Disney On Ice – from an (ex) figure skater’s perspective

I have always been against paying (a substantial amount of money) for tickets to an ice-show. Because when you’re a figure skater, you know that its really all about the ‘show’. It’s costumes and lighting and sparkles and snow…everything a little girls dream is made of. Being Disney, means that its princesses too! It’s popcorn and slush puppie, character apparel and candy floss.

It’s all pretty grand for a four year old!! But when you’re a skater (or have been a skater) it’s a very different show to watch.

We went to the 14:00 show on Saturday. I had bought tickets for a number of reasons. One being that I want to expose my girls to some of what was such a big part of my life. Another being that this is the closest we are going to get to Disney Land for the foreseeable future, and finally because it’s fun to get out and experience new things as a family.


I knew what to expect (more or less), what I didn’t factor into our experience was the flood of emotions that fell over me as I took my seat and looked onto the ice. It was as though my entire skating career flashed over my heart. I longed to experience more of it, I felt jealous of those who are still in it, I felt sad for what I hadn’t achieved and for the way I had to leave. I remembered the good stuff too. And as we sat there, waiting for the show to start, I held my husbands hand with tears streaming down my cheeks.

5 Rings… I put everything I had into trying to get there, and came so close…but I just couldn’t do it!

The show was a welcome distraction from an inviting and beautifully clean block of ice, and the delight coming from my girls as well as the children around us as each Disney character appeared from behind the curtain was euphoric!

Mickey and Minnie were so in character … the way those two moved so animatedly on the ice was just gorgeous!

The skating… well it was basic. I know very well that skating with all those lights on you is a little distracting and I wasn’t expecting a competitive level of skating… but being an international show, I really was expecting a little more from a skills point of view. We saw one (downgraded) triple jump (this means that not all 3 rotations were completed in the air but rather finished on the ice), One dicey double axel and some very average choreography in the pairs. In short, our very own South African Figure skaters… those who fight daily for just a little bit of ice time, could have put this show on for you and it would have been nothing short of spectacular!

I didn’t like that they changed so much of the music – what happened to good old Disney classics that the kids recognise and can sing along to? My girls as well as most of the kids around us hid (and cried) through the Halloween scene… why Disney? Why? And then …there was NO Frozen! Blonde Skater, blue dress…easy peasy! No?

On the flip side, this was Disney and I loved that for a little bit, we felt like we were really experiencing a part of what Disney is. The sets and costumes were as beautiful and as magical as you would expect Disney to be. I loved that everyone else thought the skating was amazing and that things like this play a small part in keeping figure skating in South Africa alive. I loved how much it made Tai want to experience the ice and how her and Keatynn have poured over their programs every day since. I was amazed at how Keatynn (only just two years old) sat captivated through the entire show, clapping, singing and laughing along with everybody else.


Would I go again? Probably not. Should you go… not if you know anything about figure skating – go for the costumes and the magic and the lights and the SNOW. Go for your kids, because they will love it and remember it and talk about it for a good, long time 🙂 Go because they will want to drag you to your nearest ice rink… and THAT is where the magic really happens!

One thought on “Disney On Ice – from an (ex) figure skater’s perspective

  1. Loved reading your post Jenna.It is so enjoyable reading your writing style and it keeps me a bit more connected. Thank you.Lots of love Mom x x

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