Guest post by Colleen Levine, family food and travel blogger at Foodie Tots
If the street vendors hawking light-up Mickey Mouse ears didn’t alert you to something different than a Capitals game at the Verizon Center on Wednesday night, the glittery princess dresses peaking out from under winter coats should do it. That’s right, Disney on Ice is back in DC. The show opened on February 15 and runs through Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. After clearing security and the ticket taker lines, it doesn’t take long before you find yourself humming familiar Disney tunes to yourself as you watch your little ones’ eyes get bigger at the sight of all their favorite Disney characters plastered on souvenirs that ring the stadium concourse. Many young attendees naturally dress in costume, and it’s always fun to watch little Olafs, Elsas, and Belles point to each other and share a smile.
Disney on Ice presents Dream Big features all the beloved Disney princesses, but there are more than a few elements that also appeal to those who favor super heroes. It had been a few years since we had attended a Disney on Ice show – way back in the years B.E. (Before Elsa), and my older child was a little disappointed that past acts like the Incredibles wouldn’t be included. Of course, he was all smiles by the time Aladdin’s Genie took the ice, and the acrobatic sailors in The Little Mermaid surely captured his attention as well.
The show is likely best enjoyed by the 2- to 8-year-old demographic, but again, the theatrical production is truly spectacular and will coax smiles and laughs out of even a more stubborn older sibling. The technicolor fish of The Little Mermaid are mesmerizing, and hosts Mickey and Minnie always know how to work a room, but the show gets even more dramatic in the second half. There is a 20-minute intermission for bathroom and refreshment breaks, but you’ll want to make sure to be back in your seats quickly. The show takes a darker turn when Maleficent skates onto the ice, but the entire stadium gasped when the fire-breathing dragon appeared (yes, real fire!). It seems like the performance may finally be winding down when suddenly Arendelle’s banners are unfurled, and I don’t think my daughter even blinked once Elsa took the ice.
Just as when watching the movies, the villians may have littler kids covering their eyes at parts, but for the most part, kids’ attention will be glued to the performance on the ice. The show can be loud; I noticed a toddler near us had her hands over her ears for much of the show, so you may wish to bring hearing protection for younger or noise-sensitive kids. This being a Disney-related show, there are ample opportunities to dish over more money for souvenirs and treats. You may wish to bring your own glow sticks or wands so you can say “yes” to the Olaf snow cones. The photo opportunity is with a cardboard cutout of Anna and Elsa, but as we had taken pictures with the “real” ones at Disney World, we passed on that this time. All in all, it’s a fun evening and chance to spend a couple carefree hours in the magical world of Disney, without having to travel.
A couple more tips for events at the Verizon Center: Use a parking app like Parking Panda to locate parking; I paid $12 for a spot two blocks away instead of the $26 to park in the arena lot. Two of our favorite kid-friendly eating spots are just a block in either direction, Cava Grill and Bantam King ramen, but you also can treat your little princes and princesses to something a little fancier at the adjacent Clyde’s restaurant.
Photos by Colleen Levine