Cirque Shanghai: Dragon’s Thunder

Cirque Shanghai Group Contortion 2

Disclosure - free stuff

Website: Cirque Shanghai: Dragon’s Thunder

Location: Pepsi Skyline Stage at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave, Chicago

Phone: 800-745-3000 (to purchase tickets)

Hours: The show runs May 22 – September 2.
Sunday 2:00pm, 4:00pm
Wednesday 2:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm
Thursday 2:00pm, 8:00pm
Friday 2:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm
Saturday 2:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm

Additional shows:
Tuesday, July 4 at 2 pm, 6 pm and 8 pm
Sunday, September 1 at 8 pm
Monday, September 2 at 2 pm and 4 pm

The show is approximately 75 minutes long. Navy Pier has fireworks on Wednesday nights at 9:30 pm and Saturday nights at 10:15 pm.

Cirque Shanghai Silks

Admission:  $15.50-$29.50
There are fees & taxes on each ticket, ranging from about $8.50 to about $11.00 making tickets $24.00-$40.50.

Parking: Navy Pier has a large attached parking garage. Parking is a flat fee: $21 Monday-Thursday & $25 Friday-Sunday.

Bathrooms: There are large public bathrooms with changing tables.

Nursing: There is no designated nursing area.

Handicapped/stroller accessibility: Navy Pier is handicapped and stroller accessible. I would probably not bring a stroller to the show; there are lots of stairs if you go the main way. There is stroller parking available.

Food: There is a food counter offering popcorn, pretzels, and other foods and snacks, and beverages, including pop, juice, water, alcohol, and coffee. I thought the prices were a little high, but not more than I would expect at a show like this. They offered fresh fruit ($1 each).

We paid: We visited on a Saturday afternoon. I received 4 complementary tickets, but the normal cost (2 adults, 2 kids) would have been about $200 with Ticketmaster fees. We paid $25 for parking, and about $35 for food – 4 hot dogs, 1 bottled water, a large pop, popcorn, and nachos.

CirqueShanghai HoopDiver

Our experience:

The Pepsi Skyline Stage is a canopied, open-air theater. Just inside the entrance is a large outdoor patio with seating and a food counter. We attended the show on a Saturday afternoon and the weather was very pleasant. We purchased some lunch from the food counter and found our seats in the center section.

This is the third year we’ve seen Cirque Shanghai and I’ve been really impressed each time. The acts included in the show are: Teeterboard, Group Contortion, Hoop Diving, Mulan’s Dragon Drums, Rolla Bolla, Shoulder Ballet, Chinese Flex Bar, Pas De Deux Contortion, Gravity Swings, Comedy Bowl Kicker, Silks, Dragon Battles Tiger, Wheel of Destiny, and Globe of Death.

The Dragon Drums and Dragon Battles Tiger are drum performances. They’re fun to watch and listen to, and also nice as a break to let you catch your breath between some pretty breath-taking acts. The contortion acts are always impressive; the performers are so graceful and it’s amazing that they can get into the positions they do.

Cirque Shanghai Group Contortion

We’ve seen the Wheel of Destiny before, but it always scares me and I can only peek at it through my fingers.

Cirque Shanghai Wheel of Destiny

The Rolla Bolla seemed to be one of Cooper’s favorite performances; as the performer started to set up one of the stunts Cooper kept saying, “Oh no, I think I know what he’s going to do. I hope he’s not going to do what I think he’s going to do!” He was pretty amazed.

Cirque Shanghai Rolla Bolla

The Comedy Bowl Kicker was a really fun performance. It’s the only  one where the performer speaks to the audience and a volunteer is brought up from the audience to assist. It was a lot of fun and have everyone in the audience laughing.

Cirque Shanghai Comedy Bowl Kicker

I was a little disappointed because the Globe of Death is supposed to be five motorcycles, but for some reason when we saw the show they only did three.

Cirque Shanghai Globe of Death

Overall we had a great time and enjoyed the show a lot. Campbell was calm and even seemed to be curious about what was happening on stage. Both of the older boys loved the show.

Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.  


  1. Joslyn Gould says

    We are taking our girls to see this on August 24th – it is one of the little splurges I made since we aren’t really doing a vacation this summer. Now I am even more excited – the costumes are stunning!

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