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Review: How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular

June 27, 2012

Fire-breathing Dragons, Special Effects Make This Show Special

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Last night, my 4-year-old son and I ventured to Wilkes-Barre to visit his grandparents and see DREAMWORKS' HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON LIVE SPECTACULAR. We all held high hopes for this show since even my dad agreed to come along :)

In the opening moments of the show, when the heat of the first fiery flames were felt, my son as well as numerous other kids around burst with excitement and I knew we would be in for a great night.

The show's story pretty well follows the movie as the teenage Viking Hiccup befriends Toothless, a deadly Night Fury dragon and soon learns that dragons only fight to defend themselves. He uses what he learns with Toothless during his dragon training and quickly impresses his friends and his dad.

The live spectacular had several large animatronic dragons that moved, breathed fire and smoke, and generally wowed the crowd. Smaller dragons, and of course, Toothless, also took flight around the arena. The first time Hiccup flew on Toothless was one of the best moments in the opening half.

As adults, we were amazed by the projection technology, especially a scene early in the show that makes it appear that Hiccup is racing through the village of Berk, across burning bridges and collapsing trees.

While the first half did move slowly at times (intermission came at the perfect time as my son was growing restless), the second half was action-packed! In fact, if you have younger kids who frighten easily, there is a mildly intense scene where Nightmare attacks Hiccup during the dragon games where Nightmare (one of the large dragons) gets pretty close to sections of the audience and roars/breathes smoke. Just a word of warning though since none of the kids near us seemed to be afraid of it.

My last words of wisdom are about the oodles of souvenirs to choose from, ranging from small keychains to toy and stuffed dragons and t-shirts. While it all looked great, it was hard work to convince my son to opt for a Gronckle ftoy (that he has yet to put down), compared to the light-up Viking helmet on the heads of many kids in the crowd.

Overall this was a fun show and unlike anything else I've ever seen considering it combined live actors (pretty funny Vikings at times), the enormous projection screen as a backdrop and obviously the animatronic dragons themselves. If your kids enjoyed the movie, then they are sure to love the show, too!

Upcoming nearby tour stops include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Regular ticket prices range from a low of $29.50 to a high of $69.50 (excluding fees). A limited number of premium seats and special VIP ticket experiences are also available.  CLICK HERE to purchase tickets, get showtimes and much more.

SPECIAL OFFER....SAVE 25% on weekday performances (including Friday nights) on $39.50 tickets (before service charges) by entering the code MOM in the "Promotions and Special Offers Box". Get great seats for a big discount!  (This discount is available or will be available in other markets as well! The same code applies, just enter MOM in the appropriate box!). 

To learn more about the show, visit the website at http://dreamworksdragonslive.com/.

Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary tickets to this show to facilitate our review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.


1) francis said:
As adults, what did you and your father think of the show? I was looking to buy tickets for the Philadelphia show but after watching videos of some scenes, it seemed too childish and overly choreographed. Is that so? Or do you think a group of recent college grads would enjoy it?
2 years ago
2) Alison said:
Hi Francis - I sent you an email with some feedback!
2 years ago
3) robin said:
thanks for the review. This is the first one I've read from around the world that addressed whether it was too scary for younger kids. We are seeing in DC in a few weeks.
2 years ago
4) Alison said:
Hi Robin - glad I could help and hope you enjoy the show. My son certainly did!!
2 years ago
5) bcharms said:
Hi! I love that toothless toy in the picture.. where was it purchased? at the show?
1 year, 7 months ago
6) Alison said:
Hi bcharms - that stuffed animal was available for purchase at the show, along with some other play dragons that weren't stuffed. Thankfully we just brought home a smaller Gronckle :)
1 year, 7 months ago

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