Unda da sea. If “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” met “Finding Nemo” and gave birth to “The Little Mermaid,” it would look like the summer exhibit at the Bellagio Conservatory. Just before the mercury rises to a scorching 426 degrees per usual Vegas summer heat, they have given us all a little something to look forward to: the beach.
Complete with a sunken ship, treasure chest, coral reef and a whole slew of sea creatures, the team has successfully created an underwater world in the middle of the desert. You won’t need any scuba gear but I doubt anyone would complain if you wore a seashell bra.
Speaking of seashell bras, a mythical mermaid suns herself on the rocks of the waterfall. But she won’t be using a dingle-hopper on those luscious locks, there are countless shells woven through her waist-long hair. Her tail alone is made of 1,500 fresh-cut flowers. She’s just one of the many vibrant characters on display. On the ocean “floor,” a six-foot-wide clam opens every seven minutes to reveal an illuminated pearl. Floating above it, 20-foot jellyfish (one of our personal favorites) are suspended from the ceiling with wiggly tentacles.
One of the great things about the exhibit is that the team took the time to multilayer displays throughout the whole space. The ocean swimmers, schools of fish, seahorses, jellyfish, bubbles and even kelp are all suspended from the ceiling. The “bottom of the ocean,” in this case the conservatory floor, is covered in a sunken shipwreck, a treasure chest and a 26-foot coral reef.
The vibrant faux coral reef towers above the exhibit at 26-feet-high and 35-feet-long with cascading waterfalls. The water streams down and along brightly colored barnacles, starfish and other underwater dwellers. So this is what an aquarium must feel like.
The South Garden is dedicated to above-the-surface fun with a fisherman’s wharf, sandcastle, beach umbrella and beach balls. That’s also where you’ll find the live musical performances at 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 – 6:30 p.m. each day.
The summer exhibit will be on display until September 12, but take it from us; you don’t want to miss it. This theme has quickly climbed to one of our favorites in quite some time. Here’s our insider tip: while it’s awesome during the day, you totally need to see it at night when it’s illuminated by multi-colored LED lighting.
80,000 flowers will be used during the exhibit
1,500 fresh cut flowers are used in the mermaid’s tail
The coral reef is 26-feet-tall, 35-feet-long and 20-feet-wide
There are more than 600 shrubs in the display
60 trees are used throughout the conservatory
There are 1,250 fresh-cut flowers used in the fisherman’s wharf
The shipwreck is 35-feet-long and nine-feet-wide
The Bellagio Sandcastle is five-feet-tall