Sixty-five characters from 18 memorable stories come to life in Disney on Ice’s “100 Years of Magic,” opening Thursday at U.S. Airways Center.

Classic characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio will provide nostalgia, with familiar faces from newer films (“The Lion King,” “Mulan,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles”) mixed in.

Originally conceived in 2001 to honor creator Walt Disney’s birth in 1901, the show features a sing-along score of award-winning Disney music and elaborate sets, including a firework-blasting castle. Among the vibrant costumes are a red sequined evening gown for Minnie designed by Bob Mackie.

The theatrical atmosphere includes an “It’s a Small World” sequence with four motorized floats, 32 dolls and 18 countries. In other sequences, a blanket of snow and an avalanche fall as Mulan does battle, and a giant present escorted by green Army men opens to reveal Buzz Lightyear. A 36-foot-long Monstro the Whale also makes an appearance.

The show gets an average of 4.5 stars from fan reviewers at Ticketmaster.com.

DETAILS >> Opens 7:30 p.m. Thursday and runs, at various times, through April 15. U.S. Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $17-$44. (800) 745-3000 or www.usairwayscenter.com.

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