Prepare for the coolest winter on record as Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee presents ICE!, a walk-through Christmas attraction hand-carved from nearly TWO MILLION pounds of ice.
Fueled by a dose of holiday spirit and tempered by a cool pinch of irony, sunny Central Florida is home to one of the nation’s most spectacular (and unusual) art attractions, now in its seventh year. Who says the holidays in Florida are all about sunshine and palm trees, anyway?
Inside a simulated winter environment, guests are immersed in a whimsical wonderland of larger-than-life, three-dimensional hand-carved ice monuments and scenes, including fantastic frozen creations, slippery ice speed slides, and heart-warming holiday vistas. As for the chill, ICE! is kept at a frigid 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
This year, ICE! will take guests on a trip to the North Pole. And, tag along on Santa’s journey, beginning with an encounter with Old Man Winter, through an arctic forest, and into the middle of a Christmas Carnival, complete with a life-size carousel! Next, chill-seekers will be able to explore Santa’s ornament room, climb onto his oversized knee (an unusual photo op!), and watch as he and reindeer take flight.
The attraction’s signature scene—a life-size Nativity carved completely of crystal-clear ice—has been described as one of the most breathtaking depictions of the birth of Christ. Dramatic lighting and a stirring narrative track give guests an opportunity to pause and reflect on the story behind the season.
The award-winning Kissimmee attraction is carved by a team of 40 artisans from Harbin, China. The talented artisans spend more than a month in Kissimmee creating this one-of-a-kind attraction. Harbin is best known for its annual International Ice and Snow Festival, where more than 2,000 sculptors annually carve a 100-acre walk-through ice park, using ice from the nearby Songhua River.
ICE! is open daily from November 14, 2009 – January 3, 2010, including holidays.
ICE! 2009 at Gaylord Palms, Orlando, Florida, USA
Olympus SP570 UZ (a bit surprised it worked at 9 degrees Fahrenheit !)