I recently attended Disney on Ice: Worlds of Enchantment at the BHGE Arena (AECC), with my 9 year old son.
I don’t know who was more excited me or the little one! Disney still has that element of magical fun for me at age 28… And… ice skating (as someone who can barely stand up on ice never mind dance elegantly) is pretty magical too!
So with all our excitement, we arrived a little early… As we waited outside we saw people trying to sell merchandise before we even got to the doors! Also while we waited we saw a wheelchair user arrive and be shown to a separate door for easy access – a view I liked a lot more than the ‘for sale’ guys for sure!
The venue, for this particular show, had wheelchair accessible spaces at the side & front of stage at floor level (stage is floor level too) so it looked like a great view. In fact, I think all seats have good views for this show – high praise for the set up and the performers for ensuring everyone can see all characters and all the action… unlike your standard concert at times. The performers go around different sections of the stage and pose in each direction etc so you won’t be disappointed in terms of your view.
- Toy story (our favourite bit!)
- Little mermaid
- Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Daffy Duck also appear.
There is also a snow machine adding falling ‘snow’ and a bubble machine which add an extra element to bringing the characters and show to life for little ones (who am I kidding, for adults too!)
The set up really does try to make it a full experience from the Disney music playing on arrival, to the almost mesmerising feel you get from the ice stage lit up ready for the show.
However along with this on arrival… upon entering the venue… we were met with many merchandise stalls (which also came around the seating area during the breaks too). I must admit as an event attendee and Mum (with limited disposable income)… I dislike events that have “buy this, buy that” every where you turn as it takes away from the event experience for me. That magical moment gets a little lost. When the merchandise etc are all very visually attractive for your children… many parents will find themselves buying items and spending more money than they would like, to make their children happy as kids will insist they ‘absolutely NEED’ that toy!
While I as an Event Professional understand the importance of this extra income source at events, and know that taking away something from an event can help spread the fun memories etc…so, I’ve mixed views on this.
I have been to a Disney on ice show before and did buy the ice filled cups and one item from the toy stall for my son. It was a fun element of our visit last time I admit, however on this occasion I had told him in advance I wouldn’t be buying things we didn’t need this time. He was okay with this… We settled for a little scoop of ice cream from the venue’s standard vendor at a much lower price and settled in to our seats.
One other thing I noticed was that the two photo booths available were with cardboard princesses. Only princesses… no boy related ones! Don’t get me wrong I am not falling in to gender stereotypes here… My son likes Elsa from Frozen and actually has toys of her and went through a phase of wanting to dress up like her! Which I have no issues with, however the show featured Toy Story so I think a photo booth with Woody or Buzz Lightyear would have been well placed for the boys who don’t like the princesses (and the girls…. I loved Woody when I was younger, even writing my name on the shoe of the toy I had!)
Those are our only negatives though.. I know many reviews won’t point out negatives sometimes but for me I’d rather give my full honest opinions! However, overall we loved the Disney on Ice show and highly recommend it for next time it comes here. I’m not sure if we will attend next time as my son being 9 now, he may soon outgrow this a little.
As the son of an events professional of course he enjoys events too and even evaluates them with me! On this occasion his views were: “It was quite good… I like the show because the characters look good & like the actual characters. The Cars bit could have been longer though”
You can read our thoughts on another family event here.
Have you ever attended a Disney on Ice event, what were your thoughts?