Flashback Friday: Disney on ice

Posted on October 7th, 2011

Years ago, when Junior was young, we went to Disney on Ice. Now this sounds like a fun time—but only if you have never been to an ice show. In fact, for those of you who’ve never been let me give you some hard-earned advice—don’t go. Run fast, run far, but don’t let yourself be dragged into an ice arena where several Disney characters will sing and skate for you.

The first problem is that show is long. This is because it’s pretty much an ice skating version of a Disney flick—in our case, Toy Story2. Now, I enjoyed Toy Story2—the first five hundred times I saw it. But when you know the dialogue by heart, seeing it on ice is just pure torture. Basically, this was 90 minutes of my life that I cannot ever get back, no matter how hard I try.

Kids, of course, love the show. To them, it’s not just a bunch of people in costume—it’s Buzz and Woody skating right in front of them. It’s magic. It’s a movie that has come to life.

And even better—there are toys. The minute you walk into the arena, toy sellers assault you. They are selling Buzz Lightyear swords, Woody hats, Slinky Dogs and more. All for a small fortune, of course. And your little Woody or Buzz or Jessie cannot possibly get to his or her seat without at least one souvenir.

Look, even if you are Super Parent—able to withstand long bouts of whining from your little darling–the truth is, the ice show people have ways of making you pay. Yeah, you might be able to drag your child past the toys and get into your seats—but the ice shows have trained teams of teenagers cruising the aisles, waving the swords and hats and Slinky Dogs right in your child’s face.

You can’t escape. Oh, you could try to explain to your child that you’ve already paid around $70 for the privilege of this wonderful family outing, but it won’t matter. Your child absolutely cannot get through the performance without waving a genuine, light-up, Buzz sword that will only cost you $12.  And did your little darling mention that he was hungry? Well, he needs a Woody Round-Up dog, slathered in ketchup, followed by a Buzz mug full of ice and snow cone syrup for dessert. Lunch for one for only $20.

Fortunately for you, just when you’ve run out of cash, the show starts.

And that’s when the real torture begins. Oh, I do admire the performers. It cannot be easy to do axels in a Buzz costume, complete with a large, plastic mask and space helmet on your head. But I kept thinking of the parents who worked long hours and made great sacrifices so their child could get some very expensive ice skating lessons. And now their child is the Slinky Dog’s rear end.

And then I spent the remainder of the show fearing that Junior would ask for ice skating lessons.

But he didn’t. He seemed happy just to watch the performers glide around. But then I had another fear.  I was scared to death that the following year I’d have to go see Lilo and Stitch on Ice. I knew I couldn’t take take hula dancing and Elvis songs and a little alien skating around.  Not to mention the $20, light-up ukulele I’d probably end up buying for Junior. And poi-on-a-stick for lunch. Hello heartburn.

Fortunately, Junior wasn’t a big fan of Lilo or Stitch. And we never went to another Disney on Ice show again. Of course, we did go to Dinosaurs Alive! But that’s another story…

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