We went to the Gaylord Palms ICE! preview to take photos and video before it was busy with guests (and it does get busy!) This is my third time to ICE!, and we will make it a point to go back to visit again this season.
My first time visiting ICE! was in 2004, which was the attraction's second year. I had such a great time, but I didn't make it back until last year – partly since I moved a lot closer, and partly because the Lights of Winter at Epcot was cancelled, and left us with some free time to explore other holiday offerings in the area. ICE! at Gaylord Palms will now be a holiday tradition.
I didn't have my camera quite ready when you were arriving at the resort, it's nicely decorated out front and ICE! advertising is prominent everywhere. I was able to get just a few quick photos. SNOW! is a new, separate admission attraction that is part of this year's offerings, and we were told it's around 50 degrees inside the tent. So it won't be nearly as chilly as ICE is!
ICE! wasn't quite ready yet – the ice carvings were, but there was still quite a bit of other work to get done for the opening of ICE! the next day. We were brought through the main area quickly (where guests queue), but I'll have photos of it closer to the end.
Every year of ICE! is different. The beautiful nativity scene at the end is the one unchanging feature of this incredible display. You can find out how the ice is carved here, I found it very interesting that the clear ice is actually the hardest for them to make. 40 artisans from Harbin, China spend a month to carve 2 million pounds of ice in 9 degree temperatures!
This years theme is Twas' the Night Before Christmas. The story is told throughout the displays in words and ice. We have a 9 minute video here!
I love the two sleeping mice:
Jeff wants one of Santa's cookies: