KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One day after canceling a performance of “Disney on Ice: Dream Big” scheduled at the T-Mobile Center in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, the tour’s stop in Kansas City has been cut short due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the performers and crew.
The KCMO Health Department confirmed Friday that “at least five Disney on Ice staff” have tested positive for COVID-19.
The T-Mobile Center announced the cancellation of shows Thursday night and Friday morning, but the health department said the tour’s remaining appearances in Kansas City — including one at 7 p.m. on Friday night — also are canceled.
“To protect Kansas City families and residents attending the event, the health department asked Disney on Ice to cancel the Kansas City tour,” the KCMO Health Department said in a statement to 41 Action News. “On Friday, the health department issued an order revoking approval of (the) gathering.”
There also were three shows scheduled Saturday — 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. — and two more on Sunday — at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The T-Mobile Center confirmed later Friday that all remaining shows had been canceled, saying the show's production company, Feld Entertainment, apologized "to our fans for any inconvenience and thanks them for understanding."
"As a valued patron of Feld Entertainment, it is with regret that we inform you that the remaining 6 performances of Disney On Ice scheduled to take place at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City from Friday, February 5 through Sunday, February 7 have been canceled," according to a statement on the T-Mobile Center website that offered no explanation for the cancellations.
City health officials said the outbreak has been limited to performers and crew, not any spectators, “at this point in the outbreak investigation.”
Understandably, many people with tickets to the show were upset about the cancellations, especially those who only found out after making the trek downtown Friday night.
"We were never notified," Amber Ramsey, of Louisburg, said after arriving at the T-Mobile Center. "We were never told anything. I was puling up the tickets and it said cancelled."
The lack of notification seemed to frustrate people more than the cancellation itself.
"My kids were looking forward to it, so I’m just a little disappointed with the customer service and the outcome of this whole thing," Kaylin Bottemuller, of Greenwood, said.
Explaining to the children eager to see the show also proved difficult for some parents.
"I had to tell her that Mickey Mouse got coronavirus and he didn’t want to get all his other friends sick, so you got to kind of put it in her mentality so she can understand what’s going on," Breonika Davis said outside the T-Mobile Center with her 4-year-old daughter Kapri.
"Disney on Ice" announced the performances in December, becoming the first major event to return to the T-Mobile Center since the pandemic reached Kansas City last March.
It took a month for KCMO Health Department officials to approve the arena’s COVID-19 mitigation plan, which is required for large gatherings under Mayor Quinton Lucas’ emergency health order.
Feld Entertainment said in a news release issued Saturday that its protocols "were developed based on CDC guidelines and public health recommendations."
Information regarding refunds can be found on the T-Mobile Center website.
“Disney on Ice” is scheduled to begin an 11-day tour Feb. 11-21 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin.