Sunday, June 28, 2009

You're A Good Ice Show, Snoopy Rocks

Sometimes having tons of information at your fingertips is just distracting, and sometimes it's a real blessing. An instance of the latter took place yesterday when I was able to read Dorney Park's twitter that they would be having a sneak preview of their new Snoopy Rocks! On Ice show yesterday evening.

Away from my desk I flew, having just enough time to get to the park and snap some photos before the first show ever took place inside the new Good Time Theatre.

What's this? A preview just for moi?!

But wait y'all, you know we have to cover some history here before we jump into the new show. This wouldn't be one of my stories if I didn't include at least some background!

When you think of Ice Skating and Snoopy, you'll probably land somewhere near Knott's Berry Farm - and for good reason (which we'll get to), but Snoopy and Ice Skating really goes back to the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, located in Santa Rosa, CA.

Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts gang, opened the ice arena back in 1969 and it quickly became known as "Snoopy's Home Ice." The arena features the Warm Puppy Cafe as well as a Snoopy gallery and gift shop.

The entrance to the new theater's plaza, formerly a big picnic tent

The Beagle himself started appearing in traveling Ice Shows in the early 1970s, and it wasn't long before Knott's Berry Farm opened their own Snoopy themed show in the park's Good Time Theater in the early '80s. The park has created a slew of new shows for the Beagle to star in over the years, including the ever popular Holiday themed presentations.

With the passing of Mr. Schulz, Knott's renamed their theater the Charles M. Schulz Theatre in the year 2000 and premiered the last Ice Show that its creator worked on, "Snoopy's Fabulous 50th on Ice." The shows remain popular today, and the park has continued to premier new productions every few years.

Nice landscaping around the area as well

Dorney Park isn't the second park to feature a Snoopy Ice Show though, as back in 2002 Cedar Point premiered the same show in their Good Time Theatre, which was converted from their IMax location. The production was a hit with guests of the Point and they as well have been debuting new shows since.

So here we are, back at present day, and Dorney Park is finally ready to premier their much anticipated show.

This is what we're here for, folks, and he Rocks!

Dorney's Good Time Theatre is really the park's 'next step' in providing awesome family live entertainment for guests at the park. Previously, shows only took place at the park's Center Stage, and while that's still true, that location's fancy new sister is much appreciated at the park.

Seriously, it's really big inside!

The theatre itself is a massive, 18,000 square foot, air-conditioned building that's located near the park's main entrance area. The addition cost $5 million and seats 600 people per show - so this is unlike anything we've ever seen at Dorney Park before now.

And as for the show, well, it rocks! It's a high quality production filled with a nice selection of musical tunes, great performers, and plenty of neat effects.

OMG it's really him!!

Oh, and did I mention Snoopy is in it? The famous beagle made his debut to a cheering crowd, and since we all know he loves attention that must have been welcomed. Families packed the theatre for the inaugural performance, and everyone seemed pleased with the production.

Gooooo team! Lots of outfit changes in this show

Since the show is currently in sneak-peek mode, not all the sets and effects are up and running, but even without them the lighting, music, skaters, and characters really come together to grab your attention and hold on to it. The show lasts just about 30 minutes, a perfect length for families with smaller children with smaller attention spans.

The gang's all here!

Sorry for the blur, they just wouldn't stay still

There are some neat effects during the show as previously mentioned, like a rain curtain that falls across the length of the 60 ft stage for the above scene. It drew plenty of Ooos and Ahhhs from the crowd!

It's a great big world out there

And there's a neat section that takes place under black light as well during the Halloween themed section. Spooky!

Wait am I in church?

Much of the music is really upbeat and will have your toes a tappin' along with the score. Did I mention the performers are really talented? I hadn't seen one of these shows since at a Busch Gardens a long, long time ago and didn't realize I'd see so many spins and jumps. The park obtained some great talent for the production.

All the ladies love Snoopy

I can imagine that other Cedar Fair parks that do not have an Ice Show would be interested in adding something similar, it sure looks to be a smash hit with the family sector.

The grand finale features the whole cast

I look forward to seeing the show again once it is 'officially' open to see what additions they have made. Like I said, it's not even totally complete yet and is very impressive!

I'll leave you with the above photo, and to be as corny as possible I'll summarize that Snoopy Rocks! On Ice looks to make quite a splash this summer! Ack! Get it!?


Chris said...

Hmm, would be nice if they could put some type of facade up on the front of that theater. Looks like a giant shoe box.