Every parent treasures the look. Eyes open wide, hands clasped under the chin. Squeals of laughter. Then, a turn of the head to mom or dad, in wonderment and gratitude. “Didja see that?! That was awesome!” It’s the delight of children enjoying a moment you’ve provided for them, and there are plenty of those in “Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream” at George Mason’s Patriot Center.
Featuring costumed ice skaters re-enacting scenes from “Princess and the Frog,” “Cinderella,” and “Tangled,” the show demonstrates Disney’s gift of spellbinding children in their seats. The “Tangled” segment in particular continually drops little jaws with its athletic skating, creative sets, and aerial work, which suspends skaters high over the ice from Rapunzel’s hair.
That said, there are moments — mostly in the Cinderella segment — in which the characters do little more than trace circles over bare ice while the dialogue blares over the PA. Kids (and more than a few parents) may find their attention flagging during these bits, even though each big ensemble or musical numbers is guaranteed to revive everyone’s interest, if not amazement.
One warning for budget-minded parents. Disney, in addition to its storytelling magic, is famous for its merchandising. And even more so than the circus or other forms of kid-focused live entertainment, a Disney ice show practically requires the purchase of a souvenir. Your kids are having such an amazing time, dressed up in their Cinderella costumes — do you really want them to start whining because you won’t buy a spool of cotton candy for $15 (commemorative foam crown included)? That’s the real magic of a Disney show — it conjures up princesses on the ice and in the seats.
Disney On Ice is at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Md. Oct. 26-30. Ticket prices range from $15 to $56.