Christmas At Gaylord Palms Presents ICE! And More
It’s so hot in Central Florida during the holidays, even when it’s cold it’s still hot because the sun will burn a hole right through you. One of the Christmas events we get simply giddy over each year is Christmas At Gaylord Palms. This year they have ICE! and more. It is a multi attraction event in which you can choose to partake in all or just certain aspects for different ticket prices. The theme of this year’s frozen wonderland is T’was the Night Before Christmas and like each year before, the ice sculptures are a colorful wonderland pulling you deeper and deeper into the story.
The night I visited was a media event and we began with watching Cirque Dreams Unwrapped. I’m sure you are familiar with Cirque du Soleil and this is a shortened show you can watch numerous times a day all week at Gaylord Palms. You do not have to purchase tickets, it is a free show.
The whimsically dressed Cirque characters will both humor and awe you as they perform. There are twins who will perform a balancing act you’ll have to see to believe. Witness an aerial act both beautiful and terrifying. And the Jesters will have you laughing with some audience participation. More than one local blogger was pulled up on stage but I was sworn to photo secrecy. My favorite part of Cirque Dreams is the backdrop, the huge 54ft Christmas tree that climbs all the way to the top of the hotel glass ceiling in the St. Augustine atrium.
We then made our way to the Alpine Village for some refreshments and tubing fun. Yes you heard me right, grab a tube and down the slide you go. Jason and Spencer probably went down these hills 20 times. They are covered in powdery snow (not soap y’all, snow. And you know how I feel about soap snow) and those tubes move fast. I just wasn’t going to try it because of my fear of falling feeling but Tim and Nate did it and had a blast. This is an separate ticket price at $18.99 all ages unlimited runs. I’d say if it’s your vacation and money isn’t a big issue to just have at it. Have a good time. And for locals, well, we don’t get a lot of chances to snow tube. On certain nights after 6pm you can take part in Cosmic Snow Tubing where the lights go dark and the flashing lights get bright. Blast the Holiday tunes and you’ve got yourself a party!
Now it’s time to talk about ICE! and their colder than cold temperatures. Here’s what you need to know. They tell you it’s going to be 9 degrees and a lot of you are probably used to that. They give you a huge parka and if you are smart you should bring some gloves and it is required you wear closed toed shoes. Another thing, your cell phone will die quickly in the cold so keep it warm by putting it as close to your body as you can. If you have a DSL camera just be aware it will fog up. Consider bringing a few Kleenexes. You’re going to be cold, you are standing still in 9 degree weather.
Now that you’ve entered ICE! prepare to be wowed. It’s so mesmerizing. I never realized how ice could be colored and carved so precisely. T’was the Night Before Christmas begins with the words carved out and the pictures from the book carved right out in front of you. Throughout the many rooms it’s the same however one room is more exciting than most. The slide room makes both parents and kids alike squeal in delight. You can climb up the stairs and then slide down the icy slide (on your parka covered bum of course) as many times as you’d like. One of the rooms has actual ice carvers working on sculptures so that you can see how they are made. And the final room is crystal clear ice sculpted into the Nativity. This room is the same every year.
There are many other attractions at Christmas at Gaylord Palms. They have a Build a Bear Workshop set up on site so you can purchase a “bear” of your choice and maybe deck it out in a Gaylord Palms t-shirt. You can have your picture taken with Santa Claus or make reservations to eat breakfast with Mrs. Claus. You can purchase tickets for ICE! at Gaylord Palms and read more about the activities offered. This is a Central Florida Christmas event that can’t be missed.
*I received media tickets to this event in order to provide review. All opinions are my own.