Upcoming: Monster Jam

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Monster Jam is like my son’s dreams come true. Gigantic monster trucks crashing into each other and crushing things in their way? That’s pretty much his whole schtick while playing with his cars.

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, the trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. They can fly up to 125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air!

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Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic

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(Disney on Ice:100 Years of Magic is currently playing at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD, through Sunday, November 1. Buy tickets here. The show is currently touring around North America, and there are lots of dates in lots of different cities, so check the full calendar to see if it’s playing near you.)

There are currently five different touring Disney on Ice shows, and if you live in a major city, then you’re likely to see one of them come your way with some regularity. Earlier this year, we here in the Baltimore/DC region got World of Fantasy, and now 100 Years of Magic is coming through town.

The shows do have some distinct differences, but in all honesty, they’re remarkably similar. Even though we were prepared for this show to be cobbled together from recycled bits we’ve seen in other Disney on Ice performances, we were still pleasantly surprised to see some new characters and musical numbers.

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Ticket Giveaway: Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic

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This year’s incarnation of the Disney On Ice show is called 100 Years of Magic. Why 100 years? Good question. As far as I can tell, that name is just figurative. Almost nothing of lasting significance happened in 1915, and it wasn’t until 1923 that Walt and Roy Disney moved to Hollywood and set up their first animation studio.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit first appeared in 1926, and Mickey Mouse made his debut (with sound) in Steamboat Willy in 1928. So if we’re really meant to celebrate 100 years of magic with these characters, we still have a ways to go. But “87 Years of Magic” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Disney On Ice shows, check out our review of last year’s show: World of Fantasy. It should give you a good idea of what to expect: Mickey acts as host, a variety of characters perform routines to well-known songs, Anna and Elsa serenade the crowd, and there’s a big finale at the end with everyone.

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Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey presents Legends

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(Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends is currently playing the Baltimore-Washington, DC, area through April 19. Check dates and buy tickets here.)

Ah, the circus. Just the word conjures up so many different images, thoughts, and emotions. For some, going to the circus was an indelible part of childhood. For others, it’s been something to share with their own children.

For many, the circus–and particularly Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey–has become a lightning rod for controversy. Claims of animal neglect and abuse seem to dog the circus at every turn. Protesters are a common sight outside host arenas. And online activism is a more-or-less constant force against the circus.

And it’s taken a toll. Indeed, Feld Entertainment (the company that owns Ringling Bros) recently announced that it would eliminate elephants and elephant acts from all of its shows. After 145 years, they will be pulled from all Feld-owned circuses by 2018.

Some are declaring this a success, whereas others claim it’s merely a first step in the right direction.

On the flip side, there are those who side with Ringling and maintain that elephants are a defining characteristic of the traveling circus. The claim is that if you remove them, then there’s not much left.

It’s so easy to side with one of the extremes on this issue and add your voice to the chorus. Indeed, the voices at both extremes seem to be the loudest. However, I’m honestly somewhere in the middle.

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Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy

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(Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy is currently playing at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, through Monday, February 16. Buy tickets here. The show is currently touring around North America, and there are lots of dates in lots of different cities, so check the full calendar to see if it’s playing near you.)

Disney on Ice seems to be in the area every few months, and it seems like it’s a different show each time. Indeed, there are currently six different touring shows, and each is a bit different.

Worlds of Fantasy does its best to appeal to the entire family by splitting the show up into four segments—apparently two for girls and two for boys. Your mileage may vary. My daughter loved the “boy segments,” and my son enjoyed those ostensibly meant for girls.

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Monster Jam

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So, Monster Jam is one of those things I’ve heard about forever but have never actually seen live. Anyone who’s ever listened to the radio has probably heard one of those obnoxiously loud commercials: This Sunday! (Sunday! Sunday!)

This past weekend, Monster Jam came through Washington, DC, and I finally had the opportunity to go. What should you expect?

Noise. Lots and lots of noise.

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Ticket Giveaway: Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy

5855019_origDisney on Ice is still putting costumed characters on ice skates. Seems dangerous to me, but the performers at these shows are actually pretty impressive.

