Seeing a Disney on Ice show is one of our favourite winter school holiday activities and in my experience a little organisation and pre-planning will go a long way to making everyone’s experience more enjoyable.
Here are my Top 10 tips for going to Disney on Ice, particularly in Melbourne:
- Prebook your tickets
The box office faces towards Olympic Boulevard and there may not necessarily be seats available on the day in positions that you’d like if you book on the day.
My tips it to aim for seating in the lower section as it’s tiered so even little kids will be able to have some view, as opposed to the floor area which is one level. The action happens on all sides of the rink, not just the front.
Children who are 23 months and under who sit on an adult’s lap do not need a ticket.
- Go via public transport
The number 70 Swan Street tram runs along Flinders Street and stops at Rod Laver Arena Stop 7b. During Disney on Ice special services are put on to run only between Flinders Street station and Rod Laver Arena (three stops). Note the number 70 tram tends to be an old-fashioned tram with steps so it can be cumbersome with a pram.
- Prebook your parking
If you must drive, prebook your parking. Rod Laver Arena has event parking for $20 but you need to prebook as it sells out. Note that actually entering and exiting the carpark can take a long time (up to 45 minutes).
My preferred parking is the Secure Parking at 11 Exhibition Street, which normally costs $15 if you enter after 2pm. I then take the tram two stops to Rod Laver Arena or it’s a 10 minute walk.
If you download an app called Liven you can even claim a code that allows you to park for free up to three times at Secure Parking locations around the city (the code has a validity of 3 months once activated). If you use the code then weekday parkings are free from 4pm on and weekends free the whole day subject to availability. (Thanks for a reader for this tip!)
- Park your pram
There is well-signed pram parking bay at Rod Laver Arena as you cannot enter with a pram. You will be provided with a ticket to pickup the pram at the end.
- Arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts.
If you come via tram you’ll have to walk to the front of the building to enter, which is a good 500m walk. There are lines for bag/security check and ticket scanning. Arriving 30 minutes before the start time gives you a bit of breathing room.
- The show goes for 2 hours with interval
Generally there is not a single story arc for 2 hours as the show is a medley of Disney characters/films. In this year’s Magical Ice Festival the first half features The Little Mermaid and Rapunzel and the second half has Beauty and the Beast and Frozen.
The interval is 15 minutes and gives you enough time to go to the toilet, grab some food etc.
- Dress for winter and dress up!
The auditorium isn’t freezing, but it is cold enough for the ice to set so dress in layers! Also this is the perfect opportunity to dress up in your favourite Disney outfit. BYO glow in the dark necklaces, bracelets etc so you don’t have to pay through the nose at the merchandise stand (and set expectations about what you will or won’t buy at the show).
- Pack snacks and water
To help keep kids sitting still stock up with snacks and water. There are handy cup holders in each seat but don’t forget to take your water bottle at the end!
- Meet and greets
During the finale, you’ll start to see people heading down towards the rink. They’re claiming prime position for the character meet and greets that happen at the end of the show by the rink.
Note some other people are heading in the other direction to avoid the huge crowd of people leaving at the same time! We sat through to the end and didn’t find the exit crowd too bad.
- Photos and videos
You can take photos and record video for personal use only. But remember to have fun and don’t spend the whole time stuck behind a screen!
Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival tours Australia nationally this June and July. It is on at Melbourne Rod Laver Arena Friday 1st to Tuesday 5th July 2016. Tickets start at $34.50*
Tickets via Ticketek on 132 849 or at online
(*When tickets are purchased with cash at the box office. Ticket price includes GST & Booking/Inside Fee. Additional Transaction & Credit Card Fees may apply.)