Make us your home page

Busch Gardens' new show includes animals, helium-filled puppets

A new ice show opening in February at Busch Gardens will include live animals on-stage and helium-filled puppets.

Iceploration tells the story of a computer savvy preteen whose grandfather thinks he's not as connected to the world as he thinks. So they travel on a 30-minute journey to the four corners of the earth, accoridng to a news release about the new show. The multi-sensory story, told through theatrical skating by a cast of 20 with an all-new original score, is the collaboration of an award-winning creative team with Broadway credentials, including Tony Award-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes (The Drowsy Chaperone, Best Costume Design Tony winner 2007, and Legally Blonde the Musical, Best Costume Design Tony nominee 2007).

The show opens Feb. 2 at the Moroccan Palace.

In the production, Austin explains how technology has made his generation more connected to the world than ever before. But his grandfather argues that the boy is more disconnected than he realizes, and takes him on an adventure around the globe. Through their travels they visit the African Serengeti, Great Barrier Reef, the Arctic and the Amazon rainforest.

The adventure unfolds as they arrive in the Serengeti, where larger-than-life puppets and intriguing set design bring elephants and other animals to life at a watering hole. Solo and chorus skating performances accompanied by acrobatics tell an anecdote of an agile cheetah stalking graceful gazelles and meerkats.

Austin and Grandpa then dive into the Great Barrier Reef to explore the harmony of life on the ocean floor. A black light transition and never-before-seen helium-filled puppets immerse the audience in the wonders of the sea, filled with parrotfish and lionfish, sea urchins, turtles and a moray eel.

In the Arctic, skaters become snow flurries as a winter storm threatens the travelers. Austin and Grandpa witness even more beauty as they encounter the Aurora Borealis, represented with theatrical lighting and projections. Then they share the stage with live animal stars, including a Siberian lynx and a sled of Siberian huskies as they continue to traverse the tundra.

The two adventurers wrap up their adventure immersed in the lush, tropical Amazon Rainforest. Squirrel monkeys, sun conures and colorful macaws fill the air as playful frogs, and a dragonfly skates into the grand finale: a new signature song called Meet the World.

Iceploration performances are included with any daily park admission or annual Pass. For more information, visit

Busch Gardens' new show includes animals, helium-filled puppets 01/03/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 11:55am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours