12 Quick but Essential Tips for Disney on Ice with Kids

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Even if you don't live near a Disney theme park, you can still experience the magic of Disney close to home with Disney on Ice. Expect an evening of unique entertainment for the whole family with beloved characters dancing and twirling on ice. It's an easy and affordable way to enjoy world-class skating and the wide-eyed wonder for which Disney is renowned. To maximize the fun factor, check out these 12 quick but essential tips for Disney on Ice with kids.

Disney on Ice characters
A variety of characters you might see in Disney on Ice (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

1. Stay warm.

When going to see a show with the word “ice” in the title, you know you need to bundle up a bit, even if it's warm outside. I was surprised, however, to see many children and adults sporting tank tops or t-shirts with shorts at the Disney on Ice performances that my family attended.

As parents, we are all so busy trying to remember the date of the next recital and whose turn it is to feed the dog, it can be easy to overlook the obvious. Don't let your little ones shiver throughout this chilly show. Wear layers and bring a light jacket or a blanket to stay cozy when watching Disney on Ice with kids.

Dress warmly for Disney On Ice with kids
My kids all bundled up on a warm Phoenix night for Disney On Ice (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Pick the right Disney on Ice show for your family.

Before attending Disney on Ice for the first time, I didn't realize there was more than one themed show from which to choose. In fact, there are five different themes in total! Choices vary according to location and performance date. Pick the show that will please your entire family.

Fans of Princess Elsa will love Disney on Ice
Princess Elsa from “Frozen” (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

Disney on Ice 2022/2023 Shows

  • Frozen & Encanto  This is a combination of two of Disney's most popular musicals of all time. Expect to see Frozen characters like Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven. From Encanto, you'll see Mirabel, Isabela, Luisa, and others. Mickey and Minnie host the show.
  • Find Your Hero – This sampler show includes favorite characters from Frozen, Moana, Tangled, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and classics like Mickey Mouse.
  • Into the Magic – The theme of this performance is on discovering why no dream is too big. Your family will view Miguel from Coco, Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, plus Moana and Maui from Moana.
  • Let's Celebrate – Fifty different Disney friends skate through this show! Expect to see classic Disney friends like Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Plus, there will be appearances from characters from Toy Story 4, Frozen, Aladdin, Snow White, and The Lion King.
  • Road Trip Adventures – Plenty of your favorite Disney characters appear in this road trip-themed program. Look for Aladdin, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, the Toy Story gang including Forky, Simba and friends from The Lion King, Mary and Jack from Mary Poppins Returns, Rapunzel from Tangled, Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and, of course, Mickey Mouse.
Jessie, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story skate in Disney On Ice
Jessie, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story” (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

3. Tell kids which characters to expect.

Your kids may have their hearts set on seeing specific characters from their favorite movies at Disney on Ice, like Tinkerbell or Lightning McQueen. Before you go, discuss which characters they can expect to see. (Use the bulleted list above.)

Explain to children that their favorite character may not be skating in the show. Thankfully, no matter which Disney on Ice performance you choose, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will make a special appearance.

The first time we went to Disney on Ice, my family saw all sorts of Disney characters. But my then 4th-grade daughter was shocked when the lights turned on. She said, “It's over already? Where are the other characters? I thought we were going to see Cinderella and Elsa!” Still, she declared the show, “The most awesome thing ever!”

Glow-in-the-dark toys for sale at Disney on Ice
Glow-in-the-dark toys for sale at Disney on Ice (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Get in on the glow-in-the-dark fun.

Dimmed, dramatic lighting, special effects, and even fire add excitement and drama to a Disney on Ice show. To add to the fun, Disney offers plenty of light-up electronic doodads for sale.

If your kids are like mine, they'll beg throughout the event to purchase some sort of glowing toy. To avoid spending tons of cash, it is a good idea to pack your own magic.

Bring your own glow sticks, necklaces, bracelets, or toys instead. Keep these hidden and give them as a surprise gift once you've reached the ice rink parking lot or your select seats.

Check out these light-up spinning wands and affordable glow-in-the-dark options available for purchase from Amazon without the hefty markups.

