D37 Frozen 2 Group

Since 1981, Disney on Ice has delivered artistic poise and precision skating that tells a unique Disney-inspired story. Life-long Disney fans enjoy seeing characters such as Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and Daisy Duck, and this is why Disney on Ice presents Magic in the Stars Thursday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 17 at the Crown Coliseum.

Fifty-six fan-favorite Disney characters will grace the stage for a captivating performance that will elicit happiness and create indelible childhood memories that will last a lifetime.

“I grew up loving Disney films and it’s almost mind-boggling to be able to bring characters from my childhood to life,” said John Stuart, Disney on Ice performer. “On top of that, it’s so meaningful that I then get to be a special part of the childhood of every kid that comes to see Disney on Ice.”

Stuart hails from Chesapeake, Virginia, and has been skating since the age of 12. Growing up, he was a competitive figure skater and had the pleasure of joining Feld Entertainment in 2016.

Some of his accomplishments include passing the Senior Moves in the Field Test, Senior Free Skate, Senior Partnered Free Dance and Senior Pattern Partnered Dance tests with the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Senior level tests are the highest level tests a figure skater can achieve.

Stuart coaches his own skating students when he is home on break. His favorite Disney character is Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove, but on the ice, he plays the role of Belle’s prince from Beauty and the Beast.

“Our casting department does a really great job of seeing what our individual skating styles are like in the cast,” said Stuart. “This helps them to decide what sorts of characters we can bring to life in a really exciting way as best as possible.” This show has the most Disney characters in one show of any of the previous Disney on Ice shows.

The all-star cast includes Mirabel, Woody and Buzz, Tiana, Moana and more. There will be appearances from Disney’s timeless favorites Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Donald, Goofy, Snow White, Cinderella and Daisy Duck. The audience will also get to watch some of their favorite princes and princesses take the icy stage.

“We have a segment featuring Aladdin and Jasmine with duplicating genies, performers doing huge jumps off of ramps, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider doing a lovely pair routine and Belle and her prince are out there as well,” said Stuart. “This is the third season that I have been skating with my partner and we are used to performing big lifts and tricks together.”

He added, “The most exciting thing about the show is that we have Asha performing and she is in Disney’s new animated film, Wish, that premiered Thanksgiving Day.”

The history of the show is quite impressive. Its founding mission is to provide an all-new form of Disney entertainment while showcasing some of the finest figure skaters acting in roles as beloved Disney characters from the company’s most well-known films. The average Disney on Ice skater brings more than 15 years of experience to the table. The training and preparation are intense with skaters rehearsing for over 550 hours until their routines are polished and precise.

“We worked with an amazing choreographer, Cindy Stuart, and the show is incredibly demanding physically, so simply performing keeps us pretty much in shape,” said Stuart. “Outside of the show, I skate practice sessions and go to the gym on my days off.”

He added, “I have learned an entirely new set of lifts with my skating partners since joining Disney on Ice and working on these elements has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding.”

Living life on the road as a performer has its pros and cons. The performers began rehearsing in mid-July in Florida. Shows began in September. The tour will last until May 2024.

“The best thing about living on the road is that it is fun and rewarding to be in a new city every week, we get to go out and see the sights, walk around downtown and find a local coffee shop to get a taste of what’s there,” said Stuart. “The flip side is that we are away from our loved ones and have to pack up our life into two suitcases and another bag or two every week to be able to do so.”

Stuart’s future goals entail performing for a couple of more years, traveling throughout the States to see friends and family, and traveling internationally to Europe, Asia and Australia.

“I am 32 years old, and I think about my body, but I know performers who skate well into their 50s,” said Stuart. “I definitely would like to settle down in the future to raise kids and have a family.”

If you opt to purchase a ticket for the pre-show Elsa and Mirabel Character Experience, it features storytelling, games, crafts and interactive time with Elsa and Mirabel and photo opportunities.

“Come out and join us because there is something for everyone with the show and we have over a dozen Disney films and characters in the show,” said Stuart. “We have Elsa and Anna from Frozen 2 on the ice for the first time and Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon performing an aerial acro-pole routine.”

Show times and tickets are available at https://www.disneyonice.com/tickets/. Subscribe to the Disney on Ice YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce.

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