8 Tips for Enjoying Disney On Ice presents Dream Big with Kids
By Meg Brunson
My dad was a movie buff. He managed our local movie theater and instead of going to a babysitter, my sister and I would accompany him to work and alternate playing in his office and watching kid-friendly movies. The last movie I remember watching in his theater before he passed away when I was 11, was Beauty and the Beast. I think that's why that Disney movie holds the most meaning for me, and one of the reasons I get all of those warm and fuzzy feelings experiencing a celebration of our favorite animated classics (Disney on Ice) with my kids.
Disney On Ice presents Dream Big includes performances from movies that my parents introduced to me because they were released before my time (Sleeping Beauty and Snow White), childhood classics I've since introduced to my own children (Aladdin & Beauty and the Beast) and movies that my kids and I have experienced together (Frozen). Walking into Talking Stick Resort, we were hit with all the nostalgia. Opportunities to purchase everything from stuffed animals to glowing wands/swords and t-shirts. Disney music played throughout the venue while food vendors walked through the aisles with snacks and souvenirs.
As you may know, I have 4 daughters ages 1, 3, 6, & 9. Looking around at the other guests in the arena, there was a full range of ages from babies to teens to grandparents - Disney on Ice really is fun for all ages. All of my kids loved the performance and I am not sure which my husband and I loved more - the performance itself or the reactions of my 1-year-old! She's about a month away from turning 2, and she was beside herself with excitement and joy as she watched characters appear on the ice and dazzle her with their ice skating skills. She was dancing and jumping and squealing as she pointed to different characters: "look, LOOK!"
8 Tips for Disney On Ice
Tip #1: Get your Tickets for FREE or with a Discount Code
The best way to do that is to subscribe to KidsOutAndAbout.com! We always know when the shows are coming and often have tickets to giveaway and/or discount codes to save. Laura W. won 4 tickets for her family to enjoy this show - and we have a discount code if you are planning to attend this weekend: Buy 3 get 1 Free with code 1FREE and Get Your Tickets HERE!
If you are planning ahead for a future show Subscribe Now so that you stay in the know about when Disney On Ice is coming back to town!
Tip #2: Set a Budget
It's no surprise that the snacks and souvenirs come with a price. The Disney-sponsored snacks (popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones) all come with Disney Merchandise which increases the amount you expect to pay for a snack to $12-15. We always hit the ATM before the performance and withdraw exactly the amount we are willing to spend.
Tip #3: Plan to Share
If you have multiple kids or are attending with friends, pack some empty sandwich baggies in your purse. Often times the serving sizes of the snacks are big enough to share, but it can be a logistical nightmare if you have to share one snack down a row of 6 people (trust me). Having baggies available allowed us to divide up snacks evenly and share them effectively with the whole crew. You could also bring empty water bottles to fill at drinking fountains, but I don't like bringing a kid to the bathroom every 5 minutes, so we limited drinks during the show.
Tip #4: Set Expectations
Establish what the expectations will be when you arrive. We discussed it with the kids on the way to the event, that we would purchase popcorn during the intermission - so they knew what to expect and when. This can also be tricky because they had big cookies and rice crispy treats that looked amazing. But, we set the expectation for popcorn at intermission - and one way to avoid tantrums and meltdowns is to be consistent - so we stuck to our plans. Next time though, I will probably include a cookie in those plans!
Tip #5: Glow In The Dark
There are opportunities to buy many different glowing toys and accessories - they had a flashing pair of Mickey ears that we were eyeing all night. If you can, put some of your budget towards flashing ears, or a spinning toy - those are great ways to not only have fun at the show but to bring the fun home with you. The kids will play with those things long after the show has ended. Not in the budget? Plan ahead and pick up some glow bracelets or necklaces and surprise the kids with them after you take your seats. You and I know they are not as cool - but the kids will still appreciate the gesture!
Tip #6: Dress Up
Many of the kids are in costume, so if your kids have a Disney costume, wear it! Don't have a costume? I wouldn't suggest that you need one. Many kids do dress up (and look adorable) but there are plenty (like mine) who just wear whatever they wore to school that day.
Tip #7: Bring a Sweater
This is our first year experiencing Disney On Ice in Phoenix and we got stuck without sleeves. We were pretty close to the ice and during the Frozen performance snow fell more than once, making our seats really chilly. Make sure you pack a sweater for everyone - as my grandma used to say, " Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it!"
Tip #8: Dark & Loud
I have kids with some sensitivities to loud noises and a mild fear of the dark. It's important to keep in mind that there are some occasions of darkness, as well as loud noises during some of the performances, including the finale with fireworks. My 6-year-old was a little nervous about the dragon from Sleeping Beauty as well (whereas the rest of my kids thought it was amazing). If your children are sensitive to loud noises, you may want to bring some noise-canceling headphones or ear plugs. As for being scared of the dragon or the dark, we just sat our nervous kiddo close to dad.
Do you have any other tips for making Disney On Ice even more enjoyable? We'd love if you shared them with us on Facebook!