Old or young – you’d be hard pushed to find someone who’s NOT a fan of Disney, which is why we jumped with joy after receiving tickets to 100 Years of Disney – and did we mention it’s on ice?!
Promising a skating spectacular, we excitedly headed to the O2 Arena where we were greeted by a sea of Mickey Mouse ears and mini Princesses. At the grand old age of 25 I worried that I’d look abit out of place among the little ones.
However, amongst the hundreds of little Disney fans descending into the arena, I overheard a dad in his thirties say to his wife, “I’ve been looking forward to this all day, don’t tell anyone!” I felt a sense of union. I also spotted a fair few adults sporting tutu’s and flashing head gear (sorry for blowing your cover..)
Set in the breathtakingly enormous arena, the magic Disney castle stood in front of us and I got a sense of nostalgia. I think everyone has their personal Disney experience, and the castle is definitely one of mine. This was going to be a good night.
On came the lights and true to form, out skates Mickey and Minnie (who I’ve got a secret style crush on) and the show begins. The atmosphere was electric – with all the Princess’ and Prince’ dancing and singing their faultless routines.
The show boasted 18 performances from 65 different characters throughout the 100 years Disney has been around. All the old favourites made an appearance with Finding Nemo, Aladin, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast all in the mix. However, a personal favourite was Pinocchio.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Jiminy Cricket, so when he belted out the classic, ‘When you wish upon a star’, and ‘Always let your conscience be your guide’, the show definitely gained some kudos with me. And don’t get me started on the whale sequence… I won’t give too much away, but that alone is worth seeing the show for!
Amongst the character performances, the show also featured classic acts like It’s a Small World. I thought this was an amazing set up and was the perfect closing stint for the first half. The little boy behind me clearly agreed as he wholeheartedly sang the song word-for-word in between stuffing popcorn into his mouth between breaths!
For those of you who aren’t great fans of ice skating shows, you’d definitely be converted after the final act of this show. As soon as the music began, the whole room erupted with cheers and everyone was on their feet. The Baboon waddles out with his stick and instantly you know what’s coming – The Lion King.
My favourite contemporary Disney flick, this performance was beautifully choreographed and the costumes were spot on. To top it off, the favourite twosome, Pumba and Timon joined in and before I knew it, the whole room was singing, ‘Hakuna Matata!’ and didn’t care you heard them.
For the finale, the whole cast came out to greet the little ones at the side of the rink and I found myself goofily waving back at them and grinning from ear to ear. It’s what Disney does to you. Because no matter what age you are, everyone loves a magical ending.
No altogether now, ‘Tale as old as time….”
Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Disney is at the O2 Arena until October 31, and then moving throughout the UK until December. Visit the Disney website for fill listings.