This review covers the stable tour only. The show was having a summer break with no performances.
Firstly the booking process is odd. FWIW, you book over the internet and the "just turn up". No email confirmation, no charges, no reference. Turns out we had inadvertently booked 3 times. Anyways, that might help you if you're considering this over the internet purchase experience.
My daughters are both experienced riders and love everything horse, as were many of the people who took part in the backstage tour. We here a bit about the history most of which would fit on a single sign card. The most interesting history for me was the WWII/Patton story which wasn't covered by the guide but was on a few side panels that we were rushed passed.
While you do get to see the horses in their stables, and beautiful animals they are, that's about it. Despite having "the biggest training oval" in Europe, no horses are being exercised. There were no handlers training horses. Not sure how they schedule any of that, but the only activity we saw were carpenters and water blasters.
This place is totally militant when it comes to taking photos or petting horses. There is a person at the back who's sole role is to stop people capturing any kind of memory from this experience - and grump she did even when I attempted to take a no-flash photo from 6 meters outside the stables of my kids. Of all the horses being raised at the stud farms, only a few are accepted for the academy; couldn't they keep one for people to get close to?
I bit my lip throughout this tour until my kids mentioned a few hours later what a total disappointment it was. It's as if all of Vienna's snobbery were wrapped up in to this one experience.
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