Monday, August 5, 2013

Monster Jam World Finals XIV (2013)

My son is a future monster truck driver in the making!!  Or, at least thats what my little five year old aspires to do when he grows up!  I have to admit that as a family, we really enjoy going to Monster Jam events!

Pit party prior to a January 2013 Monster Jam event in Detroit, Michigan.
We were waiting in a LONG line to get an autograph from the Grave Digger driver.

Detriot Monster Jam - this driver was near us so we snuck a picture.
Unfortunately my son was off using the restroom but his sister was able to get into the shot

Monster Jam 2013 in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Much smaller venue but it's near our hometown and still a fun event.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan you wait in one line to get autographs from all the drivers (way cool)!

This driver was really happy to take pictures!
As we approached the spring of 2013 my family struggled to find a vacation destination.  We had visited California in the fall of 2012 so California wasn't really on the top of our list.  We thought about traveling to New York City (on our bucket list) but as I researched the things we wanted to do, I discovered that a recent hurricane had caused some of the top tourist sites to be closed for repairs....  I did not want to do a "bucket list" vacation and not be able to do the "bucket list" sites.  So, we decided on Las Vegas.  Three reasons:

  1. We like the food and entertainment.  Plus my husband could sneak out for some adult time while the kiddos slept.  Probably not the adult time you are thinking of when it comes to Las Vegas!!  No gambling, drinking, nudity, ...  Just some fun comedy shows and concerts.  It may also be hard to beleive but Las Vegas can be very kid friendly - as I shared in a previous blog post post.
  2. My mom and step-dad were spending the winter in Arizona.  We hadn't seen them in months!  So, we decided to surprise the kids by having them join us at the Grand Canyon.
  3. Monster Jam was hosting the World Finals in Las Vegas!!!  We just had to make sure we attended at least 1 day of the weekend long event!  The event took place on Friday and Saturday (already announced changes for this in 2014).  We attended the Saturday event.
Here is our Monster Jam World Finals XIV 2013 experience:

There was soooo much going on for this day long event!!!

There were a ton of these guys around for pictures!

We decided to wait in line to get autographs from the main Maximum Destruction (MaxD) driver.
We successfully got autographs from Tom Meents and all the other MaxD drivers!

For $5 per kid they could play around in some inflatables for a while.

Monster truck rides!!

After watching the trucks for a while, we really hoped we got on this one (you don't get to pick - it depends on what truck is ready when you are in front of the line).  The driver of this truck really seemed to be having fun on the track.  

We got to ride the truck we wanted!!  We were on it with a group of really fun people.
It was by far the best part of the activities!!!

They had some awesome trucks to look at.

There were a lot of these around.
You could buy them there if you wanted and you could play with them on a track they had set up.

We colored and decorate signs for our favorite drivers - FREE.

I saw this in the movie "Waking Up in Reno"!  I was so excited to finally see it in person.
My kids LOVED it!!

There was a huge entertaining area for Grave Digger, Son-uva Digger, and Grave Digger the Legend.  However, there were only two times of the day set for autographs and I know my kiddos would not last standing in line again, for hours, to get more autographs.  So, we missed out on that opportunity.

An auction hosted by some of the people from "Storage Wars".

The monster truck parade took place just before the big event.  The people that have attended this before knew to get a seat very early on.  We had to stand the entire time behind all the seats.  It wasn't too bad but I know my kiddos would have enjoyed it more if they had seats.  It was a great parade where all the drivers and their trucks were showcased!

Waiting for the parade to start.

The parade

The parade

The parade

The parade

The parade

Finally time for the big event!!!!
Yes - the sun was in our eyes for a little bit but it was gone before the event started.

For $5 you could rent these chairs.  They made for better seating and you could just leave them at your assigned seat when you were done.  We did not rent them but a couple that left early gave us theirs to use for the rest of the event.

Ready to cheer on our drivers!

Three hour time difference and on our first full day of vacation....
It was no surprise that my little ones didn't last through the entire event.!
It was a very memorable experience!!!  


  1. Hi! Stumbled on your blog when looking for monster jam world finals pit party details. I'll be attending in 2014 with my husband (no kids!), and wondering how long did you spend at the pit party? We're not super keen on getting driver autographs, just want to see and get photos of the trucks up close.

    With the parade, is this when the monster trucks leave the stadium to go down the strip? So they are on site right up until the pit party ends at 5pm?

    Did you also use the shuttle buses from the host hotels? Was there a big wait to get on them?

    I was thinking of going first thing when they open for a couple of hours, then heading back to the strip to hang out in the afternoon before going back to the stadium for 7. Or would you suggest getting there a couple hours before the pit party ends and hang out there until the show starts?

    Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance!

  2. You have a lot of great questions! And I am so jealous that you will be attending the 2014 finals!! It should be a lot of fun!

    First, we rented a car instead of taking the shuttle. Mostly because we also took a day trip to the Grand Canyon. Plus, I was concerned about the lines for the shuttle. I would guess that the biggest issue would be for the trip back to the hotel after the show. My kids fell asleep during the show so we left just before the end (beat the traffic but totally missed out in some cool stuff we had to watch online the next day).

    The 2014 agenda is going to be a little different from what we experienced but hopefully some of my answers to your questions will help. We arrived at the pit party just before opening. There was a long line but it went quickly once they opened. There was a lot to look at and we really enjoyed being at the pit party the entire time. We did wait for autographs once which took a chunk of time but we also missed many of the side shows they had going on. I personally feel that there was plenty to keep everyone busy (even without kids). I would recommend going right at opening and planning to stay through the show. You can always head back to the hotel for a bit if it makes sense. At least you will know you have the time to do what you want.

    The parade in my post actually takes place right at the pit party - as the trucks head into the stadium. When it gets close to the end of the pit party you will start to see people lining chairs up by the fencing. There is 1 night (usually the night before all the events start) where the monster trucks line up on the strip and drive down (like a parade). Unfortunately, we didn't arrive to Las Vegas until the following day. But, we did see a lot of information online about it before hand (where they start and end). I'm sure you will be able to find information for 2014 closer to the event. I think they even do autographs before they start (incase you change your mind).

    I hope you have a memorable time!!

    1. oh wow, thank you!! I will be sure to put aside the whole day for the pit party then (you're right, one of the two days anyway since they're expanding the finals). What were some of the side show activities that you wish you'd had been able to check out? And what was there to do between the parade and start of the event - I think there are 2 hours to fill? did they have any entertainment going on while you were being seated?

      thanks again!

  3. For the side shows: they had a live auction. There were a lot of action shows that we missed (except the fire breathing car crasher). I think they were along the line of derbies, dirt bikes, rocket cars, ...

    The time between the parade and the start of the show seemed like it wasn't that long. We had seats on the opposite side of the entrance so it took us a while to get food/snacks/drinks and get to our seats. It seemed like we stayed pretty busy :-)