A couple weeks ago I told you about our first circus experience at the Piccadilly Circus.The kids loved it, and they had a good time, but I didn't. Sure, I enjoyed watching my kids having fun, but deep down I was pretty sad the whole time.
I don't normally go to circuses. I don't like the thought of wild animals being kept in captivity to begin with, and I think circuses are probably the worst places for these animals. They are taken out of their normal habitats and routines in order to travel in cages and perform unnatural tricks. Many of these animals are also mistreated. So why did I go? Well, a friend of mine offered me some tickets, and I thought it would be a fun experience for the kids.
The free tickets we got were only for the kids, so I went online to buy tickets for Brian, my mom and me. They were $40 each! Luckily they were having a promotion for BOGO, so we only had to pay for 2 adult tickets. Their website made it look like such a great show, and I was actually looking forward to going.
The Piccadilly Circus' website advertises it as "Affordable Family Fun". Ha! As we were walking in, a guy tried to get us to upgrade our $40 tickets to "VIP seats" for an extra $20 each. I considered paying for the upgrades, just because I wanted my kids to see this awesome show. After we got in the arena, though, I was so glad I didn't. Here is the setup we walked into...
See that ONE ring? That was it. That small ring was where the whole circus would take place. The VIP seats were two rows of chairs set up right outside of the ring on three sides. They didn't even look comfortable. Apparently we were one of the few people in the city that didn't know how horrible this circus was, because there weren't many people there, and we got to sit right up front anyway.
I should have left as soon as we walked in and I saw the ponies tied to that circular harness thing. I am all for pony rides, but I can't stand to see those ponies tied up like that and aimlessly walking in circles. If that wasn't bad enough, there was another fenced in area that was holding three elephants. One of the elephants was giving rides, while the other two were swaying back and forth. At first I thought they were dancing or something, but after observing them for the next two hours and then doing some research on why elephants sway, I realized that wasn't the case. It is a behavioral disorder from not being in the wild. Seriously, I kept telling my mom they had mental problems. I couldn't stop watching them. I felt so bad.
Some of the shows they put on were OK. They entertained the kids, but I was bored. I think the highlight was the kangaroo boxing. That was amusing, at least. Their costumes were very cheap, and some of the performers looked like they just threw something on from the nearest thrift store. They certainly weren't dressed up like the people on their website.
Before this gets too long (oh wait, it is already there!), I want to talk about the "affordable" part of the circus. Well, I'm actually still wondering what part that was. Everything there was so unbelievably expensive. Rylie wanted to ride the elephant, so she got two rides at $10 each. Now, some might think that isn't too bad, but they literally walked in a circle that was barely big enough for the elephant to take actual steps, and she got to go around this little circle three times. THREE TIMES! FOR $10 EACH! The only good thing about spending that $20 was that the elephant got to actually move, instead of having to sway by the wall and getting yelled at by the trainer like the other two were.
All of the snacks and goodies that they were shoving in my kids' faces were also ridiculously overpriced. Thank goodness they didn't come too close with the life-sized Dora balloons!
Here is probably the best part of the whole night. During intermission, they set three little "centers" up in the ring where kids could come and get their pictures taken with one of the "stars" of the circus. They could sit with a monkey, pet a miniature horse, or hang out with the biker chick and her pit bulls. Rylie chose the miniature horse. We paid our $10 fee and waited our turn. Brian and Rylie got up to the horse first and then I walked up behind them to see if Bryce would get in the picture with her. The guy put his hand in my face and yelled "It's $10 to see the horse!" Lucky for him he was 80 years old and my kids were with me, because otherwise, I probably wouldn't have remained as calm as I did. I simply explained that we were with the kid that was already being rushed to stand next to the horse and hold still. Come on, at least give us a minute with the thing. Here's the kicker - check out our $10 picture...
The whole night was such waste of money! Even worse, I still think about those poor elephants swaying back and forth. I don't think I will ever be able to get that image out of my mind. I'm glad my kids had a good time, and I'm glad we have some pictures that I can show them when they are older, because I doubt we will ever go to a circus again.
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