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Theatre / Disney on Ice

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Disney on Ice is an ongoing series of touring ice-skating shows produced by Feld Entertainment, a company most famous as the final producer of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tours. As with Ringling Bros., the shows perform in arenas; unlike Ringling Bros. the shows tour far beyond the United States.

Launched in 1981, each show features a variety of classic and modern Disney (and, since the late 1990s, Pixar) characters played by costumed skaters who mime to a recorded soundtrack. Formats vary from show to show, but boil down to one of the following three:

  1. A Massive Multiplayer Crossover with Mickey Mouse and other Classic Disney Shorts characters introducing (and often interacting with) other characters in a variety of segments grouped around a loose theme or storyline.
  2. A full retelling of a Disney Animated Canon or Pixar film, in which case other Disney/Pixar characters may appear at the beginning and closing of the show.
  3. Condensed retellings of various films, with Mickey and Co. presenting linking material; as of The New '10s, the most popular setup.

The Other Wiki's entry includes a list of most of the shows over the years, as well as more detailed info about the currently running productions. At the Turn of the Millennium Feld Entertainment launched a sister franchise, Disney Live!, whose shows offer similar fare but tour proscenium theaters.

    Franchises adapted into the shows 


Disney on Ice provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: In The '80s, the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs show ran a full three hours with intermission, which is twice the length of the original film. Some of the added material was solely to work in specialty acts (three servants making like The Three Stooges while cleaning up in the Queen's lab/dungeon, etc.) but this version also had Snow White, a few years before the film's events begin, attempt to run away from home. She meets Doc in the forest, and after he convinces her to go back, he meets each of the other six dwarfs for the first time and they all become friends.
  • Audience Participation: Varies from show to show. There's usually one or two segments where the audience is encouraged to clap along to the music. Some shows allow families (or at least the kids) in the front row to ride out onto the ice on "boats", "mine carts", etc. during one segment.
    • In Dare to Dream and Treasure Trove a child is picked to help send up the first floating lantern for the "I See the Light" sequence in the Tangled retelling.
    • Verges on From Beyond the Fourth Wall in the Aladdin show: Instead of Aladdin being magically exiled, Jafar traps him in chains... while the other characters are occupied, the hero quietly enlists some kids in the front row to free him.
    • The Frozen show involves singing along to the songs, including a finale involving a short but epic remix of Let It Go with Demi Lovato's lyrics, but with Idina Menzel singing it instead. Given the insane popularity of the songs and the sing-along release, that's not surprising.
  • Artifact Title: The 100 Years of Magic tour was named in celebration of Walt Disney's centennial anniversary back in 2001 and the show would be referred to as such for nearly two decades, long after the anniversary celebration had ended. This is averted in some countries, which instead opt for more timeless titles such as Everyone's Story (in Asia) or All Stars Parade (in some European countries). The US version would also eventually avert this when it retired the name in favor of Let's Celebrate when it brought back the tour in 2021. That said, it continues to be referred to as 100 years of Magic in some countries. invoked
  • Big Entrance: The emcee rode out onto the ice on a flashy motorcycle at the start of the 10th anniversary show for no reason other than this trope.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Most of the shows since the Turn of the Millennium feature condensed versions of several different films, to maximize the number of popular characters who can appear. (As one example, Dare to Dream presents condensed versions of Cinderella, Tangled, and The Princess and the Frog.) The more movies represented, the more compressed the adaptations are.
  • Costume Porn: In order to live up to how the characters appear in the movies, the costumes are by necessity elaborate.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Especially on princesses and pixies, but even Mickey and Minnie break out the sequined duds on occasion.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Don Karnage does this to Mickey and the gang in the Double Feature... Live! show.
  • Long-Runners: Via periodic updates, Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey has been running since 1995 and 100 Years of Magic since 1999.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: As one of the wilder examples, the 10th anniversary show in 1990 brought Mickey and the gang, DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Jungle Book, and The Little Mermaid together in one time-and-space traveling plot.
  • No Fourth Wall: Mickey and co. are emcees presenting the shows to the audience, and are thus well aware of it; other characters often acknowledge the audience as well (see Audience Participation above). In the Pinocchio adaptation from The '80s, a frustrated Stromboli announced the intermission and even asked for the house lights to be brought up. One show even started with the zamboni breaking down, prompting Mickey and friends to come out to check it. They found the Genie's lamp inside, kicking off the first segment.
  • On Ice: Famous Disney stories, scenes, and songs done to ice skating.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: One segment in Worlds of Fantasy. Tinker Bell, of course, always turns up in a show if Peter Pan is represented in some way.
  • Pantomime Animal: Maximus (Tangled) in Rockin' Ever After is a pantomime horse on ice. A pantomime camel turned up in Aladdin.
    • Bullseye from Toy Story comes up as this when used in a segment or show that manages to feature both Woody, and Jessie in some way.
  • The Rival: The Ice Capades, which started in 1940. Their revue format usually meant a segment or two based around a popular kid-friendly franchise (Disney characters appeared in the shows well into the 1960s); Disney On Ice came out on top when Ice Capades went bust in The '90s.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: The shows usually adapt the stories of some of Disney's more popular films for a compressed live retelling.
  • Spectacular Spinning: The skaters' choreography always includes plenty of spins.
  • Title: The Adaptation: Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour, which actually adapted the first two films, one for each act.
  • 2-for-1 Show: The Double Feature... Live! show in 1991. The first half of the show focused on Mickey and friends visiting Cape Suzette and getting shrunk alongside an Indiana Jones Expy, and the second half had Roger Rabbit presenting short vignettes starring Chip 'n Dale and Darkwing Duck.