As if our recent trip to Disneyland wasn’t enough, my four year old and I attended Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream at the ShoWare Center in Kent, WA a few days ago.
I’d seen promos for Disney on Ice for years and years, but never had the chance to go. And I didn’t really understand what it was. May contain affiliate links.
In talking to friends about going to Disney on Ice, the first thing they ask is “what is it and was it good?”
So, I figured I’d write up a post to help answer that!
Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream
Our performance was on Dia de los Muertos and it was really special that they did a pre-show performance featuring Miguel and characters from Coco. They did Remember Me and there was so much energy and excitement!
Then, the hostess welcomed us and the show starts off with a big dance number featuring the ensemble. Then Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy make special appearances!
We were NOT expecting that so we totally geeked out! But, in my research for this post it sounds like they appear in all the Disney on Ice shows!
Here’s a video of the trailer:
Basically, the show features 5 Disney princesses who overcame obstacles in order to achieve their goals. And there’s a hostess who sets the scene and transitions the stories.
Each Disney princess has a segment that features dialogue and music directly from the movies.
The big thing about this Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream is it’s the first show to feature Moana. Let me tell you, as soon as the Moana section came up, the whole audience started singing along!
Here are the films featured in Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream:
This was a fun one to start with. I mean, we got to see Cinderella float across the ice in her iconic carriage, attend the ball, and meet her Prince Charming.
It’s been ages since I’ve seen the movie and didn’t recognize any of the music. But it was really beautiful to watch the story on ice!
My son actually asked me if the Fairy Godmother was Harry Potter! I realized that he hadn’t seen the movie before!
BEAUTY & THE BEAST
This was one of my favorite movies growing up! And you could tell a lot of the parents in the audience also grew up with this film!
We got to see Gaston and his buddy, townspeople, the Beast, and of course, Belle!
My favorite part was when they brought out skaters dressed up as spoons and desserts for Be Our Guest!
This is one of my favorite movies because I’m a huge Mandy Moore fan (yes, BEFORE This is Us!)
When Flynn Rider’s horse came out, I thought he stole the show. I mean, there were two people skating inside a horse costume. Think about how coordinated they had to be to not fall over.
But then, Rapunzel started flying!
For Tangled, it seemed like they spent almost as much time in the air as they did the ice!
I was blown away!
It totally makes sense to do an aerial act since Rapunzel’s hair is practically its own character! The silks looked like extensions of her hair and it was awe-inspiring to see Rapunzel and Flynn Rider soar through the air so effortlessly!
Disclosure: I may have held my breath a bit when they were in the air because it’s just ICE under them!
After intermission, we were transported to Arendelle and there was a new energy in the audience. Frozen is such a popular movie and when Let it Go started playing, people cheered!
We got to see Elsa do a quick change from her coronation gown into her sparkly white dress and that was pretty cool!
But, my favorite part was when they sang Summer and actually removed Olaf’s head while he was still dancing around!
And I have to mention how cool it was when it started snowing on stage! There were different settings too. Like, it was lightly snowing when Anna and Sven were looking for Elsa, but it was dumping snow during the storm at the end.
Ok, this was the best way to end on a high note! The crowd went wild when Moana came out!
And Grandma Tala comes out and it looks just like her! Even down to the bare feet (with skates on underneath!)
I may have teared up a bit when she transforms into the sting ray and we know she has passed away. That gets me every time in the movie, but didn’t expect it to get me this time!
But, my favorite part was probably the Shiny number featuring Tamatoa. There’s one skater inside a HUGE costume that has lots of limbs and it’s just so impressive that he’s able to move around on the ice like that.
One of the coolest things about Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream is that they chance up the look of the castle depending on the different story. It’s really impressive to see how quickly they can transition!
Disney on Ice Tips for First-Timers
Ok, so now that you know the plot of the show, let me give you some friendly advice on how to make this a stress-free event for your family.
READ ABOUT THE SHOW SO YOU KNOW WHICH CHARACTERS WILL BE THERE
I know I’m an over-researcher but I like to know what to expect so I can answer my kids’ questions.
I’m glad I knew this was a Disney Princesses show and which characters would be in it so my son and I could talk about it on the drive to the show.
