Last night TPR was invited to attend a preview of this year's Christmas at Gaylord Palms including the annual spectacle, ICE! For guests across the globe, but especially for the more local guests, getting a chance to see ice sculptures in Florida is a pretty rare thing. And with each year and new theme, ICE! has become more and more impressive. The formula may be the same (the general layout of the rooms starts to become familiar after you've visited a few years in a row), but the level of detail and the innovation found inside of this chilled space is incredible. I'd go as far as to say that this is the best year I've experienced in all of the years I've been going to ICE! The Polar Express lends itself to this kind of event and the story is perfectly recreated in sculpted form.
The ice slides continue to thrill and the classic nativity finale marks a beautiful closing to the experience... Once that you can revisit as many times as you want as long as you don't leave the entry/exit corridor. It should be noted that this is a much colder experience than many will be prepared for. Ski caps and gloves are highly recommended to allow you to enjoy the rest of ICE! without having to leave due to frostbite.
Outside of ICE! itself is the Alpine Village, home to several more experiences including snow tubing, Santa's Snow Throw and Photos with Santa. Beyond the Alpine Village in the Gaylord Palms' atrium is the #LIT Light Show (a new experience for 2019), the Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Stage Show (updated since last year) & The Greatest Story, a song filled retelling of the nativity story. Gaylord Palms has even added a themed escape room to this year's event, available to experience for an added charge.
Gaylord Palms has really worked to turn Christmas into a full-blown event with shows and activities in addition to ICE! This year's event is their strongest yet, and it is a great way to kick off your holiday season! The event runs from November 25th, 2019 through January 5th, 2020, so be sure to check it out.
A look at the event map for this year's Christmas at Gaylord Palms.
And a run down of all you can find across the property...
The lights in the atrium are stunning...
New this year is the #LIT Light Show.
The energy this show brings to the atrium is great!
A great start to the evening!
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped returns for 2019 with an updated show.
Several new acts make this year's show even better than its predecessor.
Such fun to watch!
This was impressive!
So much talent!
Another new act in Cirque Dreams Unwrapped.
New this year is The Greatest Story, a musical retelling of the Nativity Story. This, along with #LIT and Cirque Dreams are all free experiences for all guests visiting the Gaylord Palms.
Next up, the Alpine Village!
Santa's Snow Throw allows you to throw actual snowballs at moving targets.
Time to head into ICE!
The experience starts right at the beginning of The Polar Express...
Some classic iconography from the park.
This is incredible!
The detail work here is fantastic!
Let's go deeper in...
One of the best scenes from the book and the movie makes its way to ICE!
Such cool details.
The inside of one of the Polar Express train cars, fully fleshed out in ice.
Love this scene! (And yes, pulling on the beard was acceptable.
This year's ice slide room is the best yet.
Time to slide down!
Well worth the five minutes or so to ride.
A chance for guests to see just how the sculptures are made.
Naughty or nice?
Shelley and I are about to become someone else's presents.
And just like the book/movie ends...
So nears the end of the story.
And here we are.
At the Alpine Sweet Shop you can buy and decorate sweet treats for the holidays.
Mrs. Claus has some stories to share!
Snow Tubing, while not available during our visit is incredibly rare in Florida and this alone makes the experience worth the visit.
Fancy a holiday drink? Look no further.
My personal favorite is their frozen hot chocolate flavor.
Thanks to Gaylord Palms for inviting us to attend on this evening! There is so much to experience during Christmas at Gaylord Palms! We'll already can't wait until next year's events.
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