July 14, 2021 marks a special milestone for us, as it officially marks 40 years of presenting the magic of Disney On Ice to families around the world.

Disney On Ice traces its roots back to 1981 when Feld Entertainment Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld approached Disney about launching a new genre of live family entertainment featuring their beloved characters “on ice.”

The rest is, as they say, history! Walt Disney’s World On Ice opened on July 14, 1981 to a sold-out crowd in the New Jersey Meadowlands and quickly became an overnight sensation. 4 decades, 68 countries and 320 million guests later, Disney On Ice continues to bring joy to families across the globe and has become one of Disney’s longest licensees.

“Everything you do in life starts with one small step. The first Disney On Ice show premiered in 1981 and we are still bringing happiness to generations of families 40 years later. When we started it we never knew it would last this long.

Disney On Ice is ever-changing and there are always surprises for all of our Disney fans. That’s the key. As long as we continue to do that Disney On Ice will always be around.

We are grateful for the 320 million plus fans who have seen Disney On Ice in over 68 countries, the Feld Entertainment Associates who have contributed to the success and The Walt Disney Company for 40 years of Disney On Ice.”

-Kenneth Feld

Travel through 40 years of Disney On Ice magic by exploring our infographic below. See if you spot your favorite show!

Kenneth Feld recently sat down with Courtney Potter, editor and writer at D23: The Official Disney Fan Club to take a trip down memory lane during an exclusive roundtable retrospective on the history of Disney On Ice. Mr. Feld relives his favorite memories and memorable moments from the past 40 years. And be sure to watch till the end for a special cameo!

10 Disney On Ice Fun Facts: 

  1. The very first Disney On Ice performance was on July 14,1981 in the New Jersey Meadowlands under the name “Walt Disney’s World On Ice.”
  2. Since Disney On Ice kicked off in 1981, there have been 48 different productions, featuring appearances by countless beloved Disney characters. 
  3. Disney On Ice has been seen by an astounding 320 million guests in 68 countries in more than 545 cities and performed in more than 41 languages. Across the world, it’s often the only accessible, live Disney experience people may ever have!
  4. There have been almost 72,000 performances of Disney On Ice in the past 40 years.
  5. In just one tour, Disney On Ice will travel an average 13,860 miles. That’s the equivalent of driving between Disney World and Disneyland nearly 6 times!
  6. It takes nearly 14 hours and 20 crew members to set up a Disney On Ice production! An ice floor alone takes 425 manual hours to install, maintain and break down.
  7. We are proud to be the largest employer of professional figure skaters in the world, representing 48 countries. 
  8. Two-time World Champion, Four-Time U.S. Champion and Olympic Medalist Linda Fratianne was a featured skater in the inaugural production of Disney On Ice and throughout the first 10 years.
  9. Besides surefire fun and magical memories, the one constant of any Disney On Ice performance? A Mickey Mouse appearance!  Mickey has had perfect attendance in his 40 years of headlining Disney On Ice.
  10. At 40 years, we are honored to be one of the longest licensees of The Walt Disney Company. 

We hope you enjoy this look back at the last 40 years of Disney On Ice! Thank you for continuing to be a part of this beloved Disney tradition. We’d love for you to share your favorite Disney On Ice memories with us on social using the hashtag #DisneyOnIce.

We’ll see you real soon! Make sure to sign up for alerts when we’re heading your way.