As a mother, a former Girl Scout Troop Leader, and a lifelong Disney fan, I have always appreciated Disney On Ice. Over the years, I have seen quite a few versions of this awe-inspiring performance, and it’s never failed to impress. Disney On Ice typically has multiple shows in varied themes traversing the nation simultaneously. On September 4, 100 Years of Magic premiered at Orlando’s Amway Center, maintaining the tradition of mesmerizing magic on ice.
100 Years of Magic chronicles a showcase of Disney favorites. From the old to the new, masterpieces of magic and wonder are brought to life in vibrant, graceful detail, set to the generational soundtracks we all find so charmingly familiar. Kicked off by the Mouse-ter of Ceremonies, Mickey Mouse, his beloved Minnie, and loyal pals Donald Duck and Goofy, 100 Years of Magic is a whirlwind tribute to fantasy and triumph, with a twinkle of childhood whimsy.
The story of Pinocchio is the first tale to unfold, as the enchanting Blue Fairy drifts across the ice in smooth precision. As much as I loved this segment, my first jaw-drop came with the introduction of the second story, led by a totally awesome dude.
The search for little Nemo introduces a host of undersea friends, including Marlin, Dory…
and of course, a bale of tubular turtles with unbridled energy. The spunky aqua-oriented caravan covers the ice in a bustle of fun, randomly breaking into their own individual displays of hyperactive agility and personality. These costumes are brilliantly imagined.
I’m the stereotypical girly-girl, and I love my Disney princesses. The princess procession is incredible, but frankly, it could have been a bit longer. A bevy of beauties and their beaus take turns with the spotlight, including Belle, Tiana, Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella, and Jasmine.
The elegance of the costumes combine with the choreography to create an alluring display that is unparalleled. While fully “costumed” characters may dazzle us with their maneuvers under these limitations, the princesses demonstrate the most skilled demonstrations.
The segments comprising the first half of the show are all a bit abbreviated, and it appears that this was designed to accommodate a lengthy portion of the show dedicated to Frozen.
I will be the first to acknowledge that I am an enigma. My family is part of that minority that simply cannot stand the Frozen obsession. However, I certainly can’t avoid the understanding that many people can’t get enough of it. Frozen fans will thoroughly appreciate the elaborately detailed re-creation of Disney’s latest smash hit.
Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Hans, and Olaf join forces to relive every highlight of the blockbuster film, complete with full musical performance.
Olaf’s urge for an endless summer is aided by a chorus line of fluttering companions.
The sets for the Frozen segment are elaborate and breathtaking, including bountiful details and elemental enhancements. Elsa’s magic touch even manages to summon flurries of snow, and reflections of drifting snowflakes across the icy floor.
This segment features less elaborate physical performance, but the most powerful musical contributions, aided heavily by the audience of course. We may have been the only attendees not lending our voices to the “Let it Go” chorus!
A brief intermission follows the summertime snow-cation. As soon as the show resumes, we are treated to back-to-back displays of some of our favorite Disney creations.
You ain’t never had a friend like Genie, AND… you certainly never had 21 of them, but we did! The first post-intermission segment signals a stream of Genies joining Aladdin for a famed musical performance, and it is flawlessly executed. I must confess that I perfected the “in-seat boogie” straight through to the Toy Story segment, which is led by a march of toy soldiers.
If you saw Goofy drag out a gong, what would you suspect to be brewing? While my kids figured it out immediately, it wasn’t until I heard the world “scroll” that I realized what was coming. Mulan was our next star to gawk at. Of all the Disney films, this is one that holds the most special memories for my daughter and I. The light of excitement that illuminated her now-adult face absolutely made my night.
From start to finish, this portion of the show is so very well done, and our silent appreciation was well beyond evident by the exceptionally broad smiles we wore. I may have been guilty of a bouncing squeal or two. I’m sure that many families experienced quiet bonding moments over the course of the evening. This was ours. Can I just say that Mushu is probably the most superior being to grace the ice?
It is Rafiki who leads the closing performance: “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba”… but undoubtedly, it is Pumbaa who steals the show. We’re all still contemplating the possibilities of the performance, and how it was achieved, but this was single-handedly the most impressive performance of the night. Nala and Simba close out the performances with a breathtakingly romantic couple’s skate leading into the finale featuring an ensemble of the show’s beloved stars in a spellbinding closing chorus.
The number of contributors to a Disney On Ice show is staggering, and the level of talent they display is simply immeasurable. Bringing Disney classics to life in this fashion is certainly no easy task, and every successful moment warrants extreme respect and admiration. For Disney fans, it’s just another layer of the magical onion – seeing our most endeared fantasy heroes in a whole new light, and enjoying their charming tales in an entirely new way. For those who admire the intricate art of ice skating, it’s a stunningly intricate example of the sport. The costumes, colossal casts, mammoth scenes and meticulously coordinated timing take the art of ice skating to a whole new level as only the Disney name can. Disney On Ice is a show for all ages – combining a generational appeal and nostalgia that is sure to appeal to the entire family.