Disney Jr. is in Chicago and its new show will hold kids’ attention

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 younger siblings.

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.

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