Trips on a Tank - ICE! at Gaylord Palms

ICE! at Gaylord Palms

This year’s ICE! attraction featuring Dreamworks’ Shrek the Halls was great fun for the whole family. The expert craftsmanship and detail that goes into creating the ICE! exhibit is evident from the very first scene, where Shrek is contemplating how he can “make a Christmas” when he doesn’t know how.

As we progressed through the self-guided tour, we enjoyed seeing the chaos of Shrek, Fiona, and the triplets getting ready to spend their first Christmas together as a family. The next scene brings even more chaos as Donkey leads all of Shrek’s friends to the swamp, driving Shrek crazy. Next, we moved into Shrek and Fiona’s tree-stump home where five thirty-foot ice slides were the highlight of the attraction for the kids. In the tree stump, we also saw the ogre’s Christmas feast, Puss in Boots and Gingy telling their Christmas stories, and all the other swamp friends getting into mischief before Shrek finally ejects the entire clan from the house.

Outside, we catch up to the group as they are walking away, and see Shrek apologizing for losing his temper and inviting his friends back inside for his own version of “The Night Before Christmas,” in which Ogre Claus wishes “a stinky Christmas to all, and to all a gross night.”

The final stop on the tour is a beautiful, life-size nativity scene carved out of crystal-clear ice. This is the ICE! attraction’s signature scene, giving guests an opportunity to reflect on the story behind the season.

The ICE! attraction is kept at a frigid 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Calf-length parkas are available before you enter, and are available in all sizes, including children’s. And hot chocolate is also available at the exit to warm your frozen insides.

It is difficult to describe just what 2 million pounds of carved ice looks like – in fact, I’m not sure you can fully appreciate it unless you experience it for yourself. If you can find time during the busy Christmas season to make the trip over to Orlando to see this breathtaking exhibit, you will certainly not be disappointed.

ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort
6000 W Osceola Parkway
Kissimmee, FL 34746

November 16, 2011 - January 2, 2012
Open daily, including holidays. Hours vary.

ICE! by the Numbers

• ICE! is Florida’s favorite frigid Christmas tradition, with over 20,000 square-feet of frosty 9-degree bliss played out in a winter wonderland of exciting hand-carved sculptures. Also, featuring five 30-foot ice slides and an all-new, awe inspiring tribute to the unforgettable DreamWorks’ Animation TV classic Shrek the Halls.

• 9 degrees, the lowest recorded temperature in Orlando can be found only inside the ICE! tent, the second being January, 1985 when Orlando reached a low of 19 degrees

• ICE! is made up of ten vignettes including the Nativity Scene- the ten themed areas are comprised of nearly 200 independent sculptures

• 2,000,000 pounds of ice is used to create ICE! This is roughly the same weight as three fully loaded 747 airplanes during takeoff.

• More than 5,000 individual blocks of ice are hand-carved and transformed into the “Florida Freezer”

• Four days – the number of days it takes the ICE tent to cool down to a chilly 9 degrees

• 10,000 hours is the approximate amount of man hours spent to carve ICE! totaling more hours than the Earth takes to orbit the Sun

• 40 artisans travel over 7,000 miles from Harbin, China to Kissimmee, Florida to carve ICE! doubling the miles from East to West Coast of the United States

• 14 colors are used throughout the ICE! attraction, including our new Shrek Green

• 1,500 specially LED tube lights are frozen within the ice

• Five, 2-story slides made entirely from ICE!

Frequently Asked Questions

I understand ICE! is 9 degrees… what should I wear?

All guests are provided calf-length, hooded winter coats to keep them warm. They are not exactly the most fashionable coats, but there is safety in numbers -- nearly every visitor borrows one. Coats are available in all sizes, including children and infants and they are made from a special material that ensures a “friction-free” trip down the ICE! Slides.

Do I need boots?

All pathways through the ICE! exhibit are carpeted, and boots are not required. We do, however, recommend wearing comfortable, closed-toe walking shoes.

Is ICE! wheel-chair and stroller accessible?

ICE! is accessible by both wheel chairs and strollers.

May I take photos?

Guests are welcome to bring cameras and take photos of the ICE! attraction. Many of our guests experience a “fogging” of the lens when exiting into warmer temperatures. This, however, usually goes away once the camera warms up. Please check the manufacturer information regarding the cold tolerance of your camera equipment. But let’s face it, our northern cousins have been taking winter photos outdoors for decades.

Can I lick the ice?

Come on...what kind of question is that? Of course you CANNOT lick the ice.

What else is there to do at Gaylord Palms?

ICE! is just one component of our Best of Florida Christmas celebration, kicking off Nov. 20 and running through Jan. 2! Other highlights include:

The Majestic Christmas Tree, perched atop Castillo de San Marcos Fort, towering more than 70 feet above Emerald Plaza.

Four Holiday Shows, including our marquee performance: “Luminescence - A Deeper Meaning”

The Polar Bear Pursuit, a festive family hunt throughout the atriums to spot cleverly hidden polar bears.

Santa Visits, in person or via email.

Gingerbread Decorating with Gingy, the most famous of all gingerbread men. Guests select from two different design options to create a gingerbread cookie family or a complete gingerbread house. Or both! Bring your camera: after the decorating is done, meet Gingy for a photo.

DreamWorks Animation 3D Theater Experience
What do you get when you combine the latest DreamWorks Animation 3D movie release with fantastic themed food and live performances by your favorite characters? It all adds up to an unforgettable experience! Bring your appetite for great food and hair-raising adventure, because you’ll enjoy the brand-new 2011 holiday movie release: Puss In Boots playing in 3D.

ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meals features delectable menu items only an ogre would love. Fairytale photo opps will abound as kids dine with Shrek, Princess Fiona and Puss in Boots, and discover a Magic Fountain bubbling over with chocolate potions.

SNOW! in Orlando? Yes! Celebrate the Winter Festival with Po and the Furious Five in Kung Fu Panda Awesome SNOW!
In addition, guests can enjoy themed decor and holiday lights throughout each of the resort’s three atriums.

Gulf Coast Family Publications - Encouraging families along the Gulf Coast in Pinellas County