We've never seen any of the Disney on Ice shows in person.
But Frozen? Frozen On Ice? It just made sense.
After the classic Disney characters left, it was time for Frozen.
Frozen On Ice starts out with the characters as children, just like the movie. Everyone aww-ed when baby Sven made his appearance. After Elsa and Anna built a snowman, giving us our first glimpse of Olaf, Anna was struck in the head with Elsa's ice power, and taken to the trolls.
Being a live performance, and not an animated movie, there were small changes to the story, but they were careful to include all the important parts. A clever exchange of the child-Anna and grown-up-Anna happened during "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" and any doubts I had that this was going to be awesome were immediately erased like Anna's memories of Elsa's ice power.
When we saw Anna next, it was coronation day, and she was ready to celebrate the opening of the gates. And maybe, just maybe, meet someone special. This is when we were introduced to Hans, and got to sing along with "Love Is An Open Door." Don't judge. I guarantee we were not the only people singing along to all the songs.
We got our first look at grown-up Elsa when she appeared for her coronation. Standing on the tower,Elsa removed her gloves just long enough to complete the ceremony, and quickly replaced them while Anna looked on from below.
The coronation and following party were beautiful. The guests had amazing costumes and skating moves. Eventually Elsa made her way off the platform, to stand with Anna. After a dance with the Duke of Weselton (just as funny on ice as it was in the movie), Anna reunites with her new love, Hans.
You know how this turns out, right? Hans and Anna ask Queen Elsa's permission to be married, to which Elsa replies, "You can't marry a man you just met!" An argument ensues, and Elsa's magic is revealed as she accidentally freezes the fountain in front of all the coronation guests and townspeople.
They really captured the magic when Elsa transformed the fountain to ice. You could hear the excited voices of children as they noticed snow falling on stage and throughout the arena. It was probably my imagination triggered by being so into the story, but I felt a little bit colder, too.
There was some reorganization of the story as we skipped Wandering Oaken's Trading Post to have Anna meet Kristoff and Sven in the woods. But they didn't skip the wolves, or one of my favorite parts of the movie when Kristoff comments on Anna's engagement story by telling her he doesn't trust her judgement, and asking, "You got engaged to someone you just met that day? Didn't your parents ever warn you about strangers?"
Now for the moment you have been waiting for, "Let It Go"...
As Elsa entered and started to sing, you could feel her loneliness, and her building strength. When she removed the heavy cape to unveil her iconic blue dress, a cheer went through the crowd. It was a powerful moment.
As we were waiting for the show to begin, Katarina asked how they were going to build an ice castle. It was something I wondered, too. While an entire castle wasn't built (obviously) what they did with the lights, smoke, pyrotechnics, and snow flurries, was pretty amazing. It was much better than I imagined it would be.
Then Anna, Kristoff, and Sven returned, and we finally got to see life-sized Olaf! They even recreated the head-tossing scene from the movie.
And Olaf finally got to share his secret wish for summer with someone.
After the break for summer, Anna and her companions arrive at Elsa's ice castle, where she is less than excited to see them.
This was the moment where the special effects and magic really showed up. As Elsa tries to get Anna to leave, she loses control, and hits Anna in the heart with her ice power. Once again the flurries and lights were spectacular, and made it all feel very real.
Elsa sent Marshmallow to scare them away from her castle. It was then that Kristoff and noticed Anna's hair turning white, and took her to see his friends, "the love experts," who were actually the trolls she visited when she was a young child.
Grand Pabbie Troll explains that it will take an act of true love to thaw her heart. They immediately set off for Arendelle so Hans can give her a true love's kiss. But it isn't to be. Hans never loved her, and instead of kissing her, he leaves her for dead and sets off to kill Elsa so he can take over rule of Arendelle.
Hans is thwarted in his plans. Anna sees him heading towards Elsa, and instead of running to Kristoff so he can save her with true love's kiss, she runs to save her sister.
This act of true love saves not only Elsa, but Anna as well. Better than any true love's kiss. And Hans is sent off to be imprisoned in his country (after Anna lands a well-placed punch). Elsa thaws Arendelle, giving Olaf his own personal flurry so he won't melt. Anna replaces Kristoff's sled. And they all live happily ever after.
At the end of the show, the classic Disney characters returned for a final ice dance with the Frozen characters. It was awesome.
I took more than 100 pictures, and that isn't even counting the pictures Thomas took. They weren't at all spectacular with the spot lighting and distance. And they didn't capture the spins, flips (yes, flips!), and other ice skating magic that was happening. So, trust me when I tell you, you need to see this in person. It is totally worth it. My pictures here don't do it justice, and you will be amazed at how magical and special it will be.
Have you seen any Disney On Ice productions? This one was was amazing, so now I'm totally hooked, and wondering which one we should see next.