ICEBAR Orlando: A Cool Place to Chill
If you’re tired of spending winter in the heat (us Southerners), there’s a pretty nice place to cool down. My friend Brittanie and I embarked on a chilly expedition at ICEBAR Orlando, located on International Drive.
WARNING: My photos may cause you to feel a little blue-da-ba-dee-da-ba-die.
Nice ice, baby
The tables, stools, walls, bar and DRINK GLASSES inside the ICEBAR are all made of ice. It was a chilly 18 degrees when we walked inside. There was an ice penguin showing off a thermometer, pictured here.
We were surrounded by ice sculptures and continuously changing neon lights that took me back to Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour.
I came prepared for the cold, at least as cold as it feels for a Floridian to be in 18-degree weather! I packed on the layers with a tank top, a long-sleeved shirt on top of that, a long black sweater on top of the shirt, jeans, high Christmas-themed socks underneath, boots, and I brought a coat just to be safe.
Chilling in a mini wonderland
The place itself is smaller than I expected. There are 4 rooms in total. One room where guests check in and pay with the “Ice Princesses”, a dance floor/DJ/seating area, there’s the Fire Lounge with a bar and a few tables, and then the ICEBAR with a bar, 2-3 tables, and ice chairs. There is also a Polar Patio if you can’t take the heat, er, cold, and want to get some fresh air.
Brrrring on the cold
We walked through the dance floor, past the Fire Lounge, and up a small ramp to get to the ICEBAR. A greeter gave us thermal jackets and gloves before we entered. There’s an option for a fur coat if the jackets aren’t your thing, but I didn’t think it was worth the extra $10 upgrade. I don’t always splurge, but when I do, it’s not for a fancy fur coat at a club.
The ICEBAR’s door reminded me of a large freezer door. The space was tiny. The maximum capacity read 124, but I think it would get crowded with 40 people. Brittanie and I found ourselves a nice little cozy table to toast and chat. We sat on fuzzy faux fur-covered miniature ice chairs and admired the ice sculptures surrounding us.
The cold felt wonderful. I was easily amused by seeing my own breath — we only get cold weather in Florida for 2-4 months a year, if we’re lucky. When we could no longer feel our hands or our faces, Brittanie and I left the ICEBAR for the much warmer Fire Lounge.
Table for two…or three…or four?
We thawed out for a bit at the Fire Lounge. It was nice to feel a “normal” temperature in the low 70s. Brittanie and I snagged a table away from the crowd, so we were able to see the DJ and temporarily empty dancefloor. Finally, people started cheering and dancing when the DJ spun “Billie Jean”.
Two different people turned our table area into a crash course. One man walked into the chair next to me, jokingly asking us, “Who put that there?! Sorry ladies.” A few minutes later, a woman clumsily RAN into my chair, stumbled, and stared blankly at us. The man she was with apologized and got her away from our table. I didn’t know we were in such dangerous seats.
I’m not a frequent drinker, so it was an extremely rare occurrence that I tried two different drinks. I’m pretty much living life on the wild side now (kidding). I tried the Frosted Apple in the ICEBAR, served in an ice glass. At the Fire Lounge, I tried something that I think was called the Blueberry Flirt served in a tall, smoking glass. I had some decent cheesy pretzel bites in the Fire Lounge as well.
Brittanie and I spent most of the night chatting and people-watching. I quickly remembered how annoying it is to have a shouting conversation, competing with the booming bass and the DJ blaring Sean Paul.
It was nice to have a quieter drive home to let my ears and my voice recover. All jokes aside, it was a great night and a unique experience.
Club like a local: discounts, discounts, discounts
My biggest recommendation before visiting the ICEBAR is: CHECK THE WEBSITE. This will be your best resource. It’s worth doing a little research to plan your trip. There are discounted packages and half-off entry nights, plus there are Florida Resident discounts for select special events.
Regular cover is $19.95 at the door. This includes entry, jacket and gloves. If you buy your ticket online, you can save between 25-32% based upon the package you select.
If you plan to drink and purchase your tickets ahead of time, the Expedition Package would be your best bet (one entry + two drinks).
Otherwise a Groupon is your next best bet (entry + drink + appetizer). Keep in mind, the Groupon does not allow you to make a reservation online, so you’ll need to show your receipt at the door.
The ICEBAR was a fun, one-time experience. Now that it’s finally cooled down in Florida, I’ll be spending my quiet time indoors with some hot cinnamon tea and Netflix.