Disney On Ice Verdict: Great show, but venue a let down
The Disney On Ice show prepares to conclude its debut season in Qatar with its eighth and final show this evening at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC). The much-awaited show was well received by audiences in Qatar with the organisers having to add an extra show to meet the demand for tickets.
As the skaters prepare to perform at their final show this evening, the people who attended the previous shows during the weekend related their mixed experiences.
While prices of tickets and in-show merchandise were certainly at the top of the grouses list, another audience member thought that the experience itself lacked the trademark Disney flavour and excitement.
L Darwish, who purchased the QR500 tickets for his family of six, did not think that the ticket prices were justified. “Even an adult day pass in Euro Disney costs just over QR250, a little less for children.”
“The experience that the ticket price afforded was not something we would expect of a Disney show. A good show would’ve had some Disney characters at the entrance or similar elements that would build the excitement right from the entrance to the seating. However, what we saw was boring digital signage with arrows pointing to the direction of the venue,” says Mohamed Mansour.
“I was in EuroDisney in Paris last year and the price of Disney merchandise available though by no means cheap, was much cheaper than here. Even popcorn was priced at QR80! Although ticket prices were alright, the show did not live upto our expectations. The seats were really uncomfortable, with no legroom. Younger kids, who are the target audience, were unable to watch the show properly. It could’ve definitely been better,” said Mohamed Mansour, who attended the show with his family on Friday.
“What I found most ridiculous was that in the Lion King act, Timon played Pumbaa’s role as well; Because Pumbaa is a warthog? His absence was quite a glaring omission. Being a Muslim, I can say that seeing a cartoon character that’s a pig does not offend my sensibilities in any way. I don’t eat snakes or frogs, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see them either,” he added.
In other parts of the world, from Argentina to Japan, the cheapest ticket for a Disney on Ice show is priced at QR40 equivalent and the most expensive being approximately QR291. At the Doha show, QR150 was the cheapest, going up to QR1000.
Nat High compared the Disney On Ice show with the previous week’s Stomp performance at the same venue (QNCC). He read about the cost of merchandise and snacks before going to the show, which allowed him to prepare his kids better.
“Having been to Stomp the week before (albeit without the kids), it was hard not to compare the two shows. There were some valid complaints about the cost, but at all levels Disney tickets were cheaper than Stomp. Our Bronze level tickets (QR250 each) were great seats with plenty of legroom. I think we were all surprised at how much fun the Disney On Ice show was though. There is something magical about Disney, and their generation-spanning back catalogue, which is hard not to get swept up in. When the lights went down before The Incredibles made their entrance, I thought my son (6) was going to explode with anticipation. And my 9-year-old daughter, who has long since cast the Disney princesses aside, was just as entranced at seeing her favourite characters come to life and skate like pros, too. My wife says she remembers seeing the show as a child, and I think the show will be an abiding Doha memory for our two as well” commented High.
Mansour felt the experience would have improved had the venue been more appropriate. “Taking kids anywhere is no easy task. Combine that with taking a family on a 15-minute walk across the parking lot to the seating area and then having to prop them up on your lap for two hours, because the seat were not meant for them!”