The Greatest Show On Earth {Built To Amaze}

The Greatest Show On Earth {Built To Amaze}

My family and I received complimentary tickets to attend a performance of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey’s Built To Amaze (as well as a set we gave away here on the site last week) in exchange for our honest opinions about the show.  All of the opinions expressed below are our own.

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus Built to AmazeMemories

There are a handful of places I remember going as a kid.  One is Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), the second is Tweetsie Railroad (Blowing Rock, North Carolina) and the third is Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. While the first two never moved and were technically always there, for us they were just as “once a year” as the circus was. I can remember sitting in bleacher like seats of the old, old coliseum in Charlotte (I call it the old, old coliseum because it has twice been replaced since my days of watching the circus from those seats) and getting this flashlight toy.  It had red and blue lights inside of it.  I don’t remember specifically if it was supposed to do more than act as a seizure inducing light source, but I remember that it was cool.  I loved that toy for a very long time.

Those memories are the kind I want my children to have as they get older. I want them to remember the time we spend together as family and I want them to remember it well.  Maybe it will be something they saw or something they came home with, or maybe it will just be a feeling they had.

Clean Up Clowns Ringling Bros Built To AmazeAmazement

This was my first trip to the circus in a LONG time – a very long time – and the first trip for my children ever.  I have held off on some things like this until the younger was old enough to enjoy them (and remember them) with the rest of us.  I truly wanted the circus to be a family affair.  After hearing that the theme of this years show was “Built To Amaze”, I knew it was the perfect time to take the kids.  The boy is all about construction.  Give him a tractor, dump truck or the like and he will block out the rest of the world.

I’ve been to several events at Time Warner Cable Arena, so I was fairly familiar with the process for picking up our tickets and the general area where we’d find our seats.  Even without having to wander around, we still missed the first 5 minutes or so of the show.  The kids didn’t seem to mind and it actually worked out pretty well as we avoided any antsy waiting in our seats.  It also helped me rush them on past the never ending tables of expensive souvenirs.  The looks on their faces when we stepped through the curtain to find our seats was pure amazement.  I don’t know how else to describe it.

Heights Ringling Bros Built To AmazeTrue Story

One of the only true fears I have is that of heights.  I don’t like snakes and I can’t stand spiders, but neither literally makes me weak in the knees the way climbing a ladder does.  Clearly, these performers do not have my issues.  There was tight rope walking, trapeze swinging and those big spinning wheel things above (I have no idea what they are called), but they were all incredibly awesome – even if they terrified me a little.  The kids couldn’t believe how effortlessly the performers moved around, no fear of danger or concern for safety (please kids, don’t get any ideas.)  There was also a pretty neat trampoline bit that included performers dressed as painters.  It completely renewed my kids’ push to have a trampoline in our back yard.  They can’t remember where they took their shoes off, but they can remember that I said we “might” get a trampoline sometime last summer.

Elephants Ringling Bros Built To AmazeHere Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

The bests parts of the show for me were related to the animals. I have loved animals as long as I can remember and it’s something I’m trying to nurture in my children as well.  They were both quite impressed, especially with the elephants. This was the first time either of them has ever seen an elephant in person, not even at the zoo. I got the chance to rise an elephant about 10 years ago and it’s something I would love to do again.  Watching the elephants dance to Gangham Style was the musical highlight of the evening for both of the kids. They couldn’t stay in their seats.

As a family that is owned by two Toy Poodles, we couldn’t help but enjoy the part of the show where the Poodles took over. They are incredibly smart dogs, and as fate would have it, the particular pups performing were all either black or white – the same colors as our two dogs. The kids ooh-ed, aah-ed and questioned whether or not we could teach our dogs those tricks.  My personal favorite musical moment of the show was when the tiny little poodle came out bouncing around to Go Shorty.  It was totally cute!

As we’ve recently found ourselves also the keepers of a cat, I enjoyed watching the tigers and making comparisons between them and Kitty-Kitty with the kids.  There was a brief argument between the two kids over whether or not Kitty-Kitty and the tigers were related.  I swear I would’ve walked right up and given those big cats a rub on the belly.

Expensive Goodies Ringling Bros Built to AmazeDear Money, I’ll Miss You

The only downside to creating awesome memories with my kids and seeing the beaming smiles on their faces was the mini-heart attack I had when paying for said smiles.  It was worth it though.  I did go in knowing prices would be outrageous and I had already started executing a plan of setting proper expectations before we set foot in the arena.

First, there’s the cost of the tickets themselves.  For this show, they’ll run you $10 (plus service fees) and up per ticket.  In all honesty, you’re talking just around $80 for the cheapest tickets for a family of 4.  Then you’ve got parking to consider.  I’m not above walking a block, so I saved a little dough there.  $5 got me a nice spot on the parking deck just a short walk away.  It was cold out, but we all survived and the kids got a chance to check out some of the really cool architecture of the city and the arena.

Ringling Bros Built To Amaze HatThe biggie is the stuff inside… food, drinks and souvenirs. I tried to combat the need for too much spending on food by making sure we ate just before heading to the arena. Like my hat? You should. It was a “freebie” with our $12 bag of cotton candy. Snow cones in the cute clown cups shown in the picture of the kids? Those were $11 EACH. Bottled water was $4. The only reasonable thing in the whole place was popcorn, and that was $4 a box.

Ouch,  my wallet hurts.  I was prepared for it though.  It’s kind of like how my legs ache after a long run, but I knew they were going to ache and I did it anyway, because – well, I knew it would be worth it?  Yeah, like that.

All in all, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey’s Built To Amaze was amazing!  The kids had a great time, the adults had a great time and it was definitely worth the cost.

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3 Responses to The Greatest Show On Earth {Built To Amaze}

  1. Kerry Cairns says:

    We had an awesome time also! I’m seriously still dying over that dancing poodle! LOL! That was one of my favorite parts by far! Sweet Girl thought it was pretty hilarious also! :D

  2. Whitney says:

    So fun! Everything is crazy expensive but the memories are definitely worth it. We took our kids to the circus when the middle boy was a baby. Our daughter doesn’t even remember. At least she remembers WDW.

  3. We’re the same way, we want the girls to have great experiences. We can’t take the money or things we buy with us (don’t get me wrong we like having nice things), but would rather build great memories. And we spent waaaaay too much on snacks too! Cray!

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