I got the chance before the DISUnplugged podcast last night to view the beautiful ice carvings at the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Kissimmee Florida.
I am a warm blooded Floridian now and thankfully forgot what cold temperatures were like. They remind you that ICE is kept at 9 degrees. Actually I didn’t find it bad at all. I did bring ear muffs and gloves. The oversized parkas they give you kept me warm. Keith from the Gaylord told me they don’t put pockets in the parkas because they found that people left stuff behind like their car keys when they put them in the pockets of the parkas.
The day after Thanksgiving they had the Inaugural run through ICE for the Polar Bear Club. At the time they all ran through it was only 6 degrees. Brrrr.
They do have a pre show before you actually get into the exhibit with entertainment. You can also meet Santa. They have a computer outside the exhibit where you can send an email to him if you don’t want to see him. Of course when you leave the exhibit they have a great gift shop. They had lots and lots of beautiful ornaments for you to purchase.
Once inside you can’t believe that this was all created from blocks of ice. 40 Artisans from China spend almost a month here creating all the pieces of this exhibit. There is a wall where people can touch the ice but for some reason lots of people want to touch the creations. Please don’t touch them.
There is a 13 foot Santa carved out of ice. You can pose for a picture with Santa. There is a larger than life Gingerbread house which is another picture taking spot. Just be aware that the lens on your camera can fog up because of the cold temperatures. Be sure your camera batteries are charged because they drain quicker in colder temperatures.
I think the Nativity Scene and some of the walkways were my favorites. They used over 2 Million pounds of ice in the ICE exhibit.
Some interesting trivia they provided us:
48,000 pounds is the weight of the ice used to create the giant Santa Claus.
They have special programs where you can propose to your girlfriend or actually have a wedding at ICE!
5000 blocks of ice that are hand carved to create the exhibit. They come in a dozen different colors.
1500 specially designed LED tube lights that are frozen in the ice.
More than 18,000 square feet of space is used for the ICE! Exhibit. The unique structure housing ICE! Is also known as the “Florida Fridge.” It is believed to be the first of its kind in North America.
If you are here in Florida from Nov. 17, 2008 to Jan 4. 2009 be sure to go visit this wonderful exhibit. They do charge for parking so be sure to include that in your budget. I know I will go back again!