Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures – Live Review

Disney On Ice is back in Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena and their new show Road Trip Adventures is no ordinary Disney On Ice show.

With several screens at the back of the rectangular ice rink displaying the faces of smiling patrons, with your photo too having the opportunity to appear on the big screen by using the #DisneyOnIce hashtag, I knew that this production would be an interactive one. Projections of colours and shapes return once again to the Disney On Ice stage but what’s new are the circular screens at the centre of the production that can levitate up and down at command.

Hosted on opening night by our MCs Kenny and Imani, the audience are taken on a magical road trip journey throughout the world in a glowing van consisting of fellow travellers Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. But before that, patrons are encouraged to get into the mood by getting up and dancing along. This had dads, mums and kids jumping up and down in their seats in great delight.

Our road trip adventure consisted of Mary Poppins Returns with Mary Poppins, Jack and the leeries performing to ‘Trip a Little Light Fantastic’ complete with acrobatics, tricks on bikes and of course, lampposts. It was lovely seeing Mary Poppins fly down with a kite, just like the movie and although I did find myself missing the classic Mary Poppins songs and was aching for a ‘Step In Time’ number, the Mary Poppins Returns theme still impressed, concluding with a bunch of cherry blossom tree petals that danced across the screen.

Early in journey, the magical van that Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy boarded had gone out of control and Pixar’s The Incredibles family appeared to save the day, but not before each having extended introductions while our favourite core Disney quartet were still in danger the whole time. Having the ever appropriate Frozone appear on the ice to save the day was a welcome change. Soon we were off again, this time to the edge of the water where Moana made an appearance.

Moana has become an extremely popular character over the years with a Moana 2 coming to cinemas later this year and a Moana Live Action film slated for some time in 2025. So, we heard that it was time for Moana’s segment, the audience collective erupted in cheers and many light-up lightsticks of Maui’s Hook appeared and lit up the darkness to decorate the Melbourne arena.

‘Where You Are’ was performed and although we could see Moana following her lines, it wasn’t obvious who was playing Moana’s father and saying his words, or nobody was. Very puzzling. Next up was the song, ‘How Far I’ll Go’ which is a gorgeous classic and saw Moana board her boat before being approached by Maui for the hit ‘You’re Welcome’. This song had patrons animatedly bouncing up and down in their seats. Finally, the tune ‘We Know the Way’ was played to conclude this segment before our core Disney four set off to the North Mountain for a very Frozen experience.

Anna emerged from the snow that fell from the ceiling while searching for her sister Elsa. Meeting Olaf and Kristoff along the way and seeing Olaf before his ‘In Summer’ solo, I found it refreshing that in this little Frozen performance, you never see Anna go through the heartache of dating a dodgy prince. Elsa does perform her iconic song ‘Let It Go’, but not before walking in front of some audience members in the front row near the rink before stepping onto the ice.

To conclude the first act, we were visited by beloved characters from the Lion King including Rafiki, Timon and Pumba. ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’ were a treat with all the African animal puppets emerging onto the icy stage and greeting the audience. The transition from young Simba to adult Simba is just as cool as the musical and it was clear many fellow patrons agreed as the entrance of adult Simba onto the rink was met with loud cheers! Plus, the ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ dance between adult Simba and adult Nala is absolutely stunning! The tricks you will see the pair perform will have you gasping in awe!

The second act is much shorter but is equally as impressive, if not more so. While Disney fans are met with our favourite Toy Story characters including Buzz Lightyear and Woody. The showstopper of Road Trip Adventures would hands down be the Aladdin set.

Making full use of the circular screens at the centre of the rink as previously mentioned, these are used to display Genie during ‘Never Had a Friend Like Me’ before transforming into his more accessible human form. With the set using footage and audio from the Aladdin Live Action film, I was delighted when I realised that Princess Jasmine had a solo performance to the original Alan Menken composed song, ‘Speechless’. It was so beautiful and different. I’ve been so used to seeing Aladdin get all the attention, it was wonderful seeing Jasmine get her own chance to shine to the empowering and gorgeous song that was especially penned for the live action version of the character.

If this wasn’t enough to impress, ‘Prince Ali’ was a spectacle of colour, with a lot of the Disney On Ice magic using the screens to form giant feathers and a gold door. As this production relies heavily on its screens, very minimal props are used. It’s clear Disney On Ice has evolved, with projection on the ice having been introduced to the Australia circuit only last year. Road Trip Adventures is still not without its surprises, its biggest being Jasmine flying in the air during the song, ‘A Whole New World’ with Aladdin being the one to ground her. A beautifully choreographed routine that had an entire Melbourne venue stunned, I daresay that even I was very moved to shed a tear or two.

Concluding with the appearance of all the Disney Princesses, Road Trip Adventures is an entertaining show from start to finish. Extremely interactive with some lucky tiny fans being brought to the iced stage to even interact with the cast, you would be hard pressed to find a fan not satisfied by this new show.

My favourite segments would hands down be every song of the Lion King and from Aladdin the performances to the songs ‘Speechless’ and ‘A Whole New World’. Actually, seeing this show made me want to watch the Aladdin live action film again!

Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures is one of the most ambitious Disney On Ice productions yet and has managed to reinvent the concept with a touch of technology that goes a long way. With the use of circular screens that can go up and down at will at the centre of the rink, the show feels new and exciting for those who visit every year, while those new to Disney On Ice will be just as impressed by the spectacle of magic that Road Trip Adventures guarantees.

Run, don’t walk to see Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures. It’s been a long time since a Disney On Ice show has been nearly as reinventive as it is exciting. Definitely don’t miss this.

Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures is currently on at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne until Monday July 9th. The production then heads to Newcastle on July 11th until the 14th at Newcastle Entertainment Centre before ending at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney with its run from July 17th to 21st, 2024.
For more information and ticketing, visit:
https://www.disneyonice.com/en-au

Photography supplied by Feld Entertainment.

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