When Disney’s new ice-skating show, Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic, rolled into town this week, it turned Raleigh’s PNC Arena into a magical place, where princesses and princes cavorted with magicians and fairies, talking animals, and dancing snowmen. The princesses and princes weren’t only on the ice, but also in the audience, whose sons and daughters gleefully dressed up as all of the Disney princes and princesses: Elsa and Charming, Cinderella and Aladdin, etc. The 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9th, performance — which kept local kids up way past their bedtimes — truly celebrated the many years of magic that Disney has given to generations of kids all over the world.
As soon as the lights dimmed and the stalwarts of Disney’s family (Mickey and Minnie Mouse, of course) skated onto the ice to warm up the crowd, the audience bought into the fairy tales skating to the sounds of more than 30 memorable hits from dozens of Disney shows. The framework of the show is built upon Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald’s endeavors to put together a movie. But it need not have been structured that way, because brief moments from well-loved stories were enough for the already star-struck crowd.
Fourteen tales, starring 50 of Disney’s favorite characters, kept the young crowd mesmerized. All of the Disney princesses had their moments on ice, but the scenes from Frozen shimmered with snowflakes; and even though the soundtrack was lip-synched by the lovely skaters embodying the sisters, Elsa and Anna, one could barely hear the music above the voices of kids of all ages singing along with “Let It Go.”
Frozen wasn’t the only beloved movie that had the audience singing along. Finding Nemo’s father-and-son story made the little fish in the audience wiggle their bodies as they sang “Beyond the Sea,” and one of the loudest rounds of applause came for the stars of The Lion King, when the first notes of “Hakuna Matata” sounded.
“Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast brought giggles; and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin caused the adult members of the audience to turn to each other, nodding solemnly when they recognized the voice of the late, great Robin Williams, who played the part of the Genie in that well-loved movie.
There are also cenes from other Disney tales, including Tangled, the story about Rapunzel, and The Princess and the Frog, a tale about Tiana, the girl who wants to open a restaurant but gets caught up drama after she kisses a frog. Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story flipped across the ice in an athletic duet, while Snow White and the Little Mermaid made guest appearances during the parade of princesses and princes.
The audience in the almost-full arena warmly welcomed each and every one of the 50 Disney stars who glided, flipped, twirled, and spun across the ice. Kids danced in the aisles, sang their hearts out and fought through their regular bedtime to soak in every moment of the enchanted show, as generations before them have done.
It’s amazing that the skaters can accomplish such feats as double axels, flips, spins, and turns, to begin with; but to do all of that on top of acting and moving their lips effectively to match their music is phenomenal. Not once did a smile falter or did a skater lose credibility on the ice. And that’s what makes all Disney shows magical: the time and effort the actors put into making their characters believable draws children into the tale and keeps them there until the last moment, when the lights come up and it’s time to head back to the reality, with visions of their favorite Disney characters dancing in their heads. It seems fitting that shows like this come back to the area during this time of year, when another all-time favorite (Santa) also keeps children dreaming of their happily-ever-after.
Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic will play six more performances at the PNC Arena in Raleigh before it closes here on Sunday, Dec. 13th. Then the tour will continue across the Southeastern United States.
PNC Arena presents DISNEY ON ICE CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF MAGIC at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12, and 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at 1400 Edwards Mill Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
PNC Arena Box Office: Buy in person.
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115097/2104113.
GROUP RATES: 919-510-0641.
SHOW: http://www.thepncarena.com/events/detail/disney-on-ice-2 and https://www.facebook.com/events/495552230606772/.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://www.disneyonice.com/100-years-of-magic#videosPhotos.
PRESENTER: http://www.thepncarena.com/, https://www.facebook.com/pncarena, and https://twitter.com/PNCArena.
Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic (1999 ice show): http://www.disneyonice.com/100-years-of-magic (official website) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_on_Ice#100_Years_of_Magic_.281999.29 (Wikipedia).
Disney on Ice (touring ice shows, produced by Feld Entertainment): http://www.disneyonice.com/ (official website), http://www.feldentertainment.com/Shows/DisneyOnIce/ (Feld Entertainment), https://www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce/ (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/disneyonice (Twitter page), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_on_Ice (Wikipedia), and (YouTube).
Feld Entertainment (producer): http://www.feldentertainment.com/ (official website).
Dawn Reno Langley is a Durham, NC-based author who writes novels, poetry, children’s books, and nonfiction books on many subjects, as well as theater, music, and dance reviews. She is also a writer, editor, writing coach at Reno’s Literary Services of Durham. To read all of Dawn Langley’s Triangle Review reviews online at Triangle Arts and Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/dawn-reno-langle/. To read more of her writings, click http://dawnrenolangley.blogspot.com/ and http://poetryandgardening.blogspot.com/.