See our pics of LEGENDS – including the the Behind the Scenes VIP tent

The VIPSs: VIP tickets include a family photo with a cast member. We were all thrilled, except my 2-year-old, who wasn't sure she liked standing next to a clown.

The VIPSs: VIP tickets include a family photo with a cast member. We were all thrilled, except my 2-year-old, who wasn’t sure she liked standing next to a clown.

Our family was treated to VIP treatment at LEGENDS – Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros. show, in Jacksonville through Jan. 19, 2014.

Posing on the ringmaster's stand, which he uses throughout the show. (Of course even a clown couldn't get my daughter to look for the picture, though he tried several times).

Posing on the ringmaster’s stand, which he uses throughout the show. (Of course even a clown couldn’t get my daughter to look for the picture, though he tried several times).

I have to admit, I thought the VIP “Ringmaster Zone” tent might not be very different than the free activities offered on the arena floor before the circus begins. The exclusive VIP area – open to just 100 people per show – is a new offering this year. But when I walked into that tent with my family, I truly did feel like a VIP.

First, they gathered our whole family for an official photo. A clown photo bombed us – though we didn’t mind. Well, except my daughter, who you can see is extremely serious in this photo. She wasn’t sure what to think of that clown.

Then as we walked away from the photo area, we shook hands with Jonathan Lee Iverson, himself. The very tall man, the host of the circus, was dressed in a sparkling purple tuxedo jacket and matching top hat. He bent low to shake hands with my 2-year-old daughter.

“We match!” he said, admiring her sparkling purple Minnie Mouse shirt.

By the time we finished shaking hands with Iveson, the staff had a huge printout of our family photo ready for us. They handed us a bag of goodies, and then we walked on to meet some of the cast.

Then, we saw it: The infamous Globe of Steel. It’s my son and husband’s favorite part of the show. A family of motorcyclists – the Torres family – race around inside the ball at incredible speeds, amazingly never running into each other.

One of the riders held out his hand to help my 5-year-old son and I climb into the ball. Then we met Carmen Torres, the one woman rider of the team of eight.

I marveled that they could ride so fast without crashing.

“It takes a lot of practice,” she told me.

Checking out the Globe of Steel with rider Carmen Torres.

Checking out the Globe of Steel with rider Carmen Torres.

After that, we climbed onto the podium where the ringmaster performs during the show. A friendly clown snapped our photo.

Then we went to the center of the tent, where acts were performing for the small crowd. Off to the side, they also had actual circus costumes people could try on, and face painters to give kids a genuine clown face. They also passed out bags of popcorn to everyone… this was an especially big thrill for my 2-year-old, who was so interested in having her own bag of snacks, she barely looked up when an elephant walked past us.

Inside the VIP tent.

Inside the VIP tent.

It was definitely VIP treatment.

During the show, we kept pointing out people we had met and things we had seen up close. The kids were more than elated, and so were their parents.

If you can splurge on the VIP treatment, I can testify it’s absolutely worth it.

The Ringmaster Zone ticket is $35 per ticket and gets you access into the VIP Ringmaster tent on the floor during the pre-show and backstage. It is capped at 100 persons per show, so don’t delay if you want to get this option.

Whether you have VIP tickets or regular tickets, try to arrive an hour early to go on the arena floor and see amazing things, like this painting elephant.

Whether you have VIP tickets or regular tickets, try to arrive an hour early to go on the arena floor and see amazing things, like this painting elephant.

6-Transparent-Ball

The graceful acrobats performed inside these transparent balls high above the audience.

7-Bike-Loaded-with-People

I knew you wouldn’t believe me unless I had the picture to prove it: 20 people riding on 2 bikes!

8-Motorcycles-in-Ball

Remember the Globe of Steel we visited in the VIP tent? Now there are 8 motorcycles racing inside it!

12-Lion-Tamer

Alexander Lacey – the heart throb of the circus cast – pets a lion as if it were the family cat atop this disco ball.

16-Pegasus

LEGENDS also features mystical animals like this winged horse, unicorns and a wooly mammoth.

17-Motorcycle

I could not believe when this motorcycle came speeding down a tightrope with two women hanging below it!

This woman raced through, standing up as she led four horses around the arena. Amazing!

This woman raced through, standing up as she led four horses around the arena. Amazing!

The elephants - one of my favorite parts. They always look like they're laughing as they perform.

The elephants – one of my favorite parts. They always look like they’re laughing as they perform.

If you want to go:

Showtimes Include:

  • Thursday, January 16 – 7:30pm
  • Friday, January 17 – 7:30
  • Saturday, January 18 – 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
  • Sunday, January 19 – 1:00pm & 5:00pm

Where: Veterans Memorial Arena, 300 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, FL

Tickets: Prices vary from a starting rate of $15 and increase depending on options, including premium and front row seats at a higher price.

The  *NEW* and fun ticket option, the Ringmaster Zone ticket we reviewed above, is $35 per ticket and gets you access into the VIP Ringmaster tent on the floor during the pre-show and backstage. It is capped at 100 persons per show, so don’t delay if you want to get this option.

Tickets are available at www.ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Veterans Memorial Arena box office.

Want to get a great discount on your tickets??

Get $5 off at Ticketmaster.com with the code: JXBLG

* Note: This deal is not valid for the 3:30 p.m. show Saturday. It’s for general seating only (not front row or premium seating).

 

Knocked out! This is why mommy brings pajamas to change the little one into before we head for home.

Knocked out! This is why mommy brings pajamas to change the little one into before we head for home.

We’re required to tell you that Mamamelia is a Feld Family Ambassador, which means we get free tickets for you and ourselves in exchange for helping them get the word out about this event. But rest assured every opinion we share is 100% genuine!

 

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