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Ring Leaders: Meet the Women Behind Disney's Ice Empire

The three women who are running a $1 billion live-event empire
Ring Leaders: Meet the Women Behind Disney's Ice Empire
Illustration by Paul Windle

One of the ice skating trolls has gone down. Nicole Feld, vice president of Feld Entertainment, pops up from her seat at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, hands over her mouth. The troll was part of a choreographed pinwheel in which 32 green-costumed skaters hold hands in a line and spin during Disney on Ice Presents Frozen. Now he’s an ice rink land mine, about to take seven skaters down with him. But like a pitcher covering home plate, the skater playing Princess Anna whisks the prone troll away.

The director, in the seat behind Nicole, gives her a thumbs up, after hearing through his earpiece that everyone is fine. She sits back down and nervously eats the popcorn her family’s company also makes; it’s the food she had for dinner often while growing up. The kids in the audience hardly notice the fall. “They’re not coming to see ice skating,” she says. They want to see the characters sing the hit songs. One of her jobs is to cut dialogue as much as possible to get to the good parts. Producing a Disney on Ice show, it turns out, isn’t so different from making porn.