Entertainment

Disney on Ice brings princess tales to Fresno

Rapunzel goes for a magical ride during “Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream.”
Rapunzel goes for a magical ride during “Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream.” Feld Entertainment

Kaitlyn Mahan doesn’t know exactly how old she was when she saw her first “Disney on Ice” production, but she is certain that she was quite young. Her memory of what happened during the show is far more vivid.

“Jasmine waved at me,” Mahan says. “Out of all those people, I know she waved at me.”

These days, it’s Mahan who is getting to wave at the young fans who are packing arenas around the globe to see “Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream.” The touring ice show will be at Selland Arena from Oct. 28 through Nov. 1.

The Illinois native has been with the touring production for five years and has skated as various characters, including Sleeping Beauty. She’s now skating as Drizella, one of the evil stepsisters from “Cinderella.”

“Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream” blends old and new Disney princesses, covering the 75-year history of the animated tales, and travels from the enchanted forest to a magical bayou. The spotlighted Disney princesses come from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Cinderella,” “Tangled” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

It wouldn’t be a touring Disney show if there also wasn’t an appearance by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

In the show, Snow White escapes from the Evil Queen in her search for her one true love while Cinderella meets her Prince Charming. Rapunzel, Flynn and Maximus are on an adventure while Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen are on a magical journey.

Mahan’s journey to be part of the Disney touring ice show started when she was 3 and put on her first pair of ice skates.

“I started skating because my aunt bought me my first pair of skates for Christmas. I wanted to wear all the pretty costumes that I saw on TV, but my mom said I had to take lessons to be able to wear the costumes, so I ended up taking lessons, and I have been skating ever since,” Mahan says.

Mahan has trained with Janel Wamboldt, Denise Myers, Audry Weisiger, Chris Conte and Nick Perna. Her choreographer was Scott Brown when she was a competitive skater.

After spending years as a competitive skater, she wanted to make a change. Her mother suggested she should look into joining “Disney on Ice.”

“I thought that would be something fun to do for a couple of years and here I am seven years later still skating,” the 25-year-old says.

Her other Disney ice shows have included “100 Years of Magic,” “Let's Celebrate,” “Finding Nemo” and “Toy Story 3.” She’s been with “Dare to Dream” since it started.

Getting to skate as Drizella has been a real difference for Mahan because the character is so comical. She tells fans to keep watching her because the character has some very funny moments, including some big falls.

“Cinderella is such an elegant character that we provide some contrast with the stepsisters,” Mahan says. “I like the character because I like making people laugh.”

Getting to play different characters is fun because Mahan has been a fan of all the Disney animated characters since she was young. Mahan was 5 when she saw her first Disney animated movie, “Pocahontas.” She recalls in vivid detail how her father took her to a “two-level theater” and bought her a chocolate bar.

She continues to be a big fan, collecting DVDs and seeing the new releases.

Unlike other young girls who gravitated toward the classic Disney princesses such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, Mahan has always liked the more modern, spunky princesses, such as Pocahontas and Ariel.

No matter the character she gets to portray, the one constant thrill Mahan gets out of being on the ice in the Disney show is the young fans. She loves when they show up in princess or superhero costumes, especially if they have mixed and matched pieces from several characters.

“It’s all about the audience,” Mahan says. “It’s my job to make sure they have a good time and make sure all of their dreams come true.

“I love to see the kids dancing and waving and talking to us.”

Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream

  • Selland Arena, 700 M St.
  • 7 p.m. Oct. 28, 29, 30; 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 31; 1 and 5 p.m. Nov. 1.
  • Tickets are $10 for children; and $18, $24, $33, $55.
  • Go to Ticketmaster.com, call 800-745-3000 or at the Selland Arena Box Office.
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