Recently I got a chance to preview Orlando’s newest attraction on International Drive called Minus 5 Ice Bar. Once inside, guests are surrounded by one-of-a-kind ice sculptures in temperatures of -5 celsius or roughly 23 degrees fahrenheit. As crazy as it sounds, I have been to attractions with ice sculptures in freezing temperatures before and thanks to my thin Florida blood, I only lasted about 15 minutes before I wanted to run for the door.
That’s because the air circulation system was constantly blasting cold air all over the building to keep the ice from melting. However, Minus 5 was surprisingly comfortable. The ice sculptures are gorgeous and cover everything from the walls to benches to the bar. Each Minus 5 Ice Bar location contains unique ice sculptures themed to the city it occupies.
In Las Vegas, iconic images like the “Welcome To Las Vegas” sign and even landmark hotels are sculpted from ice. In New York you can visit the Statue of Liberty carved from a block of ice. For Minus 5’s first venture in Florida, they chose a lot of ocean imagery like this school of fish swimming along the wall.
Ice carvers were brought in from all over and created everything on site, including this mermaid statue which currently stands as the centerpiece when you enter the bar. Every 3 or 4 months, the ice carvings in the bar will be scrapped and changed. I have been told that the mermaid will be the first piece to go after the summer. However, if you visit Minus 5 Ice Bar every year I am told it will look entirely different each time.
What I liked about the bar was that it wasn’t just one box (like a giant walk-in cooler), it had breakout spots like this gorgeous rom with ice benches surrounded by carved palm trees and topped off by a stunning ice chandelier. The quarter of a million dollar light system makes the entire bar change colors every few seconds and captures the beauty of the ice carvings perfectly.
This is an end table next to the ice sofa seen above. Scattered throughout the ice blocks in Minus 5 are various seashells and beach themed items that give a beautiful touch to the space.
These seashells are literally everywhere, including being encapsulated in “ice bubbles” behind the bar.
Minus 5 bartenders serve up traditional favorites, but also feature some specialty drinks. Considering I am not much of a drinker myself, I decided on a “mocktail” called a Jack Frost – OJ, Pineapple juice and soda water. Before 9 pm Minus 5 in Orlando is actually family friendly and allows children to come in and visit at a discounted admission price. However, after 9 pm it’s adults only.
Even the glasses your drinks are serves in are made out of 100% ice. The bartender told me that these were made in and shipped from New Zealand. They even had shot glasses made of ice. It’s actually kind of fun to take a bite out of the “glass” once you’ve finished your beverage!
Before entering, guests are given gloves and parkas (because who packs that to vacation in Orlando?). For an up charge, you can wear one of these faux fur parkas that, after being in one for about 45 minutes, we felt almost hot inside them. Seriously, they are extremely comfy and well lined. If you are planning on hanging out for a while, it’s worth shilling out a little extra!
While inside Minus 5 Ice Bar, you are given a locker to stow your belongings that you don’t want subjected to freezing temperatures. They don’t allow cell phones or cameras inside due to the nature of the attraction, but they do have a photographer who will take photos of you and your group while inside.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Orlando without a souvenir photos. You can buy them in the gift shop after you have thawed out, or there are certain packages available for purchase that include printed pictures and even drinks. Also, those snazzy hats we are wearing in the photo? Our package included them, which is a pretty nifty keepsake.
Needless to say, the gift shop is also stocked with various other goodies including t-shirts, hats, shot glasses and more. This is Orlando, after all. So if you are tired of the traditional bar scene and looking for a true escape from the Florida heat, give Minus 5 Ice Bar at Pointe Orlando a shot. For more information visit Minus5Experience.com. Also make sure and follow Theme Park University on Twitter and like our Facebook Page!