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How to Attend the Kentucky Derby in 5 Steps

Posted by Jaclyn Harris on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Have you ever found yourself dreaming of attending the Kentucky Derby? Maybe it seemed outside the realm of possibility for you. Maybe you thought it was too expensive to make that dream a reality. Or maybe, you just didn't know where to start.

KENTUCKY DERBY 1 DERBY EXPERIENCES resized 600Those are all very fair concerns; the Kentucky Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races. It's the first leg of the Triple Crown Series and the winner is the only horse that stands a chance at the Triple Crown that year. When you see pictures of the event, you see countless celebrities and big shots in the horse racing community in the stands; how could you ever be worthy to attend an event of that caliber?

Well, attending the Kentucky Derby is much more attainable of a dream than you might have imagined. 

Think about it. Churchill Downs is packed out to the max Derby weekend - more than 140,000 people attend the races! 140,000 PEOPLE!

So, if all those people can attend, why can't you?

I'm here to tell you that you can check the Kentucky Derby off your bucket list. You can afford to attend Derby weekend. And you can make this dream a reality!

All you have to do is follow these five simple steps!

1. Select the Best Package for You

The first step in planning your trip to the Kentucky Derby is to get your tickets for the weekend. The first decision you have to make is whether you want just tickets or an Official Ticket Package (insert the chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs" here).

A ticket just grants you entrance to the track with a seat in either in the Grandstand or the Clubhouse. If you want any concessions, souvenirs, etc., you have to make those additional purchases. Plus, if you want to attend on both Oaks and Derby days, you have to purchase those tickets separately.

However, with an Official Ticket Package, everything you could ever want is included. For instance, you'll receive your tickets to both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby, access to an exclusive hospitality area throughout both days of racing, a VIP Fast Access Pass for a quicker, more secure entrance to Churchill Downs, and an Official Kentucky Derby Gift Bag.

Hospitality is truly what sets these option apart. Within hospitality, you'll be invited to enjoy complimentary gourmet food and open beer, wine and soft drink options. There is plenty of seating so you can sit down and relax with your group while you eat, and it's a great escape from the stands (when you're at the track for two whole days, it's nice to have an escape).

Derby-Experiences-Sunnys-Halo-Lounge-Hospitality

Additionally, celebrities and famous jockeys make appearances throughout hospitality areas on Derby and Oaks days to meet-and-greet with fans, take pictures and sign autographs.

Because of Derby Experiences Official Partnership with Churchill Downs, we have a vast selection of Official Ticket Package options available, each paired with a VIP hospitality area. With so many options available, you're sure to find the perfect pair of prime seating and exclusive hospitality for you and your group.


2. Decide to Include Accommodations and Transportation

When searching for hotels around the time of a high profile event, it can be tricky. Prices typically sky-rocket when a big event is coming to town. Not to mention, they normally also have a minimum amount of nights you can stay.

Well, with Official Ticket Packages, you can opt to include luxurious accommodations in Louisville in your package. This eliminates the hassle of having to deal directly with hotels and it keeps your price point way down.

Transportation works the same way. If you opt to include accommodations in your package, you can opt to include transportation to and from the track each day also. This eliminates rental car fees and parking fees, and you don't have to worry about sitting in traffic going to or leaving the track.

3. Find the Perfect Kentucky Derby Party for You

Once you've selected your package and decided if you want to include transportation and accommodations, it's time to decide if you really want to up the ante on your perfect Kentucky Derby experience.

What I mean by this is that Official Kentucky Derby Parties are just as big a part of the Derby experience as attending the actual races. These parties are big time, glamorous events and everyone who is anyone is guaranteed to be there!

With Derby Experiences, you can opt to include invites to any of the following Kentucky Derby parties in your Official Ticket Package.

  1. The Fillies & Lilies Party featuring Sara Evans
  2. Taste of Derby Party
  3. The Winner's Party

Derby Experiences Meet Sara Evans resized 600The Fillies & Lilies Party is held immediately following the Kentucky Oaks in the Kentucky Derby Museum, attached to the Gate 1 entrance of Churchill Downs. Country music's sweetheart, Sara Evans, will be performing live, and complimentary heavy hors d'oeuvres, open bars and a bourbon lounge will be available for your enjoyment. A-list celebrities will also be in attendance to mix and mingle with YOU!

The Taste of Derby Party is held on Thursday to kick-off the Derby weekend events. Top chefs from around the nation will be present to create delectable dishes for you to taste. Live music will be playing and celebrities will be all around! It's the perfect start to the Kentucky Derby weekend.


The Winner's Party is held immediately following the Kentucky Derby in the Kentucky Derby Museum. It's a celebration of the winning jockey, owner, trainer, and horse. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will  be provided as you dance the night away amidst the allure of honors the celebrates one of America's biggest pastimes.

4. Opt for Easy Payment Options

This is where I put all concerns about pricing to rest.

Through Derby Experiences' Official Partnership with Churchill, we're able to offer easy payment terms! This means you can break up the price of your package into several payments instead of paying it all up front.

Easy payment terms making attending the Kentucky Derby incredibly affordable! AKA, you CAN make your dreams come true!

5. Get in Touch with Derby Experiences

It's time to take the last step: talk to Derby Experiences to find your perfect Official Ticket Package today! Call 1-888-384-7088 to speak to a representative or visit Derby Experiences website for more information.

It's time to make your Kentucky Derby dreams come true!

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Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #DerbyVIP and #KyDerby!

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Topics: Kentucky Derby

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About the Bloggers

Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Adminstration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 

Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.

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