Gaylord Palms Resort gives first look at ‘ICE!’ holiday experience

Festivities begins Nov. 17

KISSIMMEE, Fla.Gaylord Palms Resort gave a first look Thursday at the work underway for its “ICE!” attraction opening this holiday season.

Beginning Nov. 17, guests will walk through the animated feature “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and see statues depicting Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and so many others that are carved out of 2 million pounds of ice.

[EXCLUSIVE: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s FREE) | PINIT! Share your photos]

Work now underway on Gaylord Palms Resort "ICE!" holiday experience opening Nov. 17 (WKMG)

Kept at a chilly 9 degrees, world-renowned Chinese carvers are flown into Central Florida where they use tools, including chainsaws, chisels, tongs and handsaws, to carefully sculpt each of the characters. On Thursday morning, the resort, and dozens of its staff, was on hand to welcome and cheer on the artisans as they arrived at the resort.

Work now underway on Gaylord Palms Resort "ICE!" holiday experience opening Nov. 17 (WKMG)

“We’re very excited to welcome our team of artisans to Gaylord Palms Resort as they begin carving 2 million pounds of ice into this year’s ICE! attraction,” said Brandon Thom, Gaylord Palms director of Special Events and Entertainment. “With less than a month away from opening this year’s Christmas at Gaylord Palms celebration, we are looking forward to our guests experiencing this one-of-a-kind attraction in its chilly, 9-degree environment, as well as the dozens of other shows, events and activities across our property.”

Over the course of four weeks, the artists use colored ice, which is created by a chemist who mixes special food colorings, along with crystal clear ice and colorful LED lights to bring the massive display to life.

Work now underway on Gaylord Palms Resort "ICE!" holiday experience opening Nov. 17 (WKMG)

In addition to seeing characters from the Peanuts gang, “ICE!” guests can ride down two-story-tall ice slides and visit Carver’s Showcase to see live sculpting demonstrations. “ICE!” concludes in a separate area dedicated to a Nativity scene, meticulously carved in a dramatic display of crystal-clear ice.

To keep warm, guests are provided a free Gaylord Palms’ signature blue parka.

Work now underway on Gaylord Palms Resort "ICE!" holiday experience opening Nov. 17 (WKMG)

“Our guests tell us that Christmas at Gaylord Palms, and ICE!, are among their favorite events of the year. It’s become a tradition for many families as they make lasting holiday memories during their visits,” Thom concluded.

ICE! featuring “A Charlie Brown Christmas (Gaylord Palms Resort)

“ICE!” is just a small piece of the holiday traditions coming to Gaylord Palms Resort this holiday season.

See a list of other experiences and descriptions below.

“Cirque: The Spirit of Christmas.” (Gaylord Palms Resort)

Yule Be Amazed: A Gaylord Hotels original production, “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas” features high-flying stunts, acrobatic feats, elaborate staging and a dramatic musical score. This Cirque-style show centers on Noel, a child dismayed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Throughout the 30-minute atrium show, Noel is visited in dreamlike chapters by trapeze artists, acrobats, aerial silk performers and others who help rekindle the Christmas spirit.

Storytelling Celebration: The retelling of the birth and life of Jesus Christ has been called “the greatest story ever told.” Guests can now experience it through the eyes of six international storytellers in “The Greatest Story,” a musical stage show and multicultural celebration of everlasting faith, hope and love.

LIT Light Show: The skies above the Gaylord Palms atrium burst with color. Vivid LED curtains suspended from the ceiling come to life in a light show that features an original musical score, dancing spotlights and a Christmas tree bathed in an ever-changing array of colors.

Gaylord Palms Resort’s 60-foot-tall Christmas tree lights up the hotel’s 4.5-acre atrium. The tree, along with the animated LED curtains suspended from the atrium ceiling and dozens of dancing spotlights, come to life each night in a kaleidoscope of color during a holiday-themed, musical light show, “Shine.” The show will be presented during the "Christmas at Gaylord Palms" celebration. (Gaylord Palms Resort)

St. Nick Takes ‘Santa’ Stage: Guests can chat with the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, to make sure they’ve secured a spot on his prestigious Nice List. Santa will meet guests inside Alpine Village from Nov. 17 through Dec. 24, before he heads back to the North Pole for his annual, gift-giving journey.

A Round of Applause for Mrs. Claus: The jolliest hostess of all stars in Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions. Mrs. Claus entertains guests in Alpine Village with a sing-along and storytelling of the Christmas tale, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” She also shares Santa’s favorite snack – milk and cookies – with guests.

In Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Tradition, Mrs. Claus celebrates the season with a sing-along and storytime with the Christmas tale, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” She also shares Santa’s favorite snack – milk and cookies – with her new friends. It’s all part of the “Christmas at Gaylord Palms” celebration. Gaylord Palms is a 64-acre resort located in Kissimmee, Fla. (Gaylord Palms/Handout) (Gaylord Palms Resort)

Mistletoe Melody Makers: Guests can enjoy the sounds of the season with the Dickens Carolers, who will be strolling and singing Christmas classics at various times and locations throughout the celebration.

Snow Much Fun: A snowy play space awaits guests in the Snow Factory. After climbing Snow Flow Mountain, guests hop in inner-tubes and speed down atop real ice. (Admission allows unlimited ice tubing rides on the date on the ticket.) Guest can also head over to Snowball Build & Blast. Conveyor belts deliver tubs of real snow for guests to make snowballs and toss them at targets.

A Holiday Escape: Guests test their winter weather wits inside the Naughty or Nice Escape Room. Yuletide trickster Jack Frost is back with his icy antics and has added new names to Santa’s infamous Naughty List. But Jack has a deal to make – if guests can sneak into Santa’s office and solve a series of puzzles, their names will disappear from the Naughty List. Guests need to put on their holiday thinking caps on, solve the mystery, and then dash away, dash away, dash away all!

(Gaylord Palms Resort)

Snoopy Scavenger Hunt: Snoopy needs guests’ help to find the most festive décor for his doghouse in the Merry Snoopy Scavenger Hunt. Families are challenged to search high and low in the 4.5-acre garden atrium and follow clues and complete the quest to receive a special seasonal souvenir.

Breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends: This character dining experience is exclusive to overnight guests, with pals from the Peanuts gang including Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy.

One-Stop Christmas shop: In Alpine Village, one of the largest holiday shops in the Sunshine State opens just for the Christmas at Gaylord Palms celebration. Market Square features wall-to-wall holiday gifts, collectibles, toys, plush, home décor, apparel, ornaments, branded merchandise and more.

Gaylord Palms Resort is offering special 2023 holiday packages that include special room rates and admission to select events.

Guests are encouraged to book their experiences early, as advance online reservations are required for all ticketed events.

Click here to learn more about tickets, information and making a reservation.

About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.