Beloved characters from favorite Disney movies will glide into the spotlight next week when Disney on Ice's "Dare to Dream" production comes to town.
Disney on Ice "Dare to Dream" will be presented Jan. 24 to 28, and Feb. 7 to 11 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont and Jan. 31 to Feb. 4 at Chicago's United Center.
The skating production puts the spotlight on Disney princesses and other Disney tales. In the ice show, attendees will see "Beauty and The Beast," "Cinderella," "Frozen," and "Tangled," starring Rapunzel. Ice fans also will see "Moana" in the "Dare to Dream" production.
"This is the first time we'll have a "Moana" segment," said Marie Hanford, who stars as the Hawaiian heroine.
Throughout "Dare to Dream," vignettes from each of the shows starring various heroines will be featured while also highlighting heroic deeds and qualities which instill courage, kindness, fairness and other positive characteristics.
"This production is all about discovering your inner hero and the idea that you can do anything you set your mind to," Hanford said. She added children are encouraged to "believe in themselves" through "Dare to Dream."
Acting as hosts of the show are the beloved character couple Mickey and Minnie, who will introduce audience members to each story and provide a bit of background on each.
In addition to showcasing vignettes from the Disney stories, Mickey and Minnie and other Disney characters also appear to perform during various segments.
Hanford said children are delighted seeing their favorite characters and familiar shows but adults also find enjoyment in the production.
"For adults, it transports them back to when they were a kid. It brings back memories of carefree days," she said.
Hanford, a California native, said she became interested in skating as a child. Her parents encouraged her and her sister to get involved in the art and enrolled them in skating lessons.
For the professional skater, it's always interesting to take on a role of a character that people know and love, such as Moana.
"I enjoy being able to bring the characters to life for an audience. It's absolutely amazing. I feel lucky and proud that I'm able to do that for my job," Hanford said.