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Theme Park Review does ICE and SNOW at Gaylord Palms


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Hey everyone!

 

Now that TPR is based in Orlando, FL it is much easier for us to check out some of the awesome seasonal events that are not always found at one of the major theme parks! ICE is an annual Christmas event held at the Gaylord Palms Resort (not far off the I-4 Animal Kingdom exit), and it will certainly become an annual event for us as well.

 

In short, ICE is an elaborate "carved ice" display similar to one of those "ice houses" you see at many Japanese and Chinese theme parks. (If you've been following the site at all, you'll know what I mean.) This one has been themed to the new Shrek holiday film "Shrek the Halls" and includes scenes, sculpted out of ice, from the film.

 

Picture a wax museum, but with ice, and of course kept inside a VERY cold refrigerated room! And of course, one of the main attractions of ICE, are the ice slides, and you guessed, made completely out of ice!

 

Next to ICE was SNOW (new this year), which offers a kids playground covered in snow, and a giant happy fun slide in the middle!

 

 

Ice runs Nov 16th - Jan 2nd. Check out the website for more details: http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-palms/christmas-in-orlando/index.html

 

Onto the photos!

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Here we are! We have arrived at ICE!

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Just in case we had forgotten where we are going.

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KidTums is ready to play in the snow!

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Here is the map of the resort...as you can see, the place is HUGE! I see where we need to go...upper right hand side...

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While ICE has been an Orlando holiday tradition for many years, this is the fist year it was themed to a licensed character, and this year it was based on the new movie "Shrek the Halls."

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There was even a pre-show for ICE...what we learned... um... it took a lot of ice to make ICE.

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There was also a video explaining the storyline...

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We got our parkas and we were ready to freeze!

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Just in case you forgot what DVD to buy! (and what soda product to drink!) ;)

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The very elaborate ice displays tell the story of the movie...

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There is a lot of "green" in this years version of ICE!

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Finally! A book that was written just for me!

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If you've seen the movie, this scene will make sense, if not, they are blowing up rats like balloons. Got it? Good!

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All the characters from the Shrek universe were represented, and completely carved out of ice. Very cool. (pun totally intended)

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The highlight of ICE is absolutely the ice slides.

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KidTums and Elissa racing down the slides!

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NOTED!

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KidTums goes for the big slide all on her own!

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Ps. Your butt may get wet.

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Yes! Slide POV!!!! (Watch the video above)

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No licking? No eating? Awwww.... :(

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ROBB!!!! DO NOT EAT THE ICE SCULPTURE!!! IT'S NOT A REAL TURKEY!!!!

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SPOILER ALERT!!!! Do not read the next caption if you don't want to know the surprise twist of the movie!

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The dragon eats the three little pigs!

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Just kidding! They all live happily ever after and it's the best Ogre Christmas ever! (I hope we didn't ruin it for you!)

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At the end were some other "traditional Christmasy" displays. To be honest, they felt a little out of place...but they were nice!

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Time to put away the parka and check out the rest of the event.

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What do you think? Will pink look good on me?

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Next up, it was SNOW! This is new for this year...

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KidTums playing in the snow!

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Snow was basically a kids playground covered in snow with a happy fun-slide in the middle. Might not impress visitors from Toronto, but for Central Florida, it's amazing!

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KidTums spent some time playing in the snow, making snowballs, etc....

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The Happy Fun Slide was made us happy, it was fun, and we slid down it. SCORE!

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The Kung Fu Panda theme was nicely done.

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KidTums loved the little slides. Funny how you add snow, and your typical playground structures become something completely different.

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Another look at the SNOW playground.

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If there is one thing we learned from getting to and from the ICE and SNOW buildings, is that Gaylord Palms could put on an awesome Halloween Haunt! =)

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This was the one thing we felt didn't quite "work" for the event. Not only were there no restrooms, but they also had a "no re-entry" policy. And anyone with kids knows that no matter how many times you ask them if they need the bathroom ahead of time, they'll always need it later. Unfortunately, our visit to ICE and SNOW was cut short because KidTums needed to use the bathroom, and we weren't allowed back into the event because the only bathrooms were outside the event building. Bummer.

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I love how much they are promoting social media and educating their guests on how to use it. I really wish more parks and events would follow suit.

