There’s just no telling how far Moana will go — but she will be making a couple of stops in Stockton and Sacramento on her journey.
Disney on Ice will bring “Dare to Dream!” to the Stockton Arena and Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center in February, and the show will mark the debut of Moana, joined by princesses Anna and Elsa, Belle, Cinderella and Rapunzel.
Elk Grove sisters Marie Hanford and Tosha Hanford will star as Moana and Anna.
“Oh my gosh, it’s super cool,” Marie said of skating in the show with her sister.
The pair were huge Disney fans growing up, she said.
“My sister and I have home videos of us singing the songs and making up dance routines when we were little,” she said.
Hanford’s favorite character as a child was Belle, because she loved to read, she said. Belle was relatable.
But she’s thrilled to be portraying Moana in the ice spectacular as it tours the world.
“She’s such an amazing character,” she said.
In the show, Moana goes on a quest with the demigod Maui to save her island. In the process, she finds her own identify as more than just the chieftain’s daughter and future leader.
At one point in her performance, Hanford said, Moana is feeling lost and trying to decide her next move. It’s not a sad moment, exactly, but it’s poignant.
Kids often yell out encouragement at that point in the show, she said, giving an example from a recent performance.
“There was a little girl who said, ‘Have courage, Moana! You can do it!’” Hanford said.
The other princesses share their own stories: Anna sets out to save her sister and stop an eternal winter from destroying their land. Cinderella dreams of a life beyond being her step-family’s maid and takes her destiny into her hands. Rapunzel sets out to explore the world.
The stories are told with a dazzling array of special effects and skillful skating.
“There’s a little bit of something for everybody,” Hanford said.
The Hanford sisters and their castmates get to travel all over the world performing with Disney on Ice. Marie Hanford has had the chance to visit Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, Vietnam and Canada with Feld Entertainment, which produces the ice shows.
“A few years ago, with Disney, we were touring and we were playing in southeast Asia, and I got to go to the Philippines again,” she said.
While Hanford loves all of the traveling she gets to do, that trip was a little more special because her mother is from the Philippines.
Getting to travel with her sister is also fun — missing family is the hardest part of touring with the show, Hanford said.
The sisters are excited to be back on their home turf for their Stockton and Sacramento shows, and are looking forward to their family seeing them perform.
Before traveling with Disney on Ice, both of the Hanford sisters performed at an ice show at Six Flags Great America, Marie said, but it wasn’t nearly as big or spectacular as “Dare to Dream!” Now, family and friends will get to see the sisters star in a full-arena, high-caliber ice show.
“I’m so excited!” Marie said.