Friday night (11/09/12), CitySurfing Orlando was invited to a media preview of this year’s ICE! attraction at Gaylord Palms Hotel.
The evening started with food and drinks in the St. Augustine Fort area of the hotel’s atrium. There were carved meats, decorate your own gingerbread cookies, and even a special drink created for the event.
Called the ICE-tini, it consisted of cinnamon-infused whiskey, apple cider, and cranberry juice, with a fresh cranberry for a garnish. I have to admit I’m not usually one for whiskey-based drinks, but this was pretty good.
The media then was treated to a preview of the new Luminescence stage show, featuring the vocal harmonies of The Edge Effect singing Christmas carols. The singers and musicians sounded very polished and were very talented.
The show was also enhanced visually by the addition of an aerial acrobat and a drum ring that lowered from the ceiling – as the drummer was playing. Great visuals!
The evening finished up with a tour through ICE!
ICE! is over 20,000-square-feet of hand-carved ice sculptures, created by a team of 40 artisans from Harbin, China. It is set in a tent kept at a chilly 9 degrees.
The majority of the floor space is an all-new tribute to the DreamWorks Animation TV Christmas special, Merry Madagascar.
The sculptures tell the story of how Alex the Lion and his friends saved Christmas after Santa and his reindeer crash onto the island of Madagascar. As guests wander from room to room, colored ice sculptures re-enact scenes from the show.
In the middle of the tour’s story is a room of actual slides made from ice, that guests of all ages can slide down. It’s a lot of fun.
The final room in ICE! is a Nativity recreation made of clear ice, with ice candlebras and a large ice angel standing watch.
Admission is $29.99 during peak times (mostly weekends and the last two weeks of the year), and $22.99 during non-peak times for adults; $15.99 peak and $13.99 non-peak for children age 4-12.
Discounted admission can be had by buying in advance online. There, adult tickets are $27.99 (peak)/$22.99 (non-peak); children are $13.99 all dates.
ICE! runs now through January 01, 2013, including holidays.
Here are some more photos from the evening:
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