“ Since its opening in 1989, the volcano has been one of most popular attractions on the Strip. In 1996, the volcano added new water, lighting and sound effects. Today, the volcano is looking - and sounding - better than ever thanks to a $25 million redesign, which reopened to the public on Dec. 8, 2008. „
Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada is a place brimming with so many sights and sounds that it can be a logistical nightmare to try and fit everything into one holiday. Personally I have been twice and I will still go back and experience a lot of things for the first time, such is the variety.
In Vegas you really can spend as much or as little as you want - Fine dining to fast food, exotic car hire to the Deuce bus, high-roller suites to the 25c slot machines - the experience will differ from person to person depending on budget.
There are, however, a few attractions in Vegas which should undoubtedly be visited by the richest roller down to the poorest pauper. This is because these attractions cost absolutely nothing to go and enjoy. Such attractions include the Vegas sign, the fountains outside the Bellagio and the subject of this review, the Volcano at the Mirage.
I stayed in the Mirage in September 2009 and so this little beauty was right outside my window (literally). For those staying elsewhere the address is 3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South. If you are more familiar with the Vegas layout then the Mirage Volcano is in between Treasure Island and Caesars Palace, and just across the road from Harrah's and the Venetian. The volcano erupts nightly from 6pm until midnight and is standing room only with the general public vying for the best spots on the Strip up to 15 minutes before scheduled performances. The hotel rooms at the front of the Mirage have an excellent panoramic view of the performance, as I'm sure do the rooms at Harrah's and the Venetian. If you are just passing by for a watch then I would recommend getting there early as it is a much better experience close up than it is behind a sea of heads and cameras.
The Volcano is set in the huge lagoon that occupies the space outside the front of the Mirage and fits in well with the hotel's Polynesian theme. By day, a serene and tranquil waterfall. By night, a venomous, roaring inferno. The Volcano itself is 54ft high and although I have never seen a real volcano, this one looks pretty realistic (albeit on a small scale).
The volcano has been a mainstay on the Vegas strip since the 1989. It underwent a $25m transformation a couple of years ago and reopened in Decmeber 2008. This led me to wonder, surely something that spits out fire once an hour can't be upgraded that much right? Wrong.
The Mirage enlisted Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and Indian music composer Zakir Hussain to compose the score to which the volcano erupts. I found the soundtrack really added to the atmosphere and builds up to an awesome climax. This is helped in no small part by the fact that there are 60 sound cabinets dotted around the lagoon which gives surround sound a whole new meaning! To add extra audio realism, the volcano sounds are actually recordings of real volcano eruptions. I can only describe the soundtrack in terms of the imagery that it conjured up for me. I felt like I was at some sort of South Pacific tribal ceremony, wondering who or what was due to be sacrificed to the Volcano (sadly it wasn't any of those Mexicans that hand out the porno cards on the Strip!)
The Mirage turned to the company behind the fountains of the Bellagio, WET. They have created a truly unique visual experience and a far cry from the eruptions of yesteryear. Using state of the art technology, the performances are carefully choreographed - flame on demand if you will. Whereas the fire would previously come mainly from the top of the volcano, there are now eruptions all over the lagoon from strategically placed "fireshooters" capable of sending fireballs 12 feet into the air. If this weren't enough, you can also see the "molten lava" slowly trickling down the side of the volcano. It really is a visual feast as the smoke and fire is belched 100ft out of the water and into the Vegas sky.
You can genuinely feel the heat on your face and the ground around you shaking as the carefully choreographic pyrotechnic display builds to a crescendo. The beat quickens, the music gets a little louder, the anticipation in the crowd is tangible. Then with a climactic roar and eruption of flame from the volcano itself, the spectacle is over. It may have only lasted about 5 minutes but the memories will last a lot longer.
Vegas is a place full of unique attractions. Nowhere else on earth would a dancing fountain display be located around half a mile from a pyrotechnic volcano eruption spectacle. If you are in the city then it would be criminal not to go and see the Mirage volcano. It'll cost you absolutely nothing which is great but it is also on virtually every "must see/do" list that you will read about Sin City.
If you time it right you can catch the dancing Bellagio fountains either just before or afterwards as they are a 10 minute walk away.
Whilst on holiday in Las Vegas with my boyfriend last September we saw lots of different attractions but didn't take a massive amount of money with us therefore we had to be selective on what we spent it on and where we visited. Luckily in Vegas, there are a number of things you can do and see that are free of charge. The Mirage Volcano happens to be one of these things as I had heard and read many good things about it. We decided to see what all the fuss was about after dinner one evening.
What is The Mirage Volcano? This is a volcano (surprise surprise) that has two volcano systems as well as a lagoon and fire shooters that shoot flame on demand. The attraction also includes waterfalls with surrounding pools including fire and smoke effects. The Mirage Volcano was opened in 1989 but has had a number of updates since then to keep it up to date and continue its popularity as one of the most famous attractions of the Las Vegas strip. I had the fortune of seeing the volcano after its $25 million redesign and therefore at its very best. And boy was it impressive.
When I first read about The Mirage Volcano I thought wow, that sounds pretty impressive. When you see it in reality it is so much better. The flame lights, dramatic sound and extreme heat is just phenomenal. It is better than I ever imagined that it would be.
Where is The Mirage Volcano? You can find The Mirage Volcano located outside The Mirage Hotel-Casino, a very nice and popular hotel that is on the Strip. If you are in the vicinity it is actually pretty hard to miss, especially whilst the attraction is playing as it is loud, bright and attracts a large crowd. If you are located at either end of the Strip, the monorail station that is closest to The Mirage Volcano is Harrah's/Imperial Palace Station so it might be worth thinking about getting a ticket to this to save your feet aching.
What are the attraction times? The Mirage Volcano erupts on the hour every night from midday to 11pm therefore there are plenty of opportunities for you to see the volcano explode. We did so twice whilst walking to and from dinner in the evening as I think that this is probably the best time for you to see the attraction, but that is just my opinion. I think that it looks more dramatic and exciting when it is dark.
How long does it last? This is another good thing about the volcano. It only lasts between 5-10 minutes therefore it doesn't actually take that much time. And if you time it right, you can do it between the other things that you have planned.
How much does this attraction cost? The Mirage Volcano costs you absolutely nothing because it is a free attraction. Result! Yet another thing in Vegas that is free. Due to the fact that it doesn't cost anything, it gets super busy (so much so that people are packed together on the street) which means that if you don't arrive early and wait, you won't get the best view. You get the best view if you stand right in front of The Mirage. If you arrive early (and I'm talking about 15 minutes before it takes place) then you get to stand at the front and get the best view. You also get to feel the warmth that comes from the volcano because believe me it gets really hot. It feels like burning on your face but not in an unpleasant way.
The one place that I would love to see the attraction from is in any of the surrounding hotels that have a birds eye view, in particular The Mirage itself. That would be quite a sight although you wouldn't get the same feel as the music and warmth adds to the occasion.
The Mirage Volcano, like The Fountains of Bellagio, is a must see whilst you are in Las Vegas. Do not get back on your plane without having seen it or you will regret it! Whether you are simply passing by it on the Strip or go there specifically to see it, I urge you to see it one way or another. The visual display combined with the immense heat and music is a joy to watch especially when considering that it is free.
Since its opening in 1989, the volcano has been one of most popular attractions on the Strip. In 1996, the volcano added new water, lighting and sound effects. Today, the volcano is looking - and sounding - better than ever thanks to a $25 million redesign, which reopened to the public on Dec. 8, 2008.