Pandemic magic? Disney back on the ice at NRG with strict protocols

HOUSTON – The Disney On Ice: Dream Big tour arrived in Houston Wednesday night, the first large event at NRG during the pandemic outside of the election and Texans games.

The just under 1,000 spectators sat far from each other and wore masks. Typically, over 8,000 fans are in attendance sitting shoulder to shoulder.

“I love princesses, so I’m excited to see all of them,” said Bella Loera, who attended Disney on Ice for the ninth year in a row Wednesday night. “I was nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to come this year because of the whole pandemic.”

The Loera family bought tickets online and scanned them without touching anything or anyone. The concessions and souvenirs are also contactless.

You can also order ahead on your phone.

“For the past eight months we have come up with a brilliant mitigation plan,” said DJ Weiss, who travels with Disney on Ice.

The 95 or so team members live in a bubble, evaluated regularly and tested for COVID-19 several times per week, he said. The tour lasts from October through May.

“We also have some really strict protocols as far as sanitation backstage in place,” Weiss added.

The “Dream Big” tour is typically one of nine Disney On Ice tours ongoing worldwide.

This year, it’s the only one.

Just over 2,000 tickets were available Wednesday night, and just under a thousand people attended. Disney On Ice shows continue through Sunday.