“My first stop in the states, my first show in the states was in Augusta,” said Hempel, who will be performing with Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy on Oct. 25-28 at the James Brown Arena.
In 2007, Hempel appeared in the Disney Princess Classics show in Augusta.
Hempel has several roles in this new production, which begins with Mickey and Minnie Mouse getting a helping hand from the cast of Cars after their car breaks down. They head Under the Sea to meet with the Little Mermaid; encounter Tinkerbell and her fairy friends; and spend Act II in the world of Toy Story 3.
Hempel, who began her ice-skating adventure when she was 7, competed in the United Kingdom. She competed until she was 19. Her best finishes were seventh at the British Nationals and third in the Scottish Nationals.
“I knew I was never going to make it to the Olympics, but I did want to skate. I love skating,” she said. “I’d rather skate and perform in front of a crowd than three judges.”
In Worlds of Fantasy, Hempel spends a lot of time on the ice. After six years performing with Disney on Ice, she has moved into a role as a principal skater. She’s one of the fairies, a colorful sea creature and one of the green army men who crawl onto the ice in the second half of the show.
Hempel said the show is filled with action and has bright and colorful costumes, large sets and special effects. Many favorite characters will be in the show including Goofy, Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen, Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid, and Woody and pals from Toy Story 3.
Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25; 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26; 1 and 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Tickets cost $16-$46 from disneyonice.com or augustaentertainmentcomplex.com.