If you live anywhere near Chicago, you have probably seen a billboard with a horse and the promise that Cavalia Odysseo is “the best show ever.” If you have driven past Soldier Field, then you have undoubtedly seen the huge white tent in the South Lot. Before going to see the show for myself, all I knew about Cavalia was that it was a show involving horses. After seeing Cavalia twice during its time in Chicago, I can confidently say that it really is the best show ever. I never could have imagined how spectacular this show is, and I would be remiss not to share the good news with my readers. But is Cavalia worth the money? Absolutely. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that Cavalia VIP tickets are 100% worth the money.
There are three ticket options for Cavalia Odysseo: VIP Rendez-Vous, Horse Lovers, and Gold. (There is also technically a fourth option of obstructed view seating, as well, for the most affordable tickets.) The Horse Lovers tickets include regular seating with a stable tour at the end to meet the horses and the Gold tickets include regular seating to Cavalia. The VIP Rendez-Vous tickets include many more amenities, including prime seating, food, drink, and more. After attending the show twice (once with a regular Gold ticket and once with a VIP Rendez-Vous ticket), I believe the Cavalia VIP tickets are worth the extra cost. Sit back and relax as I give you a detailed account of why.
Here are 10 reasons why Cavalia VIP is worth it:
- Preferred parking. As you arrive to park your car, the attendant will inquire if you purchased VIP tickets. VIP Rendez-Vous ticket-holders receive the prime parking spots, which are closest to the entrance. While this is by no means a deal-breaker for non-VIP ticket holders, it really does add to the luxury and ease of the whole evening.
- Souvenir programs. Another thing that makes the VIP tickets worth it are the the high quality full-color souvenir programs, which are almost like soft cover books. Programs are for sale for $15 apiece for regular ticket-holders, so this is a huge perk of the VIP Rendez-Vous tickets. All the information in the programs are in English, French, and Spanish as a courtesy to ticket-holders. You are definitely going to want one of these beautiful programs to give you more information on Cavalia, including interesting facts and the names of all the horses. I chose to wait to read my program until after the show because I didn’t want any “spoilers” on some of the incredible aspects of the show, but I have referred back to my program several times to remember how amazing it is. There are no photographs allowed during the show to ensure the horses and performers don’t get distracted, so it was wonderful to have high quality images as a keepsake. This is one of the many aspects that makes the Cavalia VIP tickets worth it.
- Upscale dining atmosphere. I never would have imagined a white tent otherwise filled with horses could feel upscale, but Cavalia managed to pull it off beautifully. Inside the VIP section of the tent reminded me of a wedding with the striking dim blue-toned lighting. You have the option of sitting at four-person tables with either tall or low chairs. You also have a more comfortable, intimate lounge seating arrangement available to you around the edges of the tent. There is also a private gift shop available only to VIP ticket-holders in the tent, which is helpful because the gift shop in the Big White Tent can get congested with people.
- Outstanding gourmet buffet (with kid-friendly options). Eliminate the stress of wolfing down a quick dinner to make it to the show on-time by relaxing with the gourmet meal provided by the Cavalia VIP Rendez-Vous tickets. I usually don’t have high hopes when I hear the word “buffet,” but Cavalia impressed me. Instead of unhealthy American fare I imagined (think greasy fries and limp burgers), the buffet was filled with healthy options. The food was beautifully plated with flowers adorning several dishes. It was also replenished quickly, making it easy to hop back for second helpings (or thirds–no judging)! If you are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, you would not have a difficult time filling yourself with a healthy, tasty dinner. I enjoyed an array of salads, pastas, salmon, and a few Mediterranean-inspired dishes. For picky eaters, Cavalia VIP Rendez-Vous buffet also offers a “Kid’s Corner” with tasteful sliders, hotdogs, and Aurelio’s pizza. This section of the buffet is by no means kids only; I saw many adults avail themselves of this option (including me)!
