When thinking of Orlando the last thing to come to mind is probably ice. But each year at this time the Gaylord Palms brings in two million pounds of ice and world renowned ice carvers from China to create a winter wonderland in the tourism center of the Sunshine State. Their ICE festivities have become a winter tradition for many families.
Shrek on Ice
A few months ago I wrote that the Gaylord Hotels and DreamWorks® had formed an alliance, which would bring popular DreamWorks® characters into the resorts. The “kick off” event of the alliance is the spectacular ICE, held at each hotel. At the fabulous Gaylord Palms the theme this year is Shrek the Halls, a magical story told in 4 ½ acres of spectacular ice sculptures.
Walking through ICE is breathtaking- and not just because the area is kept at 9ºF. Sculptures of all sizes draw you close to marvel at the detail; signs and narrative tell the story you are seeing.
About half way through ICE are the ice slides. Five slides, created from ice, beckon young and old to take a quick slip.
The most magnificent carvings, however, aren’t of Shrek and the crew, but appear at the end. Carved of crystal clear ice a full Nativity scene is nothing short of awesome.
Tips for ICE:
- Wear jeans, warm socks, close toed shoes and a sweatshirt.
- Bring gloves or mittens.
- A coat is not required as the resort provides heavy parkas- which you must wear if you want to use the slides.
- Photos are allowed in ICE, though your camera may take a while to thaw out afterward.
- A souvenir photo is taken as you enter ICE; option to purchase.
Kung Fu Panda’s Awesome Snow
If snow isn’t a natural occurrence where you live your kids will love this! 130 tons of freshly made snow, playground equipment and a carnival slide will keep the kids entertained for the full hour. Po, the Kung Fu Panda, leads you into snow and after it’s over you’ll have your chance to get your picture taken with him (option to purchase).
Tips for Snow:
- This event is best done after ICE as the room is kept at a “crisp” 55ºF.
- Wear water resistant or water proof shoes.
- You will be wet when you leave.
Gingerbread Decorating with Gingy
Step inside Gingy’s house and decorate some gingerbread! You can choose from a small gingerbread house ornament, a big gingerbread house, or a 6 piece gingerbread family. Each kit comes with everything you need to create a tasty treat or keepsake. And Gingy will come in to check your artistic abilities and pose for photos (option to purchase + use your own camera).
Puss in Boots 3D
Inside Holiday Hall is a 3D theater, featuring DreamWorks® newest movie, Puss in Boots. You’ll walk the red carpet, have your photo taken with Puss himself (photo included in movie fee) and be treated to you choice of snacks at the incredible snack bar.
After the movie go on the “Quest for the Magic Bean” throughout the Gaylord Palms (pick up your quest form from the DreamWorks® concierge by the lobby). When you complete your quest a prize awaits!
The snack bar is fabulous! Don’t eat before coming to the movie.
Join Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots for breakfast. Meet the Town Crier to become an honorary ogre and earn your ogre ears. Taste swamp juice and enjoy ogre waffles. You’ll also get one-on-one time with the characters to pose for pictures.
Don’t forget your camera!
More Fun Activities
Character Meet & Greet The merry friends from Madagascar are here too! Check your Character Passport for meet & greet times.
Polar Bear Pursuit There are 20 Coca-Cola Polar Bears hidden throughout the Gaylord Palms. Find 10 to enter a sweepstakes to win a Gaylord Palms VIP getaway.
Luminescence and Family Traditions Musical Revues Take a seat at the stage under the giant Christmas tree and enjoy live music, dancing and even some breathtaking stunts!
Meet Santa Have you been naughty or nice? Santa knows. And he’ll let you whisper your wish list in his ear.
Pampering at the Gaylord Palms
While you don’t have to stay at the Gaylord Palms to experience ICE, the Christmassy DreamWorks Packages are a great deal and include many of the events for a single price. Staying at the Gaylord Palms is a treat in itself, with spacious rooms, large bathrooms, comfy robes for mom & dad and fun DreamWorks® amenity packs for the kids.
Each of the four Gaylord Resort is hosting it’s own ICE celebration. The other Gaylord resorts are the Opryland in Nashville, the Texan near Dallas and the National in Washington DC. Have you been to ICE at any of the Gaylord properties? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Jody Halsted shares her
family’s travel adventures
at Family Rambling.
All images by Jody Halsted. Family Rambling would like to thank Gaylord Palms for hosting us at ICE.