The Worlds of Fantasy show includes four separate storylines: Tinker Bell, The Little Mermaid, Cars, and Toy Story. Ostensibly, that’s two “for the girls” and two “for the boys.”

McQueen and Mater should be interesting—I’m not exactly sure how that’ll work or if there will actually be people inside on ice skates.

One thing that’s for sure, though, is that there will be plenty of familiar songs for the kids to groove along to. With these four storylines, we’re sure to at least get Under the Sea, Part of Your World, and You’ve Got a Friend in Me.

I’ve even got a nice little surprise for this one. Click here to download a coloring sheet with these characters. Enjoy!

If you’re in the Washington, DC area, Disney on Ice is returning to the area in the Verizon Center from February 11–16. Here’s the full schedule:

  • Wednesday, February 11: 7:30
  • Thursday, February 12: 10:30, 7:30
  • Friday, February 13: 7:30
  • Saturday, February 14: 10:30, 2:30, 6:30
  • Sunday, February 15: 12:30, 4:30
  • Monday, February 16: 12:30

Tickets are available at the Verizon Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Seats start at $20, but Roarbots readers can save $5 off tickets by using the codeword PRINT.

However! I have a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway to a lucky reader. The tickets are for the 7:30 pm show on Wednesday, February 11, 2015. Just enter with the widget below, and good luck!

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Ticket Giveaway: Monster Jam

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This is one my son will go absolutely bananas for. Gigantic monster trucks crashing into and crushing things in their way? That’s pretty much his whole schtick while playing with his cars.

Approximately 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, the trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. They can fly up to 125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air!

If you’re in the Washington, DC area, the Monster Jam show is returning to the area in the Verizon Center on January 24 and 25.

Seats start at $25 for adults and $10 for kids (ages 2-12). Pit Party Passes for Saturday and Sunday are also available for purchase (which include up-close views of the massive Monster Jam trucks and the opportunity to meet some of the drivers).

Tickets are available at the Verizon Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000.

However! I have a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway to a lucky reader. The tickets are for the 2:00 show on Saturday, January 24, 2015. Just enter with the widget below, and good luck!

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Ticket Giveaway – Disney On Ice: Frozen

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Yeah, I’m gonna do it: Frozen is still hot.

The newest Disney on Ice show from Feld Entertainment is themed entirely around the gang from Arendelle. The Academy Award winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, and it will of course include Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf.

And yes, all the songs are also included, so you can go home humming “Let It Go” all over again.

The show isn’t a straight-up retelling of the movie, though. It’s hosted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, with special guest appearances by some of the Disney Princesses and characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.

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Marvel Universe Live!

MarvelLive_stageThere’s no denying it. The Marvel Universe is huge. For much of my youth, it always played second fiddle to competitor DC Comics–who seemed to have the somewhat unfair advantage of Superman and Batman.

However, for much of my kids’ lives, Marvel has simply dominated the pop cultural landscape. The Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with unlikely B-list superhero Iron Man in 2008 and hasn’t had a flop (or genuinely bad movie) since.

Since then, Marvel and the Marvel characters have dominated the big screen, the small screen, the direct-to-DVD market, toy aisles, and now…arenas.

Marvel Universe Live! is a new production from Feld Entertainment, the group behind other kid-friendly arena shows such as Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

There was a lot of hype leading up to the premiere of Marvel Universe Live!, and I for one was very intrigued. We finally got the opportunity to see the show last weekend in Fairfax, VA.

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Upcoming: Marvel Universe Live

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One of the best things about the recent explosion in popularity of the Marvel universe (aside from the movies) is all of the “extra stuff” that never would’ve happened if the movies hadn’t been such a success.

The Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit in Times Square is one example. Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Superheroes is another. The Iron Man Experience (opening 2016) at Hong Kong Disneyland is a more distant example.

Yet another is the currently touring Marvel Universe Live! Quite possibly, it’s also the one I’m most looking forward to. Produced by Feld Entertainment, the group behind the Disney On Ice shows (among other things), Marvel Universe Live! is an original, live-action arena show that brings together an impressive 25 Marvel characters.

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