Disney on Ice ~ Arena Birmingham

Star rating *****

Disney is one of my families absolute passions, we are all nuts about Mickey and Minnie Mouse, couldn’t wait for Toy Story 4 to be released earlier this year and our home is filled to the brim with Disneyana. Disney on Ice remains one of our top highlights of the year, it’s always a must-see and this autumn’s magical spectacular at Arena Birmingham has proved to be no exception. Celebrating 100 years of magic in wondrous style.

As usual, Mickey and Minnie were at the helm, together with Goofy and Donald they led a packed and excitable arena through every glorious setting and Disney movie. There were short excerpts and longer pieces which gave a good all-round showcase of the classic and more modern day films.

Forky’s brilliant performance in the Toy Story section was our son’s favourite. If I had to choose I would pick out the beautiful dances performed by the various Princes and Princesses. My husband loved the Aladdin scene where the ever-effervescent Genie took the lead and multiplied!

All of the dancers are magnificent skaters and it can be no mean feat to skate and perform in some of those costumes. The attention to detail is always on point and the fact that these popular characters are gracing the ice for all their fans, be they kids or big kids is the most wonderful sight.

Disney on Ice is a fabulous pre-Christmas treat for all the family so get your tickets now and enjoy the magic: Disney on Ice Tickets

Walking With Dinosaurs Live ~ Arena Birmingham

Star rating: *****

Dinosaurs were on the loose in Birmingham last week and they were humongous, ferocious and hungry for an arena packed full of dino enthusiasts at Arena Birmingham.

It’s presented and narrated by popular television personality, Michaela Strachan who appears as the palaeontologist introducing and giving facts about all of the extraordinary replicas of these amazing beasts. The factual information is fascinating to listen to and the dinosaurs who wander around the arena, which is paved with bright coloured plant-life are a vision to behold. My son was astounded, even from the upper circle, it felt as though some of the larger specimens could reach out and touch us – they were so life-like.

As we are taken on a journey through the decades, we meet dinosaurs from a variety of periods of time – there’s the Allosaurus, Plateosaurus, Stegosaurus, Torosaurus, Utahraptor, Ankylosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Lilensternus and Ornithocheirus. Each dino has its own behaviour pattern, position in the food chain and unique sound too. Watch out for the T-Rex too, both mother and baby are on the prowl!

I personally found it to be a moving experience, life-affirming in its own way and Strachan was a perfect choice to take the helm. My little boy was convinced that the dinosaurs were real. If you’ve seen the BBC One Television programme of the same title, you’ll already know how the recreation of a wide range of Dinosaurs is quite a sight to behold. When you see them live you’ll not believe your eyes.

Go and see Walking With Dinosaurs on its arena tour, miss it and you’ll miss out – book here: Walking With Dinosaurs Live

Fast & Furious Live ~ Arena Birmingham

Fast & Furious Live is on tour, to find a tour venue near you and book tickets, click here: Fast & Furious Live Tickets

Star rating: *****

Fast & Furious live is a high-speed spectacular with stunts, tricks and danger all played out before your eyes. With the famous Fast & Furious movie scenes playing out on a big screen we saw a range of vehicles, some from the films, racing around the arena as their daredevil drivers introduced us to street racing, neon effects and handbrake turns to rival the best of them.

Presented by Elysia Wren as Sophia Diaz and Mark Ebulue as DSS Agent Dawson – we are led into an underworld of crime, villainy and high-speed car chases. It’s loud, it’s a skilful display of exceptional stunts and it’s played out to scene-setting music too.

The neon effects were my favourite (as seen in the image above) as they enhanced vehicles which appeared to be pure white on the surface. Although if you’ve seen the Fast & Furious movies, you’ll know that pure is not a word associated with the family! If you’ve never seen the movies before, you don’t need to have watched them to be amazed by the performances of the team. If you’ve ever wanted to see a man jump a car driving at speed, you’ll see Chase Armitage do just that, and if you’re anything like me your heart will be in your mouth throughout the entirety. Do you believe that cars can fly? You will once you’ve witnessed the heady heights that some of these vehicles can reach!

The cars are indeed the stars of the show and the stunts you’ll see are recreated from the movies. There’s also a chance to get involved, plenty of audience participation without moving from your seat or putting yourself at risk. It’s an extraordinary show unlike any I’ve had the privilege of watching before and I can attest that it’s family friendly, too – our 4 year old was astounded and completely captivated by it.

Would I watch it again? Without a moment’s hesitation – and I will be catching up on the Fast & Furious movies I’ve missed too!


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Photo Credits: Fast & Furious Live Website

Disney On Ice Passport to Adventure ~ Arena Birmingham

Disney On Ice is on UK tour with Passport to Adventure – click here for tour dates and to book tickets: Disney On Ice

Star rating: *****

Disney is a firm favourite in our household and having been to Disneyland Paris this year (third time for my husband and I, first time for our three year old son) Disney on Ice seemed like the ideal outing to keep the magic going until we can return to the place that our boy can’t stop talking about!

What the Passport to Adventure show brings you is four different films brought to life by incredible ice dancers in character costumes. Providing the ‘narration’ are Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and a hapless Goofy who delighted our child with his antics. It’s a non-stop cornucopia of Disney hits and scenes played out in the most extraordinary style.

The shows we were treated to included: The Lion King, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid and Frozen. We were also joined by Judy Hops and Nick Fox from Zootropolis, before the main event – they were getting us all on our feet in a Fit to Dance session. Which is a brilliant idea and was embraced by all in the arena.

The Lion King featured some exceptional skating, with jumps, tricks and one skater in a Pumba costume – no mean feat! Peter Pan included flying in their section, naturally, as well as another member of the cast in a cumbersome outfit – dressed as Nanna the Dog. The Little Mermaid showcased superb ensemble dances with ‘Under The Sea’ being a particular favourite, plus there was a giant Ursula taking up the rink as she glided out in a clever move. Frozen remains as popular as ever, and what better show to perform on the ice than Frozen? It’s where Olaf belongs isn’t it? Even if he is still singing about ‘Summer’! Of all the tales told, I felt that the setting, scenery and stunning performances provided us with the perfect finale.

We can’t wait to return to Disney on Ice, next year and see what Mickey Mouse and his friends have in store for us. It’s such a fantastic family fun event and one of the highlights of our year.

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