The Holidays Are Coming

During the holiday season there is so much to do in Orlando, wether you are a local, or a visitor.  It really is a magical time to visit, with the beautifully over sized decorations, theme park extras, beaches to visit and countless malls to shop in.  However, if you want to feel a chill in the air and experience a real Christmas atmosphere, complete with snow, there is no better place in the Sunshine State to visit than the Gaylord Palms for their annual ICE exhibition!

What Is ICE at Gaylord Palms

ICE is an exhibition displaying ice sculptures within the Gaylord Palms Hotel.  Each year around 2 million pounds of ice is delivered to the location, which is kept at a cool nine degrees, yes you read that right, NINE DEGREES, in Florida!

The Ice is hand carved into ice sculptures by artisans from Harbin, which is a city in China.  The Artisans from Harbin work in the freezing conditions to recreate some of the most spectacular Christmas scenes, in white, color and crystal.  I can only think that they are acclimatized to these extreme conditions, due to Harbin’s geological location, neighboring Siberia.  This results in the freezing cold winds blowing over from Siberia, causing the temperature to drop below freezing for almost half of the year.  Each year the talented bunch from Harbin head on over to Gaylord Palms to work their magic on the 2 million pounds of ice.

Where and How Does All That Ice Arrive

The ice arrives over a three week period via 36 truck loads!  The ice is transported in pallets in refridgeratored trucks, which is then moved to it’s final destination by forklifts.

Can you guess what happens to all that ice come January?  Well we will give you a clue.  They don’t have refridgerators large enough to store it!!  But they do have car parks, imagine how quickly that lot melts in the Florida sun!

2017 Theme

Each year the carvings take on a different theme, previously they have showcased many popular themes, including; Charlie Brown, Twas The Night Before Christmas and The Nutcracker.  This year the theme will be ‘Christmas Around The World’.

Media Event

Total Orlando attended a media event last week for the up and coming opening of ICE.  To say I was a little cold is an understatement, although they do provide guests with a big thick blue coat, so don’t let the fact that it is barely nine degrees put you off, we promise you will be well wrapped up.

The artisans had just arrived and had just commenced work on the hundreds of thousands of blocks of ice.  By the time ICE opens on  November 21st they will have recreated the standard blocks of ice into awe inspiring works of art, including;

  • Five Ice Slides including a Two Story Slide
  • Interactive Christmas Displays
  • Scenes of Holiday Celebrations From Around The World including Flags from Around The World
  • The Frostbite Factory
  • Nativity Scene


Dates and Ticket Prices

November 21st 2017 through January 7th 2018.

Prices start from $ 14.99 child, $ 29.99 adult.  There are multiple passes available depending on what you and your family would like to experience including; silver, gold and platinum.

Open daily from 10:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. depending on the day.  Please check on day of planned visit.

The ICE sculptures are just a part of what Gaylord Palms offer over the festive season.  There is so much more on offer including activities and entertainment, in fact enough so to spent the whole day there.

Other Activities Available

  • Build a Bear Scavenger Hunt – NEW
  • Gingerbread Decorating Corner
  • Snow Tubing
  • Santa’s Snow Throw
  • Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Stage Show – NEW 25 minute show
  • Mrs Claus’ Christmas Traditions
  • JOYFUL – NEW Light Show
  • Christmas Tree Trail
  • Sounds of The Season Concert Series
  • Jack and Jackie Frost Warm Up The Winter – NEW
  • Painting With a Twist – NEW

For further information and pricing check out The Gaylord Palms Website.

Dining Events

Breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends

Enjoy an interactive character buffet breakfast with Charley and Lucy making tableside visits.

$ 23 child $ 34 adult

Available 8:00 a.m. till 10:30 a.m.

Thanksgiving Lunch

Thanksgiving lunch is available on Thursday November 23rd from 10:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. at a cost of $ 75 per adult and $ 35 per child.

If the media event offerings was anything to go by we would imagine these buffets to be nothing other than fabulous!

Media Event Appetizers and Desserts

Non Profit Organization-  Baby DJ

Gaylord Palms also promote the charity Baby DJ which helps central Florida families who are experiences difficult times.  Founded over 21 years ago by ‘Johnny Magic’ the program has helped thousands upon thousands of families, who without their help would simply not be able to feed or purchase gifts for their children over the festive period.

For more information on this very worthwhile charitable organization click here to visit their facebook page.

Total Orlando’s Opinion

We would highly recommend ICE to guests visiting Orlando over the festive period.  We can’t wait to visit with our own family!  Happy Holiday Planning!