Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Each year Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention Centre hosts “ICE” as part of their Christmas programme and it is really worth seeing. This is the second time that we have been and most of the display was completely new to us so it was well worth it.
First the tips for your visit.
• It seems obvious but dress warmly. They do provide nice warm parkas with hoods but it is important to have proper shoes. It is really really cold in there! Gloves are a really good idea but they should not be too thick if you want to use your camera.
• Book online and save some money. Even if there are problems booking on line and you phone in you will still get the discount.
• There are discounts for seniors as well as for children so don’t be too sensitive if you are asked how old you are.
• Try to go on an off peak time so that it isn’t too crowded and you don’t have to queue.
The theme for 2010 was the North Pole. I thought the most impressive scene was the one with a polar bear and her cub but also liked the Eskimo fishing through a hold in the ice next to his igloo.
The biggest innovation this year was the life sized carousel. Everyone enjoyed this as they had provided saddles and seats so that there were great opportunities to sit on the sculptures for photographs.
From there you go on to the traditional ice slides. There are four slides this year adorned with sculptures of Santa’s reindeers.
The final ice passage leads to the Nativity Scene a massive scene of the stable the Holy Family, shepherds, wise men and the stable animals. Quite amazing!
You then exit to the warmer area of the gift shop but you can choose to warm up, re-don the parka and return to the freezing area for another look.
If you haven’t been to Gaylords before then it is well worth taking the short walk to the atrium of the hotel. I won’t spoil the surprise of telling you what you will see there but it is truly awesome.
If you have a meal in one of the restaurants then you don’t have to pay for car parking if you get the restaurant to stamp your parking ticket. Our favourite is Vila de Flora which is a buffet restaurant which has a different European theme each night. There is an all inclusive price which includes soft drinks and tea coffee. There is a wonderful variety of food to choose from but do make sure that you leave room for a sweet at the end. They are wonderful!
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