My family and I attended Monster Jam 2017 on Saturday, January 28th. We were lucky enough to attend the main event and also to enjoy the pre-show Pit Party.
We arrived at 2:30, which was listed as the start time for the Pit Party. At first glance-it appeared as though we were in for a wait to enter through security as there were a number of fans already lined up for entry. However, the security check was swift and we were inside within a matter of minutes.
The Pit Party was not crowded, easy to navigate and a sight to behold! From the trucks, to the driver’s tents, to the Jumbotron, it was a feast for the senses. The wait time to meet the drivers and get up close to their trucks (along with a photo opportunity) went relatively smoothly. The Pit Party was a great opportunity for the fans of ALL ages, to meet their favourite drivers, ask questions and obtain autographs. Plus, it also allowed them to check out some of the other trucks and meet the drivers they might not have been as familiar with.
Monster Jam really delivers when it comes to fan appreciation with respect to the Pit Party and the time the drivers invest in meeting their fans, but parents should be cautioned that-as with many big arena events, this is Monster Jam merchandise heaven! We opted for the official event program and a Monster Jam flag for $25 combined, the program is a nice keepsake and served as a great vehicle for autographs! We also purchased a plush truck and a cotton candy, the plush truck was also autographed by its respective driver! My son had brought along a couple of his own Hot Wheel Monster trucks-as did a number of kids present. I recall him doing so when he was 5 and-last night-as I watched the younger kids use their own trucks to play in “The Pitt”- it brought back so many memories of his first Monster Jam.
I would really recommend the Pit Party to families. In the two hour window, my son was able to obtain about a dozen autographs, explore the trucks, meet the drivers and get some awesome family photos. The Jumbotron would often pan the crowd, which thrilled the families who could watch themselves on the big screen and it also showcased different drivers, events and announcements so as families were in line, there was something to help the time pass.
While the Pit Party was being prepped for the main event, we stopped for dinner (See side notes below). Announcements, upcoming events and audience meet and greets with the host were broadcast during this time period to inform the audience of what was to follow and help build the excitement.
The show started promptly at 7pm and it did not disappoint! Monster Jam is broken up into a Race competition and then a Freestyle competition. The race portion is about an hour long, and is exciting to see, but it’s the freestyle that provides the most thrills for the audience! Right after the races are completed there is an intermission for about 20 minutes in order for the surface to be adjusted for the freestyle. To see the reactions on the faces of the kids AND the adults during the freestyle competition was priceless. My son invited my mum so even Nana was up on her feet-cheering on the competition.
My husband and I were hoping for a longer “race” competition and I was hoping for some smoke effects and pyrotechnics. I also recall the Monster Jam I attended several years ago included Motorcross, this show did not include one, it was a different format and needed to be evaluated as a distinct show. (editors note: Monster Jam shows change from year to year with different special events included).
At the end of our evening my son turned to me, hugged me and said, “This was the best night ever.”
THAT, to me, indicates that Monster Jam WAS a hit!
Thank you Child’s Life. You are now part of OUR story.
Side Notes & Tips
We did take ear muffs to the show-for each of us. I was hoping to purchase a pair of the “Tire Ear Muffs” for my son but they are really meant for younger kids. I would estimate they would go up to 6 years of age. My son is 8. He tried them on and they were small and did not adjust.
My only negative comment is respect to Rogers Center. I spoke with an individual at the Rogers Center on Friday morning as I wanted to confirm if we would have In and Out privileges and the individual assured me that we could exit after the Pit Party so that we could go to a neighbouring restaurant for dinner. My mum and my son are very particular in what they eat so that is why I called ahead and made sure that I could find a restaurant-within very close proximity for my mum, to enjoy a dinner before the show. Alas, we discovered that we could not leave the building. They were clearly marked signs indicating that you could not leave once you were in. I spoke with Rogers security and he could not make an exception. Thankfully, I had packed some items for my son but we ended up having to eat at the various concession stands. Aside from my husband-who seemed to enjoy his rather enormous hot dog, I would not recommend this. Aside from the ridiculous cost, the quality of food is questionable. Stay clear of the “Cauliflower Poutine” not sure what I was thinking with that choice and do not buy into the concept of “Mini Donuts”. They are NOT Tiny Tim’s but rather-a doughy, chewy mess covered in regular sugar.
Parking was $40 at the two closest lots. We opted for this lot as we did not want my mum to walk too far. The average parking rate at nearby lots ranged from $30-$40. (editors note: Parking in the underground lot at Roy Thompson Hall is the best deal we have found in the area. $20 flat rate and the walk is relatively quick)
This review was written by local mom Zaheera Dhanani for Child’s Life. Thank you Zaheera!