Make us your home page
Instagram

Apollo Beach couple finds magic on the Disney on Ice tour

As a little girl in Russia, Marina McCourt loved to watch Disney characters like Ariel in The Little Mermaid and Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

Now, the figure skater who calls Apollo Beach home twirls in Belle's blue dress and golden ball gown for children around the country, bringing the "tale as old as time" to life.

She's a part of Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic, coming to the Amalie Arena starting Thursday. More than 50 characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Tiana and Elsa will skate to some 30 songs including Let It Go, You've Got a Friend in Me and Hakuna Matata.

"It's a great time for everybody," said McCourt, 32, who also performs as Nala in Can You Feel the Love Tonight? from The Lion King.

She loves how the audience sings along to every song.

"It's so great to hear them. They know every word."

The Tampa shows are the final ones this year for this Disney on Ice tour, bringing McCourt and her husband, Corey, the show's stage manager, home. They return home to Apollo Beach during their break.

"We ran and joined the ice show and never looked back," said Corey McCourt, 37, a New Jersey native. "I've got myself a real Disney princess."

Marina McCourt, whose mother was a figure skating coach, learned to skate at 4. She joined Disney on Ice, owned by Palmetto-based Feld Entertainment, in 2002. She has performed as Belle and Nala since 2011.

"I had no idea where my life would take me," she said. "You can do what you love every day with costumes and music and making people happy."

Although he grew up across an ocean, her husband felt a similar itch to travel. He moved to Tampa in 1999 and started with the ice shows soon afterward as a licensed novelty vendor.

He trained to be part of the crew and worked his way through carpentry jobs to become stage manager six years ago. Now he supervises 16 people and keeps track of "everything that goes in and out of the show," from lighting to equipment.

The couple met on the tour and married in Savannah, Ga., four years ago. While Marina rehearses choreography and costume changes, Corey and his staff work around challenges such as adapting the show to venues that are smaller than others.

"You never know what's going to happen," he said. "It may be that we have to bring and make the ice."

Both relish seeing their hard work turn into enchanting entertainment.

"We're just bringing Disney to them," Marina McCourt said. "Bringing all this magic."

.if you go

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic

Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets start at $15 for guests 2 and older. Rinkside dining seats with a food and beverage package start at $85.

amaliearena.com.

Apollo Beach couple finds magic on the Disney on Ice tour 05/10/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 7:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Cast up to the challenge in Richey Suncoast's 'How the Other Half Loves'

    Stage

    Theater has many plays where there are two completely different apartments depicted on the stage, usually split down the middle, one on the right, one on the left.

    "How the Other Half Loves" runs weekends through Oct. 29 at Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey. Cast members are Christine Stoll and  David Daly (in front) and Bob Marcela, Heather Clark, Mike Worssell and Blake Parker (in back, from left). [Photo by Jess Glass]
  2. Review: Excellent cast delivers entertaining production of 'Young Frankenstein' at Stage West

    Stage

    I went to see the musical comedy Young Frankenstein at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill with some trepidation. I had seen a very good production of the show at another theater a couple of years ago, and I was concerned that I would subconsciously compare the two to the detriment of one or the …

    "Young Frankenstein" plays weekends through Oct. 29 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. Keith Surplus, left, performs as Igor and Lynda Dilts-Benson, right, as Frau Blucher. [Photo by Carol Ballard]
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Oct. 23-29

    Events

    R. L. Stine: It's fitting that the week before Halloween, USF's Lecture Series features the popular horror author known for the Goosebumps series. Stine will discuss his career, creative process and sign books Wednesday at the Marshall Student Center in Tampa. Free. .

    ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 09: Singer Anthony Hamilton performs onstage at the 2014 Ford Neighborhood Awards Hosted By Steve Harvey at the Phillips Arena on August 9, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Ford Neighborhood Awards)
  4. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  5. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

    Stage

    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.