These days there are so many different ways to get your Disney fixing. The most obvious pursuit for any family to strive for is to go on vacation to one of the many impressive Disney theme park/Disney Resort destinations now in existence. Walt Disney World Resort in Florida remains the number choice for many folks, with Disneyland Resort in California coming in at a close second. And then there are other alternatives to the Parks that still allow for interactive Character Experiences paired with Disney Magic, like setting sail with Disney Cruise Line or even escaping to Disney’s coveted Aulani Resort in Hawai’i.
Realistically, though, not everyone is in a position where they can plan to be away for an extended amount of time. If this describes you, you’re probably nodding along, thinking about all those very good reasons that are preventing you from going on a Disney trip, and maybe even feeling a little guilty about the fact that your kids are missing out on the Disney Experience that so many other young ’uns get to readily enjoy. Well, what if I told you there is a way to enjoy the Magic of Disney with all your favorite Characters live and in person within a convenient driving range from your home? I am, of course, referring to Disney On Ice. Perhaps you’ve heard of it but only know the basics—that it is a form of Disney Entertainment that travels from city to city worldwide, featuring ice-skating Disney Characters. But there is so much more to it than that, and this may very well be your answer to getting your Disney fill on a more localized level that you can certainly work with. So, with that being said, here’s everything you need to know about Disney On Ice.
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A Brief Bit of History
Disney On Ice, originally known as Walt Disney’s World On Ice, began its run back in 1981 as a production by Entertainment’s Ice Follies And Holiday on Ice, Inc. in agreement with the Walt Disney Company. Its founding mission was to provide an all-new form of Disney Entertainment while showcasing some of the finest figure skaters acting in roles as beloved Disney Characters from the Company’s most well-known films of all time. The first show premiered to a sold-out crowd in New Jersey Meadowlands on July 14, 1981. Nobody could have predicted its vast popularity or the ongoing success that was to come at the time. However, four decades and more than 320 million spectators later, Disney On Ice is still going strong as one of the longest licensees of the Walt Disney Company.
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Multiple Shows to Choose From
There are various different Disney On Ice shows to choose from, giving Guests a couple of viable options and considerations at any given time. To date, there have been 48 different storylines presented, with more than 70,000 active performances having taken place throughout its tenure thus far. Currently running Disney On Ice features include: Find Your Hero, Into the Magic, Let’s Celebrate, Road Trip Adventures, and Frozen & Encanto. Do note, however, that not all shows concurrently travel to the same arena at the same time.
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It goes without saying that you’ll be seeing Disney Characters at any presentation. Of course, depending on which show you go to depends on which Characters you will get to see. With Road Trip Adventures, you can count on appearances by Aladdin, Elsa, Toy Story friends, The Lion King bunch, Mary Poppins and Jack from Mary Poppins Returns, Rapunzel, Mr. Incredible, and Ariel. Into the Magic features “big dreamers” like Miguel from Coco, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, friends from Beauty and the Beast, Elsa, Anna, Moana, and Cinderella. Find Your Hero includes characters from such beloved Disney classic films as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, Frozen, and Moana. Let’s Celebrate is a culmination show featuring 50-some different Disney Characters from various film and entertainment presentations, including Snow White and Classic Disney Characters like Donald Duck and Goofy. And as you’d expect, the combo show Frozen & Encanto features favorite characters from both films.
One Character you can expect to pop up during each and every Disney On Ice performance is the one and only Mickey Mouse, of course! Whether serving as a host or actively participating, no Disney On Ice presentation would be complete without Mickey!
During select tours, there are opportunities available for Guests to have an Upgraded Character Experience, which comes at an additional cost and often takes the form of a special pre-show engagement activity up to an hour before the main event. Activities may range from dance parties to unique crafting events and one-on-one Character Meet and Greet photo sessions.
