Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Train Your Dragon Live is Truly Spectacular

Flying and fire breathing dragons, break dancing Vikings and awesome special effects were some of the things that my eight-year-old son Sean and I loved about going to see Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular last night at the United Center here in Chicago.

There was a packed house on opening night and you could feel the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. The audience was very engaged, clapping and cheering throughout the show.

The performers were talented and funny, at times even speaking directly to the audience and we were happy to reply. They seemed fearless as they were suspended from wires climbing and flying around the set and even riding on top of the dragons. There was Cirque du Soliel type acrobatics throughout the show, which was fun to watch.

The dragons were incredible and so life like. From the moment Sean got a glimpse of "Toothless," one of the first life size dragons to enter the stage, he proclaimed,"okay, that is awesome!"

It all seemed very real from actually being able to feel the heat from the fire to feeling like we were a part of the story.

I can't say enough about the special effects and how truly spectacular they were. Sean kept saying, "that's just so cool!"

One of my favorite parts of the show, besides the dragons and special effects were the break dancing Vikings. I certainly wasn't expecting to see that last night! Sean described that part of the show as "futuristic meets the oldies!"

Since my son had read the book and seen the movie version of How to Train Your Drain, he was constantly comparing the story lines of  both during the show last night. He concluded that what we saw was a combination of both, since there were parts in the show that were in the book, but not the movie and vice versa. However he said that all the characters in the show were also in the movie, though not necessarily the book.

One final note, though the show was amazing, we were seated behind a family of four, three of which had big Viking helmets with horns that lit up and blinked off and on rapidly, alternating between red and blue. These were one of the souvenirs that you could purchase there.

Having this group sitting in front of  us was kind of like trying to watch the show with three sets of multicolored strobe lights in the way! I get why they make them, because they are fun for those who buy them and a big money maker, but it was very distracting.

Other than that, I highly recommend How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular if you get the chance to see it here in Chicago or somewhere else on the nationwide tour.


If you want to get tickets to see the show here in Chicago (or anywhere nationwide), you can save 25% off select seats to weekday shows (including Friday nights) on Ticketmaster with the promo code: MOM.

Here are the details:

Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular at the United Center

Friday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 28 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 29 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

All performances include free parking at official United Center parking lots. Tickets are on sale now and start at $26.50 plus applicable facility fees and service charges. They may be purchased through Ticketmaster or by going to A limited number of special premium Dragon Hot Seats, VIP and family packages are available.

Check out this sneak peek of Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular which aired May 11 on the Today Show.


Fun Facts about Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular:
• Produced over a two-year period in Melbourne, Australia
• 23 Dragons (including 12 different dragon species)
• Dragon wings span up to 46ft
• Each large dragon weighs over 2.6 tons (the size of a family car)
• Over 2 miles of “Dragon Skin” was created
• The production has the largest number of animatronics ever to tour the globe.
• The Red Death Dragon is the largest animatronic ever built by Creature Technology Company at over 40 feet high and 60 feet wide.
• Travels in over 30 18-Wheeler Trucks (52’ each) with a touring cast & crew of 85.
• Together the show weighs over 200,000 pounds.
• It would take one person over a year to load in the production.
• Takes over 160 people to set up the production in each city (the equivalent of one person working 24 hours over 70 days).
• If all the cables in the production were laid out end to end, they would stretch from Los Angeles to New York City.
• The production created the first-ever touring flight track system that weighs over 28 tons.
• The flight track uses a proprietary barcode system. The creatures scan a barcode strip as they fly around the track which tells them (and us) where they are at all times.
• Toothless weighs over 7,500 pounds and flies over 1.2 miles throughout the performance which is equivalent to a Range Rover soaring through the arena.
• There are more automation cues in the opening sequence alone than a Broadway musical has in a night.
• The first-ever fully immersive live experience with projection spanning more than 20,000 square feet throughout the entire arena. The back projection wall is equivalent to 9 movie screens combined.


Disclaimer: I received two free tickets to Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular to write and share this review, as well as this previous blog entry, but the words and opinions in this post are my own.

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