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Beware the D level Ice Show

Today I took my daughter to see the Disney on Ice Mickey & Minnie’s Magical Journey Ice show. That’s a D level show.

The ads made this ice show appear like the genuine “A” level real thing but when we got there, I swear everything real Disney had been replaced by knock-offs. It was tricky since they charged the same $30 a ticket for the same seats. At least when you’re buying fakes in New York, they charge you 90% less for that Louis Vuitton. The people looked real but, then again, we were too far away to tell. My sister, her two kids and my other nephew, all kids under 6, couldn't tell either.

The first clue something was off was the souvenir stands. The souvenir stands were not well stocked, and they were few and far between. How un-Disney. Plus they weren’t selling for the “whole play” value. There was no Captain Hook for the Peter Pan. This would be like a Cinderella dress without the shoes. At the ‘A” level Disney Princesses on Ice, even in the corners near the escalator lurked coloring book salesmen and Princess tiara/scepter/marriage certificate hawkers.

The second big clue was the opening with the 4 main Disney characters dressed up in Safari gear standing on an almost blank sheet of ice. They were going to take us along the “journey.” A real Disney production would have at least provided them a Safari jeep out there and maybe some skating trees.

Even some costumes felt knock-off. My daughter did not recognize Simba in dusty light brown bodysuit. They were going for some real lion thing rather than the cartoon. We came for the cartoon, not National Geographic.

Then, Disney was not able to fill up the rink. The skaters were too few and the large props, too small. Love my daughter, though, she asked why they needed “strings” to fly.

And what’s with featuring Lilo & Stitch. That’s not a plotline to compress to 10 minutes. If you have not seen this movie, the plot is confusing and if you have seen it, the plot is confusing. In a nutshell: Scooby Doo worthy aliens do some talking and send an experimental alien to earth. The Hawaiian family of two sisters adopts the alien thinking it’s a dog. This alien gets named Stitch by the little sister Lilo, an event which has a back story that’s alluded to not explained. Lilo & Stitch fight but she loves him anyway. The aliens come back to get the dog/alien. Stitch sings an Elvis song and he gets to stay with Lilo. And somewhere in there is a subplot involving the older sister’s love interest, David the surfer and more Elvis songs. Now imagine that in 10 minutes. It takes me longer to read the Disney book version. I would’ve thought about buying the DVD had it been available.

My 2 year old nephew thought the Zamboni was the coolest part of the show. It's the only part he didn't ask to go to the bathroom or to eat. That toowas not worth the journey to the AA arena much less the $15 parking fee. The Miami Beach Youth Center offers a similar Zamboni and free parking.

But Disney, it’s not your show that is going to make me not come back. It’s Ticketmaster and whatever great ticket scam deal is going on between them and the arena. I didn’t buy the tickets online thinking I’d save the $5+ service charge Ticketmaster tacks on – per ticket. For 6 tickets I’d expect more service for $30 than to have the ticket printed by a computer. Mailing was extra. However, unbelievably, there were only a few tickets available an hour before the show. Few, meaning in choice of seats. I could choose the tip-top balcony for $19 or a corner for $30. There would be no love gained by wrestling the gang up to seats on the 80-degree angle in the balcony. And even less love in keeping them up there as those seats are within touching distance of airplanes.

How nice it was, though, from our corner seats to be able to see all the empty row seats in the middle. Completely empty. And the $25 seats that they told me were unavailable, well those were mostly empty too.

I love Disney and the Disney machine, I drank the kool-aid clutching my Princess themed Dixie cup and sipping it through my Toy Story crazy straw, but this was one ugly stepsister of a show.