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As we entered the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois on Wednesday night, I couldn’t help but think that the “kid” version of me would be pretty impressed. After all, when I was but a wee lad, attending DISNEY ON ICE was a very special experience – one that I first took part in way back in 1981 (I went into detail on that here) – and something that was a rare occasion. But here we are, and “grownup” James has been to DISNEY ON ICE three times in just under a year. The kid version of me would have just as much trouble believing that as the McFly family did when Marty went back to 1955 and mentioned having television sets “two of them.” Having taken my oldest to Rockin’ Ever After last January at the Allstate Arena, followed by 100 Years of Magic (with both girls) last November at United Center, it was time for a new performance with DISNEY ON ICE Presents Let’s Celebrate!, which we attended courtesy of Feld Entertainment via the work I do with US Family Guide. You know what? Attending DISNEY ON ICE is still a very special experience.

Mickey and Minnie - Photo by James ZahnOut of the three shows we’ve seen this past year, Let’s Celebrate! ranks as my favorite, with two big factors pushing it to the forefront: Jack Skellington and Mickey Mouse as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Yes, I’m somewhat of a Halloween aficionado, and the year’s premiere holiday was celebrated in fine form, alongside a medley of holidays, festivals and celebrations from around the world. There was a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; and a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear (among other familiar TOY STORY friends).

As my kids get older (they’re four and 19 months), it’s interesting to see their reactions to different elements of the show. For my oldest, “seeing the pig!” (from TOY STORY) was the highlight of the evening, while my youngest was enthralled by Minnie Mouse. A tradition for us is the purchase of the snow-cone/icy thing that usually comes in an ornate, plastic chalice (which I always call a Snoop Dogg-style “Pimp Cup”). This time, it was a little different, coming in a woodland-themed, yet still ornate, Tinkerbell cup (which I may have since sipped from). And the souvenirs? The girls went with Ariel – THE LITTLE MERMAID – this time, purchased by Auntie Jill, who accompanied us since my wife was on a business trip.

The combination of characters both classic and contemporary makes Let’s Celebrate! a can’t-miss event for kids and grownups alike, and the fast pace mixed with a vibrant soundtrack keeps a little of that “rock concert” vibe (there’s pyro, too!) rolling throughout.

Disney On Ice - Photo by James Zahn

Let’s Celebrate! is on-tour Nationwide (along with other DISNEY ON ICE productions), and is in Chicagoland now, with shows at the Allstate Arena through Sunday, January 26, and then moving over to United Center from January 29-February 9, 2014.

Save 40% on all weekday shows and Save 20% on all weekend shows using code MOM. Get Your Tickets Now-http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/2q2yrx

Weekday is defined as any show Monday through Thursday or Friday matinee, not including holidays. Discount does not apply to Front Row or VIP seats. No double discounts. Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply.

For Disney on Ice Tour Dates, check out their official site or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

For cool stuff to do with the family in Chicago, check out Windy City Kids Guide (part of US Family Guide).

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