A magical night at Disney on Ice: Princesses & Heroes in Chicago

A chill in the air began to set in as we made our way into the United Center last night for Disney on Ice: Princesses& Heroes; appropriately setting the scene for the first live ice skating show my three-year-old daughter had ever seen.

If you go

United Center,

1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612


Thursday, September 11 – 7 p.m.

Friday, September 12 – 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 13 – 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Sunday, September 14 – 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., & 7 p.m.


Parking in all United Center lots are free.

Her excitement was contagious, which seemed to ring true for all of the kids who packed the arena. Tiny hands pulled on their parents’ arms, encouraging them to find their seats quicker.

As the lights dimmed, Mickey and Minnie Mouse skated out to introduce a magical world of wonderment and wishes.

Tinkerbell weaves each story together. With a wave of her wand and a sprinkle of pixie dust, she brings to life each princess/hero pair: Jasmine and Aladdin, Snow White and her prince, Belle and Prince Adam (the Beast), Ariel and Prince Eric, Tiana and Prince Naveen, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Prince Phillip, Cinderella and Prince Charming, and Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder.

Fans of “Frozen” may be disappointed, Queen Elsa and Anna don’t make an appearance. But honestly, my daughter — a die-hard fan — hardly noticed.

The elaborate costumes and musical ice dancing numbers captivated her, even when she wasn’t quite as familiar with the songs. Our personal favorites were “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast” and “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid.” After every set, she was up on her feet, enthusiastically clapping and waving to her favorite characters as they skated off stage.

Save for brief scary moment in the Sleeping Beauty portion of the show when Maleficent transforms into an 11-foot, fire-breathing dragon determined to stop Prince Phillip from rescuing Aurora, the rest of the hour-and-a-half long performance is entirely family-friendly and extremely enjoyable.

Ironically, the dragon was my daughter’s favorite part of the show but more timid little ones may want to cover their eyes.

Beyond the costumes and props, parents are in for a real treat. The athleticism of the skaters really stands out and makes for a fantastic show in itself. The twirls and leaps you would expect to see are, of course, great, but it’s the one-handed lifts and overhead holds that are really jaw-dropping.

With this Disney on Ice production, Disney, once again, does what they do best: Transport kids — and kids at heart — to a magical place. If you go, you’re in for a memorable night.

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