In my head, I have a bucket list of things I want to do with my children. It is filled with activities we’ll do, things I feel I’ve waited my whole life to see them experience. And Friday night, I watched as my two little bears walked through the ornate halls of the Palace Theater in Albany with wide eyes and open mouths to watch the spectacular that is “Disney Live.– Mickey & Minnie’s Doorway to Magic.”
Two children — a toddler and a preschooler — who have never been to the movies or a performance in a theater before, were enchanted before the show even started. Between the beautiful décor of the theater itself, the multitude of children of all ages chattering excitedly in anticipation, and the Disney vendors slinging sweet treats and souvenirs, it was a recipe for delight. I thought my heart just might burst, as we found our seats in the orchestra section and my 3-year-old Honey tried to figure out how to keep the heavy velvet seat cushion down with his little body.
In a world full of fast pace and so many screens, tangible experiences are so vital to our children. And this one was just as described in the program … absolutely magical!
For the adult eye, there were beautiful, frequently changing backdrops and sets. Disney really never does cease to amaze. The music, dancing, and special effects were entertaining. The performers were clearly talented. Not one missed a step, even when jumping double dutch or wearing a clumsy looking duck costume! Not for a moment did I feel bored, which is often the case (if I’m honest) during children’s entertainment. Of course, it helped that the show brought back some of the classic Disney tales from my childhood.
The main characters of the show were the lovable Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. They traveled through magic doors into other worlds, all from different Disney movies. They helped Cinderella transform into a princess and made sure Snow White didn’t eat the poison apple. They danced and played with characters from “Toy Story,” “Tangled,” “Aladdin,” and “Fantasia” all while delighting their miniature audience members.
The hosts consistently engaged the audience with questions and direct conversation and the use of the “special magic words.” Seeing the children throughout the place yell out in response and do the same hand signals as the characters was precious.
My personal favorite scene was from “Cinderella.” As my excited 3 year old squeezed my hand with glimmering eyes, I remembered the first time I saw the movie as a child. I think I sang extra loud along with Bibbity Bobbity Boo. My son and husband both claimed their favorite to be Buzz LightYear who performed atop a pedestal with an incredible laser light show. But it was hard to choose a favorite with jump roping army men and cowhands, dancing brooms sweeping, and everything in between.
I think my daughter was enthralled by the entire show – at 18 months, she wasn’t fidgety until the last few minutes of the 90-minute performance and spent the majority of the time dancing, bouncing, and excitedly pointing at the stage.
A captivating evening, I was reluctant to see it end. Really a treat for Disney fans of all ages, this one was a special night for our family. It didn’t seem to matter that my kids didn’t know any of the characters outside of the hosts. They were enchanted by everything they saw. To observe them watching, grinning, laughing, and feeling the magic of the performance – that was the best part for us as parents. If you have a chance to catch this show on the road, I highly recommend it.
“Disney Live.– Mickey & Minnie’s Doorway to Magic” is stopping in Hartford (Dec. 2) and Providence (Dec. 3 and 4), if you’re looking for another show to attend. For the complete touring schedule go online to disneylive.com.