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Disney on Ice Review – Tips for Taking Kids to “Dream Big”

Disney on Ice Review – Tips for Taking Kids to “Dream Big”


Is Disney on Ice coming to your city? This Disney on Ice review will explain what you need to know before you go, what to expect of the show and where to purchase tickets. Keep reading for the best tips on attending this ice show tradition with kids!

Photo credit: Disney on Ice

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I received complimentary tickets for my family to attend Disney on Ice in exchange for this review. I will include my own personal details about the Dream Big show after attending.

Disney on Ice Review

Disney on Ice has been entertaining audiences for over 40 years! If you watched this traveling production as a child, the nostalgia is there to take your own kids. There are several productions of Disney on Ice running simultaneously across the country, operated by Feld Entertainment. This includes the shows Dream Big, Mickey & Friends, Into the Magic, Mickey’s Search Party, and Let’s Celebrate.

Photo credit: Disney on Ice

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big for seven performances, January 20-23, 2022Disney on Ice ticket prices range from $20-$35 each. Held at Pechanga Arena San Diego – 3500 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110  

  • Thursday, January 20 – 7:00 PM
  • Friday, January 21 – 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, January 22 – 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, January 23 – 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM 
Coco segment at Disney on Ice production

“Dream Big” with Disney on Ice

Dream Big features Disney favorite characters including Mickey, Minnie, Miguel from Coco, Moana, Elsa from Frozen, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Genie from Aladdin.

Disney on Ice promises, “All the magic and adventure of Disney’s tales through world-class figure skating. Audiences will be transported to exciting worlds where heroes of every kind seek to fulfill their dreams at a live experience families will never forget!”

Photo credit: Disney on Ice

My kids and I do Disney a lot. As in, we frequent Disney theme parks and plan Disneyland vacations several times a year so seeing characters isn’t a unique event for my children. That said, Disney on Ice is an unparalleled presentation and one you won’t see within other Disney events.

Keep reading for tips on taking kids to the show and my Disney on Ice review of “Dream Big”. I attended opening night on January 20th with my two youngest children and am reporting my honest thoughts.

Disney on Ice is a guaranteed spectacle of favorite characters!

Safety Protocols

Before attending Disney on Ice with kids, review the rules and policies of the individual location. At the Pechanga Arena in California, all attendees must be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative Covid-19 test (within one day for an antigen test and two days for a PCR test prior to entry of the event).

While this policy is a good start, it’s not a guarantee that guests won’t be free of the virus. Even vaccinated guests can get infected. Best to be cautious of this and consider keeping your masks on at all times and maintaining distance when possible.

Facial coverings must be worn at all times indoors (except when eating), regardless of vaccination status. The Disney on Ice website has capacity listed for each show. The San Diego performances are expected to be at 100% capacity though it was this way on opening night.

While we did have other attendees in front and behind us, there were still empty seats in the arena. Once the show began and we realized that nobody was going to be sitting in the seats next to us, we moved over to allow for more personal space around us.

Where to Buy Disney on Ice Tickets

Tickets for shows in your area can be purchased directly on the Disney on Ice website. Search using your zip code to find out which show is available. Children 2 and under do not need a ticket but must lap sit with an adult.

Matinee shows are better for those with toddlers and preschoolers. Even older children may struggle with the evening show time, as the program doesn’t begin until 7:00 pm. My five-year old daughter wanted to cuddle on my lap in the final 15-minutes of the show, as her usual bedtime had past and she began to tire.

Photo credit: Disney on Ice

What to Wear

Since this is a Disney event, you’ll find kids (14 years and younger) wearing their favorite Disney costumes. All guests are encouraged to dress in Disney themed attire or comfortable Disney outfits. Keep in mind that the arenas are usually cold so dress accordingly. Bring a sweater or jacket to wear over lightweight princess dresses.

My kids opted to wear coordinating Mickey and Minnie t-shirts from shopDisney, along with jeans and jackets. The Mouse Ears were a nice added touch!

Lots of guests in Mouse Ears and Disney attire!

What to Bring to Disney on Ice

Keep in mind that certain locations have limits on the size and contents of the bag you bring into the arena. Pechanga Arena does not allow oversized purses or backpacks so it’s recommended to pack only a small wallet (Pechanga Arena is cash free, so be sure to bring a credit or debit card). Here are the essentials to bring:

  • Vaccination card or negative test result (as outlined earlier)
  • Photo identification for anyone 18+
  • Facial coverings
  • Jacket
  • 1 unopened plastic water bottle per guest (1 liter or less)
  • Credit or debit card, no cash

Dream Big Disney on Ice Review

Just like any Disney programming, Disney on Ice is top-notch. Expect a high quality performance, stunning set designs and gorgeous costuming. These shows are appropriate for all ages and include lots of action and thrills (not just ice skating princesses!)

Photo credit: Disney on Ice

Shows last between 90-120 minutes long with a short intermission. You’ll see costumed characters, choreographed dancers and Disney princesses, all on ice skates. Elaborate floats, storytelling and dramatic music make the movies come to life in these live productions. There are special effects including strobe lights and pyrotechnics.

Several sections from Frozen are acted out on the ice.

The Disney on Ice Dream Big production is broken out into sections. Mickey and Minnie Mouse introduce some of the scenes, sometimes accompanied by Goofy. There are some sequences that feature a lengthier storyline (including Aladdin, Moana, the Little Mermaid and Frozen). These sections include multiple songs from the film.

In between there are shorter acts including solo skaters or a single song from the movie, including Coco, Tiana & Naveen from Princess and the Frog and Cinderella with her prince. For the finale, most of the characters return for a final spin on the ice, accompanied by dramatic lighting effects and pyrotechnics (sparklers that fall down from the ceiling).

The skating skills shown in the presentation are phenomenal, with daring and dramatic jumps and spins to thrill the crowd. Sections are short enough to keep the attention of children. The crowd enjoyed singing and clapping along to the musical soundtrack throughout the presentation.

What to Do with Kids During Intermission

There is a brief intermission (approximately 15 minutes). Naturally wait times for the bathrooms, dining and souvenirs will be longest during this break! If you can, step out just ahead of the official intermission to beat the crowds.

Some kids will get very antsy towards the end of the show. If you know ahead of time that your kids need to burn off a little energy before the second half of the show, take a few brisk laps around the lobby during the intermission. Or aim to leave the show early and avoid the crowds leaving the parking lot.

Souvenirs at Disney on Ice

Souvenir shopping is the big feature in the lobby. Look for t-shirts, dolls, plush, action figures and light-up toys. I found the Disney on Ice pricing on souvenirs to be higher than at the Disney parks itself, so keep that in mind.

Souvenirs in the lobby

If having a souvenir is an important part of the evening for you and the kids, consider the preordering feature. Ticket holders may order Disney On Ice merchandise ahead of the event for pickup at a convenient location right at the venue. Certainly a time saver, to avoid waiting in lengthy lines at the show. Also a great idea for indecisive children who like to mull over the process of picking the right items.

Disney on Ice Review – Is it Worth the Cost?

The tickets for Disney on Ice are quite reasonable, at around $20-35 per person. Don’t forget to budget in the price of parking ($20 per vehicle at Pechanga Arena). For families on a budget, I’d recommend dining ahead of your visit and steer clear of the souvenirs, which can cost more than the ticket itself.

Cinderella’s carriage is a lovely addition to the show.

For those that can’t get enough Disney stuff, watching the Disney on Ice show when it comes to your hometown is absolutely worth it! My kids and I have loved watching prior Disney on Ice productions. And Dream Big was no exception, it was fantastic. The shows are an excellent value and awesome entertainment all around!

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