He’s super into Ariel right now and he would have been heartbroken if he expected to see her and she didn’t show up.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOUR CHILD
We were invited to attend opening night. That just happened to be the night after Halloween right at my preschooler’s bedtime.
Usually, we’re able to rally and stay up late once in awhile, but I completely spaced that he would have been up late the night before and might be tired and cranky.
In hindsight, we should have gone to the morning performance when moods were better and we felt well-rested.
The show runs almost 2 hours with an intermission.
EAT BEFORE THE SHOW
If your family is like mine, we get hangry! That’s the quickest way to Meltdown City.
So, I’d suggest stopping and getting food before the show so everyone is in good spirits.
Since Moana is the big draw, I’d recommend finding a Hawaiian restaurant to get in the spirit!
BRING YOUR OWN GLOW STICKS
I always pack them for Disney trips to keep the kids occupied at night, so it was easy to grab a bunch to bring.
They were a total lifesaver! It was a nice distraction for the kids while we waited for the show to start and at intermission.
Plus, it save me a lot of money since they were selling them at the show.
But, if you don’t have light up toys at home, you might think about getting one as a souvenir. They are awesome for travel! And on that note…
TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SOUVENIRS
The one thing that caught me off-guard about Disney on Ice is the merchandising.
I’m used to Disney experiences where there are tons of fun snacks and souvenirs available, but I never feel pressured to buy something and it’s usually easy to distract my kids when we’re not planning on making purchases.
This was my first time having people come up to my son in the aisles with cool light up toys and snacks that come with hats. It was really hard to say no.
There’s also a lot of stuff for sale in the concourse. There are light up toys, plush characters, popcorn in cute Mickey boxes, and snow cones that come in reusable character cups.
In hindsight, I wish I would have talked to my son about it prior to attending.
It would have been easy to explain to him that people would be walking up and down the aisles selling things and there’s stuff to buy in the lobby but that we would just be picking one souvenir for this outing.
He chose a snow cone in an Olaf cup in the concourse when we entered without realizing that was his only “treat” for the evening.
ARRIVE CLOSER TO SHOW TIME
If the merchandising aspect seems overwhelming to you (or you want to avoid a meltdown), aim to arrive closer to show time.
If you are worried about parking, you can still park your car, but maybe get out and walk around. Or if you picked up food, you can eat it in your car.
Doors opened an hour early and there’s not a lot to do before the show.
Unless you plan on purchasing souvenirs.
They did have a few photo ops set up where you can purchase photos of your kids in cute set-ups (like a teacup from Beauty & the Beast), merchandising tables, and a concession stand.
Photography is encouraged! They even told us to use #disneyonice and #daretodream if we took a selfie with a Princess during the show!
I got a few photos but I mostly took video. It’s been great because I was able to show my toddler parts of the show. And my preschooler has watched them over and over!
NO NEED TO WEAR COATS INSIDE
So, having never been to Disney on Ice before, I was assuming it would be super cold in the arena since there’s be a huge sheet of ice in there!
I’m so glad my cousin told me that it wouldn’t be nearly as chilly as I thought. I wore a light jacket and I actually got a bit warm during the performance.
WHAT YOU CAN WEAR
Now’s the time to show your Disney spirit! Since Moana is one of my favorite Disney films, I wore my Minnie ears from Aulani.
I also saw a lot of kids in costumes (mostly girls in Disney Princess dresses since this was a princess show!) Costumes are only allowed for guests under 14 years old.
And I definitely saw a lot of Mickey Mouse shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc!
TAKE YOUR TIME LEAVING
Chances are, your parking lot/garage will be packed with families trying to leave at the same time.
If you can, let your kids run around a bit after the show. Or hit up the restrooms. Or take selfies in the arena.
There’s no need to race to your car just to sit in traffic.
And if you think about it, have treats or something fun in the car to distract your kids from getting stir crazy sitting in the car.
My son and I had the best time and we’re really looking forward to future shows! I’ll leave you with this photo we took at the VIP Party with Mickey and Minnie!
I received media tickets in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Other Fun Disney Activities
Mom’s Guide to Disneyland in the Rain + What to Pack
Goofy’s Kitchen Character Breakfast: Is it Worth It?
Aulani Tips to Maximize 2 Nights at Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii
7 Ways to Prep for Disneyland with Toddlers