Luke Matthews

Even big kids can love Disney Junior

disneyjunior

Of everyone on the STAR 102.5 staff, I’m probably the biggest kid. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all big kids, but I might take the cake. I am an unapologetic Disney freak. I love all things Disney. Being at the Disney theme parks makes me happier than you can imagine. I am feverishly counting down the days until I make my first visit to Disneyland in California in March.

When I had the opportunity to check out “Disney Junior Live! Pirate and Princess Adventure,” I actually jumped at the chance. There’s something actually magical about the Disney model and the great lessons they teach kids. This was on full display Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

We we welcomed by our hosts, Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the start of the show. The Disney icons got the young crowd into a battle of loyalty as they quizzed everyone on whether they were there to see pirates or princesses. I have to say that the young princess fans were much more enthusiastic than the pirate-loving crowd.

The show began in the world of Sofia the First. Sofia and her family are looking forward to the Friendship Festival and the pressure is on Sofia to complete her royal training and to bring a gift to the festival. Her songs had the young princesses dancing and jumping in the aisles. An appearance by Cinderella brought audible gasps not only from the kids, but even some of the parents. It was like an unexpected special guest at a concert. In the end, Sofia the First gives her gift of music and the Friendship Festival is a resounding success.

After a brief potty break…er.. intermission, it was time to meet Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Jake and his mates find a treasure map that leads to a mysterious hidden treasure volcano and the infamous Captain Hook will do anything he can to get his hands on that treasure. Just like with Cinderella’s guest appearance in the first half of the show, we’re treated to an appearance by Peter Pan in the second. Peter comes to Jake’s rescue and helps the Neverland Pirates thwart Hook and his crew and lead Jake to the volcano.

Disney Junior Live! Pirates and Princesses was great fun for all the fans in attendance. They were most active when Mickey and Minnie encouraged them all to give their best pirate “Arrrr!” The best part was looking around the crowd during the show and seeing all the kids dancing, phones taking pictures of said kids, the twinkle of purchased souvenirs, and the feeling of joy in the room throughout the 90 minute show.

As an older Disney fan, it was nice to have some more familiar characters in the second half of the show to keep my attention. Sofia the First was a bit after my time. As far as the kids were concerned, it could have been any number of Disney favorites on the stage and they would have had a ball. It was cute to see all of the young princesses and pirates walking around the concourse at Wells Fargo Arena and even later at places like the mall. I even caught a glimpse of a dad dressed as Buzz Lightyear. Seems I’m not the only adult holding on to the Disney magic.

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