Tips for Attending Ringling Bros. Circus

My family and I were given the opportunity to attend the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in Charlotte again this year. Last year I took Miss A and a friend and her mom joined us. Check out that post here: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Experience.

This year’s performance definitely followed suit. I love that they change the themes as they travel and that while we knew we could expect to see amazing performances, incredible animals, and lots of laughter and smiles, we were still in awe of the show.

When I asked my family what their favorite parts of the show were they listed off some of my favorites too. Unicycling basketball players, boys versus girls, tigers and elephants, the cool Ringmaster (Johnathan Lee Iverson), the awesome acrobatics, {especially the spinning wheels in the second half of the show}, and hilarious clowns. So pretty much the entire show was a hit between the four of us.

Here are some photos from our Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey experience last night:

 Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Built to Amaze Collage MommyB

Since we’ve been to a couple of different shows at Time Warner Cable Arena and a couple of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performances I wanted to offer a few tips for those of you attending whether it’s your first time or not.

1. Ask TWC Arena employees. 

Often times going to an event at TWC Arena can be confusing, whether you’ve been to a show before or not. Depending on how organized the event is you may have one or several questions. Whether you’re wondering what line you need to be in, where the Will Call line actually starts, where the restroom is, how long the show is or whatever it may be. TWC Arena employees are always friendly and helpful and more than willing to answer questions for event attendees.

2. Prepare for possible seating issues.

If you’re not one of the many people who arrive at the event an hour or so earlier to wait in line (a good idea, unless you have small children or there is extreme weather {like last night}), prepare yourself for possible seating issues. We tend to arrive early and have no trouble finding our seats and settling in, however last night we not only had issues with people being in our ticket seats, but two other families in our area had the same problem with their seats as well {and they were not the same seat offenders}. Unfortunately if you’re not there when the show starts I assume people think the seats are open rather than staying in their own seats. It is not only stressful for the attendee from TWC but for everyone around. If you do not run early for the event prepare for patience {just in case}.

3. Remember your ticket.

As a policy, TWC Arena asks that you keep your seat ticket on person as you leave your seats for restroom, restaurant, souvenir breaks etc. As a general rule of thumb bring your purse with the tickets with you or put your ticket in your back pocket, especially if your seat isn’t close to an exit. This will save you time and undue stress especially if you have a little one who needs to use the “potty”.

4. Buy the good seats.

I don’t get a commission from any ticket sales and it benefits me in NO way for you to get upgraded tickets, however I have had opportunities to sit in many areas of the arena and for Ringling Bros. my experiences, noticed that my seating placement definitely made a difference. When I sat closer to the “action” I felt more engaged in the show. If you are going to fully enjoy the show, and can afford it, I would highly recommend to improve your experience by buying the best possible seats.

5. Eat before and after you go.

Unless you’re planning to splurge {which I say is great every once and a while}, plan on eating a meal before you head to the performance. We also keep snacks and drinks in the car for after the performance (depending on what time you go). For this event cotton candy was $12+ and lemonade $10 just to give you an idea of what prices look like, and those are just snacks!

Do you have any other tips for attending a TWC Arena event or Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey show?

Do you have any questions about the events? 

Don’t forget to head to Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey website to check out tour dates in Charlotte and other areas and purchase tickets.



I received complimentary show tickets. My family and I personally like the show and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, we understand that your opinions on the circus may vary. 


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Jennifer Bullock

MommyB Knows Best is a family friendly website that features fun tips and tricks for parents, fresh segments you won't see on other websites, honest in-depth product reviews, and great giveaways. For more information about MommyB and MBKB check out the MommyB Is page.

10 CommentsLeave a comment

  • We’re headed out to see the show tonight and I am glad to know about how much the snacks are. I know my kids are going to want to get something, but we’re going to ahead and prepare them for sharing. There’s no way I’m spending $44 for lemonade and cotton candy for each of them.

    About how long did the show last?

    • Jamie, we had our girls share a popcorn and cotton candy. I told them they weren’t getting souvenirs especially with the move this summer, we need less things in our house.

      Our show started at 7:00 and ended at 9:15, we tried to leave a few minutes early but really by the time we got our jacket on and together it was the end of the show, wasn’t too hard getting out though, but it was a slower night.

      Glad the tips are going to good use. If you do wait in line bundle up, it was freezing last night and we were in line outside for probably 30 mins.

  • Wow the food and drink prices sound outrageous! We will prepare ahead of time and eat before we go! Thanks for the tips!

  • I always pack Capri sun drinks, you could pop your own pop corn before you go put it in baggies and maybe if you have time decorate the baggies. These are times when big purses come in handy. To me cotton candy is a waste of money, just take a baggie of sugar put some food coloring in it and give it to your kids, it’s the same difference ha ha. You could also bring water for yourself (place it in the freezer with a paper towel around it so it stays cold but won’t drip).

  • Thank you for this! Very helpful (everyone’s comments too). We packed a water bottle and filled it with water there at arena from water fountain. I took a diaper bag and packed it full of snacks and had no trouble with bag check. I was glad I took stuff, concessions were so expensive! Small dippin dots ice cream was $12!

    • We were 3 seats from ring side, one section left from center of ring, and we had excellent view of floor and 95% if show. We had to stray our necks to look up at tight rope because it was right above us but not bothersome at all. The tight rope was on one ring side, dead center and for safety they made the first 5 rows of center section move to seats they had set up in the middle of the ring during that part only (which would have been kinda cool to experience because you had amazing view and were in circus ring!) 🙂 if we had to do it again, I would go in 6th row of center section ring side! Hope this helps!

  • Does it matter which side of the arena to sit on? I see when I put in best available it takes me to one side of the arena but does it really matter? Do they perform to both sides?

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