Not many hotels have their very own Volcano, in fact, we can only think of one, to be honest, and that is the Mirage Las Vegas. Of Course, the Volcano is not a real Magma Spewing work of nature but instead a light, fire, and water show that takes place every evening in front of the Mirage Hotel Las Vegas.
And with the hard Rock International Group acquiring the Mirage Hotel in 2021, the Volcano’s days are numbered! Renovations for the new hard rock Hotel plan are sketchy but what we do know is, once the front of the Mirage Hotel is transformed, the Volcano will no longer be there. New owners have promised that the Volcano will still be outside the Mirage Hotel for ‘most of 2023’ So catch it while you can! Read on for our guide on how and when.
If you are staying in the Mirage then seeing the Volcano erupting every night is one of the highlights of staying there but people not staying at the Mirage may still want to come and see this nightly spectacular. in which case you might night to know a little about the show such as when does the Mirage Volcano erupt? How long the show is? Where to get the best view and what exactly to expect so you can decide if the show is worth the effort of heading over to the Mirage. Our guide answers all those questions and more with everything you need to know about the Mirage Volcano.
What is the Mirage Volcano Show?
The Mirage Volcano is a light, Fire, and Fountain show that mimics the Eruption of a Small Volcanic vent, similar to the kind of vents that open up on Hawaiian Volcanoes or other Polynesian Volcanic Islands.
Lava is simulated using water that is bathed in red light and is quite convincing as a Lava Substitute. Mist effects are used, again with lighting to replicate smoke and ash, while glowing rivers of lava flow down the sides of the cone. Huge bursts of fire from natural gas jets add authentic heat and drama to the proceedings while an array of smaller fire jets light up the lake surrounding the Lava Cone.
While the show is far less flamboyant and spectacular than the Bellagio Fountains, the effects are really pretty cool and most people are pleasantly impressed by the show. In our opinion, it’s well worth checking out and worth the trip over to the Mirage for, even better if you are in the area for other reasons. It’s only a short walk from the Forum Shops, The Linq Promenade, the Grand Canal Shoppes, and even the Bellagio fountains. So there are lots of reasons to be in the area
When Does the Mirage Volcano Erupt?
The Volcano Erupts every Hour on the Hour on every evening the Mirage is open.
Mirage Volcano Time Schedule:
Monday to Sunday – 4 Shows Nightly
- 8 pm
- 9 pm
- 10 pm
- 11 pm
How Long does the Eruption Last?
The Show is around 4 minutes long in total. From an ominous beginning to the spectacular finale, here is what to expect from the Mirage Volcano during those 4 Minutes:
The Show starts with mild glowing, steam venting, ominous rumbling, and menacing tribal music emanating from the Volcano, as the show gets started. After a minute or so this has built the tension up to a crescendo and the first major eruption takes place spewing Lava, Fire, and smoke up into the air.
A lave fountain effect now takes over as the lava bubbles up from the vent with intermittent fire effects. As the soundtrack featuring The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain (Tabla Drummer Virtuosa) kicks into gear the Fire effects spread across the lake as the show enters its climactic phase.
As the Drum tempo reaches its peak the Volcano erupts in gigantic fashion before falling quieter, but this is simply a lull before the final eruptions that feature a giant fireball reminiscent of a refinery Gas Explosion! The heat from this is incredible from the sidewalk and elicits many a cry of shock and awe from the spectators. The final flurry is the finale and the Volcano returns to deep sleep, ready to erupt again in 56 minutes time for a fresh audience.
Where to Get the best View of the Mirage Volcano?
It is not difficult to get a great view of the Show. The sidewalk directly in front of the Volcano is wide and has viewing points providing clear and unobstructed views of the Volcano Show. There is a covered overlook out ide the Mirage Lobby or you can even book a Volcano View Room and watch the Show in Comfort!
There are Sidewalks all around the Volcano and you can stand and watch the show at any location you like, however, some points are better than others.
