I didn’t know I liked Disney on Ice shows so much, until I became a Nana with five adorable (of course) grandchildren. Note of apology to my own two children, who are now very grown up, I wish I had taken you to a Disney on Ice show when you were kids. I didn’t know they were so much fun!
What is there to say about this new version of the venerated Disney on Ice franchise? After all, Disney has been touring the country on very sharp blades since 1981, when it was called Walt Disney’s World on Ice. It’s a slippery subject. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right?
Nope, not true. First of all, professional skating has only gotten better throughout the years. You know that if you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics and the pros on TV. Disney on Ice is full of professional, award-winning skaters. Their skating is beautiful and athletic. The most powerful skating performance of this show is grown-up Simba and Nala skating together to Can You Feel The Love Tonight. It was beautiful.
Somehow, through the 30 plus years, Disney on Ice keeps upping the skating, upping the stunts, and upping the excitement. If you’ve been to a Disney on Ice show, even in the past year, I guarantee this one will be different.
It begins with bouncy Taylor and Patrick, two charmers who warm up the audience, get everyone dancing and take audience photos that show up on the jumbotron. Taylor and Patrick are taking us all on a road trip through many of the most famous Disney movies. The Coliseum darkens and down comes Mary Poppins from somewhere high above. There was a collective gasp, and it didn’t just come from those under eight.
I took my granddaughter Alice and her BFF Lizzy. They are a little too old to dress up as Disney princesses, but they still loved the show. Road Trip Adventures takes the audience on a “tour” of many of the iconic Disney movies. Moana is gliding along the ice in the South Seas. Simba takes a journey through Africa. Aladdin and Jasmine are in a mysterious, far off land. Woody, Buzz, Forky and The Incredibles have fun numbers too.
The lighting and video screens make it magical. There is a giant, circular video screen that spirals downward from the ceiling that is used to great effect, especially in the spectacular Aladdin numbers. Alice and Lizzy loved the colorful costumes, the aerial acrobats that did unbelievable stunts hanging from orange silks and the giant camel that looked like it was made from thousands of flowers. Did I mention that Jasmine flies through the air with the greatest of ease? Alice called her a “human boomerang”.
Lizzy’s favorite part was The Lion King. The skaters use the giant puppet-with-human-inside costumes that were so great in The Lion King on Broadway. Picture a graceful pink flamingo or a giraffe gliding along the ice.
Everyone sings along to the iconic Disney songs, because everyone knows the words. It’s a little like going to rock concerts in my younger years. Kids and parents singing together make a joyful noise. Even the silver haired guy I live with was singing along to Hakuna Matata. Everyone sings Let It Go while Elsa skates gracefully and human snowflakes dance in rings high above the ice.
If you can spring for it, I would highly recommend buying tickets in the Extra Magic Zone. These are the best seats in the house, down close to the ice and in the middle of the rink. Alice’s favorite part of the night was when a cute Disney person picked her to ride on the ice as part of The Incredibles number. There was fire on the ice, there were super heroes trying to stop the vehicle, there was Alice in the middle of the ring, waving to the fans. This was one of the perks of the Extra Magic Zone.
Take your kids, take your grandkids, take your grandparents, take your partner, you will have fun. You will have live, not on a screen, good, clean family fun at Disney On Ice Presents Road Trip Adventure at Hampton Coliseum.