When I was a kid, watching Saturday morning cartoons, there was nothing so tantalizingly amazing as the commercials for Disney on Ice. Disneyland? Yeah, we knew we were probably not going there, but Disney on Ice?! That was coming to US! Chances are you knew way more people who had been to Disney on Ice than had been to Disneyland, and so you felt it could happen for you too. It never happened for me, or for my wife, but we were determined to give our children the things we never had. Yes, this weekend we went to Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes!
This is probably a good time for me to point out, as a background note, that I hate ice skating. Watching it, I mean. I would rather watch golf than watch Olympic figure skating, and I hate golf like nothing else. There is absolutely nothing interesting or attractive to me about watching people slide around ice doing little hops and jumps. It makes me want to die. Okay, back to our story.
We left ourselves plenty of time (four extra hours actually) to drive the three hours to Albany, and after a stop for lunch, and Christmas shopping at Target, we began our final descent into the city. Somewhere along the way we lost all of our extra time. I must have blacked out for 20 minutes at some point, because I have no idea how it got so late, but we pulled up to the Times Union Center with only about 10 minutes to go before the show.
“GET OUT OF THE CAR!” I shouted at the red light. “GO GO GO GO GO!” My wife jumped out and tried to get the children out of the car, but they had been watching a DVD with their headphones on and had no idea that we had arrived, or were potentially late. Edward’s boot got stuck in the seat belt. The light turned green. Cars started honking at me. I yelled louder, because that fixes things. Both children started crying. My wife yanked him free and dragged both children away as I sped off to find parking.
“Bring their coats!” my wife called out to me, as I watched my t-shirted children being dragged through the windy, 15 degree Albany streets. Okay, we are good parents, bringing joy to our children. Now, must park. Luckily the parking garage was attached to the center, and I got a great spot. Unluckily, my wife had the tickets. And the door I came through was on the complete opposite end of the center from where my family had gone through. And there were a bajillion people between us.
We met up just in time, and my wife and children ran to our seats while I was tasked with purchasing cotton candy (at $15 each! because they came with obligatory hats). I walked in to see Tinkerbell skating around the rink, shaking what her mama fairy gave her, and settled down for some magic.
Oh man, was this it? A bunch of people dressed as Disney characters skating around? In hindsight, I don’t know what I was expecting. I suppose if you like watching people ice skate, this would be pretty awesome. Ruby and my wife were kind of into it. After the first vignette, featuring Aladdin, Edward tried to leave, telling me that it was over. He was quite upset when I told him that there was a lot more to come. I feel you buddy.
I guess I thought there would be more…story to it, instead of hearing a mash-up of dialogue and songs from the movies, played over a bunch of lip-synching figure skaters. The Little Mermaid section was longer and more developed, so I liked it a little better, but by intermission I was wondering why I had ever thought this was a good idea, especially as Edward would do nothing but beg for a $30 light-up spinning toy. Childhood memory officially ruined.
But then we sat down to watch the second half, and it was awesome. They had a Sleeping Beauty section with a large dragon that set the ice on fire. Edward and I were hooked after that. Then they did the Frozen part, and oh my goodness you could tell that this was what everybody was waiting for. The entire arena, Moms, Dads, kids, and all were singing along loudly to every song. The energy was incredible. It made the whole thing worthwhile. I thought I was tired of Frozen, but a huge group of strangers proved me wrong.
When we left, my wife (who is nicer than I am) bought Edward his spinner, and a toy Olaf for Ruby, plus they had their hats, and we all drove home happy and satisfied. But basically I just want to warn all of you out there, in case it wasn’t obvious, that Disney on Ice is basically just figure skating with costumes. You probably already knew that.