ICE! featuring Frosty the Snowman: A classic Christmas tale becomes Orlando’s most unique (and coldest!) holiday event
ICE! 2013 featuring Frosty the Snowman opened November 23 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee. I was invited by Orlando Informer to attend the media premier, and I’m excited to tell you about my first-ever tour of ICE!
Before previewing ICE!, we were directed to the Emerald Plaza area of the resort. The beautifully decorated and magnificently lit 54-foot tall Christmas tree was a wonderful backdrop to the very entertaining Luminescence live stage show.
[wptouch target=”non-mobile”]Remember, you can click any image to view it full-screen. And don’t miss the complete photo gallery with 58 new full-screen images at the bottom of the post.
During the thirty-minute Luminescence show, the band and singers performed various Christmas songs that put guests in the holiday spirit. Parts of the Luminescence show featured breathtaking aerial acrobatics in addition to the tree lights flashing in sync with the music. My favorite part of the show was Charlie, the drummer in the Sky. His drum set was positioned high above the stage, and he was harnessed and lifted up into the air to play.
Overall, this entertaining stage show helped set a festive, holiday mood and is something all your family members can enjoy.
After the Luminescence show, we were directed to Holiday Hall in the lower level of the convention center to experience ICE! featuring Frosty the Snowman. Transitioning through the ICE! entryway under the brightly lit marquee, we walked through the queue area, which had various screens playing from the story of Frosty the Snowman.
Further into the queue we were shown a short video explaining the event’s history. This is the 11th year of ICE! at the Gaylord Palms. The talented ICE! artisans are from Harbin, China and travel to Kissimmee to perform their magic on blocks of ice. Three types of ice were used in the exhibit: clear, white and colored. Three ice factories produce the 6,500 blocks of ice needed for each show. Each block of ice measures 10” x 21” x 42” and weighs about 350 pounds.
After the informative video, we entered as smaller groups into the coat area. We were provided coats to wear that are available in all sizes to accommodate small children to larger adults. The temperature of the exhibit area is 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Tip: Consider bringing your own gloves and hats, as they are not provided — and make sure you’re wearing socks and closed-toe shoes! (Hats, gloves, and socks are available for purchase in the gift shop area prior to entering the exhibit.)
After donning our coats, we had the opportunity to have our photo taken in front of a green screen that became a scene from Frosty the Snowman when printed. It makes a great souvenir, which guests can purchase after the ICE! exhibit (photo displayed at the bottom of the post).
At this point, we walked through the door to ICE! We were met with a blast of cold air along with the first of many impressive and beautiful sculptures depicting the story of Frosty the Snowman.
The audio from the movie coincided with the many scenes throughout the exhibit.
One scene where Frosty and the children march “through the streets of town, right to a traffic cop” includes four awesome ice slides that guests of all ages can enjoy. Another scene where Karen and Santa are kneeling after Frosty had melted in the greenhouse was very poignant. A lighting effect featured Karen remembering how happy she and Frosty were together, much like the beloved movie.
Although the final scene with Frosty and Santa heading off to the North Pole is the end of the movie, it’s not the end of ICE!
The next room, Frostbite Factory, had more wonderful ice carvings and explanations of how the ice sculptures were made, including a live demonstration by several ICE! artisans.
The final sculpture room depicted a larger-than-life Nativity scene in clear ice. It was incredibly beautiful, and the detail on each carving was stunning. Keep in mind these photos barely capture this awe-inspiriting room.
After returning our coats to the attendants, we picked up our Frosty the Snowman Scene souvenir photo taken earlier. It’s $25.00 for just the print, $35.00 for a print and a digital copy on a USB key.
In the gift shop area, I purchased a T-shirt depicting ICE! with Frosty the Snowman for $16.00. I also visited the other features of ICE! including rooms designated for meeting Santa and Gingy’s gingerbread decorating.
ICE! featuring Frosty the Snowman was a wonderful experience. Frosty the Snowman is such a beloved holiday classic, and for this brief time, I felt like I was immersed in the movie. It brought back memories of when I was a child and we watched the movie every December in our family room. I thoroughly enjoyed each larger-than-life scene and the amazing detail that the artisans were able to sculpt.
I recommend that you and your family make ICE! a part of your Central Florida holiday tradition — there is truly nothing like it anywhere else in Florida!
ICE! is open daily from November 23, 2013 through January 5, 2014. The exhibit starts at 10:00am and closing hours vary so check the calendar for specific dates. Coats are provided, hats and gloves are recommended, and long pants and closed-toe shoes are required.
General admission pricing is $29.99 for adults (ages 13+) , $28.99 for seniors (ages 55+), and $16.99 children (ages 4-12); kids ages 3 and under are free. Visit the official ICE! site to learn more: www.ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.
More tips for making the most out of your trip to ICE!
1. Buy your tickets in advance and try your best to figure out how to get a discount, as there are many available (especially in November and early December). Promos can be found on the ICE! page at GaylordHotels.com, on their Twitter account, and on their Facebook page.
2. Avoid the weekends. ICE! brings in a huge local crowd, and of course the local crowd tends to show up on weekends. To be able to experience this event with minimal waiting, try to go during the week — and as always, the earlier in the season you go, the better.
3. You gotta pay for parking. As of this posting it’s $18 for self parking and $24 for valet. The only way to get out of the on-site parking fee is to eat a full meal at one of Gaylord Palms’ full-service restaurants — or have someone drop you off.
4. Try to schedule your visit when you can enjoy all the complimentary entertainment in their main atrium. If you visit ICE! and stay for the Luminescence Christmas show and have time to stroll around the resort — making your visit a several-hour affair — then all of a sudden $100 for your family’s admission and $18 for parking doesn’t feel quite as bad. Keep in mind that the free entertainment does not run every day, so be sure to call 407-586-4423 to confirm the show schedule.
ICE! 2013 featuring Frosty the Snowman – photo gallery
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