CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE; Photo credit and 2015-2016 season update by Katey Gigstead.
Note: Since 2011 Disney chooses different places in Europe to host ice sculpture exhibition. Here is the scoop for November 2015 – January 2016.
Raise your hand if you love Star Wars! Not into ewoks but love yourself a good Disney Princess? This year there are two ice sculpture events taking place in central Europe. A Star Wars themed ice sculpture showcase is taking place in Leige, Belgium. Meanwhile a Disney-themed event is taking place in Metz, France. (Yes, we know that Disney now owns the Star Wars brand, but lets not get started on that feud!) Both events feature huge ice sculptures made by artists from around the globe that are sure to amaze you.
The ice sculptures are set up in a temporary chilled building, specially lit to show off the wonderful artwork. The same team of 30 artists from 12 countries created both events. Most of figures are at least 6 feet tall and all of them are beautifully detailed.
The events take place in special temporary buildings, created to carefully control the temperature. Be forewarned – it is very chilly in there, -6° C or 21°F. I imagine it not only preserves the ice sculptures but also keeps people moving. Dress warmly so that you can enjoy the most time at this event!
There is no time limit and you can admire the sculptures as long as you’d like. Expect to spend about an hour to an hour and a half checking out all the sculptures. When you are ready to finish and warm up, there is a second large heated room with snacks and drinks available. There you will find several screens playing about the making of the ice sculptures and free (heated) bathrooms.
If you are looking for other things to do or places to visit nearby, check out or suggestions below. They will help make the trip worth it!
The route is fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, but I can imagine on busy days, it would be a little rough. Dogs on a leash are allowed, but there is absolutely no touching of the sculptures.
The details about both limited time events are below.
Disney-Pixar Ice Enchantment (Féérie De Glace) in Metz, France
Do you have a favorite Disney character? Classic Mickey Mouse was my favorite for a long time. For some of you, it’s nearly impossible to go a day without hearing a song from “Frozen.” There’s a fun event happening now in Metz, France, put on by Disneyland Paris – Disney Dreams Ice Festival. We visited a similar event in Liege, Belgium last year and found that no mater what your favorite Disney character, from Alice to Captain Jack Sparrow, you can see them carved out of ice.
We visited on a Tuesday just after the holidays and almost had the place to ourselves. We breezed through the non-existent ticket line and walked right in.
Once inside, there is a general route that takes you buy each set of sculptures. They are arranged thematically so that the characters are with their friends – Buzz and Woody are together, Anna & Elsa are joined by Olaf, Hans, Sven & Kristoff. Towards the back there is a larger structure that makes a ice bar (the drinks are real and cost a few extra euros, unfortunately the cups are plastic and not made of ice). You can actually climb the wall that makes the back wall of the bar and have a great view of the entire building full of ice sculptures. But getting down is the best part- slide down on the ice slide!
Ice Star Wars in Liege, Belgium
Enter Ice Star Wars in Liege and you are led in, appropriately with the words, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” and then proceed to see characters and scenes from the Star Wars series sculpted out of ice. Whether you are a Star Wars junkie, married to one, trying to get into the spirit before The Force Awakens, or enjoy seeing art that will only exist for a few months, this is the place!
Unlike the Disney-Pixar event, this exhibition features Star Wars characters only. Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, Princess Leia, Yoda, and my favorites 3CPO and R2D2, along with the rest of the gang are there – cast in ice! The figures are from 6 – 18 feet tall! There is a bust of Darth Vader and his head is taller than a grown man! The ewoks are smaller, of course, but have their own tree-top village as well.
At the back of the display is a giant Millennium Falcon slide. Climb the stairs, admire all the ice sculptures from above and then ride down!
The Liege event takes place in front of the huge Liege main train station, Gare des Guillemins TGV.
Tips for Your Trip:
Liege: 14 November, 2015 – (last day) 31 January, 2016
Metz: 21 November, 2015 – (last day) 17 January, 2016
Youth ages 4-11: €10.00
Children under 4: Free
Youth ages 4-11: €8.00
Children under 4: Free
Liege: Place des Guillemins, 4000 Liège
Metz: Place de la République, Metz, France 57000
Liege: You can check this map for parking. Be aware that two of the lots are in an area are torn up due to road construction. With that said, there was plenty of room in the third lot.
Metz: The address for the suggested paid parking area:
République – 1 avenue Ney – 57000 METZ
Entrance is on Boulevard Poincaré
GPS Long. 6.171219, Lat. 49.114779