Magic of Disney wows audience

Disney princess Jasmine skates with Aladdin in the 
"Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes" during the opening performance Thursday night at the Albany Civic Center.

Disney princess Jasmine skates with Aladdin in the "Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes" during the opening performance Thursday night at the Albany Civic Center.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Disney magic was alive and well Thursday night at the Albany Civic Center as a crowd of more than 2,000 was enchanted by "Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes," which is in town this weekend.

The show follows seven Disney princesses as their wishes become reality with a special emphasis on the story of Ariel and her quest to unlock her dreams of land and legs from under the sea.

Joining her on the ice were Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Mulan, with special guest appearances by Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.

The 42 performers involved in "Princess Wishes" delivered an outstanding opening performance Thursday evening as the skaters glided across the ice to the classic soundtracks of each of the movies in which the characters appear.

The performance started strong with the story of Jasmine and her quest to discover a whole new world outside the palace of Agrabah and into the busy marketplace that appears -- as if by magic -- in front of the audience's eyes on the ice.

Audience members will be wowed during the performance of "Fathoms Below" when a group of sailors from "The Little Mermaid" catapult each other across the ice with the ease of trained acrobats.

Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder also treat the audience to the island groove during a bubble-filled rendition of "Under the Sea."

The princesses do not get all the glory, though. In the fight to wake Princess Aurora from her deep slumber, Prince Phillip of "Sleeping Beauty" fame engages in a "heated" battle against the evil witch

Maleficent in fire-breathing dragon form on the ice.

The show concludes with the entire audience invited to share in the excitement of Prince Charming's ball with Cinderella and another chance to see their favorite princesses with a firework-filled finale.

Audrey Wong, who skates in the role of Jasmine in the show, said the best part of the performance is to see audience members and kids dressed as their favorite Disney characters.

"I really enjoy seeing all the kids dressed up, and sometimes the parents get into it, too," said the skater. "The reaction from the crowd is what performing is all about."

Wong said she hopes Disney lovers will come to see one of the performances of "Princess Wishes" at the Civic Center.

"How often do you get to be that close to your favorite Disney characters?" she said. "It really is for everyone, and we have something that everyone can relate to and enjoy. I hope everyone is on the edge of their seats during all of our performances."

In addition to seeing Disney magic first-hand without making the trip to Orlando or California, all ticketholders will also get a chance to see a collection of gowns and treasures from the Disney princess stories during a pre-show that is held an hour before showtime.

Admission for "Princess Wishes" ranges from $13-$32, and tickets are available at the Civic Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets and www.disneyonice.com.

Showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. today and at 2 p.m. Sunday.