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Did you know that Disney On Ice is the largest employer of professional figure skaters worldwide? Furthermore, throughout its four-decade tenure, some very impressive names in professional skating have been attached to various shows, past and present. One notable name you may recognize is Linda Fratianne. Famous for being a two-time world champion, four-time U.S. champion, and Olympic medalist, Linda Fratianne was a featured skater in the inaugural production of Disney On Ice and continued performing with the show throughout its first 10 years. Other impressive members who have appeared on the roster include Olympic gold medalist Katarina Witt, two-time Olympic bronze medalist Phillippe Candeloro, and 50 or more former Olympians and Olympic hopefuls who have taken on both lead and ensemble roles.
The average Disney On Ice skater brings more than 15 years of experience to the table. Training is intense, with skaters rehearsing for over 550 hours to prepare for every new tour. The average Disney On Ice Skater spins around 300 rotations per minute and can fly across the ice at over 20 mph. And it’s more than the act of skating to contend with. Remember that several of these performers are garbed in costumes that sometimes weigh up to 50 pounds! And because some performers fill multiple roles, quick-changing abilities are also required. The goal is to change costumes in 30 seconds or less, with a turnaround time for redoing makeup in under three minutes.
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Kids Are Welcome to Dress Up
As is the case throughout Disney Parks, younger kids are more than welcome to dress up as their favorite Disney Characters for any Disney On Ice engagement. However, this only applies to children who are under the age of 14, as older Guests are not permitted to attend in costumed attire of any kind.
Also, remember that you will be inside an ice-skating arena that is typically kept at 10+ degrees cooler than the temperature outside. So, depending on how you and your kiddos do in such temperatures, you may want to consider bringing along jackets or viable outerwear. If you have a little Princess decked out in her favorite dress, ensure that she is adequately layered or bundled up.
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Most Disney On Ice performances run somewhere within the ballpark of 90 minutes to two hours. This includes a 15 to 20-minute intermission that allows for bathroom breaks, a chance to stretch out and walk around, and maybe even check out the souvenirs and show memorabilia.
Ticket prices are, for the most part, surprisingly reasonable when you consider Disney’s admitted penchant for being expensive. But of course, there are variables to consider regarding how much you initially end up paying for the overall experience at hand. For instance, you can pick your seats based on an available seating chart at a given arena as you purchase tickets. And depending on where you choose to sit will, of course, reflect on the cost. Pricing may range from $20 to $110 accordingly.
If you upgrade to an enhanced Character Experience, you will, on average, be paying an additional $55 per person for Guests two and older. It’s also important to remember that varying arenas charge differently for parking.
All these are important factors to consider when tentatively pricing your Disney On Ice experience, but there’s still more. Remember when I said there are souvenirs and other merch being sold onsite? Well, just a heads up, some of these items can be very costly—even more than your overall tickets! So, know in advance and budget accordingly.
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Impressive Show Facts
Disney On Ice truly is an impressive experience to take in. And there are many equally interesting facts about how it all comes together. For instance, within its four-decade existence, Disney On Ice has performed in 68 countries in more than 545 cities. Shows have been translated into 41 languages.
In just a single tour, Disney On Ice travels an average of around 13,860 miles. That almost equates to driving back and forth between Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California six times. Furthermore, the amount of time it takes to set up for a single show can range up to 14 hours and involves a 20-member crew. Installing and breaking down the ice floor following a show’s conclusion requires 425 hours of manual labor.
Disney On Ice shows all feature the obvious, like elite skaters donning elaborate costumes. But given the fact that every performance tells a unique Disney-inspired story, it’s also noteworthy to mention how each installment incorporates its own impressive scenery, special floats, choreographed music, and in-house special effects. These include strobe lights and even pyrotechnics.
Disney On Ice is certainly an experience to consider if you’re looking for a low-cost closer-to-home option for getting your fix of Disney Magic. It’s also the perfect must-do for the ultimate Disney fan looking to have every Disney Experience under the sun imaginable. Click here to learn even more about Disney On Ice or to find out which experiences are coming soon to a city near you.