Ice show in Tampa talks safety after circus accident

Tampa, Florida -- For the first time since the circus accident in Rhode Island, a major live show is coming to Tampa Bay.

And they're giving 10 News a rare look at what they do to make sure their performers -- and their audience -- are safe.

Disney on Ice skates into the Tampa Bay Times Forum for seven fun shows starting Thursday night.

The "Let's Celebrate" show stars more than 50 Disney characters singing and skating in scenes from several different Disney worlds.

With Disney on Ice, kids are generally impressed by the up-close action with their favorite characters. Adults are wowed by the special effects and stunts.

It's those effects and stunts where safety most clearly comes into play.

Live on 10 News Thursday morning, I asked Michael Hovda -- the show's director of ice and stage operations -- to get specific about the several steps they take to make sure their employees and our families are safe at a show.

Hovda told me safety is truly the number one priority during Disney on Ice shows. That philosophy runs so deeply, he said, that any member of the show team has the power to bring up a safety concern that can change or cancel the entire show.

Before performances, crew members inspect gear. If they discover a problem, the show can be altered to make sure no one is put in danger.

If the concern is spotted during a show, the entire team is connected by radios and can make on-the-fly decisions about how to fix the problem.

Plus, for the show's pyrotechnics -- like flame special effects and indoor fireworks -- the team adds an extra layer of safety, Hovda said.

In addition to the traveling show's trained pyrotechnics experts, Disney on Ice brings local fire marshals from every community where they perform into the arena to perform their own inspections and safety checks.

The schedule for Disney on Ice's "Let's Celebrate!" show includes seven performances from Thursday through Sunday, May 15th through 18th. Tickets start at $15.


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