The cast and crew of “Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate” skated into First Niagara Center on Wednesday evening and was – by all accounts – an instant hit.
The vibrant colors and fast pace kept the crowd engaged. The kids took it all very seriously, too. Many of them attended in their favorite character costumes and princess dresses. There were plenty of kids dressed as Anna and Elsa of “Frozen,” even though they weren’t even in the show, and we saw lots of Buzz Lightyears and loads of Mickey ears.
The show featured everyone from Alice in Wonderland (played by Beamus Point native Alexis Darrow) to Buzz Lightyear and Woody from “Toy Story.” The Disney Princesses were well represented with appearances by Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Jasmine and Tiana.
As Alice, Darrow was great. She was very much into the crowd. At the finale, she was waving to the crowd and seemed excited.
The big hits were Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The show features many vignettes including a winter celebration for Mickey and Minnie; a Hawaiian party for Lilo and Stitch; and a Minnie and Mickey love story featuring the Disney Princesses and a fairy godmother who transformed Minnie into a princess.
It was broken into two parts with a short intermission – just enough time to stand in the incredibly long lines for the rest rooms. The second half was only about 45 minutes. The event started at 7 p.m. sharp and we were in our car by 8:55 p.m.
Looking around, you could see the kids either standing or sitting on the edge of their seat. They were singing, dancing and cheering to each number. The performers did a great job waving to the kids and really getting their attention. The lighting, costumes and special effects were top notch and just beautiful. Technically, they didn’t appear to miss a beat. There was plenty of action, great storytelling and an awful lot of energy.
Tickets start at around $18 and go up from there. Parking was only $5 in most lots. But they get you with the merchandise. The big hit at this show were the snow cones served in a souvenir cup of your choice for $12 to $18 and the light-up snowflakes for a whopping $30. You could see the snowflakes glowing and flashing all around the arena. Cotton candy ($11) was sold with choice of a Mickey or princess crown.
Cristina Maldonado from Buffalo brought her 1-year-old son, Lamar. It was his first show and he was a big fan. “I love it. He loves it. It is very entertaining and the music is great,” Cristina said. The little guy had a smile from ear to ear for just about the entire show. Surprisingly, even the littlest audience members - like Lamar - didn’t seem to lose interest in the performances.
One thing I can tell you is to bundle everyone up. It was very cold inside and seemed much colder than at a hockey game. I could see some little ones shivering. Many left their coats and hats on. My 4-year-old was OK until she had a snow cone.
The Disney juggernaut knows what the audience wants and it delivered on this show. The familiar songs and characters were truly wonderful. There really is something magical about watching your child watching a show like this. You can see the wonder and amazement in their eyes. Especially with the light from the $30 glow in the dark snowflake.
What: "Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate!"
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 28-29; 11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. Jan. 30; 1 and 5 p.m. Jan. 31
Where: First Niagara Center
Tickets: $20 to $75