- Well-stocked open bar. From cava to wine to beer to soda to tea, the bar had it all. I was especially thrilled to find bottled Ice Mountain water and bottled unsweetened Pure Leaf tea as options. We all brought bottled water with us into the show to sip as we enjoyed the show, which really made the Cavalia VIP tickets worth it because no outside beverages are permitted otherwise (and drinks purchased inside are not cheap). They were also thoughtful enough to give VIP ticket-holders disposable hard plastic cups for any drinks brought inside to enjoy during the show. However, they did serve us regular glass stemware earlier in the evening during dinner.
- Impeccable service. Everyone we encountered during our evening was friendly. I remarked that it seemed like everyone genuinely enjoyed working for Cavalia, regardless of if they were clearing people’s plates, serving beverages, or riding horses during the show. Their happiness being a part of the Cavalia production definitely put us all in a good mood for an outstanding evening. During dinner, our tables were always cleared immediately to leave room for more plates of food and beverages.
- Popcorn to go. In addition to bringing drinks into the show from the VIP tent, freshly popped popcorn is also available to you. I thought this was a really nice touch, especially because I love eating popcorn while watching a show or movie. This is one of the many examples of items that I would have wanted to purchase separately if it had not been included in the VIP Rendez-Vous ticket price (and yet another example of how the Cavalia VIP experience is worth it).
- The best seating. Obviously the main attraction is Cavalia Odysseo, so it should be no surprise that the VIP experience includes the best seats in the house right where the action is. While I truly don’t believe there’s a bad seat at Cavalia (except perhaps the obstructed view options), enjoying the show from a center seat toward the front is perfect. From my experiences in VIP seating and non-VIP seating, the acoustics are better in center section toward the front than the right or left sides. There were also several times when numbers in the show ended faces directly out to the center section, thus making it feel like they’re performing especially for you (as opposed to a side view of the action). If you can spring for the extra ticket cost, this alone should justify upgrading to VIP.
- Intermission desserts. If you aren’t full from the fabulous gourmet dinner, VIPs are treated to a stunningly diverse array of desserts during the 30-minute intermission. Let me tell you, they do not skimp when it comes to dessert! From cookies to cheesecakes to fruit to an exquisite cheese plate, Cavalia has outdone itself in the dessert department. You are also free to grab more drinks and popcorn to enjoy during the second half of the show. It was really nice to escape the crowds waiting in line for pricey desserts and have an unlimited selection of all the desserts we desired with the VIP Rendez-Vous ticket.
- Exclusive stable visit. Last, but certainly not least, we were able to tour the stables and meet the horses after the show. It was a huge highlight to get to meet these beautiful, majestic creatures up close. We also got to see their nightly rituals after the show, including having their long manes of hair braided to provide the perfect crimped tresses we see during the performance. Especially if you or your family are horse-lovers, this truly makes the Cavalia VIP worth it. We also enjoyed greeting several of the stunningly talented performers backstage, as well.
Honorable mention: VIP bathrooms! What’s not to love about shorter bathroom lines?
Cavalia is truly an outstanding show and it will still be an outstanding show even if you do not opt for the VIP tickets. That being said, if you can spring for it, you will not be disappointed by the exclusive luxury of the Cavalia VIP tickets. It is so worth it!
It’s not too late to order your tickets for this incredible experience! Due to unexpected demand in tickets, Cavalia has extended its time in Chicago until May 21st, 2017. There are matinee performances at 2:00 PM on select days, as well as evening performances at 7:30 PM. You can order tickets online, call 1-866-999-8111, or purchase in person at the Big White Tent at South Lot. Save money by entering the promotional code SOCIAL at checkout to receive 15% off on your whole purchase!
I also want to add that this post pertains to all locations where Cavalia Odysseo is performed–not just Chicago. Check the tour schedule to see when Cavalia will be performing near you.
While the Cavalia VIP Rendez-Vous experience was complimentary as part of Social Media Week, all the opinions expressed herein are my own.