Tell a 2 ½-year-old that you have a surprise for her and you'll
see her eyes light up. Take her to Rosemont Theatre for Disney
Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure and you'll get a
squeal, the biggest, sweetest hug ever and another fun family
memory to add to the scrapbook.
At least that's what happened this past weekend when I took my
daughter to see her first live show ever. She's been a fan of
Disney Junior's hit show "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" for a
while now and when I saw he would be one of the featured
performers, I knew it was a show we couldn't miss.
It was so sweet walking in and seeing the theater filled with
kids dressed up as princesses and pirates. Tiaras and amulets
glittered and pirate swords were thrust in the air followed by
throaty growls of "arrrggghh!" It was even better when the parents
got in on the costume fun, too!
Get there early for a pre-show featuring Doc McStuffins 10
minutes before the start of each show. It's a great way to keep the
families who arrive early entertained while waiting for the main
show to begin. I'd love to see Doc worked into the main show in the
future. She is another one of my daughter's favorites and her theme
song is so catchy!
Mickey and Minnie Mouse host the show, which was a fun surprise
for my daughter as we just recently returned from our first trip to
Walt Disney World. She was a little disappointed that she couldn't
run up and hug Mickey and Minnie like she did at Disney but she
quickly got over it.
The show is broken up into two parts - Sophia the First and Jake
and the Never Land Pirates. Both last about 30 minutes and there is
a 10-15 minute intermission between.
The performers lip-sync to pre-recorded soundtracks, which makes
it easy for kids to immediately recognize the characters' voices.
They use overly expressive motions and overact (just a bit), which
can seem a little over the top for parents, but the kids were
eating it up.
I'd say 2 to 6 is the perfect age range for kids to really enjoy
the show. Some of the "magic" will be lost on older kids (visible
wires for flying characters, visible feet on some of the props and
animal characters, etc.) but the songs are fun and the overall
atmosphere is very family-friendly so they may still enjoy it with
Sophia's portion of the show focused on a celebration in which
Sophia was tasked with giving the official royal welcome. After
some encouragement from her siblings, a couple break-out songs with
dancing desserts and a surprise visit from Cinderella, Sophia
learns the true meaning of being a princess.
Jake, his fellow pirates Izzy and Cubby and their parrot Skully
battle sneaky Captain Hook in a race to reach a volcano filled with
the most coveted pirate treasure: gold doubloons! Peter Pan makes a
surprise visit to help save the day and Jake and his friends learn
what it takes to be a true hero.
The music and dance sequences were my favorite parts of the show
and kids are encouraged to get out of their seats to dance and sing
right along with the characters. My daughter is at an age where she
goes through stages of acting more timid than usual, so I was
pleasantly surprised at how willing she was to jump out of her seat
and dance in the aisle. She even made a run for the stage at one
point just to get closer to the action!
Overall, we had a great time. My daughter was thrilled and was
still talking about the show days later. And anything that holds
her attention that long is a success in my parenting book.
Jackie is the digital editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Oak Park with her daughter and husband and is expecting their second child in Spring 2015. Follow along on her blog, Momma Knows Best, as she tests out the best products for moms and babies on the market to find the ones parents can't live without.
See more of Jackie's stories here.
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