Directing in front of the volcano is the largest and closest to the action. From here you will really feel the heat and get the most dramatic experience. However, you will not be alone and this is easily the most crowded. Get there early and stake out a spot and you will be rewarded with the best show. But this does mean spending quite a while doing nothing while you wait for the show to start. Latecomers will also cram in around you as the hour draws near!
We have highlighted orange viewpoints on the map. These are great spots that still give unobstructed views and are likely less crowded where you can rock up late and still get a great view. The lower orange area highlighted on the map is particularly good for photographers or videographers. If you are looking to set up a Tripod the Green Zone will just be too busy and you can expect to get the tripod kicked (possibly accidentally!) and your shot ruined!
The area directly in front of the Lobby is also a VERY popular spot. This seems like it should be a green zone, an elevated, clear, unobstructed view of the show! The problem is this elevated view is just not quite as effective as having the Cone erupt over your head. Seeing into the Fountain takes a little of the magic away, and while it’s a great view it’s just not quite as good as being right in the furnace like the Green Zone below.
Volcano View Room
You can of course book a Volcano View room and then enjoy the show from the comfort of your own hotel room. However, the truth is, this is not a very good option. The views from the Volcano View rooms are not as great as you imagine. They look out over the casino rooftop and atrium with the Volcano far in the distance.
The joy of the volcano is feeling the heat of the fire and the booming of the sound effects. This is all lost from the distance of the room and all you really get is a small fountain and a light show. It’s definitely worth taking a trip down to see it in person. The rooms offer a good view in general, it’s just not a great way to view the Volcano!
Volcano Tips and Tricks and Things to Know?
For a front-row spot right by the rial in the Green Zone, you will need to arrive early! How early? well, people will start staking out spots a good 30 mins before the show. You can normally still find a spot with 15 mins to go unless it’s a very busy time. This will also vary depending on which show. The first and last (7 and 10 pm) are usually not as busy as the middle two shows.
The natural gas used originally had a certain aroma to it, one of rotten eggs, that was not exactly popular, if quite authentic. To counter this the gas was processed and the egg smell was removed. They didn’t stop there though they replaced this offputting aroma with the most tropical scent they could think of, Pina-Colada! It’s very faint and you probably wouldn’t notice it but once you know you can just pick up the tropical pineapple and coconut notes wafting through the air. FYI, real volcanos do not smell like this!
The best Photo opportunities are not actually in the best viewing zones. While grabbing a quick snap is fine if you want to get anything a bit more artistic then you cannot set up a tripod in the busiest sections, they will just get kicked. instead, filter out to the edges away from the crowd, and use your lenses to get close. The area right near the Mirage Exit road is perfect. Unfortunately, these shots will frame the Volcano with Treasure island in the shot, not the Mirage but it’s still a great shot. On the other side of the volcano, the shot frames the Mirage but you lose a lot of interest in the fire lake.
The First show of the evening, especially in the Summer actually takes place when it is still just light. This makes things slightly easier shooting photos and adds a different ambiance to the show.
When the show first opened it was a real spectacle but the company behind it, WET has gone on to create some simply mind-blowing fountain attractions since that left the Mirage Volcano trailing in their wake. Not least the next-door-but-one, Bellagio Fountains! WET however came back to the Mirage and vastly upgraded and improved the Show. While it still is a long way behind the Bellagio Fountains it is an impressive, unique, and memorable Show, not to be missed.
The Soundtrack is performed by two, very different, legends of the drumming world. First up is Mickey Hart, the drummer from the Grateful Dead. Lending a hand to the less well-known but insanely talented Zakir Hussain using the highly tribal-sounding Tabla Drums. This is not the first time the duo had worked together, having released tracks from the album Planet Drum. Zakir has also created songs for many films including apocalypse now. The eerie and haunting drumming soundtrack massively enhances the show!
Have Your Say
Have you visited the Volcano at the Mirage? How did you find the Show? Where did you view the show from and how big were the crowds? If you have something to share about the Mirage Volcano please fire away in the comments and again any questions just leave a comment.