A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win 4 tickets to tonight’s performance of Disney on Ice at the Pensacola Bay Center. I was at a fundraiser for the LEAP Trail (which is a really neat thing for our city. You can check out the details here and our very own Jennifer Harrison is a member of Pensacola LEAP 2013!) and had the winning bid on a great package that included the tickets. My daughter’s 3rd birthday was yesterday and to say that she loves all the Disney Princesses would be the understatement of the year. So, I figured what the heck? LEAP Trail is a great thing to give money to and my baby girl would have a ball!
I have to say that I was seriously impressed with the show. Having really young kids, this was my first time and this type of show that is clearly geared toward the younger set. I expected something much more cheesy and frankly, with a lot less talent. I was wrong! This is a wonderful production with seriously talented ice skaters, beautiful sets and costumes, and great production value. There are 3 performances left and I highly recommend it, if you have young kids who are big fans of Disney. Tickets range from $17-$52 and all the info is here. I think we were in the $30 seats and they were just fine. Honestly, for this type of show, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
They open things with a cute “cast warm-up” that encourages the audience to get up and move around and it’s led by The Incredibles. It was fun and very cute, although we opted to stay seated since we both had kids in our laps. Next comes Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, who tell you that this night is about looking for “Treasures” that are the Disney characters. First we have a big, fun number with the entire cast of “Alice in Wonderland”. The dancing cards that are hearts one side and clubs on the other are really cool. And the Queen of Hearts is sufficiently mean. But, Alice keeps her head and all is well. The first act ends with a second full cast number that is almost the whole story of Peter Pan. Captain Hook and Mr Smee are actually really cute bad guys. The Lost Boys are adorable, Wendy and her brothers and great but Peter Pan steals this number. He’s an excellent skater and after an epic battle between the pirates and lost boys, he saves the day, but not without the help of a flying (and skating) Tinkerbell. My kids LOVED this part. Also, Captain hook gets eaten by the biggest crocodile puppet in history! Hooray!
Intermission is quick and Act II is all about the Disney Princesses! (which is good because Samantha kept asking me, “Mama, when are the princesses coming?”) But before we get our princess fix, we are treated to a visually stunning number from The Lion King. From the opening with a beautiful set piece depicting “Pride Rock” and Rafiki to the gorgeously skated ending with Simba and Nala to “Can you Feel the Love Tonight”, this was probably my favorite large cast number. I thought the neatest part was the way they portrayed the stampede in the canyon that results in the death of Mufasa. It was so cool and incredibly inventive. I am always so impressed with stuff like that. It reminded me of the amazing way Animal Kingdom does the “Finding Nemo” show with puppets. Way cool.
Finally, it is Princess Time! Mickey and the gang re-appear to tell us that coming up the first feature film that Walt Disney produced and out come 7 cute little guys to give us a quick version of Snow White. The manage to touch on the whole story in about 8 minutes. Snow White is another very talented skater and her part with her Prince is very pretty. The big Act II number is from Aladdin and it’s great! The Genie is fun, Aladdin rides in on an elephant and the Magic Carpet flies! Aladdin, just like most of the other leads, is immensely talented. He does a spin at the end that made my kids squeal and clap. A great number. After that, we were treated to Ariel and Sebastian and some under-the-sea creatures that were fun. Then a very cute and really beautiful skate with Rapunzel and Flynn. (she’s my favorite Princess and “I See the Light” is so pretty!) They even had the floating lanterns. I loved this one. Then Tiana and Naveen did a bit to “Dig a Little Deeper” that was upbeat and again, very fun. (I need better adjectives besides ‘cute’ and ‘fun’…but you get the picture.) Finally, we see Mickey and company again and then the pinnacle for all the little girls in the house….every Disney princess and her prince!! I can’t for the life of me remember what they skated to, but it was big and flashy and gave ample time for everyone to skate all over the ice. Let me put it this way…my daughter pointed to all her favorites that were not featured several times over. “Mama! Belle! Cinderella! Sleeping Beauty! Mulan!” She was thrilled. I should mention that my 4 year old son had a ball, too. And even my husband was impressed.
A few things to know before you go-
- Parking at the Bay Center is FREE, but the front fills up fast. So, if you don’t want to walk up the giant ramp, I’d get there at least 30 minutes early.
- The Bay Center is so proud of their snacks. We tell the kids they can pick one thing to share and a drink to share as well. (after the circus last year) This time it was popcorn. I think the cotton candy (with the Mickey ears, that frankly I could do without) was $15. Wha? Anyway, I make sure the kids eat a decent dinner and stick some goldfish in my purse.
- Holy Over-Priced Souvenirs, Batman! My daughter, God bless her, is not one to ask for anything, anywhere. She didn’t even notice the scads of Princess-y, sparkly crap that was $20 and up. ( I love her slightly more for this particular trait.) My son whined about getting a sword all night and in fact, we are going to Wal-Mart in the morning to purchase a reasonably priced plastic one. You’ve been warned.
- If you have a little girl, by all means let her dress up. Sam wore her tiara with a sundress, because she doesn’t have a Disney princess costume just yet, but we saw so many girls dressed up. Very cute.
The shows tomorrow are at 2:00 and 6:00 and then again at 2:00 on Sunday. Tickets are available here. Let us know if you go and what you and your kids thought about it. We always love to hear from our readers. xoxo Jules