Sleeping Beauty costume for kids available from shopDisney
Sleeping Beauty princess dress available from shopDisney (Photo credit: shopDisney)

5. Dress kids in Disney costumes.

Take it up a notch with full Disney costumes for young kids. Preschoolers particularly love dressing up like their favorite Disney princess, Toy Story character, or other Disney star. Note that Disney on Ice does not allow costumes for attendees aged 14 and older.

Take a look at this dazzling array of costumes for boys and girls from shopDisney. You can save these outfits to wear on Halloween and/or during your next trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland with kids.

Frozen long-sleeve t-shirt from shopDisney.com
“Frozen” long-sleeve t-shirt from shopDisney.com (Photo credit: shopDisney)

6. Wear Disney apparel.

Just because parents can't wear a full-on Disney character costume, it doesn't mean you can't get into the Disney spirit. All ages can make Disney on Ice more memorable by wearing Mickey ears or Disney t-shirts, hoodies, and other clothing. Find an assortment of wearable options for children, teens, and adults at shopDisney.com.

Of course, you will want to remove any distracting hats for the sake of other viewers during the performance.

Ariel and her undersea friends in Disney On Ice
Ariel and her undersea friends (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

7. Set expectations for Disney on Ice with kids.

You might be wondering if your child has the attention span for this type of performance. Before you go, explain to young children that they will need to sit still throughout Disney on Ice.

How long is Disney on Ice?

Different shows vary in length but plan on spending about 1.5 to 2 hours at this ice show, including a 15-20 minute intermission.

Disney on Ice's Moana
Disney on Ice's Moana (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

8. Book a Character Experience.

Disney on Ice sometimes offers an optional Character Experience for an additional charge. The preshow add-on includes a dance party, crafting, and interactive time with Disney characters. For 2022-2023, enhance your Disney on Ice experience with this extra offering at Into the Magic and Road Trip Adventures.

Goldfish cracker snacks
Pack snacks from home (Photo credit: YAYImages, Depositphotos.com)

9. Bring your own snacks.

Snacks like cotton candy and snow cones will be available for purchase at Disney on Ice. It will be more affordable and healthier, however, if you pack snacks from home.

Don't bring a huge cooler of food but your local Disney on Ice venue will typically not mind if you bring a few small snacks for children. Pack simple items like protein bars, crackers, and dried fruits. For additional ideas, see my travel snack suggestions.

"Mary Poppins Returns" on Ice
“Mary Poppins Returns” on Ice (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

10. Enjoy the magic of Disney on Ice at home.

The wonder of Disney on Ice isn't limited to the ice rinks. Surprise kids with printable Disney on Ice tickets. Then, get your family pumped before the live show by watching the Disney movies together that will be featured in your particular performance. Disney coloring, crafts, puzzles, and games add to the fun at home.

Free Disney on Ice Printables

Disney on Ice Home Activities for Purchase

Olaf is a crowd pleaser in Disney On Ice
Olaf is a crowd-pleaser in Disney on Ice (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

11. Reserve early for the best seats.

The sooner you book, the better choice of seats you'll get for your night of Disney. Ticket pricing varies, with front row tickets sold at a premium.

Are lap children allowed at Disney on Ice?

Children under 2 years of age are admitted free of charge if they sit on a parent or guardian's lap.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in Disney on Ice
Minnie and Mickey appear in every Disney on Ice show (Photo credit: Disney on Ice)

12. Use a discount.

There's no reason to pay full price for tickets if you can get them at discount, right? I've seen discounted Disney on Ice ticket prices from both Living Social and Groupon. Take a peek before you buy those seats!

Exterior of the "Finding Nemo" wings at Disney's Art of Animation Resort
“Finding Nemo” rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort (Photo credit: Matt Stroshane, Disney)

Experience more Disney magic.

Discover how to save money on your Disney World vacation with these Disney Resort Hotel discounts.

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For a whimsical experience, learn how to find your own pearl in an oyster for Disney jewelry.

