The bottom line
Enjoy the Disney experience without booking a trip to the theme park. It’s a magical adventure for the whole family, especially for kids who are big fans of Frozen.
I know I’m probably not alone in my mixed feelings about Disney’s latest virally popular movie Frozen. The ear worm that is Let it Go has been sung by my 6-year-old daily since the movie came out and I've probably rolled my eyes more than once at the frozen-themed everything that has invaded my home (even Band-Aids!). If you plan to take your Frozen fan to this production, be prepared to walk through a sea of miniature Elsas (and the occasional Anna) as you make your way to your seat. My daughter was one of them.
I can’t think of a movie that is better suited for an on-ice adaptation, with its many snow and ice-magic elements. Disney goes all out to make it as magical as possible, transforming the ice rink using 20 snow machines that create over 40 liters of snow for every performance. This production helped me see the story and characters through a fresh lens, and reminded me why it is so wildly popular. My three kids, ages 8, 6 and 4, were captivated the entire night.
For those who haven’t seen a Disney on Ice production, don’t be fooled by the Frozen theme. The production highlights characters from multiple Disney films in the choreographed introduction, including Rapunzel, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Lion King and even Mickey and Minnie Mouse. My kids were pleased by the variety, especially my youngest who is a huge fan of Mickey.
But, Frozen characters do get the most play.
Interpreting any film into a live ice-skating performance seems like it would be a challenge, but the execution of this show was flawless. For these productions, songs from the soundtrack are recorded and the performers pantomime and figure skate to the music. In theory, it sounds awkward, and it very well could be if it wasn’t for the well-crafted costumes (apparently there are over 108 for this production), the captivating special effects and the talented cast.
I’m admittedly not in-the-know when it comes to the technical side of figure skating, but if anyone has solved the Matrix and figured out how to bend the laws of physics, it’s this cast. How did the two skaters in the Sven suit not fall on their butts? How did Kristoff (Jono Partridridge) do that back flip? There are many mysteries and few answers, and perhaps that’s half the fun. The choreography brought both characters to life, with the elegant and mysterious Elsa (Becky Bereswill) and "adorkable" and quirky Anna (Taylor Firth) delivering equally captivating and stunning performances. It’s light on plot and dialogue and heavy on musical numbers and high-jinks, but if you are familiar with the storyline (who isn’t?) then it's easy to follow.
I'll leave some of the mystery for those who may attend, but the most enjoyable moments for me and my kids included Olaf's solo among the bees and summer flowers, the Duke of Weaseltown ("It's Weselton!"), the overwhelming plumes of indoor snow, and the epic rise of the snow monster named Marshmallow. No humor or charisma was lost from film to ice, but rather creatively transformed in a way that we can expect from Disney. Yes, they are marketing geniuses, but I'm more than willing to fall into the trap on occasion.
● Eat beforehand, unless you are okay with paying the same per ounce for stadium food that you would for filet mignon.
● Arrive early. All those excited kids in one place makes for chaotic yet slow-moving lines. Plus, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of Elsas.
● If your child has a Disney character costume of some kind, let them wear it. Or, you can buy one from the super-expensive display area. Your call.
● Be prepared to buy something in the lobby area, or to deal with a possible melt-down. It’s like they transplanted the Disney toy store into the lobby. We tried to walk fast.
● Make a pit stop at the potty beforehand. The show runs for around two hours with just one intermission.
● Bring jackets. My kids didn't need their jackets, but it may get a bit chilly if you sit near the ice.
Where and when:
Kent, Wash., ShoWare Center Nov. 11–16, show times vary, see site for details.
Everett, Wash., Xfinity Arena at Everett Nov. 18–22. Show times vary, see site for details.
Tickets: Prices begin at $30. Ages 2 and older must have a ticket.