Disney’s Little Mermaid Musical is nothing short of spectacular. Our family attended Opening Night at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall compliments of the venue for review purposes (all opinions are my own). Tickets are now on sale for the March 30 – April 3 shows.
Yes, I said family – I brought my husband who isn’t one to get excited about musicals, but he knows he can’t say “No” to his almost-three-year-old daughter and Disney-obsessed wife. He is a good man!
Before I committed to driving 45+ miles to a live musical on a Tuesday night with a tired toddler in tow, I made sure it was a kid-friendly event. After a quick search on Instagram, I saw a slew of photos of kids dressed up as Little Mermaid at other performances.
Next thing I knew we were dressed in our Sunday best heading to Fort Worth to see The Little Mermaid Musical. What I didn’t expect was to walk into a theatre with a ‘sea’ of people of all ages. There were toddlers, teenagers, adults, grandparents, and even adults that came sans kids to see this timeless classic about a mermaid that wanted to be a human – all with smiles and excitement on their faces.
Why The Little Mermaid Musical is Perfect for Any Age
90’s kids can get nostalgic by reliving a childhood favorite
If you are in your thirties like me you will feel like you are traveling back in time to when you watched this film on a VCR. Unless you have been living under the sea (literally), then you already know the story of The Little Mermaid and you may know every song by heart. With the musical, you can sing along to songs like “Under The Sea” and “Part of Your World” as well as new songs were written by Oscar-winning Disney composer Alan Menken. I have fond childhood memories of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and to be able to share that excitement with my own child is rewarding.
Kids are welcomed with open arms
Upon arriving, we were greeted by the friendly staff that told us where to go and how to find a booster seat to rent for little Reese. If you don’t want to ‘shell’ out the money for your preschooler or toddler to have their own seat, they do offer lap seat tickets at a reduced rate. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a ticket at full price and consider renting a booster seat for $3 for them to be able to see the stage.
The lobby provided opportunities for photos and a gift shop that every parent had to visit to buy an Ariel doll – myself included. Customer service was top-notch and the staff took every chance they could to ask if we needed any assistance.
Also, you can sing along as loud as you like because the live orchestra is high in volume. Another bonus is that your kids can be somewhat noisy without anyone giving you the stink eye for having a ‘rowdy’ child. And if they do, who cares, you are at a Disney musical.
The incredible costume and set design will blow your mind
Considering the majority of the Disney film is underwater, I was curious to see how they could pull off a live performance with swimming and dancing on stage that did not distract or take away from the musical’s believability.
When the show started, Ariel swam on the scene (literally with tight ropes) and from a distance, I saw my daughter (who was in the back row with her father) finally smile and started clapping. Hallelujah! I didn’t think we were going to get her to sit down and stay because she was scared to sit down for some bizarre reason. She later sat in her booster seat for over 2 hours captivated by The Little Mermaid Musical.
Why would a toddler who always has to be doing something sit still for that long?
Simple: The set design and overall feel of the show were colorful, engaging, and interactive. There was no time for any of us to be bored. I didn’t want to miss a second of the show because I didn’t want to miss another fun character or dance number.
The costumes were also bright, fun, and interesting to see. Alison Woods who plays Ariel sounded exactly like the cartoon Ariel. I could close my eyes and it was no different.
Everyone can laugh at some point, even at the ‘scary’ parts
Like in most of their films, Disney has an incredible way of writing adult humor into a kid-focused story. This is also the case in the musical. Throughout the musical, Flounder and Sebastian provided comic relief that many adults enjoyed while those jokes flew right over kids’ heads.
One concern I had was that the Ursula scenes would be too scary for my somewhat sensitive toddler. Watching the movie now as an adult, I can see how this villain came across scary. I found that Ursula was not so scary after all and also told a few jokes along the way. My daughter at one point held her hands over her ears but that was only because it was, ‘too loud.’
Know before you go to Disney’s The Little Mermaid Musical
Runtime: The musical is over 2 hours (Act I is 70 minutes, Act II is 58 minutes) with a 20-minute intermission, so be prepared if your little ones get antsy and you need to step out to the lobby for a few minutes.
Food/Beverages: Bass Performance Hall has a full bar in the lobbies as well as a few snacks. You can’t bring food into the theatre, but you can purchase a glass with a lid to enjoy your adult beverage during the live performance.
Parking: FREE parking can be found in the Bass Performance Hall garage located adjacent to the theatre.