So after we moved here, occasionally the shows would come into town, and we'd see the commercials, and we came to the conclusion that Disney on Ice was for people who couldn't justify a trip all the way to Disneyland. We didn't think too much of it until they started showing commercials again this year, and suddenly we just had to go. So we called Leia to secure a ride, and off we went!
I should probably start out by saying that while yes, I did have the camera with me, I chose not to use it. The only things that I'd want pictures of were in the show, and we learned long ago that trying to watch a show and take pictures at the same time is a surefire way to miss the show. And my photography skills are just terrible, so I wouldn't even have pretty pictures to show for it.
Anyway. We got to the arena a little early, because Leia wasn't sure how long it would take to find parking, and then how long it would take to find the arena from wherever we were parked. Fortunately, we found a great parking structure practically across the street. Unfortunately, it cost $7 to park there, but you can't go to one of these things without expecting to spend money. It's not as bad as Disneyland parking, anyway.
While we waited for the show to start, we looked at all the souvenirs vendors were carrying around selling to people. They had cotton candy that came with Mickey Mouse ears, coloring books, those spinny toys that kids seem to be obsessed with these days--oh, speaking of which. While one of those toys goes for the ridiculous price of $22, it comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you can break the thing a thousand times and Disney will replace it for you free of charge (we heard one of the vendors telling the family in front of us). And not only that! but if you buy one, you can take it to future Disney events and trade it for a new one for free! Whoa! That alone almost tempted us to get one, but fortunately, we were out of cash from paying for parking. Also, we really don't understand the appeal of the spinny toys.
They also had--and this is what tempted us the most--these fancy souvenir cups with snowcones in them! They had one that looked like a beer tankard with Tinkerbell on it, and one that looked kind of like a chalice with Cinderella on it, and one that looked like a regular glass, only with silhouettes of Mickey and the gang on it, and it lit up! But $12 for a snowcone was a little too rich for our blood. Even with the fancy souvenir cups.
After we split an $8 personal size Freschetta pizza for dinner, we waited and waited and waited for the show to start (it felt like forever because we were thirsty, but too cheap to buy water, and the arena water fountains weren't working, which we're almost sure was a ploy to sell more water), the show finally started, and all our worry about being thirsty went away!
The lights went out, and we saw a few figures skate onto the rink, along with a giant thing that turned out to be a kind of picnic basket, I guess. When the spotlight turned on, it revealed Lumiere! It's almost hard to imagine them being able to start any show without Lumiere, when you think about it. He introduced the show and of course started singing Be Our Guest. As he sang a bunch of Disney characters skated out, and of course we got all excited to see each one of them. I think we were most surprised to see Pinocchio, who was adorable, and the Blue Fairy, who we keep thinking is never in anything for some reason. They kept adding more and more characters to the mix, and finally the giant picnic basket opened to reveal Mickey and Minnie! Yay!!!
The theme of this show was Let's Celebrate! (you can see the video preview for it at the website), and it was about various celebrations that we have throughout the year. After the opening number, Mickey was left on stage with the rest of his crew, and Pinocchio, Gepetto, and the Blue Fairy. They decided to start the celebration-celebration with a kind of celebration everybody has, their birthday! But who's birthday should we celebrate? Well, as it just so happens, says Pinocchio, it's Pinocchio's birthday!
Yay! So they get ready to start celebrating, but then Pinocchio's all like, "Oh no! What's happening!?" And the lights went all crazy, and he spun around and around! And his nose grew! Oooohhhh nooooooo!!! So the Blue Fairy gives him the lecture on telling the truth and fixes his nose, and then they skate off to help Gepetto in his workshop. It was a little cheesy, and they probably didn't need to take the dialogue straight from the movie, but it was kind of cute.
But now Mickey and friends have nobody's birthday to celebrate? Oh no! What will they do!? To save the day, Alice skates in with the Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and the White Rabbit (who disappears soon thereafter). The Mad Hatter explains that they just need to celebrate an unbirthday, and the problem is solved! Except that everybody needs an appropriate hat, and they have just enough party hats for everyone but Mickey. Oh no!
So Mickey steals the Mad Hatter's hat! I guess he was just teasing, because Donald's usually the more mischievous one. But anyway, they then played a game of keep-away to the tune of a Very Merry Unbirthday, and it was really hard to tell whose side Alice was on in the whole thing. Eventually I think the Hatter got his hat back, and then they played something that was kind of like musical chairs, only nobody got eliminated. It was mostly just Donald stealing a chair from Mickey every time the music stopped. But they did a slow-motion race to the last chair, which was pretty funny, especially considering that they were all on ice skates, but before the race was won, the White Rabbit suddenly reappeared with the cake.
Only he was in such a hurry (because he's late, you know) that he dropped the cake and it broke in pieces! Oooohhh noooo!! So the party was over, and it was time to clean up, and suddenly Mickey was holding a broom that looked kind of familiar...
(One thing about this show is that there are a million things to look at! It's great for distracting the audience so that things can "magically appear," but it also makes it really hard to know what to watch!)
