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ICE at the Gaylord Palms
Having never visited Florida at Christmas time before the one thing I was determined that we should see this year was ICE at The Gaylord Palms. I had heard good and bad reports of it but was going to make my own mind up. I therefore booked our tickets online using a credit card. We chose to go on a Thursday as we thought it would be less busy than a weekend. A bonus too as it was cheaper and being an over 55 it was cheaper still. One of those time when I don’ t mind admitting my age.
So off we set on a hot and sunny afternoon wearing long trousers, socks and trainers, we both felt distinctly overdressed, however that was what the website had recommended and who were we to ignore the advice. We parked the car after collecting our ticket from the booth and went off to collect our pre-booked tickets. When we entered the foyer there was a display of Christmas wreaths representing all the counties in Florida, quite a display in themselves. As we entered the hall we were given a voucher for hot chocolate after seeing the ICE exhibit and also $2 off the car parking charge of $12.
Tickets collected we joined the very short queue to enter the cold area. After a short introductory talk we collected our bright blue parkas, all included in the ticket price and entered the cold, 9F, approximately -10C, pretty chilly to say the least. One thing we quickly discovered the parkas had no pockets and we did not have any gloves so our hands did get cold, so the advice is take some gloves.
Our first impression was WOW, is that really ice, it was colourful and realistic but oh so cold to touch. There were animals, a candy store with a gingerbread house which you could go into and the children loved it. Then there was the nativity scene with the Angel Gabriel watching over the tableau. We were certainly impressed. There was an enormous Santa and you could go and sit on his knee, we both did this and had our photo taken. Then you come to Santa and his reindeer, here you can go on a slide. I chickened out of this but Brian went up and down he slid on his parka, photo taken to prove it. We had then reached the end and teddy was there to wave goodbye.
You come out through the shop and there was a very impressive display of Christmas decorations to purchase, all sizes and prices.
After this we went off to collect our hot chocolate in the atrium and watch a short recital of Christmas songs. We could have stayed to watch the tree being lit but decided to go back another day for that and perhaps enjoy a meal at the same time.
All-in-all I would recommend a visit, perhaps not every year but then if we had people staying with us who had not been before I would go again next year.
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