To kick off Disney’s skating spectacular Worlds of Fantasy at Allstate Arena and Chicago’s United Center, Disney On Ice and the City of Chicago developed a free-to-the-public gala event at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue.
As stated in Disney’s press release, “‘Tinker Bell,’ star of Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy, will fly into Chicago in dramatic style. With a sprinkle of fairy dust (and a bit of rigging magic), everyone’s favorite precocious pixie will glide from high atop Chicago’s Millennium Park, across the city skyline and, to the delight of waiting school children, land on the outdoor ice rink below to perform a lavish skating production number.”
To aid their ‘precocious pixie’ in this outdoor flying stunt, Disney called on Chicago Flyhouse to create a flying rig leading from the nearby cafe building down to the ice rink. The rig had to be completely safe, but also needed to provide quick and easy detachment of the performer to allow her to seamlessly continue with the skating performance after landing from her flight.
In addition, extreme care had to be taken not to modify any of the park buildings. To address this issue, Flyhouse developed a freestanding rig that did not attach to any existing structures.
Working on a tight schedule, Flyhouse was able to install the flying rig with ample time for the performers to rehearse the flight several times prior to the performance.