Popular character baby Dory is certain to thrill the crowds. Picture: Supplied

Durban - Disney On Ice is coming to Durban for the first time and, such is the local demand, that it has outsold all other established shows in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The show, which travels the world, has been a hit in South Africa for the past five years.

There are also plans to stage the new show, The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice, at the Durban ICC Arena.

One challenge is creating a 50mx20m “ice floor” in the arena using 41000l of water.

“Water is critical to everyone and discussions are underway with the ICC and the municipality on the best way to distribute the water when the show ends,” said publicist Debbie de Souza.

The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice will feature the classic characters of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, along with other Disney moments that span the generations, including characters from Finding Dory and Frozen.

There are 43 skaters from all over the world in the show, including two South Africans, Konrad Giering, who grew up in Benoni and his wife, Yolande, who was raised in Pretoria.

The show cannot be staged at the city’s ice rink because it is too small. The ice engineers responsible for creating the ice floor have to use two 64-ton refrigeration units and aluminium panels.

The panels have tubes in them that carry chilled glycol/water mix. Once the refrigerator units are turned on, the temperature goes down to -11°C, De Sousa said.

“Light sprays of water are applied with a hose. The pressure is increased with a pump and the water is allowed to freeze to seal the surface.

“Once sealed, heavier coats of water are added until the desired thickness of 3.81cm-5.08cm is achieved. The ice must be kept at this ideal level of thickness.

“If it is too thick, it requires more energy to keep frozen and the top layer could potentially melt. If it is too thin, a skater could break through the ice during a performance.”

Daily News