When asked about complimentary tickets for the Disney on Ice show at Tel
Aviv’s Nokia Arena, the show’s public relations representative said
that not only were all the shows sold out, Disney on Ice probably would
not come back to Israel for 20 years.
In true Disney-like
fashion, the show’s website promised “unprecedented enjoyment” and
“memories that will last a lifetime.” (They had to promise that to
justify charging Israeli families NIS 399 for the best tickets, NIS 99
for the cheapest and NIS 49 for children under two.) With that kind of
build-up, it was safe to assume that Disney on Ice could only be a
letdown. But the truth is it was a really good show that both parents
and kids could appreciate and enjoy. The kids were entertained for two
hours during Succot vacation, and while their memories may not last a
lifetime, they are still talking about it a week later.
skilled dancers were clearly at an international level, and that is
coming from the eyes of someone who grew up in Chicago, home of the
reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. For Israelis, who only
recently were introduced to the concept of ice in their cups, the
dancers on ice would have been amazing even if they were not dressed as
fish, toy soldiers and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Donald Duck and Goofy were the hosts of the show, and it is safe to
assume that the kid-filled crowd would have appreciated it had they
stayed on the ice a lot more and spent less time backstage. Instead most
of the show was ice-dancing presentations of the movies Little Mermaid,
Tinkerbell, and Toy Story 3.
Many in the audience said the
selection of movies was an odd mix. There was no theme connecting the
three choices. An adaptation of Cars was part of some shows but
unfortunately left out of ours.
That probably would have captivated the kids a lot more than the other three.
Story 3 was a particularly odd choice, because of its quintessentially
American story about an 18-year-old boy going off to college and
donating his toys to a preschool controlled by an evil pink teddy bear.
Kids without much older siblings don’t know anything about going off to
college, and ours had a tough time figuring out who was supposed to be
good and bad.
The choice is even more puzzling considering that
the kids at Nokia were Israeli, and their experience at 18 will be very
different; they probably felt closer to the toy soldiers who played a
bit part in the show than to Andy, the kid who is the focus of the
We were in the nosebleed section and were worried that we
wouldn’t be able to see, but were pleasantly surprised at how good a
view we had. They did a good job of making sure there were good views no
matter where people sat.
We enjoyed watching Donald and Goofy
speak Hebrew, though chances are the skaters, who tour the world, did
not understand what their characters were saying.
actually was not a problem obtaining last-minute tickets at the box
office, the massive crowds for the shows were very impressive. People
proved they are willing to splurge for their kids for a show that would
be truly special.
Hopefully, the success of the shows will
persuade Disney and producers Feld Entertainment not to wait 20 years to
come back to Israel.
Shows this good should not be put on ice.