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Florida Guide > Other Activities

ICE at Gaylords

I know that we go to Florida for sunshine but it is sometimes a pleasure to get really cold.

Every year Gaylord Palms produce ICE, which is a spectacular celebration of ice sculpture on a large scale. The temperature is maintained at 9 degrees Fahrenheit or about – 10 degrees Celsius and that is cold! They advise you to wear long trousers, shoes and gloves but they do provide warm parkas with hoods.

It is quite expensive but you can cut costs by booking online, asking for the over 55s discount and looking for discount codes when you are round and about. We picked up a brochure in Kissimmee Old Town and got a discount for that.

Wheelchairs are available to borrow and they let us borrow it to take my mother across to Gaylords afterwards.

You go in via a few doors and the numbers are controlled by stopping at a couple of short video introductions so once you are inside your really have time and space to see everything.

This year the first room had a train theme and as well as the station there was a train you could walk through. We thought this was spectacular but then we didn’t know what was to come.

The next room had a Dickensian/Edwardian theme and included a domestic theme and a sleigh complete with reindeer. They had thoughtfully provided blankets on the sleigh seat so that you could sit there (briefly) to have a photograph taken. You are allowed to take your own cameras in for this but clearly you might want to check that they will operate at these temperatures. The amount of detail in the interior scene was amazing.

The most elaborate room was the nativity. This had everything: the stable scene with a range of animals, the shepherds, the wise men and an enormous angel. The word “awesome” does get overused sometimes but for this it is appropriate.

The exit is through a frost scene.

Everything is provided. As you leave and take off your parka there are tissues for the inevitable runny nose caused by the change in temperature. Of course you then have the opportunity to buy mementos in the gift shop. The whole experience can last anything from 30 – 60 minutes but probably 20 – 25 minutes actually in the ice rooms is enough as even with the extra coat the fingers, toes and face do get cold.

The whole display takes 8 months to plan and prepare and the most skilful ice carvers are brought over from China to do the work.

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Page added on: 18 December 2006
Viewed 3332 times since 1 September 2008.

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