Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures (touring) – family theatre review

In a word, stunning. That is my take on Disney’s latest and greatest show on ice yet. Officially named Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures, it’s slick and spectacular, and features a collection of Disney favourites. First up, there is a warmup from Patrick and Taylor (who turn out to be Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck’s tour guides). They manage to get us, the audience up on our feet, dancing, with live video of the endeavour streamed onto giant screens. In fact, crowd livestreaming is a mainstay of this production.

And then it is on with the show, which is a cavalcade of prima ice skating, including leaps, twists, turns and spins, alongside agile aerial acrobatics. There are BMX bike tricks over ramps and hijinks aplenty. All this is mixed with lively commentary and, most importantly, an engaging musical soundtrack, featuring many beloved Disney tunes. I speak of the likes of You’re Welcome, Let It Go and Can You Feel the Love Tonight.

The characters transport us to Disney destinations, such as Metroville, Motonui and Arendelle. Striking video backdrops immediately capture our attention. Mary Poppins flies in, umbrella in hand, while chimney sweeps bend the proverbial back of flag poles, while upside down. Oh my, what a start! When an attractive, open-topped van with trailer – the Magic Mobile – careers out of control, it is left to the Incredibles to stop its momentum. But that is not before they douse flames, as there is fire on the ice. Yes, indeed.

Moana is not easily impressed when Maui arrives and flexes his muscles, ready for a sailboat adventure. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf are met with loud cheers, as Frozen remains one of Disney’s all-time fancies, especially among little girls. One of the finest features of a magnificently choreographed show are when a multitude of secondary characters take to the stage alongside the key figures. With superb, creative, evocative and richly colourful costuming, the “troupe” scenes are breathtaking and brilliant.

A case in point comes after the introduction of Simba, Pumbaa and Timon, and later Nala, from The Lion King, with zebras, giraffes and other creatures. After interval, it is time for the arrival of Woody and Buzz Lightyear, before Aladdin rubs his magic lamp and, with the help of the Genie, entices Princess Jasmine. Girl power is alive and well in Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures, ahead of a grand finale when all characters hit the ice in a lavish display.

This is a superb, interactive family show, which runs for about 100 minutes, plus a 15-minute interval. In fact, I can’t speak highly enough of it – it is a beauty … an absolute ripper. And, rest assured, there is no shortage of merch around the arena to satisfy die-hard little fans. All the latest wands, swords, drink containers, figurines, soft toys, t-shirts and much more are readily available.

Disney on Ice: Road Trip Adventures is playing at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne until 8th July. It then moves to the Newcastle Entertainment Centre from 11th to 14th July and finishes at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney from 17th to 21st July.

Alex First

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