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Disney on Ice is coming to Columbus

After skating around the world for more than a decade, Disney will bring its celebration of magic to central Ohio this month.

“Disney on Ice celebrates 100 years of Magic” is the largest on-ice production for the company to date. It has 10 segments that cover 18 stories and 65 characters.

The show is well-balanced and includes some Disney favorites such as “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Lion King,” “Toy Story” and “Mulan,” said Jamie Loper, a skater in the show. He believes it’s a performance that everyone in the family can enjoy.

“It’s not all about princesses and pink fluttery magic,” he said.

It takes 47 skaters and 100 staff and crew members to put the production together. The team of people spends about five to six weeks in rehearsals making sure everything runs smoothly.

“You think it’s going to be a disaster and it’s not going to work, but at the last minute everything comes together,” Loper said.

An award-winning skater, Loper has been skating professionally with the company for 13 years. He said he feels privileged to travel with the company all around the world and do what he loves.

Loper said the performers in the show are hired as professional skaters and acrobats. He said they work with specialists on acting, but ultimately it is up to them to develop the character.

Infusing your personality into the fictional characters can be a lot of fun, Loper said. He said it’s a challenge and it takes time, like anything else.

The skaters perform to music and a dialogue track. When the show goes overseas, Loper said the performers have to learn how to mouth the words to different languages while keeping the integrity of each character.

A lot of the skaters performing in the production are Olympic skaters from all over the world, Loper said. Those attending the performance can expect to see triple jumps, back-flips, and pair skating, he said.

On average most professional skaters are between 18 to 28 years old. At 35 years old, Loper is one of the older performers in the show.

Loper gives credit to his body and staying fit for being able to stay in the business as long as he has. Loper said after he has finished skating he will go back and complete his undergraduate degree.

Loper said the highlight of the show is the big finale, with more than 60 Disney characters on the ice.

“Disney on Ice celebrates 100 years of Magic” will be at Nationwide Arena Feb. 24 to 28. Tickets are on sale now at ticketmaster.com.

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