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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Ice in Orlando ?

It is eighty degrees outside, the sun is shining, people are wearing shorts and tee-shirts – so why are we dressed in thick padded coats which dare as cosy as the warmest quilt? Answer - we are about to enter the fabulous Ice Show at Gaylord Palms! !

The show takes place every year and runs from around mid-November until the beginning of January and is a ‘must see’ if you are in Orlando during that time. There is a small admission charge but it is so worth it.

A forty strong team from China who are all experts in ice sculpture come over to Orlando to build the most spectacular display in, not only different colours of ice, but different types of ice. Nearly two million pounds of it. Every piece is hand carved and it takes weeks to put together. Before you enter the show, there is a short video presentation which describes how the displays are constructed, what ice is used for which part and how colour is added. Then it is off to be kitted out in a snuggly coat, through the doorway and into an ice wonderland. The temperature inside is 9 degrees Fahrenheit so well below freezing. Closed-in shoes are recommended to keep your feet warm, the coats have hoods so a hat is not necessary but a pair of gloves would be useful as the coats do not have pockets for your hands. The cold is not unbearable but it can feel chilly!

However you start to forget the cold when you see the amazing sculptures. Amongst the displays we saw were a train, a huge sundae constructed of different colours of ‘ice’ cream, an igloo, a team of dancing penguins and an amazing ‘gingerbread’ house. Perhaps the most awesome of all was a nativity scene with not only a crib scene set in a stable but shepherds, kings, animals and angels.

There are lots of photo opportunities and not least at the ice slide. Made completely of ice – naturally- it resembles a water chute but frozen! Well supervised but not taking anything away from the long thrilling slide down to the bottom. There is a scaled down version for the little ones - but there quite a few competing with the grown ups to be the fastest to finish.

Once you are out into the warmth again, there is a hot chocolate drink and marshmallows to look forward to. Then you can try your ice-skating skills at the huge outdoor ice skating rink. How strange to be ice-skating in the Sunshine state!

Tickets for the show are available online or from the ticket office at Gaylord Palms. This really is an event not to be missed and something completely different to tell everyone about back home.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 25 June 2008
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