Read my review of Disneynature's Bears to see why your family will love watching this heart-touching and educational Disney movie together at home.

Tips for Disney On Ice with Kids

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Have you ever seen Disney on Ice with kids? Do you have any questions or tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: My family was hosted by Disney on Ice by Feld Entertainment once and we have subsequently paid for tickets ourselves. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, TravelMamas.com. She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. Can moms wear mouse ears to Disney on ice as well!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Yes! Moms and dads and other grown-ups are welcome to wear mouse ears and other minor Disney garb. Be sure to remove any hats or ears that will obstruct the view during the show, though. Have a fab time at Disney On Ice!

  2. I came across several posts saying that they aren’t allowing non-Disney branded items in. Do you’ll know if that is true? I would hate to buy glow stuff and have to walk all the way back to the car.

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Hi Lory,

      I checked the Disney On Ice website’s FAQ and found this: “Every venue has a specific set of guidelines for what visitors can or cannot bring into the building. For an updated list of prohibited items, please visit the venue’s website or contact them directly for details.” So, if you’re concerned, I’d check with the specific venue in your area to see if you’re allowed to bring your own glow-in-the-dark items. Still, I think it would be hard for them to police every glow stick and it would seem very cruel to confiscate a child’s toy.

      I’d love to hear from anyone who has experienced any luck or any problems in terms of bringing in glowing toys for kids!

      Enjoy the show!

  3. Going to disney on ice road trip trying get idea of how much should I bring money wise have 8 yr old girl big jasmine and mona fan??

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Christy – It really depends on what you want to spend! Honestly, you could buy some glow-in-the-dark goodies beforehand and give them to your daughter as a surprise upon arrival. That would be much more affordable than paying the marked up prices there. It also depends on if you want to buy snacks or not — pricing is similar to what you would find at a professional sporting event. Once you buy your tickets in advance (and pay for parking, if needed at your location), you don’t really NEED to spend any additional money at Disney On Ice unless you want to! Enjoy!

  4. Cheyenne Parker says

    Can you tell me if they ever have any “sensory friendly” shows for special needs children?

  5. Irene Flores says

    My daughter is 2 years old, Would I need to pay for a ticker for her to get a seat or should I just sit her on my lap?

    • Colleen Lanin says

      According to the Disney On Ice website, children 23 months and younger may enter for free if they sit on your lap. Kids ages 2 years+ must buy a seat. Enjoy the show!

      • Thank you, Colleen – great tips!
        To clarify the 2y age thing:
        1) how is the age validated, what should we provide?
        2) what if the child is just over 24m but we still plan to keep them in our lap to see better and make them feel more at ease (they never been to a big production like Disney)?

        • Colleen Lanin says

          Hi Julia – I would check with the specific venue where you plan to see Disney On Ice. I’m guessing that they would not require proof of age, you might want to bring along a birth certificate to be sure. Enjoy the show!

  6. Como puedo aser para tomar fotos con los personajes con mi niña tiene 3 años ya compramos boletos

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Hola Edgar – I don’t remember seeing any photo opportunities with characters either time we went to watch Disney On Ice. However, that may vary from location to location. Enjoy the show with your little girl!

  7. Hello! I just bought tickets for our 5 year old daughter and I to go to Disney on Ice next month. We got tickets in row 4 section 110 at the Xcel Energy center. Here’s a link to the seating chart: https://www.xcelenergycenter.com/events/detail/disney-on-ice-celebrates-100-years-of-magic. Do you think those seats would be good for the show or should I pay to exchange them for different seats (such as seats in section 104)? I like that it appears our seats would provide a straight on view of the backdrop and is also close to an exit (easier for potty breaks I suspect). Just want to make sure we’re in a great spot for her to enjoy the show, but don’t want to pay exchange fees if I don’t have to. Thanks!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      I’m not sure if the ticket along the sides are more expensive because they show will take turns facing those sides, as opposed to facing front toward section 110. Your best bet is to call Xcel Energy Center and ask them. I will say that if you’re in row 4, I bet you’ll have a good view regardless. Enjoy Disney On Ice!

