By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Thursday marked opening night for the return of Disney On Ice at the Golden 1 Center.

For many families, it’s the first big show their kids have been to since the outbreak of COVID.

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And for one performer, it’s a return to the area where she grew up.

Mickey, Minnie, and all their Disney friends are back on the ice in Sacramento, and it’s an extra special occasion for the Little Mermaid.

Haylie Ferreira grew up in the area, graduating from Del Oro High School in Loomis—even skating in her younger days at the holiday ice rink across the street from the arena.

“It feels really special to be able to come and perform at the Golden 1 Center because I’ve come to concerts and basketball games here,” she said

Now she’s performing as Ariel for the first time in front of her hometown crowd.

“My parents and my brothers are coming to watch me. My aunt and uncle are coming. I have my coach coming to see me, I have a lot of friends that want to come see and my first-grade teacher is coming to watch,” Haylie said.

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Disney fans are glad Goofy, Donald and all the other popular characters are back in town.

“We are excited to finally be out and get the kids out”

We’re just happy to be able to do things again and kind of go to a new normal

It’s a normal that now includes showing your vaccination card or a negative test before entering the arena. Some parents and kids got tested right before the show at a lab across from the main entrance.

“All you have to do is show your vaccine test, it’s not a hassle,” another attendee said.

And Haylie hopes to give her fans a show to remember.

“Their faces light up and I just really love giving those special moments to them because I remember having those special moments as a kid as well,” she said.

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Performances of Disney On Ice continue through Sunday and tickets are still on sale.