Iceploration was the large scale main-season stage show at Moroccan Palace Theater from February 2012 through April 2017. The show featured ice skating, acrobatics, puppets, and a cast of human and animal characters. Over its run, Iceploration was performed 5,390 times, and won several awards. During its run each season, the approximately 30 minute show was performed several times daily.
The main story line of Iceploration follows Austin, a boy who is more in tune with current technology than nature, and his grandfather, a more old-fashioned world explorer. Austin joins his grandfather on an expedition around the world, to locations including the African Serengeti, Great Barrier Reef, Arctic, and an Amazon rainforest. During their journey, Austin learns to disconnect from technology and connect with the world around him, and along the way Austin teaches his grandfather that sometimes technology can be beneficial, even while getting in touch with nature.
In earlier seasons, a girl sometimes played the role of Austin. In later seasons, the show was re-worked slightly with the character’s name changed to Kaitlyn when a female was in the main role. Other small changes over the years were made, but overall the story line remained the same throughout the show’s run.
Along with the two main characters, Iceploration featured a cast of ice skaters, puppeteers, and animals including a variety of birds, Siberian huskies, and a Siberian lynx. At several points throughout the show, various birds would fly out over the audience.
The show originally opened to the public on February 2, 2012. It would go on that year to win two Brass Ring Awards at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Attractions Expo, including Best Sports Show and the Heartbeat Award, which “recognizes the show that demonstrates superior overall ability in reaching the hearts of its audience.”
Opening day of the 2013 season was January 16. Later that year, on October 3, Iceploration hit its 2000th performance. By September 17, 2014, the show reached its 3000th performance. When it closed for the season on November 9, 2014, the tally stood at 3,158 shows, equaling 104,214 minutes.
January 14 was the opening day for the 2015 season. That summer, on July 20, Iceploration was ranked fifth as Best Amusement Park Entertainment in the USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice awards. On September 9, 2015 the show hit 4000 performances, and went on to end the season on November 8 with 4,183 shows performed.
Iceploration returned on February 14, 2016, later than normal due to a renovation of Moroccan Palace Theater. The season ran through November 6, closing out the year with 5,077 performances.
In early 2017, rumors began that the show would be closing soon. The official announcement came on January 26 from the park that the show would be closing in April. The final performances were held on Sunday, April 23.
Official Open Date: February 2, 2012
Close Date: April 23, 2017
Venue: Moroccan Palace Theater
Additional details and images of the Iceploration will be added in the future.
Iceploration Ice Show – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – accessed 4/21/2017
Advanced Entertainment Group – Facebook – accessed 4/21/2017
Best Amusement Park Entertainment Winners 2015 – accessed 4/21/2017
2012 Brass Ring Award Winners – accessed 4/21/2017
Advanced Entertainment Group – Facebook Post – accessed 6/2/2017