  8. Great Tips to take in consideration. Going tomorrow for Disney On Ice – Frozen @ Houston with my 4yr old. She actually dressed up as Frozen this past Halloween so Lucky me I don’t have to buy another custom lol.

    • Colleen Lanin says

      That’s awesome! I bet your little one adores the show & will enjoy getting another chance to dress up in her costume!

  9. The costume rules are absolute (a word that starts with a “b” and “s” I can’t use here). Why can’t adults express their love for Disney just as much as the kids? Ever heard of cosplay, you guys? To get around the rule I’d either: wear a causal outfit inspired by a Disney character (aka Disneybound) or wear a costume of a VERY obscure character people won’t instantly recognize (Maid Marian from Robin Hood, Esmeralda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc.) or that of an obscure outfit of a well known character (Ariel’s blue dress, Anna’s green skating dress, etc.) that looks casual enough to pass for a normal outfit. You can wear a blouse, corset top, skirt and bow anywhere. The rules can be useful for screening out, say, child predators in costumes that can be threats to young guests, however, I find these rules very short-sighted and out of touch with fan culture for everyone else.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Taydra – I totally understand your frustration with the rule about no costumes for adults at Disney On Ice. I think, however, that they are trying to avoid children being confused about attendees being members of the cast. I think the Disneybound idea is a great one!

  10. James Miller says

    Hi Cindy – Thanks for all your helpful information. Do you know if snacks can be brought to the show? We’re going in March in Minneapolis. I’ve read some other blogs that said they have, but I’m trying to be sure. Thanks again!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi James – I would think the snack policy would vary from location to location. I suggest checking with the venue in Minneapolis to get their policy on bringing your own food. Enjoy Disney on Ice!

  11. what seats are best ceter or side sseatings

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Cindy – Each Disney On Ice venue has different seating arrangements so I wouldn’t be able to answer that. Good luck in making your choice and enjoy the show!

  12. Steve Springer says

    The SAP Center also offers group discounts. I purchased 15 for my sons birthday party at 408-977-4736. They are extremely helpful.

  13. Brianne says

    We absolutely love this show and cannot wait till it comes to our area! So magical!

  14. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    This looks SO much fun! We haven’t seen it yet but I know my kids will love this! Thank you so much for these tips!

  15. Alicia Gonzalez says

    These are great tips! We’ve been to Disney on Ice several times and have used several of your approaches. I especially like your number 6. It’s great to set expectations.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Thanks, Alicia! Setting expectations is so important with kids (and adults!) in pretty much every situation.

  16. I never did get the chance to take my daughter to see Disney on Ice. She would have loved this when she was younger.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      It’s not too late to go now! I’m all grown up and I loved Disney On Ice. It’s fun to see the characters but the ice skating is impressive too.

  17. Dawn Lopez says

    Disney on Ice looks like such a great family adventure! I would never have thought to find a discount coupon. Thanks for the idea!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      It often pays to check Groupon and Living Social before booking any tickets for live shows like Disney On Ice!

  18. gingermommyrants says

    My kids loved Disney On Ice. I would love to go again the next time it comes to town. Groupon is a great way to save some money on the tickets.

  19. Shelley R Zurek says

    You have so many great tips. My favorites are to dress up, stay warm and choose the right show.

  20. Roger D Willis says

    Great ideas if my wife and I can take our grand kids to Disney on Ice! Emma would love Frozen, and not sure about Zak, as he’s 2 years old

  21. Amy Desrosiers says

    Thank you for the tips! I am very excited to hopefully bring my kids to see this show this year!

  22. Cathi Crismon says

    Great tips! We’ve taken the grands to Disney on Ice a few times and I love booking early and finding a good discount!

  23. Sapana V says

    Wow. nothing can be more amazing than this. Great tips.

  24. I’ve been to dozens of Disney On Ice performances with groups of kids as small as 2 and as large as 40. We always purchased the Disney glow wands or traditional glow necklaces at the dollar store prior to going. We’d tuck them in a purse or backpack and pull them out at the show, right about when the kids start wanting souvenirs. It also helps to buy small stuffed animals, action figures, and t-shirts ahead of time so your kids don’t beg for them at the show.

