Our children tried ice-skating over Christmas break, and I think it gave them a greater appreciation for the abilities of the skaters. My 5-year-old niece was amazed at the quick-change costumes (magic! my sister explained) and sang along.
Before the show, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. If you’re still picking out your seats, try to sit near the base of the arena’s U-shaped setup. Sections 106 to 110 would be ideal to see the “front” of the stage. Low down on either side is great for closeups of the characters.
2. Many little girls wear princess costumes to Disney on Ice. Will your daughter be crushed if she isn’t in princess fashion? Also popular are Sunday-best dresses.
3. Have a discussion with your children about what you are willing to buy before they are tempted by stands filled with princess swag, light-up spinners, and expensive food. A bottle of water is a a pricey-even-for-Disney $5.00. The crown-topped cotton candy (above) goes for $12.
4. Hit the bathrooms and concession stands well before showtime or risk stumbling to your seat in the dark and blocking your neighbors’ view.
The Princess and the Frog kicked off the show with upbeat music and magic. All of the kids in our party thought the frog leotards worn by Tiana and Naveen for much of the segment were a little weird. They played down the dark side and cut right to the happy ending.
Cinderella is a classic and my niece’s favorite. The show is only able to perform highlights from each movie, and this was a very abbreviated fairy tale. But the stepsisters were hilarious — I imagine skating badly is harder than it looks — and the prince seemed an especially strong skater. The appearance of Cinderella’s lit-up carriage always brings oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
Tangled took over for the final act and showed off some amazing stunts, beginning with Flynn Rider dropping in to steal the crown. The scene that got the most applause and flashbulbs was certainly Rapunzel and Flynn flying 25 feet above the arena, whirling with Rapunzel’s ribbon “hair.” The skaters trained for six weeks to develop the upper-body strength to pull off the amazing maneuvers. I wish I had taken a usable picture — it was incredible to watch.
My 10-year-old daughter’s favorite part was seeing a horse on ice skates! Maximus played a major part in the act and was a master of synchronized skating.
The show uses words and music from the movies, but not always where they belong. “I See the Light” was saved for Tangled’s finale. Knowing the song was coming (I could see lanterns hanging in the rafters), it seemed disjointed when they skated right by that part of the story.
But of course, everything works out in the end. The grand finale features all of the Disney princesses, Mickey and Minnie, and the expected Disney fireworks.
The show runs two hours with one intermission. Sunday’s 4:30 performance will be in Spanish. More showtimes and a discount code can be found here.
Come “Dare to Dream” through Sunday, Jan. 13 at the U.S. Airways Center!