CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Disney on Ice once again returned to the Charleston Civic Center, this time with "Worlds of Fantasy" providing entertainment for children of all ages, although granted, the target audience is probably under 10.
I have to admit I was surprised to see such a large crowd almost fill the venue on a weeknight. I expected to see a sparse turnout since the show will run six more times this weekend and it is a school night. It was not a sellout, but it certainly was a robust crowd.
The show was loud, bright and flashy, the stuff of every child's fantasy. The noise level of the venue never really drops below a dull roar with children laughing, screaming, crying and parents scolding, shushing and popping Advil, but somehow the magic of Disney overpowers it all.
The first half of the show includes: Tinkerbell, flying fairies, enormous butterflies, impressive acrobatic feats of figure skating and costumes that seemed so cumbersome it was mind boggling to watch the performers remain upright. All of this combines to make a fast-paced and sometimes frantic performance. There is so much happening on the ice it is difficult to take it all in. This plays perfectly to a younger crowd with short attentions spans.
I enjoyed it. The first half of the show appealed deeply to my inner elementary school child, especially the fairy queen who flew through the air repeatedly. Sprinkling magic dust and wearing a fabulous, glittery golden gown, she looked like a mash up between Glenda the Good Witch and a Vera Wang Wedding show. I will not lie; I wanted to be her. I would wear it, especially if I could both fly and skate with gravity defying grace.
The second half of the show retold the latest "Toy Story" movie and though not as magical, it was still entertaining. I do think the second half is a little intense for the extremely young fans. With 20-foot tall cut outs of angry children chasing the toys around the ice, it was a tad too scary for my taste. My opinion was reinforced when many of the audience members nearby spontaneously burst into tears.
I will say that the set design and costumes of the second half were even more imposing then I could have imagined. Larger than life toys and costumes that appeared to contain more than one skater were both whimsical and extraordinary.
Overall this is a fun family night out. It is an enchanting show that is not too long and filled with little things to appeal to a vast range of age and taste.
Disney on Ice presents "Worlds of Fantasy" shows at the Civic Center Friday night at 7 p.m, Saturday at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.