This winter has seen the return of Disney On Ice, with a special show the 100th anniversary of Disney. The show, titled Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder promises a celebration of the franchise, featuring some of your favourite characters from a decade of Disney magic. For the first time, guests can enjoy Encanto as part of the show.
Arriving at the Manchester Arena, the entrance offered plenty of opportunity to purchase Disney On Ice merchandise and bespoke food snacks. There were plenty of light up wands for families to wave and illuminate the arena throughout the show, providing plenty of fun to wave in beat to the classic Disney soundtrack of the show.
The show is two and a half hours long, providing good value to families. It features a twenty minute break in the middle, perfect for young children who struggle to focus for long periods and for families needing bathroom and snack breaks.
The show itself features a combination of classic and newer characters. Mickey Mouse was joined by his friends on a journey to discover his favourite memory of all time. Families were a part of the action and help the gang venture through Disney stories, sharing memorable moments from treasured tales. A few children were selected from the audience to press the ‘magic tablet’ and continue the show at various points. The show saw us journey to a vibrant town in the mountains of Colombia to meet Mirabel and her extraordinary family from Encanto. We then sailed away with Moana as she displayed courage to save her island on a high-seas adventure with the demigod, Maui.
We were shown the wintry world of Arendelle with royal sisters Anna and Elsa, of course completed with a full rendition of ‘Let it go’, which was clearly a popular highlight across the crowd. We watched the mysterious magic of Fantasia as a Sorcerer’s Apprentice made brooms come to life. There was a “Live Your Story” Disney Princesses feature, where they showed perseverance, determination and hard work to inspire Mickey and children to share their favourite Disney memories. We also saw some Pixar magic with ‘Just keep swimming’ with Dory, Nemo, as well as some skating displays by Woody, Buzz and the gang from Toy Story.
The stunts were expertly deployed and the show not only includes eye-catching skating displays but also acrobatic rope displays, Ariel from The Little Mermaid had the crowd in awe as she span expertly through the air in an impressive stunt
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With so many costumes, setups and stunts, the show takes a lot of preparation, which is clear to see in the high standard of production. 2023 saw the show visit the AO arena for the 30th time, first debuting in 1988. Many of the talented Disney On Ice cast, including Calgary born Shay Jackson, have been skating since they were two years old, driven by a passion to “inspire children” and “put a big smile on everyone’s faces”. Stars like Shay rehearse for more than 550 hours to perfect each performance and encapsulate the characters, while a team of choreographers and set and costume designers create approximately 181 props and 250 different costumes. These take thousands of yards of fabric to make, and alongside the magical set for Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder, everythingis all transported in 19 trucks from city to city, taking approximately 10 hours to set up.
Disney On Ice is a magical experience for family members of all ages and is a great day out in the run up to Christmas.
The production from Manchester’s AO Arena ranged from 13th December to 17th December 2023. To enquire about future shows visit www.disneyonice.co.uk.