Rumbling sounds filled the air, as did the delightful screams from fans of all ages. Music blared and fireworks flared. This is MONSTER JAM.
Nothing says family fun like an afternoon at a Party in the Pits! A place where kids of all ages, and their parents too, can get up close and personal with Monster Jam drivers and their trucks and see Motor Cross Champions fly through the air. Our kiddo was most excited to see her favorite Monster Mutt and her BFF was thrilled to stand next to Max D and rev up for her first Monster Jam ever.
I loved sharing some fun facts I learned on a tour of the Feld Entertainment World Headquarters Motorsports garage just a few weeks earlier. Did you know…
- There are 8 shocks per truck plus 4 spares!
- The motorsports shop does the assembly and has a full fabrication department!
- There were 8 new trucks built for this season at a price tag of $250,000!
- Chasses take two weeks to build and then four days later the trucks are fully assembled, and the trucks are 100% alike under the exterior that fans have come to love!
- Seats are custom made to fit each driver!
Kylee was shocked to learn that her fav Driver Dustin did $110,000 in body damage in 9 weeks during the 2015 tour. Her best friend Emma loved learning that the driver of the new Black Ops truck is a former Marine and that in 2004 there were only 14 trucks and to date there are a total of 54!
I loved meeting the Gas Monkey Garage mechanic Lindsey Hilgendorf. Yes, a girl mechanic! Actually Monster Jam now has 3 female mechanics and 8 female drivers! Carl VanHorn, of Grave Digger fame, told me about how in 13 years his favorite race of all is still the Freestyle simply because of the “adrenaline rush.” We made our Cheer Signs, sponsored by Dairy Queen, and headed towards the Monster Truck Parade Zone. This is a super fun, casual, and crazy loud way in which fans line up (against barricades) and cheer the trucks on as they leave the Pit and head to the Stadium. After the trucks paraded by we headed back to the truck for a family picnic.
Tailgating is a sport in itself at Monster Jam events! Families put up tents and bring out grills and games to entertain the kids (and the adults) for an hour or two as they wait to head inside the stadium for the main event. An hour passed by and we gathered our gear, items necessary for ensuring an awesome experience…
- Ear plugs! Necessary for adults and kids. Of course they sell cool “tire” ear-muffs in the souvenir shop, but we just bring our own ear plugs. The stadium gets louder than any football game I have ever attended and I assure you it is a must. (You will thank me!)
- Small throw blankets are a must for the chilly Florida night. Just be sure you open it at security to show nothing hiding inside.
- Jacket or sweatshirts can be worn or carried.
- Clear Bags are permitted, as long as they are no larger than a gallon size bag. Stadium rules do not allow backpacks; on occasion events will modify those rules but there is no guarantee. You can call ahead to inquire or just play it safe and bring just the light weight gear mentioned above.
- Other rules can be found at MonsterJam.com and click the venue you will be going to for more information on cameras, etc.
As you enter the stadium you can feel the adreneline of the drivers and the excitement of the fans. There are large mounds of dirt and mountainous size mounds too. (Ok, mountainous is relative to a girl from Florida.) The National Anthem was sung and the fireworks started the show…
El Toro Loco took to the field and took off towards the highest mound. The roar of the crowd as they cheered her to Victory grew only louder as she found she couldn’t defeat the mound and flipped over. Yeah, flipping trucks at Monster Jam is surely part of the charm and gets the crowded screaming louder than the race itself. Solider Fortune leaped high into the air as fans waved camo hats proudly. Emma and Kylee sat on the edge of their seats as they watched Monster Mutt take on Monster Energy. (I had to put in my ear plugs just to quiet down the screaming of our excited children!) After intermission 3 trucks were lined up on a mound, side by side, and we all wondered what was going to take place. I won’t ruin the surprise but definitely don’t miss that awesome opportunity to see these drivers do what they do best… take a crowd by surprise! It was time for the final round and it went to crowd favorite, Grave Digger! This event marks 31 years that Grave Digger has performed in Monster Jam races, and he was not be beat this time ever and once again proved with he is THE LEGEND. The biggest rush of the night came when the FREESTYLE event began. You could feel the hush over the crowd as each truck began and the roar of their cheers drowning out the roar of the trucks brings such crazy loud awesome joy to the faces of all! For an hour trucks tore through the track smashing cars and spinning about as they do whatever it takes to get the crowd on their feet and then…. well, I suppose you will have to attend MONSTER JAM at the FLORIDA CITRUS BOWL on JANUARY 23rd to find out the rest. Oh, and don’t be surprised if your kiddo screams loudly (like our friend Emma) that they want to be a Monster Truck Driver when they grow up.
“I am going to drive a truck named Dangerous and be the one to test the stunts.” – Emma P. (8) I assured her, as did her parents, she can be anything she wants to be.
SHOW INFORMATION Featuring: War Wizard driven by Shane Phreed, Avenger driven by Jim Koehler, Brutus driven by Brad Allen, Black Stallion driven by Matt Cody, Grave Digger driven by Adam Anderson, El Toro Loco driven by Becky McDonough, Hooked driven by Bryan Wright, King Krunch driven by David Smith, Lucas Oil Crusader driven by Linsey Weenk, Monster Mutt Junkyard Dog driven by Dustin Brown, Monster Energy driven by Damon Bradshaw, Max-D driven by Tom Meents, Overkill Evolution driven by Mike Vaters II, Soldier Fortune driven by Chad Fortune, Stone Crusher driven by Steve Sims, Pirate’s Curse driven by Steven Sims Jr
PARTY IN THE PITS is held from 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm before the show. The real action begins at 7:00 pm. For tickets and more information about the show, click here.
*Note: Trucks vary with every show and not every Truck that performed in Tampa will perform in Orlando.
In exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment (FELD SPORTS) has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.