Most of the crew had gone to put the table and chairs away, so Mickey and Goofy were left to sweep up. That's when Goofy found a hat for Mickey! (Speaking of things magically appearing. It was right at the front of the stage, but none of us saw it get there!) And hey, there was a matching robe! It's like they were made just for Mickey!
So Goofy goes off stage to do something, humming a familiar tune, while Mickey stays behind. His new costume gives him the idea to try something he's tried before... And he brings the broom to life! Only not that actual broom--for some reason the spell refused to work on that broom. But a bunch of brooms skated in from offstage! And they did a big skate routine to The Sorcerer's Apprentice music. It was pretty neat, but maybe a little too long for only Mickey and a bunch of brooms. We like to see face characters!
Then Minnie and Daisy came on, saw Mickey's costume (as he was feeling sorry for himself because... we forgot, but it might have been because he couldn't control the brooms very well?), and decided that the next celebration they'd feature would be Halloween. So they all went off to find decorations and get ready for trick-or-treating while Jack Skellington appeared to host the Halloween celebration. He (we think the skater was a girl, but Jack is a he, so) did a really cool skate routine to Jack's Lament, followed by What's This, with the lyrics altered to describe the setting of a Disney on Ice show instead of Christmas. We missed a lot of it because we were distracted by the skating, but one line I caught said something about the smell of cotton candy everywhere.
I guess the audience got him excited about Halloween again, because he called up some ghouls and goblins to sing This Is Halloween with him, and they did some pretty cool skating stuff too. And every so often, the song would be interrupted by a doorbell, and a guest would come in who was inevitably a popular Disney villain. So we ended up with all five of the villains that were onstage at the Villains' Victory Party around real Halloween (maybe that's where they got the Captain Hook costume...), but they didn't sing the We're Evil song, they just figured what the heck, we can join in the This Is Halloween song.
Finally, Mickey showed up for trick-or-treating, and we're like, "Oh no! Mickey's in danger!" And the Wicked Queen (in Ugly Hag form) tried to give him an apple as a treat, and he's like, "I just feel like I shouldn't eat it," and the villains are all threatening him to eat it anyway, so he keeps asking the audience, and we keep telling him Noooooo! Don't do it!!!, but the villains aren't going to let him off so easily. So he says, "Maybe we can scare them away if we all yell boo!" So we tried that and of course it didn't work (which was awesome), but we tried again, and happened to yell boo at the same time as some "scary ghosts" showed up behind them, and they all skated away, terrified. And then Mickey was like, "Ha, we did it!" but then he sees the ghosts and gets scared off, too, and then Donald and the rest take off their sheets and laugh at him.
Somehow they got that to segue into Minnie wishing for a prince charming on Valentine's Day. It made sense at the time, but I just don't remember why. (We just remembered! Minnie said something about how sweet Mickey was, and something something, and Daisy said something about how she had her Prince Charming right here, and Minnie was like, "Oh, that's nice, I want that, too!" or something like that.)
So to help Minnie's dream along, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother showed up! She said something about how "that's what fairy godmothers do," a point I would like to contest, but anyway, it worked for the show. So she put Minnie in a princess dress, and Minnie's like, "But how will I know when he's the one for me?" So the Fairy Godmother called some friends for advice. First, they asked Aladdin and Jasmine, who skated to A Whole New World (because apparently you know when he's the one when he shows you a whole new world).
Next, Belle and the Beast (only in human form! yay!!!) skated their story, and they were soooooo pretty together, with the costumes and everything. They were totally my favorites, but it might have just been because of the very nice royal blue of the Beast's jacket. Also, when they finished their routine, they skated to a corner of the stage where the Beast got out a bench and sat Belle down first, and then sat down himself to watch the other skaters. So gentlemanly♥
They were followed by Cinderella and Prince Charming, skating to a rather unusual arrangement of So This Is Love, and then there was... Mulan? Was Mulan next? The Fairy Godmother was like "Sometimes you have to get to know yourself first," so she skated alone to Reflection for a while, and then she skated around the giant fountain that had been put on stage, and when she came out the other side, there was Shang with her! Awwwwwwwwww♥♥♥! And they skated together for a while. Then it was either Snow White or Ariel, and then it was the other one, and finally they were joined by Tiana and Naveen, and all the routines were sooooooo pretty and made these shoujo manga fans very very happy.
Oh! I don't know which routine it was during, but for part of it, Belle and the Beast (they kept moving to a different place whenever a new couple came out) were sitting at the fountain, and Belle was sitting in a very ladylike position while the Beast stood there in a very gentlemanly pose. I almost broke our "no messing with the camera during the show" rule for that, but when I turned the camera on, I realized I had no idea what setting would get the picture to work against all the spotlights reflecting on the ice, so I gave up on the idea. Oh, it was so pretty, though.
Anyway. Then the Fairy Godmother gets us all the say the magic words with her to get Minnie her prince, and the fountain lowers to reveal Prince Mickey! who says, "Hiya, Minnie!" Kya♥ So cute!
And then they did a big finale number to a song from that movie that I don't like to mention, and it was so pretty and so sweet and so adorable. For part of it, they had the princes in a circle and the princesses in a different circle, with one inside the other skating in opposite directions, and whenever the prince got to his princess he was just so sweet. And one time they all bowed to them. Oh♥
And that was the end of act one. Time for an intermission! That's when we realized oh hey, they are selling programs, but we didn't want to risk being late to act two to get one.
For act two, Mickey and Minnie were ready to celebrate summer vacation! And Mickey had this fancy device that could take you anywhere with the push of a button! But he kept getting it wrong, and they ended up in a blizzard. So Minnie said, "Let me see that!" and took them to Hawaii, where Noni and David from Lilo & Stitch were having a luau! And they set the ice on fire! Whoa!
Maybe that ruined the drama. What happened was they started playing that really pretty Hawaiian music from the movie, and all these skaters came out holding torches, and then David skated away from the rest of them to I guess what counts as center stage, and he spun his torch around so it hit the ice and bam! fire! And it made a circle around him while he spun his torch some more. It was super awesome. As an added bonus, he wasn't wearing a shirt, and ice skaters are very nicely toned.
Of course Lilo and Stitch joined the party, too, and here was another example of too much stuff to look at. Lilo (who was adorable) was doing some fancy skating by herself while sometimes David and Noni were doing cool stuff as a couple, and sometimes David was teaching Goofy how to surf, and something they had a limbo thing going on (at Mickey's turn, they put the pole on the ground and he jumped over it). It was all very cool, and we definitely approve of giving David and Noni big parts. At one point, they skated up to each other from opposite directions and were about to kiss when Lilo skated inbetween them and pushed them apart. (We're pretty sure Lilo's not opposed to their relationship, but she does like to do things that bug Noni.)
After the luau, Mickey's like, "That was great, but now we need some peace and quiet," so he took his fancy device and pushed a button that got him lost at Carnivale in Rio. I was a little disappointed not to see Joe Carioca there. I think even the Disney people don't realize he's actually Brazilian. (We know the guy who plays him doesn't... (We follow him on Twitter.)) So they did a Carnivale number which was mostly non-named characters but had really nice costumes. And at the end of the party, Mickey finally realized that Minnie was gone. Where is she!? Oh no!
She somehow got sent to Japan, where they were celebrating the beginning of spring. Apparently the device not only takes you anywhere, but to any time of year. That aside, Minnie and a bunch of skaters in short skating kimonos did a really really pretty routine to a song that was not listed in the program, so I couldn't tell you what it was. It even had Japanese lyrics for part of it! At first, we were like, "Yeah, that's not a Japanese singer," but as we listened we thought maybe it was after all. But since they didn't list anything in the program, we may never know. Anyway, they had fans with light-up... those things on the fan, the sticks that hold them together? I feel like I should know what they're called, but I don't. Oh well. And the stage was all lit in pink (sakura color), and it looked like maybe they researched Japanese fan dancing, and it was so so pretty.
Then Minnie wondered where Mickey was, and he was in China, searching for Minnie and celebrating the Lunar New Year while he was at it. They did a dragon dance, and Mulan and Shang did some fancy couple skating, and then Shang gave Mickey a scroll that told him he would find what he was looking for in his own land, where the river meets the ocean, which of course means New Orleans. So off he went to find Minnie and celebrate Mardi Gras!
And of course you can't celebrate Mardi Gras without Tiana and Naveen, who had switched from his prince outfit to the outfit he wears at the beginning of the movie (and maybe the end, too, since Tiana was wearing her end-of-the-movie outfit) that he looks so good in. They did some jazzy skating, and Mickey and Minnie kept looking for each other but missing each other. But it was adorable, because Mickey would skate with Tiana and Minnie would skate with Naveen. Finally at the end, Tiana and Naveen shoved Mickey and Minnie together, and they turned around and found each other! Yaaaaay!!!
And then all the celebrating reminded them of the biggest celebration of the year, where everyone gets together to celebrate and be nice to each other and stuff. So they all got together to celebrate Christmas (only they didn't say Christmas). After they finally found Goofy in the chimney (he was being Santa Claus), the Toy Story characters came out of the presents and skated to The Toys Are Back In Town or whatever that song is called. I have to admit, while that's probably a major highlight for most people, it was kind of a letdown for us, but only because we have an irrational disdain for Toy Story. There was also a Troll doll, which was cute and did a funny little skate thingie at the very end, but we still have to wonder why Andy had Troll dolls. The big fad was before Molly would have been old enough to care, and we thought girls were more into Trolls. Maybe we're wrong about that, though.
Finally, Tinkerbell came out to do a little magic, and they brought out all the characters that weren't already skating as other characters and did a big finale with snow and fireworks! And it was just really great all around!
After the show, we made sure to buy a program (as I mentioned yesterday), and I've been wearing the hat that came with it all through typing this entry. But I might have to take it off because the elastic is a little short. It's like they made it for someone with a smaller head or something. Go figure.
Today I'm thankful for beautiful Disney princess skate routines, finally finding free washing and drying machines to do our laundry (somebody's forgetting to come get their clothes), having peanut butter cookies, having plans to have pizza for dinner tonight, and Disney fruit snacks.