Thursday, December 12, 2013

ICE at the Gaylord Palms


ICE Sign out front and Hannah acting cold : )

Late in the afternoon yesterday we headed out with Grandma to Orlando to go to the Gaylord Palms hotel (where Kevin and I stayed for our anniversary see here) to see their annual holiday display called simply ICE.  Fourteen years ago the hotel began bringing the artists from Harbin, China over to create incredible ice displays with varying themes in an area of their conference center they have to insulate and refrigerate to keep the temperature at a chilly 9 degrees!!!!  This years theme was Frosty the Snowman.

You enter the display in 1/2 hour ticketed increments to restrict the number going through at one time. So glad we went early in the day where hardly anyone was there.  It really allowed us to move at our own pace and enjoy the whole experience.  You start by watching a short film that explains how this began and shows you the incredible ice creations of Harbin, China.  Then you go into the room to suit up in your heavy blue parkas.  Once you're ready, the self paced tour through the ice show begins.

Getting our parkas on

The ice tunnel, one was adults the other kids, guess which on Kevin went through?

Frosty being built (left), Professor and Hocus Pocus (center), Frosty "alive" (right)

They had an ice slide that we all took our turns on.  I managed to get pictures of everyone, unfortunately my new camera began acting up with the extreme cold and didn't get a good shot of Hannah who just flew down the slide.  I've still included her, blurry and all as you can make out the thumbs up as she comes down the slide, smile.  Thankfully, I brought my smaller camera that I could keep warm in my hands and so it kept working through the rest of our tour.

Town square scenes where Frosty and kids danced through
More carved ice scenes

Left two pictures are Lauren on the slide, and the blurry one is the only shot I have of Hannah on the slide : (

Me coming down on the right and I clearly enjoyed it from the look on my face

Grandma on left, Cameron in the middle and Kevin on the right
Frosty's woodland animals and a melted Frosty scene

Ice train

The scenes follow the Frosty story thoroughly as we moved our way around this beautiful, but COLD display.  We then came to the creation area, where an ice artist was working on a piece as we watched. 

The creative space and ice sculptures.  One artist in the process on the right.

All of these sculptures are really large as you can see the attendant next to one display on the left photo

The giant ornament exit- that's Grandma and the girls.  We all look like light blue Eskimos!

The final display was a clear ice manger scene with wise men.  On the opposite wall was a large ice angel and candlesticks. Absolutely beautiful!!!

Then it was time to exit and thaw out.  We were frozen ourselves.  After removing our parkas we entered a conveniently place snack and photo area, where we bought our family picture and Grandma treated us to hot chocolates and coffee.  Perfect.

No we're not so cold we're green, the funny coloring are the lights in the area : )

We completed our time here by walking around the Gaylord Palms grounds to show the kids, then went to the Magic Kingdom at Disney to check out the decorations and lights and ride a few rides. I'll post these tomorrow.  If you're in the Orlando area at Christmas time, I would definitely recommend this incredible display!!!

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