Culture & Events

Disney On Ice packs into Claudelands

One of the largest event set-ups is underway at Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena.

The city’s award-winning event venue hosts global entertainment giant Feld Entertainment this week, with the American company bringing its third Disney On Ice spectacle to the city for 10 performances over four days.

The Disney On Ice celebrates Mickey and Friends show features Disney’s most famous character along with some of the company’s contemporary hits such as Moana and Frozen, and puts them in the ice-skating performance context.

“In this new Disney On Ice production, we pay tribute to Walt Disney and the true original icon, Mickey Mouse,” says Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment and Disney On Ice Producer Nicole Feld.

“Each section of the show was carefully selected to immerse families in an array of beloved stories that they have grown to know and love. With live hosts and interactive segments, we hope our fans have an amazing experience that leaves them with memories that last a lifetime.”

Michael Gilling, an Event Manager with Hamilton City Council’s H3 division, says Disney On Ice brings one of the largest and most complicated set-ups into the venue.

“For the type of show it is, it’s very complex,” Mr Gilling says. “We have to strip virtually everything out of the arena and dressing rooms.”

Mr Gilling says the show completely transforms the venue with a lot of Disney On Ice branded event overlay.

Extra cleaners and ushers are brought in to manage the patrons, with only 37-40 minutes between each performance: “That’s when the pressure goes on the team,” Mr Gilling says.

Sven Ladewig, H3’s Technical Services Manager, says Disney On Ice has requested more than 150 people to assist with the set-up and pack-out for its show.

His team has already pre-rigged roughly 200 metres of trusses to support the huge Disney On Ice lighting rig – which weighs a staggering 235,000 kilograms and travels in 18 containers.

“We hired the largest scissor lift available in NZ to pre-rig these trusses,” Mr Ladewig says.

The creation of the ice rink is a huge feat: it takes 24 hours to lay, with three people constantly hosing the surface so it freezes over properly. The laying of the floor is done by an advanced Disney crew which arrives several days before the performers.

Disney On Ice celebrates Mickey and Friends is on at Claudelands from 8 to 11 August, with tickets available from Ticketek.

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