Last night my niece (7), nephew (4), and Mom/Mima and I (ages not disclosed) took refuge from the bitter cold in the Albany Times Union Center … at an ice show (planning is everything). But it didn’t take long before our fingers and toes began to defrost and our hearts began to warm, as we watched Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream.
As we made our way through the crowded hallway to find our seats, the sounds and sights — excited giggles, the Disney on Ice paraphernalia, and the colors, oh the colors flashing and dancing beckoning from the sales booth —mesmerized the kids into a rare quiet state. Lucky for us between the stunned silence and the fact that we had recently received a Disney Swag Bag via mail, they weren’t dragging us to the booths to make a purchase like the majority of other parents waiting for the show to begin. Note to parents: The most inexpensive items sold are the $10 programs and coloring books. Everything your child would want is $15 and up (most will want the $20 and up, guaranteed), so be prepared.
Shortly after finding our seats the pre-show began, and my nephew, as if the authority on the subject, informed me the objects the skaters were launching through the air were “boomerangs.” This held the the kids’ attention until the announcer began counting the minutes until Disney On Ice would begin. When the curtain finally opened my nephew was happy to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy skate out to open the show. But after a short introduction the show moved on to princesses, princesses, and more princesses. Kicking off with Tiana from The Frog Prince; then moving on to Snow White, and Cinderella. My niece was having fun, but with the lack of male Disney characters on the ice my nephew began to zone out and we worried we would lose him. But then the prince ran off in search of the girl who had left her glass slipper at the ball, and intermission began. Then it was all about the ZAMBONI.
Yes, my friends. This almost comatose 4-year-old, who’s eyes grew heavier with every minute of the show, perked right up and told me all about the zamboni — how it cleaned the ice, and got rid of the rough parts, and made it smooth. No one is quite sure where he learned about the many facets of the zamboni, but it was enough to energize him for the second half of the show, and after that the show did the rest.
The second half opened with the conclusion of the Cinderella story, and then introduced us to Rapunzel and her Tangled co-stars. And if you ask the 7- and 4- year-old, they’ll tell you this was the highlight of the show (and Mima and I agreed). There was actually a male on the ice for more than two minutes, and several of them at that. The acts were action-packed, with ensemble numbers, duets with amazing lifts, and acrobatics by Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder high above the crowd, hanging from silk scarves. I’ll tell you, it was spectacular and in my opinion they could have made an entire show around the characters from Tangled. If you don’t believe me, just take it from my nephew. Or should I say, take it from the fact that he stayed awake for the entire second act. I’ve seen this kid fall sound asleep at soccer games, parades, and in the middle of dinner, so the mere feat of keeping him awake until 9 p.m. on a Thursday night is a testament to the second half of the show. The conclusion of Disney on Ice, definitely made the show!
So my suggestion … If you’ve got a boy 7 and up, most will not enjoy the show. It is very princess-y, and without sounding gender biased or anything, most of the little boys I know and have raised are not as big of fans of princesses as their female counterparts. But if you do decide to bring the boys (younger is better), if they can get through the first half, you won’t regret bringing them.
Now for the princess-loving girls (like my niece), the show does not disappoint. They all get their happily ever after, the princesses are the primary characters of the show with the princes only serving as “supporting skaters,” and the vibrant colors, and fancy dresses are every little princess’ dream. My niece even declared, in an pretty monotone and half-sleeping voice from the back seat as we drove home, that she’d definitely go see it again.
So I’d say it was a win for everybody, Kylee got her princess fix for the year, and Luke, well he got boomerangs, a zamboni, and flying skaters. What could be better?
For those of you who want to catch Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream it is playing in Albany at the Times Union Center through Sunday, Dec. 18. For a complete schedule of the tour CLICK HERE.