Mum and I took Mr 3 and Mr 6 to Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival on Friday afternoon last week at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
It was the very first time any of us had ever seen Disney on Ice. This isn’t surprising for a 3-year-old. Mum, however, referred to Disney on Ice as ‘The Ice Capades’ more than once, which is a true indicator of how long she’s been wanting to go.
The Ice Ca-What?
The Ice Capades was a theatrical figure skating show which also toured internationally. A precursor to Disney on Ice – minus the ‘Disney’ – the show ran from 1940 until 1995.
The modern day version is produced by Feld Entertainment and this year’s show is essentially four mini-shows in one.
The Magical Ice Festival is 2 hours of the most incredibly talented figure skaters performing condensed versions of Disney films from my childhood – Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid – plus a couple of very much loved modern additions – Rapunzel and Frozen.
The music will make you want to sing along, the costumes are spectacular and the choreography is astounding. The ice skaters actually dance in skates.
The part that totally floored me was when one skater performed rope acrobatics high above the ice – again in skates.
Is Disney on Ice really as good as all the hype?
Oh yes, absolutely yes. The show lived up to all my expectations and exceeded them. It really is spectacular.
I ice skated in my youth (yes, I’m feeling old today) with state ice hockey players. To be clear, I wasn’t one of the state ice hockey players, I just hung out with them on Friday nights at the local rink.
I got as far as zipping around the ice at reasonable speed and learning how to do those skid stops where you spray each other with ice. For the rest of it, I simply enjoyed holding onto the others as they whirled me around and around the rink, hair flying behind me.
The point of this little reverie is that I know how damned hard ice skating is.
The Disney on Ice figure skaters, however, make it look so incredibly simple. It was like watching the Olympic figure skating finals, but dressed up as Ariel, Elsa, Anna and more.
Is it just for girls? Or will boys like it too?
If I’m completely honest with myself, I took the boys to see Disney on Ice because I wanted to see it. I was just hoping that they’d sit through it long enough without wreaking havoc.
To give you a benchmark – Mr 3 sat through approximately 20 minutes of Finding Dory last week before I dragged him out of the cinema, with him screeching that he wanted to go home.
I needn’t have worried.
The same little boy sat absolutely still, mouth open, eyes glued to the stage, for the entire performance bar about 10 minutes towards the end when he just couldn’t hold it together any longer and started trying to escape up and down the stairs.
Mr 6 didn’t need any encouragement at all.
Yes, there were plenty of little girls in the audience dressed up as princesses. Yes, there was merchandise-galore for sale at the venue that would adequately accessorise the frilliest of frocks.
But there were also boys attacking each other with plastic swords, playing the knightly role.
I put a ban on the boys buying any merchandise (I’m mean like that) but I let them look. Mr 3’s hypothetical choice? A princess wand and a hot pink princess t-shirt. Because boys may be boys, but also children with active imaginations – if we let them.
Where will Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival be heading to next?
Disney on Ice is at Rod Laver Arena until 5 July. The tour then moves on to Newcastle between 8-10 July and Sydney from 13-17 July.
Check the Disney on Ice website for tour dates, venues and to purchase tickets.
I highly recommend it for all ages and genders! It was truly magical and so much fun.
Disclosure: I was gifted tickets by Feld Entertainment for the purpose of writing this review. I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own.