flow of lava. The volcano is 50 feet high and there is an eruption of 40 more feet into the air! The designers say that the very best place to see it is right in front of the Mirage on the Strip. He says, "Nothing beats being right there-up close-where you can feel the heat of the flames and hear the pulsating soundtrack." Now, this wonderful show is actually FREE.In addition, the Mirage boasts the beautiful grounds [See Photo #3].
Mirage also has a free Aquarium with 20,000 gallons of saltwater and is located behind the reception desk. The acrylic that they used in the aquarium is 4 inches thick.
In the back of the Mirage is Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat [Fee of !5.00 for adults and $10.00 for Children]. This habitat houses leopards, alpacas, and lions (separate areas). It also houses their famous white tigers as well as panthers. The dolphin Habitat has a below ground level viewing deck to watch the dolphins swim under water.
The Secret Garden of Seigfried and Roy sounds tacky in typical Las Vegas style, but it was probably one of the best things I have seen in Las Vegas.
This attraction consists of three bottle-nosed dolphin pools, plus a collection of rare white and golden tigers. An asian elephant is also part of the group as well, and this is all set in beautiful, manicured shrubbery and flowers. The area is cleaner than any zoo that I've been in, and is actually a research station, affiliated with many major zoos around the world that the famous duo have contacted to set up breeding programs.
What is so great about this is that you can actually get very close to the dolphins and sit on the edge of the pool, to watch them train and be exercised which you can't do at other dolphin exhibits. Often, they will do flips and turns on their own, or play, which is quite entertaining to sit back and watch.
You also get to see what magnificent creatures the white tigers are, and do make sure you see the rare snow white tiger. Also, be careful, as they are cats -- one of them sprayed a crowd of people in front of his area, maybe getting a little revenge for himself.
If not for the animals, go here to get a whiff of fresh air. Smoking is not allowed in the area, and we realized here how much cigarette smoke we had been exposed to in Vegas, after breathing in the clean, clean air of the Secret Garden. It's a wonderful oasis to escape the crowds and noise of Vegas.
The entry fee is $12 per adult, and really is worth it. You can stay as long as you like.
The garden was created as a habitat for the animals who were once part of the Seigfried and Roy show. It is a pretty impressive collection of 40 or so endangered animal species, including white lions and white tigers in a pseudo forest setting. I'm not sure if its worth the price of admission, which runs $12.00 (as of 2004), so I'll let you decide that one for yourselves.
Admission into the secret garden also includes the dolphin habitat. This habitat is a large pool, or several connected pools rather, where Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are kept. The facility is touted as an educational and research facility, but its mostly a tourist attraction for the Mirage Hotel.
The Mirage is a Polynesian themed hotel and casino, which was opened back in 1989. I thought it was showing its age and wasn't as flashy as some of the newer resorts we visited. It certainly seemed a more affordable place to visit anyway, with some lower minimum casino tables, and a decent range of inexpensive dining options.
Its main draw card, an erupting volcano(!) was unfortunately being restored when we were there, so I have had to make do with watching videos of it on YouTube instead.
Inside there is a large glass atrium filled with tropical plants and waterfalls. There is also The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, which we didn't visit as it cost $15 and I had read that the dolphins were kept in cramped conditions.
While visiting the Mirage we stopped for a giant slice of cheesecake at the Carnegie Delicatessen. If you are into massive portions of food then this could be the place for you.
The Secret Garden is within the grounds of the Mirage hotel. It is run by Siegfreid and Roy who own all these animals.
Make sure you check the times of opening before going as when we went they were closed as it was early closing during the winter months. Fortunately we were able to see them the next day.
Sat & Sun 10am-5.30pm
Sat & Sun 10am-7pm
Sat & Sun 10am-4pm
Sat & Sun 10am-5.30pm
Children 4-12 years $10
While you are waiting for the volcano to erupt at the Mirage, you might as well stick your head in the door and check out the white tigers. Only a few dozen of these white tigers exist in the world. The display is beautiful, and the animals are rotated several times during the day. Check them out as they swim in the pool, play in the fountains, and lounge in the display.
Despite the horrible accident in the Siegfried & Roy show, you can still see their beautiful white tigers at the Mirage.
They are kept in a soundproofed glass front enclosure. I was concerned about such magnificent animals living in cages, but found out they are actually kept on a ranch, where they can roam freely outdoors. One or two are selected every few days to spend a short time on display at the Mirage. After those few days pass, it's someone else's turn. Not a bad gig, far better than a zoo!
Although it's difficult to see such magnificent animals in captivity, for some it may be the main chance at survival that their species have going.
No, I did not take this pic while diving. Contrary to what you might imagine, there are no coral reef systems in the desert of Nevada.
It's the salt water fish tank, at the Mirage, only one of many interesting little asides you'll find in virtually every casino.
When the Mirage first opened the Rainforest was an eyecatching innovation. On a recent visit I dropped by again to see how it was holding up under the competition of the newer themed hotels and the answer is JUST FINE!!
You'll find the Rainforest just inside the hotel's front door -- the dome is 100 feet high and it takes 4 people to maintain the space.