Monday night I joined other local bloggers for a sneak peek at this year’s Christmas at Gaylord Palms, which includes the centerpiece ICE!, as well as a new show, Cirque Dreams, and I have to say this year’s celebrations are very entertaining.
We started the evening with a short performance by the singing group, The Mistletones, who will be stationed in the Alpine Village area by ICE! and the snow tubing.
Then we were treated to the new Cirque Dreams UnWrapped show, which encompassed humor and acrobatics, both aerial and on the ground. I was constantly being amazed at what a human body can do watching the performers. This is a lovely show and most welcome addition to Christmas at Gaylord Palms.
Finally, it was time to grab the parkas and check out this year’s edition of ICE!. The theme for this year’s carvings is the classic holiday fable, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Just past the first room of ice sculptures is the ICE! bar called On The Blocks, which offers drinks for an additional charge. Photo ops in here are free though, so make sure you snap a selfie at the “I Froze My Blocks Off” sign.
A little ways further brings you to the ice slide room where kids of all ages can climb to the top and descend an actual slide made of ice. Whee!
As the story ends, and you wander past the chimneys made of ice, you enter The Frostbite Factory, where actual artisans are carving sculptures as you watch.
The final room of ice sculptures, as usual, is dedicated to the Nativity sclupted out of clear ice. It is back lit by a gold light that brightens and dims as you watch. I love seeing the creativity of ICE! but I’m so cold by the end that I’m not sure I can fully appreciate the Nativity, but it is beautiful.
Once warmed up, many headed for hills to so some indoor Alpine Snow Tubing. It’s a lot of fun, but I had a hard time getting out of the inner tube at the bottom. I did however have as much fun taking photos at the snow tube photo op nearby. I also got to meet Gingy, the Gingerbread, and have my picture taken with it. Santa was also in a nearby room to meet families.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms is now open to everyone, and will be through January 3, 2016. Cirque Dreams and the lighting of the lobby Christmas tree is free to all. ICE! is $29.99 for adults/$28.99 seniors/$16.99 children ages 4-12 if purchased at the box office. ICE! plus the Snow Tubing combo tickets are $44.99 adults/$41.99 seniors/$33.99 kids. You can save on all of these by purchasing online and using promo code FLR15 (for Florida residents) or MRICE15 (for Marriott Rewards members). If you really like ICE!, there are season passes available, as well, for $55 adult/$35 child or $90 adult with parking. Self-parking at Gaylord Palms is $20 per vehicle.
If you visit ICE!, you are loaned a very warm parka with a hood, but I would recommend bringing gloves and a scarf, since the rooms are chilled to 9 degrees to keep the sculptures from melting. If you take photos, keep in mind the cold will also affect your camera, so stick it up your sleeve every now and then to warm it up.
For more information on ICE!, Cirque Dreams, or any of the other Christmas at Gaylord Palms events, visit christmasatgaylordpalms.com.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Gaylord Palms to review its Christmas offerings, including ICE!. As always, our opinions are honest, and our own.
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