Opening night for Disney on Ice was fun and memorable. Of course, anything Disney is always magical! I was delighted to attend with Joey, my 10 year old, disabled son, and our guests, Kathy and her 16 year old son Michael. Disney on Ice 2014 at San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center started with a cute little act before the show actually began. A few stage hands tossed propellers out over the audience cued to sound effects to get everyone going and excited (as if that was needed). Later we saw that these toys were available for sale in the concession stands.
The show opened according to Disney formula with Mickey and Minnie who were shortly joined by their cohorts Donald and Goofy. This foursome act as narrators and guides joining all of the acts of the show together.
This opening number was followed by a short act involving all of the Cars from the hit movies.
The audience loved this and the roars of approval nearly drowned out Lightning McQueen’s signature “Kachow” when he arrived on stage.
Following the departure of our automobile friends, Mickey and his gang returned briefly to introduce everyone’s most beloved mermaid, Ariel. This segment was beautifully skated including some jumps and a duet with Eric and Ariel that had some wonderful lifts.
Then it was time for Mickey and Company to introduce the next “fantasy”. In a departure from the usual Disney Princess Parade that has been the template for Disney on Ice shows in the past, we were instead transported to Pixie Hollow where we were introduced to Tinkerbelle and all of her neighbors.
This was a cute segment. There was not a lot of spectacular skating, but there were two separate high wire flying fairies which made the audience ooh and ahh. Pixie Hollow did not resonate with me personally both because of the lack of great skating and because of the storyline which alas, was after my time, but the younger audience loved it.
Intermission followed Tinkerbelle where the usual assortment of light up toys, circus style snacks and other goodies were all available for purchase. It is a Disney trademark that every concession come with a take away, so Joey’s program came with his very own Mickey ears, the popcorn came with a vinyl tote bag (making it easy to split between the two kiddos) and a new twist this time was the addition of a lightup snowcone mug, which he loved. Intermission was 20 minutes which was long enough for a bathroom pitstop and probably most of the time needed for a concession stop. The Disney concessions are all available in the stands though, so unless you need to pay with debit, I recommend letting them come to you.
The second act reopened with Mickey and friends, who introduced the green army men from Toy Story. This was probably the most spectacular numbers of the show as it was an entire military drill routine, complete with rifles ALL ON ICE SKATES. It was something to watch and brought down the house. This was followed up by a complete reenactment of Toy Story 2 which represented the total second act.
Opening night can be pretty chaotic at San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center. Our seats were the same as when we attended Disney Live!, front and center up in the terrace level which put us in perfect line with center stage, but at a distance. The show began at 7PM when the venue was only about 1/3 full but by 20 minutes in, it was a full house. Sadly this meant for the first 20 minutes of the show, everyone who arrived on time was being jostled or blocked by the parade of late arrivals, which was a disappointment.
Over all, I think Disney on Ice is hitting a good chord with their target audience. I did see this show last year though, and I felt that the quality and quantity of actual ice skating was less in this incarnation. The storylines however, were well chosen and well received.
Denamaire Lindsay is a member of the Simple Sojourns team. We didn’t receive any compensation for this post. Media tickets were provided through US Family Guide. All opinions and photographs (unless otherwise credited) belong to Denamaire Lindsay and may not be used without written permission.