Citizens Report American Irish Culture

Disney on Ice with Danahey on the Loose

So Beast Fest Buddy Tom and I herded his grandkids into the SUV Thursday to take the grandkids to see Disney on Ice presents Magic in the Stars at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

I call him Beast because he really wanted to meet Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Silly restraining orders.

As the press release put it, the “all-new production brings the brightest Disney stars to life through cutting-edge figure skating, high-flying acrobatics, unexpected stunts, innovative lighting, thrilling special effects, eye-catching costumes and stunning set designs.”


Lightning McQueen
Lightning McQueen on the ice rink. Photo courtesy Feld Entertainment.


That included having some of the cars from Cars on ice. In other words, Michigan City during the recent lake-effect blizzard.

Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon ascended into the air to perform an aerial acro-pole routine. In fact, several numbers featured people wearing skates dangling above the ice, which kind of scared me.

I had visions of them spinning out of control, faster and faster, their legs becoming deadly, bladed weapons, slicing and dicing the crowd. Alas and thankfully,  this was Disney and not Stephen King on Ice.

The ice substituted for the Polynesian Pacific where Moana paddled her canoe to encourage the fiery Te Kā to “Know Who You Are”.  So, yes, there was fire on ice.

That setting made me think Disney on Ice would be most enjoyable in Chicago in July, during a heatwave.

The National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup finals don’t start this year until June 3, so the precedent has been set. The only Stanley Cup heading to Chicago anytime soon will be a shipment of trendy Stanley cups to local Target stores.

Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog, skated about the ice-as-Louisiana-bayou, dreaming of one day opening her own restaurant. This made Tom so hungry he’s making gumbo this weekend.

Aladdin found the magic lamp in the Cave of Wonders. This part of the show also featured countless blue genies on ice and a skater inside a magic carpet.

This frustrated Tom. Anytime he puts someone inside a carpet, he gets in trouble with the law.

Like a good many segments of the show, the Aladdin one featured footage from the movie along with lip synched songs and dialogue. In this case that meant hearing Robin Williams’ voice, which was bittersweet.

Disney Princesses Cinderella, Snow White, Belle and Rapunzel were in the show, too. In one routine, the evil step sister skaters ripped off Cinderella’s outfit to leave her wearing skimpy, tattered garb. Hmmm.

Magic in the Stars cast
Disney on Ice presents Magic in the Stars cast. Photo courtesy Feld Entertainment

Some of the princesses had hairstyles that reminded me of Loni Anderson and Farah Fawcett. In keeping with that 70s vibe, some princely doos reminded me of game show hosts Chuck Woolery and Bert Convy and actors John Davidson and John Travolta from those disco days.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Disney On Ice without guest appearances from Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy and Jiminy Cricket.

It also wouldn’t be Disney without the show promoting its latest feature, Wish. So Asha was joined on the rink by a ball of boundless energy named Star. Star looks like a plush toy. Go figure.

Three acts seemed to be the most popular with the crowd and with Tom’s grandkids.

One would be the number with Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie, Rex, and Hamm. You can’t beat a T-Rex and a big pink pig sliding about for fun! And Buzz remains big with kids.

Frozen 2 skaters
Skaters from Frozen 2. Photo courtesy Feld Entertainment.

Well, maybe you can – with a moose on skates as part of the Frozen 2, along with Olaf the snowman.

Even more than Buzz, Olaf is a superstar among kid cartoon characters.  Which means Olaf was available as a souvenir cup for your snow cone and as a visor wrapped around cotton candy.

As this was Frozen 2, that meant “Into the Unknown” was the featured song. Parents were grateful they didn’t have to hear “Let It Go” again and again and again. Or at least until the ride home.

Most popular, though, was the ice becoming the Colombian village where the Madrigal family of Encanto fame lives. So one more round of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was in order.


Encanto on Ice
Encanto is part of Disney on Ice. Photo courtesy Feld Entertainment.


Tom’s grandkids sang along to this one – and to a good many of the other tunes in the show. They know their Disney.

For “Bruno” Julian, who’s 5, also busted out some of his best dance moves.

During a good part of the show, Julian also adjusted his hair. Much like a baseball pitcher would do, he licked his fingers. Instead of applying the saliva to a baseball, he put it on his head. He was gussying up his faux hawk. In his case, it looked more like small, rough waves on a hair pond.

Julian also insisted his grandpa buy him a golden crown, replete with Mickey Mouse ears. Insisted is a euphemism for whining, dwelling and trying to break down the resistance of an adult.

Either way, I think this kid belongs in show business. He sort of already is.

Following the show biz wave, like junior critics, Julian’s older brother and sister kept track of the show through a big, photo-filled souvenir book.

Where was Lion King? Where was Coco? They were in the book! Come to think of it, why couldn’t we find any hot cocoa at an ice show?

Anyway, the book turned out to be for Disney on Ice presents Around the World, not Disney on Ice presents Magic in the Stars. So now we can compare and contrast when we look back at our night in Rosemont.

Either way, the kids left happy and with souvenir disco light cups that might come in handy for a kiddie Mardi Gras party . Grandpa also treated them to a souvenir group photo with the Frozen princesses on the way out of the arena.

Personally, since Disney owns the Star Wars and Marvel Comics universes, I am looking forward to one day seeing Darth Vader and Spider-Man on ice.

And I’m also surprised, given the marketing savvy of the Irish, that there’s not a Riverdance on Ice yet, a Frozen Celtic Woman, a Celtic Thunder Snow.

Those would be PBS Pledge Drive specials for the ages. The Ice Ages.

Anyway,  Disney On Ice presents Magic in the Stars visits Allstate Arena, January 18 – 21 and February 1 – 4 and plays the United Center, January 25 – 28.

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