The third annual holiday event, which is boasting a bigger and brighter 2010 season, began Friday and will continue through the holidays until Jan. 2.

Light Up UCF provides students and families an affordable way to celebrate the holidays. The event features an outdoor skating rink, Ferris wheel, carousel and many other holiday attractions.

Antonie Eugene, a sophomore nursing major, went to Light Up UCF last year for the first time.

“I had so much fun. It was my first time ice skating and I went with a group of friends and skated the whole night,” she said.

According to the website, “The Rinkmaster” DJ will play holiday favorites and top 40 hits.

Another main attraction at Light Up UCF is the Ferris wheel. From the top of the Ferris wheel you see a bird’s eye view of the campus.

On the arctic glide ice slide, you can climb to the top of the tower and glide on disc sleds across the 100-foot-long ice way.

Amanda Frasier brought her 5-year-old daughter.

“My daughter is having so much fun at Light Up UCF, and her favorite ride by far has been the ice slide,” Frasier said.

A holiday train is also a new addition to Light Up UCF this year. For those looking for a unique experience, a Christmas Around the World living tour will be housed in Cypress Room Dec. 19-26.

Live music will also be available on select nights, with UCF Marching Knights, local musicians and area high school choirs and bands scheduled to perform free concerts on the community stage.

At Santa’s workshop, you can meet with Santa on select nights and have a holiday keepsake picture with Santa. Visitors can also decorate Christmas cookies in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen.

Kissimmee resident Andrew Sullivan came out with his wife Brenda and his 3-year-old daughter, Delaney. He said his daughter really enjoyed herself.

“She had a blast and was so excited to meet Santa and take a picture with him,” Sullivan said.

The holiday film festival will take place on certain nights and will feature classic holiday films on a giant two-story movie screen. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, The Polar Express and The Santa Clause are among the movies that will be shown.

During the night, there are multiple holiday light shows. The light show uses advanced smart-life technology, with more than 75,000 individual lights, according to the website. The light show will illuminate the arena for 50 straight nights.

“Light Up UCF is a great experience, everything from the ice slide, to the Ferris wheel and the ice rink,” Robert Ponsonby, freshmen aerospace and engineering major said. “It’s all just a blast and I’m glad they put it on this year.”

Times, Dates and Prices

Single Tickets

  • $10 regular skate voucher for UCF students
  • $12 regular skate voucher for general public
  • $6.50 ice slide — unlimited rides
  • $4.25 ferris wheel
  • $4.25 carousel
  • $4.25 holiday Santa train
  • Combo Tickets

  • $19.75 ultimate package — unlimited rides and ice skating
  • $12.50 photo & cookie package (Includes Santa photo & cookie decoration)
  • Season Tickets

  • $75 ice skating season pass
  • $240 ice skating family four pack season pass
  • Miscellaneous Tickets

  • $3.50 Mrs. Claus’ kitchen cookie decorating
  • $2 additional cookie (When purchased with $12.50 photo & cookie package)
  • For groups of 10 or more

  • $8 unlimited skating for UCF student and faculty groups
  • $9 unlimited skating for regular groups
  • $17 ultimate package — unlimited rides and ice skating
  • *Group prices listed are the cost per person.

    Holiday film festival

    Select movie nights begin at 7 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. Free.

    Nov. 17, 20, 23, 26, 27; Dec. 3, 4,10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 23, 26; Jan. 2

    Source: Central Florida Future, Annual winter tradition brings lights, ice to UCF, by Joni Fletcher,  Contributing Writer. Published: Sunday, November 14, 2010; Updated: Sunday, November 14, 2010 17:11