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Photo TR: ICE! 2015 at the Gaylord Palms Resort


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Each year during the holiday season the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, FL transforms a portion of its convention space into a special offering called ICE!. The convention space is sectioned off and climate controlled to allow giant blocks of ice to be brought in, carved and colored to create a heavily themed walk through experience made almost entirely out of the solid blocks of namesake ice. Each year the space takes on a new story or theme, with this year's theme being "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

 

The artistry behind each year's offering is incredible and immersive, and while I don't go every year (mostly because the experience aside from the theme is almost entirely the same each time), I try to revisit every few years, particularly with first-time visitors to experience it through new eyes. This time around, the first-timer was my fiancee, so it was definitely worth checking out!

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The giant atrium of the Gaylord Palms is dressed up for the holidays with hanging lights and a giant Christmas tree. A Cirque Dreams show is presented on a small stage for guests of the hotel and ICE! to enjoy.

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In addition to the main attraction of ICE!, the holiday village inside features snow tubing, a merchandise shop, a meet and greet with Santa and a gingerbread-decorating experience.

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That's right folks... This isn't like Madame Tussaud's where you can touch the figures. To preserve the ice, Gaylord Palms asks its guests to be hands off (as well as tongues off).

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The event is sponsored by Pepsi... But we won't fault them for it.

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Time to head in!

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Almost everything in this room has been carefully constructed with ice.

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Pretty amazing stuff!

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They even have an ice bar inside!

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The level of detail is incredible!

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Portals made of ice help transition guests between segments of the story.

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And there's room for wackiness too!

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Some of the rooms have huge setups like this one!

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I could barely keep up!

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One of the signature elements of ICE! is the inclusion of ice slides that you glide down while sitting on your parka.

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It's huge!

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The Frostbite Factory, where guests can see ice being carved firsthand.

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And so marks the end of the story, which leads to...

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The room glows in different colors.

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And here you can see ice sculptors from China working on new pieces for the experience.

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A cool side-by-side example of how un-carved ice can become a sculpted work of art.

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Some more works in progress...

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And more.

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The finale is a clear sculpture depicting the Nativity.

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It is quite impressive!

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Going back in for one more round!

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Lots of things to see here!

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We were both "blown away" by the experience!

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Another sculpture being actively worked on during our visit.

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In case you get a runny nose from the cold...

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And if you have extra time, you can pay a little more to go snow tubing!

 

There's still time to check out ICE! this year at Gaylord Palms--I highly recommend it! If not this year, give it a shot next year when it returns with a new theme!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I've always been curious for events like this just how often they have to refresh the displays. I know the rooms are held at freezing temperatures but I feel like even then they won't hold they shape and would, at the very least, have to be touched up a bunch.

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Amazing set up! Thanks for sharing all of your visit there.

 

I sure wish something like this was done here in Vancouver. There's so many buildings

available (mostly) off-season on the PNE site, it could be done in any of them.

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Ice looks amazing! I work at Chill at the Queen Mary down in Long Beach, California. We have the same type of event, so its cool to compare our ice sculptures. I think Chill's ice tubing slides are a bit better because it is included with admission and you can even get some airtime with the double dip.

 

Very nice report!

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I did the ICE exhibit at the Gaylord Palms a few years back and had a good time but haven't really felt the need to experience it again. If I remember correctly the tubing used to be inside the exhibit and was included when I went, kind of sucks that it's a separate ticket now.

 

Maybe I will check this out again sometime in the future with the kids when they're a bit older, they'd probably appreciate it so it might be fun with them. I will say the Gaylord Palms is a really cool property, ICE is probably worth it just to go take a stroll through that hotel and grab lunch. Although I do remember being slightly annoyed that they charged like $20 to park at the hotel, do they still do that? Huge gigantic empty lot and they want $20 for me to come in and grab lunch, lame.

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^Unfortunately the parking is still extremely high to park for the day at Gaylord Palms (I believe it was $20) and they do not validate parking for visiting ICE!.

 

As for bringing the kids when they are a little older, I've seen guests of about 4 and up in attendance, and everyone always seems to be having a good time, even at such a young age.

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Yeah, I get parking fees at places with limited space in big cities n such and for valet, but the Palms has a huge lot out in the middle of nowhere that always seems to be empty. I've always wanted to stay there for a weekend since it's a beautiful property in a great location but every time I find a good room rate I remember it's gonna cost an extra $60 to park for the weekend so I just move on elsewhere. I don't know if that makes me a cheapskate for dismissing the place over a $20 parking fee but when most every other major resort in town doesn't charge to park it kind of seems unnecessary.

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