Family Show Review: Disney On Ice Presents Dream Big, The O2 Arena
Disney On Ice Presents Dream Big
Things We Like
- Featured a large number of popular Disney characters, stories and songs
- The performance of the ice skaters was faultless - even those in oversized costumes
- Used actual songs and dialogue from the films
- Scenes with pyrotechnics were fantastic
- The Moana and Frozen performances were our daughter's highlight
Things We Dislike
- Tickets are very expensive for a normal family
- The show focused on Disney Princesses, which might not be for everyone
- Could do with more props on the ice and special effects
What’s It All About?
Dream Big is the newest show from Disney On Ice which tells the inspiring stories of some of Disney’s most popular princesses. Featuring excerpts from films including Frozen, Moana, Aladdin, Beauty And The Beast and Cinderella, the show blends expert figure-skating with songs, costumes, characters, special effects and Disney magic, to provide a fun-filled experience for the family.
What Do We Think?
Disney On Ice is a touring ice show, produced by Feld Entertainment, which has been wowing audiences around the world for many years. They have a number of different productions which tell the stories of different characters from Disney films. 2018 saw the Dream Big production come to the UK.
We’ve been considering going to Disney On Ice for a couple of years now, but wanted to hold off until we felt our daughter was old enough to properly enjoy it. As she approached 5-years old, we decided that the Dream Big production at The O2 Arena in London was the right one for her – this decision was helped by the fact that it was the first Disney On Ice show in the UK to feature our daughter’s favourite character, Moana.
The show focuses on inspiring and courageous stories featuring characters keen to explore their dreams and have adventures. Although this arguably covers a wide range of Disney, Pixar and Marvel characters, Dream Big is very much focused on popular Disney Princesses. As such, if you’re child is hoping for the likes of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. or The Incredible, then this isn’t the right performance for them.
During the show, we were treated to excerpts from a number of popular Disney films. The excerpts depicted different scenes from the films and were brought to life through ice skating, costumes, props, quotes, music, lights and pyrotechnics. This was loosely held together by Tinkerbell, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse who featured in the intro, the finale and at various parts in the show.
In the order that they appeared, the films depicted in Disney On Ice were Aladdin, Beauty And The Beast, Tangled, Moana, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Frozen. This included appearances from a wide range of characters from these stories, both in terms of the Disney princesses and their supporting cast. The biggest cheers from the crowd definitely went to Maui from Moana, Olaf from Frozen and Sebastian from The Little Mermaid when they appeared on the ice.
Perhaps due to their popularity, some of these films featured on the ice for much longer than others. For example, Moana and Frozen were on the ice for around 15 to 20 minutes each and had approximately six different songs covered. By comparison, Tangled was only on the ice for the duration of one song. Although this was fine because these are two of our daughter’s favourite films, it did create an imbalance and any Rapunzel lovers would surely feel slightly disappointed.
The performers were certainly talented on the ice and there were no noticeable mistakes in amongst the jumps, lifts, spins and other tricky routines. Particularly impressive were those performers who were able to skate on the ice whilst dressed as oversized characters, such as Flounder from The Little Mermaid, Genie from Aladdin and Lumière from Beauty and The Beast. Highlights for us included the large ensembles of performers for songs from Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and the finale.
The soundtrack for the show was great and featured plenty of famous songs from the films. Rather than being sung live by those on the ice, they were the original versions from the films and played as the skaters performed. They also cleverly managed to edit dialogue directly from the films in order to tell the various stories on the ice. Both of these things meant that the voices heard were the ones that children recognised from their TVs, rather than being impressions or different voices as it often the case when watching live shows.
In terms of the set, there was a large stage to the side which was used for performances from films like Aladdin, Moana and Frozen. In addition, at certain times, props were brought out onto the ice to set the scene and allow the skaters to interact with them. This included some impressive props like Cinderella’s carriage, a boat from The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent in dragon form. However, despite this, there were large proportions where the ice felt sparse, so additional props and scenery would have been welcomed.
The show also featured some stunts, special effects and pyrotechnics which added a bit of something extra to the show. For instance, Aladdin threw himself off a building holding a rope, Moana and Sleeping Beauty featured brilliant scenes with fire on the ice, then there was snow and a few explosions during Frozen. These were undoubted highlights of the show and added a real wow factor, but again, it felt like there should have been more of this throughout considering the scale of the venue and price of the tickets.
A nice addition to Disney On Ice Dream Big was that it coincided, and therefore celebrated, the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse. This meant that well known Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie and Goofy featured on the ice. In fact, Mickey and Minnie actually opened the show with singing and dancing, which they invited the audience to join in with.
Overall, the show was great and our daughter really liked the entire experience – from going dressed up as Elsa, to entering a venue as mind-blowing as the O2 Arena, to singing and dancing along to her favourite Disney songs. However, it is very expensive – even for the ‘cheap seats’ which are far away from the ice, so you need to ensure it’s the correct Disney On Ice show for you and that your children are old enough to fully enjoy it.
What Does It Look Like?
What Do I Need To Know?
Type: Live Show
Dates: 26th December 2018 to 6th January 2019 at The O2 Arena in London, however this concluded the UK tour which has also been performed at Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Nottingham.
Price: Tickets from approx. £30 each depending on seating location. Children under 2 can attend without a ticket if they sit on a parent’s lap.
Duration: Approx. 2 hours with 15 minutes interval.
Age Range: Babies and Toddlers (0-3), Young Children (4-8), Older Children (9-12).