There is no better way for Floridians to celebrate the holidays than by visiting the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. The reasons are many but perhaps the most enticing is how this outstanding resort celebrates the season with ICE!
ICE! is an event, a must-see display of two million pounds of hand-carved ice. Master carvers are actually flown over from Harbin, China, working for weeks on end to create the most amazing, dazzling and jaw-dropping works of art – all from ice. To keep the ice frozen, Gaylord Palms has a specially designed walk-in freezer that is set up in their adjoining Convention Center. To walk through this area kept at nine degrees, you’ll put on a borrowed parka that they’ll supply (bring your own hats and gloves!) and wander through a winter wonderland like you’ve never seen before. It's huge!
The excitement starts on Nov. 23, 2013 and runs through January 5, 2014. This is something that the entire family can enjoy together, from toddlers to grandparents. What’s more, the theme this year is Frosty the Snowman – yes, the fabled story of this jolly happy soul will be played out before your eyes with vibrant sculptures and four two-story ice slides.
New this year, ICE! will feature the Frostbite Factory. This is where you can get an up close view of these talented ice artists in action. These ice masters (40 in all) slice and shave over 6,000 blocks of ice. Each block weighs about 400 pounds! The colored blocks of ice are simply stunning and the clear ones make for the most gorgeous nativity scene (which is always at the end of your ICE! journey).
Once you’re finished with the displays, meander over for some hot cocoa or decorate your very own gingerbread house to take home at Gingy's Gingerbread Decorating experience. You know Gingy, the friendly gingerbread man from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek? He will be here to host and his helpers can offer decorating help (if you need it). It’s a great experience to share with your kids, regardless of age. Even teens love creating (and munching) on their own gingerbread creations.
What’s more, the entire resort (four acres under atrium) is completely decorated for the season with vivid poinsettias, over 2 million twinkling lights, and at the center of it all you’ll find their crowning jewel, a 54-foot-tall majestic Christmas tree. This is also where you’ll find their stage for plenty of live entertainment, like carolers. You won’t want to miss it.
Of course, the best way to enjoy all of what the Gaylord Palms has to offer this upcoming season is to stay and play. There are two different Christmas packages to choose from: their Christmassy DreamWorks Experience (this includes unlimited admission into ICE! with priority access); and Christmas at Gaylord Palms, also with unlimited entry.
This resort is a favorite with families and couples alike, There is literally something for everyone, including upscale and casual onsite restaurants, a lovely spa, adventures inside and out, a fantastic pool area with dive in movies alongside the Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park and their Crack-A-Lackin’ Pool Party. Did we mention the many character Meet and Greets? A stay at the Gaylord Palms will surely become your new holiday tradition.
Visit their website to learn more and to see the enticing photos from previous ICE! events – and mark your calendar now! ICE! will be open every day, including holidays, from Nov. 23, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014. Tickets start at $16.99. Book your getaway now at www.ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.