  25. My daughter just loved Disney on Ice. It is just a great show, as a parent I enjoyed it as well. We can’t wait for them to come back to our town.

  26. Jeanette says

    I have never been to Disney on Ice with my kiddo, but I would like too! I know Disney knows how to entertain! I love all the tips you have here! I did not even think about bringing a coat since it would be cold in there!

    • My granddaughter is not 2 until June however she’s a great walker and talker for her age are they going to give me a hard tie whe. I tell them she’s not yet 2? I don’t really want to take a stroller as she’s a champ for walking.

      • Colleen Lanin says

        Hi Shelley – I doubt you’ll have any problems, but bring along her birth certificate if you’re very worried. Enjoy the show!

  27. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    Disney on Ice is so much fun! And it’s not just for little girls. All of our kids are in the tween years now, and we still have a lot of fun there. There’s some serious talent on that ice!

  28. Is there a better place to keep strollers during performance?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Tammie – There should be a stroller parking area outside the auditorium. Enjoy Disney on Ice with your kids!

  29. Quick question, what section is best for the show?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Karla – The best section would vary from show to show since the arenas will differ. I suggest looking up the seats at your location ~ hopefully they have a map online. Good luck!

  30. Hi! Do you think my 4 1/2 year old will like the Disney on Ice (with the Princesses.)
    PS great website/forum!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Lynda – Have you taken your child to see a movie yet? If they are capable of sitting through a movie without much fuss, I bet they’d love Disney On Ice! The show isn’t too long and the different scenes and characters keep kids engaged. You may need to plan a potty break/snack break in the middle if they’re getting antsy. Enjoy!

  31. Are the Characters out before or after the show at all for pictures?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      ReAnna – I did not see the characters out and about for photos before or after the Disney on Ice performance. I did a little research & this is what I found on on the Disney On Ice website regarding interacting with characters: “From time to time, we offer public meet and greets, which will be advertised as such. If there aren’t any meet and greets planned in your area, we hope you will enjoy seeing the Disney characters at the show!”

  32. This was so helpful. I love that there are moms out there who think of putting together blogs and check-list items like these. Thank you!

  33. great info! Do one year olds require tickets for Disney on ice?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Nope! Ages 2+ must have a ticket.

      • I’m waiting for my daughter birth certificate she’s one and pretty tall for her age do how else can I provide proof

        • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

          I don’t imagine that this will be a problem, but if you’re feeling nervous go ahead and bring her birth certificate. I bet that will suffice. Enjoy the show!

  34. Could you tell me how long the show was ? I am planning to take my 4yr old and 20month old. Does this sound like a good idea ? Not sure if can keep my 20month old in, throughout the show.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Rose – Disney On Ice is about an hour and a half long, with a 15-minute intermission. I don’t know if the show would be able to hold your toddler’s attention for that long. I would suggest going with another adult so you two can take turns taking your youngest for a stroll as needed or leaving the little one at home for a special mommy date with your oldest. Hope that helps!

    • if im of any help… i took my then 18-20 month old and my little then 6-7 month old to see the ringling brothers circus show… now my oldest then, sat thru the first half pretty ok, keeping in mind shes the “out of control” child in our family lol… but then the other half she lost a bit of intrest and was about half way done lol but made it thru ???? thank the lord… and well my little baby then (shes the calmer one) sat perfectly fine thru the whole show… now present day, they will be 2 and 3 next month and we will be taking them to see disney on ice for the first time… and i think they’ll love it, because they are both fans of the little mermaid , frozen and cars! so like colleen said, just make sure they do like the disney characters and bring an extra person … and i think your todd will do just fine! 🙂

  35. I give my vote to #3! So many people think that Disney on Ice is just for girls obsessed with princesses. My tween son enjoys the athleticism of the skaters and the actual production (he’s in the drama club crew). So far we have really enjoyed “Toy Story 3” and “100 Years of Magic.”

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