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That makes two of us! =)

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ICE also featured other up-charge activities, such as making gingerbread cookies!

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Love this! We went on an off-peak day, so this wasn't necessary, but love that it's an option.

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Let's check out the rest of the resort and some of the other Christmas offerings.

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Christmas music and carolers were singing in the main section of the resort.

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The entire resort is fantastic looking! Really reminds me of one of the elaborate Vegas hotels. It was great just walking around as the building is an attraction in itself.

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Little Christmas things were spread out all over.

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More of the cool parts of the hotel! (Can you spot the Coca-Cola bear?)

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YES!!!! My favorite part of the hotel!

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Any place with turtles gets my vote for excellence!

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NOTED!

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No matter where you go in Orlando....Disney is always watching you!

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Hooray! The wand is back! I'll alert the Disney fanboys!

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KidTums even sent an email to Santa. She asked for a million dollars and 42 My Little Pony toys. Santa said it would be in her stocking. SCORE!!!!

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Ooooh! New hotness coming to the Gaylord Palms in 2012! We will be back to check this out!

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It was time for us to head out. Overall, ICE is a really good alternative to visiting the "big parks" over the holidays, especially if you're looking for a change of pace. As for the locals, be sure to check online for discounts (the admission cost is kinda pricey) but there seemed to be deals for people who have park passes.

 

This will absolutely be a holiday tradition for us, as how often do you get to see snow in Central Florida?

Edited by robbalvey
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So the slides curve a bit then straighten out? There aren't any twisty slides?

 

I swear, I would pass by a big green road sign that said "Gaylord Palms" at least twice a week. The name looked so familiar! It was always on the tip of my tongue...

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^There were two sides of slides, they looked identical. The side that was open had two 'full size' slides that curved a tiny bit before straightening out and one child's slide that just went down and was about 2/3 of the height.

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^It certainly seemed like a really nice resort to stay at! Lots of food and entertainment options, plus more going in for next year.

 

I think I would have enjoyed it more had we not been so jaded from the Japanese and Chinese Ice Houses.

 

Anyone remember our visit to the Ice House at Floraland in China??

 

Jeff revisits his youth...300+ years ago

 

Here's a video on the Ice Slide in China.

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The bathroom thing is completely mind blowing! Besides that, looks like an interesting event. Knowing what the Opryland hotel charges just to drive through their parking lot to look at Christmas lights, I am sure this event wasn't cheap!

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The Gaylord is a beautiful Resort that I've always felt was a little underrated in the Orlando area. I've been to ICE in previous years but this years version with the Shrek Characters and the Kung Fu Panda playground look like a much better version of the event. Great report guys!

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I stayed at the Gaylord Opryland earlier this year and the hotel itself is amazing with the gardens and eateries. A little pricey to eat, but hey, it wasn't my dime. The rooms were your standard Hilton type rooms, kinda small and not overly elaborate, but they were nice.

 

The Shrek theme adds an extra something to the event that seemed to be lacking in years past. I too question the restroom and re-entry policy. I know they like to keep the line moving so to speak but one would think at the very least a quick exit midway to the "outhouses" and back in would be acceptable.

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Awesome TR! This seems like a must do if you have a kid and you are in the area... Although being from Buffalo I cannot imagine paying to see snow. Looks fun for those in warm climates though.

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I stayed at the Gaylord Opryland earlier this year and the hotel itself is amazing with the gardens and eateries. A little pricey to eat, but hey, it wasn't my dime. The rooms were your standard Hilton type rooms, kinda small and not overly elaborate, but they were nice.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to stay at the Opryland Hotel. The conservatories/gardens is one of my favorite places in the world (especially at night), and it looks like the ones at the Gaylord Palms look very similar.

 

I'm thinking of going to Orlando one day next week just to hang out for awhile and maybe visit the Gaylord Palms for a couple hours to check it out. ICE looks neat, but I lived in Michigan for 25 years and I'm really not keen on experiencing ice and snow ever again (even in a controlled environment). I moved to Florida to get away from that crap.

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A friend of mine at the office checked out Ice at the Gaylord in Dallas over Thanksgiving--looked pretty much the same as the Orlando version.

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Looks interesting. Two questions, do you think the Shrek theme added anything to the event? And I this contained in a specialized structure, a tent, or just an extremely air conditioned "normal" space?

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