Growing up, Disney films were a staple in my everyday life. I’d watch all the films, belt the songs into my showerhead and annoyingly recite some of their most iconic lines whenever I could (dishonour on you, dishonour on ĺlyour cow… Anyone?)
My sister also shared the same love as I did for the Disney classics and when shs proposed that we watch Aladdin the Musical during a summer visit to London, I was beyond thrilled! While the prospect of watching a West End show was certainly exciting, I couldn’t shake off one thing from my mind: Broadway tickets are expensive.
That’s right, they’re notoriously known to be pricey and if you want a good seat, be prepared to burn a hole through your wallet. But it turns out, they are a lot more affordable than I thought! All it takes is to know whefe to look, startegize the seating arrangement with ticket prices and pray that luck is on your side.
So, on Friday afternoon, my sister and I set out to Leicester Square with the hopes of scoring a pair of Aladdin tickets. First, we dropped by the TKTS Booth. Located on the south side of the square in the clocktower building opposite the Radisson Blu Edward Hotel, this is one of the best booths to go for last minute and discount theatre tickets.
After doing a quick price check and noting down the time of the show, we then made our way to Leicester Square Box which is just a 2-minute walk away from the TKTS Booth. There, we began comparing prices and while we aimed for affordability, it was also important that we didn’t compromise the seats for cheaper tickets since we wanted a good view of the show.
Tip: The higher seats (typically in the Dress Circle section) are generally cheaper. If you want to be close to the action on stage, get the stall seats instead – although do keep in mind that these will be much more expensive.
The hunt continued as we moved onto several other booths offering the same service, all nestled between eateries and souvenir shops along the same row as Leicester Square Box Office. With much deliberation, we finally copped two 7.30pm tickets (£18.50 per ticket) and even managed to get favourable seats!
Since the show had a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes (including a 15-minute intermission), my sister and I decided to have an early dinner at Rasa Sayang. Situated in Chinatown, right next to Leicester Square, this gem of an eatery is the only halal-certified restaurant in the neighbourhood and the perfect place for anyone looking to satisfy a craving for Malaysian food.
Tip: Make sure to arrive at the theatre 30 minutes before the show begins. Give yourself some wiggle room as well in case you get lost trying to locate the theatre.
From stunning musical sets and impressive dance numbers to larger-than-life characters, the show had me completely wrapped up in nostalgia as I bopped, lip synced and clapped (where appropriate of course) throughout the show. It exceeded all my expectations which was unsurprising coming from a Tony-winning musical and despite being far away from the stage, the energy that it exuded made me feel as if I was right there with the dancers and actors.
While I was fully prepared to say goodbye to Aladdin forever, little did I know I would get the chance to watch it once more the following year! Joined by my mom, dad and uncle, my second round of the show was even better as I got to share the experience with more of my loved ones. Not only that, but I was able to further enjoy all the highlights of the musical and sing along to the new songs that weren’t included in the film.
So, if you’re anything like me and absolutely adore Disney or Aladdin specifically, then watching a hit Broadway show in the West End should definitely be on your list of things to-do in London.