Since a Disney trip is not in the cards for us this year, I decided to try and fill that void by booking us tickets to Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream. After reading glowing reviews online and seeing by my 3 year olds reaction to the commercials for the show on Disney Junior, I knew we would all have a great time.
The tour never seems to come to Edmonton, so we made the 3 hour trip down to Calgary for our first Disney on Ice experience. I booked the tickets way back in November and I was excited to head down for the Easter weekend to see the show and get in a long overdue visit with my sister.
The actual show was filled with lots of great songs, dancing and even some high flying aerial work. The skating was well choreographed and it was fun to see some of favorite Disney characters come to life on the ice under the storytelling of Minnie and Mickey.
The show featured a dance sequence by Tiana, and the stories of Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel. I was delighted to see all 7 dwarfs together on the ice and in awe of Cinderella’s glass carriage gliding across the ice, but I think Maximus was the real show stealer. It was fascinating to watch the 2 skaters work together on the ice to move and act like an actual horse.
And after asking repeatedly to see “ALL the princesses!” my 3 year old was over the moon for the end sequence that brought all her favourites and their Prince’s to the ice.
Before going, I did some reading on the Disney on Ice shows and one of the most consistent tips was to be prepared for expensive concession stand and souvenir costs. I don’t mind treating my kids to things on special occasions, but if there is a way to plan ahead and give my kids everything they might want while saving on costs, I will do it. A lot of the blogs I read indicated you can bring in your own items and suggested doing that instead of paying for those offered at the show, so I decided to put together some treat bags to bring along for my kids.
I do recommend you check that the venue does not do bag checks before you do this – luckily for me the Stampede Corral in Calgary did not.
For each of their treat bags I included items I knew they would be selling at the show.
First, I knew there would be popcorn. Both my kids love popcorn and even I find it hard to resist the aroma of fresh popped corn. The photos I was able to find online showed it being served in cute character printed bags so I decided to do the same for my kids. Dollar Tree had a selection of small printed reusable bags so I picked out a Princess bag for my daughter and a Marvel themed one for my son. My son was not too keen on going to the show because of the princess factor, so I was hoping the Super Hero treat bag would detract from that a bit.
The actual popcorn was just kernels I popped at home on the stovetop with a bit of melted coconut oil. If you haven’t made popcorn this way, I highly recommend it. I have stopped buying microwave popcorn because this is almost as quick and I prefer the taste.
Second was cotton candy. My daughter loves cotton candy and I knew the whining might start once she saw the big candy floss filled bags going up and down the aisles. The dollar store sells cotton candy so I decided to grab a tub for each kid. After repackaging it into small plastic bags, it was a lot less sugar then they would have consumed buying the big bag at the show! I have always been a bit skeptical about buying cotton candy that isn’t freshly made, but I must say it was pretty darn tasty.
There was also a couple souvenir stands that I had seen pictures of online with all kinds of plush dolls and figures that I knew would catch my daughter’s eye. My first thought was to head to the Disney store, but then I remembered Hallmark sells a whole line of Disney themed Itty Bittys. I knew these inexpensive stuffed toys would be the perfect size to bring along and it would be easy to find one that appealed to each of my kids.
Finally, there were also glow items that I had seen in other people’s review photos. Just as I did for our Disneyland trip, I hit up the Dollar store for similar glow items. The kids don’t care that they aren’t Disney branded, just that they also had something to light up and wave around in the dark. The sword shaped glow stick was perfect for my son and the butterfly adorned wand was fit for my little princess.
Total per treat bag:
Treat Bag: $1.25 for reuseable bag (Dollar Tree)
Popcorn: N/A for stovetop popcorn made at home
Glow Wand/Sword: $1.25 (Dollar Tree)
Cotton Candy: $1.25 (Dollar Tree)
Itty Bitty Stuffed Toy: $6.95 (Hallmark)
One thing that I was not able to include is the snow cones in the fancy souvenir cup, so I anticipated treating the kids to one of those. After dropping $30 on two of the frozen treats, my husband seemed quite appreciative that I had planned ahead and brought the treat bags full of other goodies. At a total of $11.44, my bags came in under the cost of most items at the show ($12-15).
My son’s aforementioned adversion to princesses had my husband a bit worried about how he would react to the snow cone cup he chose for him, but luckily Camden was actually excited by his blue Cinderella souvenir cup. I had a feeling the princesses wouldn’t be as big of an issue once he was actually at the show and got into the whole experience.
I had fun putting together the bags and was excited to surprise the kids with them at the show. Since I was able to spoil them with almost everything they saw being sold at the show, it stopped (most of) the whining and made for a magical afternoon where we could just sit back and enjoy the show.