Bumper cars on ice

The Australian-based Bumper Cars on Ice are opening a winter wonderland of ice skating and bumper cars in Orlando - wait for it - next summer. 

I know I shouldn’t make fun of other cities, but when you live in Beaver Dam, you know what “life is good” really means.

Meanwhile in Orlando, Florida, home of the tourist attraction mothership, they are still trying to introduce more ways to have fun. According to Yelp, there are already more than 10 bumper car opportunities near Orlando, but apparently there are new ways to enjoy ramming into your friends.

There are not enough tourist attractions to keep everyone busy there, said no one, ever. Yet one more is being added. Orlando will open a winter-themed diversion, because they are clearly suffering from a snow and ice deficiency. Having been deprived of that chilly feeling, those who have left the north clearly regret it.

The Australian-based Bumper Cars on Ice are opening a winter wonderland of ice skating and bumper cars in Orlando—wait for it—next summer. Yes, summer in Florida on ice seems like such a perfect fit. Coming in out of the sweltering heat, patrons will be offered mulled wine and frozen cocktails at the bar to warm them up before enjoying their 12-minute ride around the frozen tundra, I mean, rink.

I have no idea what they mean by frozen winter cocktails. Around here that could mean the case of beer left in the garage overnight. For the $30 admission a visit to this bar includes the bumper car extravaganza.

It is being advertised as a “darkened ambiance to give you all the icy feel.” Again, I can only relate that to the power going off when an ice storm hits the wires. I just didn’t know people would pay for that feeling. Of course, they get to have a DJ spinning tunes to put everyone in the winter mood. When our power is out, we are busy looking for candles and don’t usually think first of our playlist.

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What could be more fun than mulled wine in summer in Florida? Don’t get me wrong. Floridians and summer vacationers deserve a break from the heat, humidity and intense sun. Lit up bumper cars could be really fun, and sliding on ice is always fun. Music, cocktails and banging into blowup penguins sounds like the perfect adult entertainment.

But wait, this just in, as part of this Global Tour of Bumper Cars on Ice, Milwaukee will host a pop-up playground sometime in April. To extend our favorite season and to offer something we all can get on board with, this might be just the diversion for those who want to be out of the wind, but still part of the action.

I will be interested in hearing about the participation level in each city. The concrete playground, as they are called, opened in Sydney and Melbourne this August to yank people out of their hibernation mode and make the frosty months go faster. We’ll see if it works in Wisconsin, since by April many people are ready to order seeds, clean up their fishing boats and start swinging golf clubs.

At the same time, we know April can be brutal and this might be just the diversion we need. Slipping and sliding into our “mates” on ice will be a relief after the Midwestern road experience we will have had in the months preceding April.

People who live in Florida don’t get to have a date with their families sledding, skating, or skiing unless they vacation in more appropriate climates. Having been a bit harsh on this concept, I will retract my words and tell them to have fun. After all, we can’t all be living in the best place on Earth. The least we can offer them is some faux winter experience.

Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at kaystellpflug@gmail.com.

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