Long Distance: Ice gets hotter when Disney's in town

Who wants to tap into their inner princess?

That, and a set of blades, are what "Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream"has on offer when it plays the Xcel Energy CenterDec. 10-13.

Focusing on the core of its princess canon, the family entertainment purportedly offers generous amounts of figure skating, but also aerial acrobatics, even fireworks. More and more, it seems, holiday tours crisscrossing the country offer some or most of these same elements, but what sets Disney apart is its iconic set of characters, mostly born from its mega-center studios in California.

Which means, it isn't just the ice that's hot, it's the narrative storylines, as well. Those making the trek to this latest tour will find the humble tales of "Tangled," "Cinderella," "Snow White,"and "The Princess and the Frog"chiseled out of ice by a corps of professional skaters, with the ubiquitous Mickey and Minnie Mouse making appearances.

If princesses (and their attendant princes, of course) Cinderellaand Snow Whiteoffer more traditional notions of what Disney, and figure skaters, can do, Rapunzel, of "Tangled" fame, adds a shot of contemporary flavor to the cubes, and Princess Tiana'sNew Orleans-based tale, "The Princess and the Frog," promises to have you boogieing to "the beat of the bayou."


If it all sounds amusing, it's a safe bet it is. More amusing, perhaps, are the number of online parent reviews, notably from dads, who spirit their young sons to the event (promising future trips to truck pulls as bait, in some cases) and proclaim it's actually all a lot of fun and money well spent. There's even tips on how to best dressfor the event; the ice may be hot, but keeping it cool also tends to chill auditoriums.

Even if skating tiaras aren't your thing, it's Disney. They own the copyright on that special brand of fantastical sorcery that keeps these age-old tales something akin to a national obsession.

That's worth some kind of crown, isn't it?

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