We’ve been to enough Disney on Ice shows at this point that I could probably serve as a creative consultant. Still, no matter how many we’ve seen, there are always a few pleasant surprises.
The newest version of the show – Dare to Dream – is notable as the first Disney on Ice performance to include Moana. And, let’s be honest, that was really the main attraction for us.
Most Disney on Ice shows are “emceed,” to a certain extent, by the classic Mickey Mouse characters. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy come out at the beginning and between segments to introduce the different sets. Dare to Dream breaks with that tradition and has an actual person – speaking real, not prerecorded words – talking to the audience.
The classic characters still come out for a couple cameos (once at the beginning and then again at the very end), but their appearances are short, and they don’t “say” much.
The first half consists of brief retellings of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Tangled. Each segment includes two or three songs from the films and then – confusingly – ends with a new song that’s not from the film. I’m not going to lie. Those original songs were very generic and caused quite a few confused looks in the audience, especially among the kids. My 6-year-old son turned to me during one of them and asked, “What the heck is this from?”
The Tangled segment employed some aerial acrobatics (that we first saw in Follow Your Heart), and that seemed to go over incredibly well with the audience.
The second half of the show was all about Frozen and Moana. At this point, can we please move past Frozen? I understand it’s a popular film, but come on. It’s literally been a significant part of every Disney on Ice we’ve ever seen. We’re over it. Let’s see some love given to other properties.
Like Moana! Wow, was it great to see this new addition to the lineup. The Moana segment included all of the main songs from the film, some impressive sets and costumes (including her boat and a larger-than-life Tamatoa). Although the actor for Moana was a “real person,” the grandmother and Maui were mostly costumes, including a Disney Parks-style head.
The only thing that was missing – which my kids noticed – was the Kakamora pirate attack. The climactic encounter with the lava monster Te Ka was…how shall I put it…minimalist. It was done mostly with lighting effects and hanging fabric. Still, it seemed to satisfy my kids, who were looking forward to its appearance.
Would I recommend Dare to Dream? If you’re a Moana fan or have kids who enjoy this type of thing, then absolutely. Like all Disney on Ice shows, it’s extremely well produced and sports some great theatrics, costumes, and special effects.
If you’ve been to Disney on Ice before, though, there’s not much new here, aside from Moana. My guess is the film will become a regular feature of future shows, so if you’re going to give one a miss, Dare to Dream might be it.
The show is currently on tour with dates coming up all over the east coast and midwest. Get more information and tickets here.
(Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador. As part of this program, I received complimentary tickets to Disney on Ice. All opinions remain my own.)