Ringling Bros Circus Review: No Animals, No Clowns? Is The New Circus Even Worth It?

by Shaye Wyllie
is ringling circus worth it

The Ringling Bros Circus is back in town, but are they really the “Greatest Show on Earth“? And is the new Ringling Bros circus even worth it — without the animals and clowns?

Well, I took my tween to find out!

Of course, tickets were provided by Ringling Bros so my daughter and I could see the show, and so I could write this review. However — as always, I’ll be giving you my honest thoughts on our experience during opening weekend here in Brooklyn.

Full Ringling Bros Circus Review

Is the Ringling Bros Circus still the ‘greatest show on Earth’?

Ehhh … greatest show on EARTH may be pushing it.

It’s kind of hard to compare anything to a Broadway show though! We’ve also seen a few Cirque du Soleil shows, along with Disney on Ice. So I gotta be honest here. They could be giving the UniverSoul Circus a run for their money? But I haven’t seen that one in awhile.

However, compared to the old Ringling Bros circus that I saw as a kid, this newly reimagined show — with over 75 performers from 18 different countries — is a lot more diverse than it used to be. And for that alone, I am forever grateful.

Is the Ringling Bros Circus even worth it, without the animals and clowns?


The only animals and clowns you’ll find here, are at the merch stands in the form of hats.

Now, I don’t mind a circus without animals or clowns. I get that some folks are scared of clowns, and even though I’m not, they’re not like a HUGE deal for me. So not having clowns or animals, this time, didn’t really dampen my experience.

I do think, this new show could be a tad bit funnier, but it was still a great show.

Plus, the Ringling Bros circus has a Black female ring leader and I love this for us!

Aside from a Black ring leader, what else does the Ringling Bros Circus have?

Human jump ropes for one. Yes, you heard me correctly. Human. Jump ropes!

There’s also lots of pyrotechnics! And flips!

And circus acts who can do cool tricks. You can find everything you need to know about the Ringling Bros circus here, including the specific acts included in the show.

Plus, they’ve included lots of music, from an eletric guitar to drums to singing, and even having the audience participate in making a song together. Which is the new highlight of this show for me. I’m a music lover, so y’all can keep the animals baby. I done seen them do a few tricks throughout my days. Ain’t nothing else they can do, that’s gon excite me.

How long is the Ringling Bros Circus?

The show is two hours long, with a 15 min intermission.

So long enough to grab yo self some grub!

And it goes quick! We were so entralled by the first half, that I almost cried because I thought it was over! Boy was I relieved when I realized it was just a quick break.

What are the best seats for the Ringling Bros Circus?

So, we had press seats — pretty close to the stage, in row 8? Which I think were pretty decent.

We were close enough to see everything, including the jumbo screens above, that were used to show viewers further away, a close up of the stage. But we were towards the edge of the stage, and I think sitting closer to the middle of the stage, on either side, would be best.

Of course, the closer you are, and the more centered you are to the stage, the more the tickets cost! So keep that in mind.

But there’s so much going on, with 3 acts performing all at the same time, that no matter where you sit, you’ll be entertained. They use the entire stage!

One act on each end, with one in the middle.

And I’ll be honest — it can get a little overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure where you should be looking. So just pick the thing you like the most and stick with that!

Plus, the lights should help you pay attention, and the performers actually point to where you should be looking next, once their trick is over.

Be honest — is the Ringling Bros Circus just for little kids?

Actually, it’s … not.

My tween and I were both super skeptical at first, since we weren’t sure what to expect from a circus without clowns or animals. But a few minutes in and we were both sold!

It’s a really fun show, and a great reason to get outta the house for a few hours, for all ages.

I totally recommend grabbing tickets to see the circus when it’s in your city!

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