Video - setting the stage for Disney on Ice in Leeds

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Anticipation is building ahead of an ice show featuring dozens of Disney’s favourite characters which is to return to Leeds in coming days.

Disney on Ice’s Worlds of Enchantment is coming to the First Direct arena from Wednesday to Sunday.

Characters from Frozen are to feature in this year's Disney on Ice show in Leeds

Characters from Frozen are to feature in this year's Disney on Ice show in Leeds

The hugely popular show, touring several sites in the UK, is to feature characters from films including Pixar's Cars, Toy Story 3, The Little Mermaid and Frozen.

And with just days to go before the big launch, the YEP caught up with some of the characters and directors as they head to Leeds.

"We're very excited," said Jackie Soames, performance director. "It's a great, family fun day or evening out.

"It's very family orientated - and kids are always excited to come along, dance and get dressed up."

The cast from The Little Mermaid

The cast from The Little Mermaid

Dressing up, if past years are anything to go by, is certainly a theme of the event, with the streets surrounding the arena a sea of excited characters in the hours before a show.

Ever popular, say organisers, are Frozen's Anna and Elsa, while Toy Story's characters are always a favourite with young fans. The Cars aspect of the show, said Mrs Soames, will be full of fun, while the Little Mermaid draws a crowd for its colourful costumes and much-loved music.

"I'm always singing along to Under the Sea - I can't help myself!" she adds.

And while excitement is building ahead of the Leeds' launch, it takes weeks of setting up, she says, months of planning, and years of training for a performance on such a scale.

The show will run at Leeds First Direct Arena from Wednesday until Sunday

The show will run at Leeds First Direct Arena from Wednesday until Sunday

Katie Stewart, from Michigan, is to play the character of Anna from Frozen.

It's a "huge honour" to be part of such a show, she says, and to witness the excitement and anticipation of the fans who will be watching in their thousands every night.

"I absolutely love my job and I love what I do," she said. "Being able to bring that to the ice for so many people is an exciting experience - it never gets old!"

She has been skating since the age of six, after falling in love with the ice when a teacher took her to a local rink, and has never looked back.

"I was hooked from the moment I stepped on the ice, and they couldn't get me off of it!" she said. "It was an instant love."

She's competed twice in the US National Championships, and has skated professionally for years, but this is her first tour with Disney on Ice.

"It is a little nerve-wracking sometimes, overwhelming almost, to see so many people out there. But they are there to see their favourite characters come to life.

"They instantly fall in love with the costumes and the music and the lights, so those nerves instantly melt away.

"I cherish it - I know I'm very lucky to be a part of something like this."

Disney on Ice's Worlds of Enchantment will be at Leeds First Direct Arena from Wednesday, March 21 to Sunday, March 25.

Tickets are on sale now at www.disneyonice.co.uk

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