KISSIMMEE, Fla. – There are some new features at ICE! this year at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. The attraction is back after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time, ICE! is featuring the classic story, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” in ten scenes all made from ice.
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“We fly anywhere from 30 to 35 artists from Harbin, China. They spend about 33 days bringing everything to life. It starts with blocks of ice and they end up turning into beautiful sculptures,” Director of Entertainment Andres Calvo said.
News 6 visited Gaylord Palms last month getting a sneak peak as the ice sculptors were hard at work carving out the masterpieces, using more than two million pounds of ice. If you’re wondering how the ice gets its vivid color, it’s a special liquid food coloring mix that does the trick.
Along with sculptors, it takes a team of electricians and builders to keep the attraction at a frigid nine degrees. Which organizers said is the perfect temperature to keep the ice from melting.
“It is air conditioning. We have chillers and air handlers. That’s what keeps the cold air pumping through the attraction,” Calvo said.
It’s all part of the icy experience in the Sunshine State. If you’re not into the cold weather, don’t worry—admission comes with a rental blue parka to keep you warm while you enjoy the chilly chisel work.
Even if you’ve visited ICE! in the past, there will be some new sights and experiences.
“We have a brand new redesigned slide room in the ICE! attraction. We have five slides made entirely of ice and we put lights inside of the ice creating lighting effect as you slide down. One slide is for kids, the others for adults. This has never been seen before,” Calvo said.
There’s also a team of carvers on site doing live demonstrations throughout the event.
The walkthrough ends with a traditional nativity scene carved in crystal clear ice. The detail work in each piece is just breathtaking with plenty of opportunity for pictures.
ICE! runs through January 1st, 2023. Click HERE for ticket information.
And ICE! isn’t the only holiday-inspired attraction at Gaylord Palms Resort. They have a Snow Factory where you can build and toss real snowballs, a Market Square Retail for last-minute shopping and a Cirque: Spirit of Christmas show where you can see high-flying acrobatics.
While most of the events are ticketed, there is a free experience for families: the Acres of Festive Décor.
You can walk throughout the 64-acre resort, spotting more than three million sparkling lights, over 100 Christmas trees and 20,000 ornaments, and a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree centerpiece that comes alive each night in a magical, musical show. This is a great opportunity to take family photos and get in the holiday spirit. While it’s free to roam the resort, there is a fee for parking.
For more information, click here.
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