On opening night (January 10) of the Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Bailey circus touring show, Built to Amaze!, in Orlando, Florida, we were invited to join other local bloggers and writers in a suite at the Amway Center to watch the show.
We missed the opening pre-show entertainment waiting in line for our tickets at will call, but we made it in right before the main show got under way.
Now, I grew up in a town that was home to the Ringling Bros. circus and my first job was even with a circus, but this was the first time I’d seen one in over 10 years. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since our family blogger, Carol, had seen the show in Tampa and not really enjoyed it.
Well, whatever went wrong at that first show, it wasn’t the same show here in Orlando. The show I saw was fun, energetic, and entertaining. At least to myself, my guest, and those I talked to that night.
There were several acts that performed during the evening, and in between, there would be clowns or other things going on. There was always movement happening on the circus floor, and even in the air. Sometimes it was hard to decide where to look.
[Editor’s note: This review is from the Tampa opening date – January 2, 2013 – of the entire tour, which was attended by our family blogger Carol, with her family. You can read a review of the Orlando show here.]
I grew up in Baraboo, WI, the original home to the Ringling Brothers Circus. My family knew a couple of the siblings. So when a show comes out with the Ringling name on it, my expectations are high.
We were blessed to be given tickets to the opening show of this current production, Built to Amaze!, over in Tampa, FL. When the doors open for the show, there is a preshow on the arena floor that is interesting and fun usually, without it costing any additional money. This year, however, they decided to add a bounce house for $6 additional for 2 runs through it. It was big and looked like a ton of fun! And of course, I was persuaded by 2 little people to spend the money so they could go bounce off some energy before the show. The kids liked it, but $12 on top of ticket prices is just ridiculously high priced for only 2 trips through the maze. Otherwise, the lines are long as more and more people make their way into the arena for the show. This really limits what you can do and we just gave up and headed for our seats.
I missed the first couple minutes of the show getting food, but it seemed as it was just a little segment for the people already in their seats, while still giving time for the rest of us to get back in to our seats. The Ring Master is introduced with great hype and the show begins.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey return to Orlando with Built to Amaze!, the 143rd edition of the Greatest Show on Earth. They will set up at the Amway Center from January 10 through 13, 2013.
Elephants, tigers, acrobats and aerialists join together from across the globe to create a brand new show full of the circus traditions guests have come to know and love. From clowns to high wire acts, and everything in between, children of all ages will enjoy the show.
Tickets for the Thursday and Friday performances run $15 to $85; showtimes are at 7:30pm. Saturday and Sunday tickets run $15 to $100 with showtimes at 11:30am, 3:30pm, and 7:30pm on Sat, and 1pm and 5pm on Sunday.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built To Amaze! opens an hour before show time with the All Access Pre-show available and free to all ticket holders. During the pre-show, meet the performers, try on costumes and learn basic circus skills. Kids will love this!