Visually impaired children given behind the scenes touch tour of Disney on Ice at Newcastle Arena

  • Video report by Eloise Linford

A group of children from the North East have been given a pre-Christmas treat - meeting the cast and crew of Disney on Ice.

The children have visual impairments and were invited for a special behind the scenes "touch tour" at Newcastle Utilita Arena before the show on Thursday 8 December.

The youngsters from North East Sight Matters (NESM) were given exclusive access to costumes, props and show characters, as well as hearing how the exciting ice spectacular is produced from the sound, lighting and special effects teams.

The children were given a fake snow experience set to music from Frozen. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Director of the organisation, Penny Dean, said when the children found out they were coming earlier in the day "it was more exciting than Christmas morning for some of them".

She said: "A lot of these children don't get to actually get the best out of shows but something like this gives them a greater understanding.

"So when we come this evening, they've had a look at the sound, they've had a look at the lighting, touched some of the props."

The children were able to get up close to props from Coco, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

One final surprise was the arrival of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who stopped for pictures with the children.

Nicola, who came to the session with her son Teddy, said: "For kids especially with any sort of visually impairment or disability to give them the time that they need to experience that without being rushed, it means a lot to all the kids and the families.

She added: "To see the smiles on their faces, the snow, the effects. Just seeing their faces light up is just one magical experience, especially at Christmas time."

Skater Morgan Johnson led the session with the children and said: "It's the most amazing feeling to know that you are making a difference in their lives.

"When we see them so excited, it makes us feel like that's why we're doing it. I get to share my passion and inspire other people and in doing so, they inspire us as well."

Disney on Ice is at Utilita Arena until 11 December 2022.

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