What a magical experience!! John, myself and our almost 5 year old grandson spent an afternoon taking in a whole lot of Christmas cheer at the Gaylord Palms Resort, just out side of the Disney Resort area in Kissimmiee, Florida.
The Gaylord Palms is quite the resort experience to begin with, but with the addition of the all the Christmas decorations and all the festivities of “Ice” and the Alpine Village created in the convention center part of the resort, this is one experience sure to put the merry in your Christmas.
The “Ice” experience is very cool, or should I say COLD, as with 2 million pounds of Ice sculptures on display, they have to keep it pretty cold in there, 9 degrees to be exact. But not to worry as your journey through the “ICE” exhibition begins with at a jacket pick up counter, where you will be provided with a big blanket of a jacket to keep you nice and warm. A little suggestion though, bring gloves!! You will want to take pictures and your hands will freeze in a room kept at 9 degrees!! Take it from me!!
There is a different “ICE” theme every year and the 2019 theme is “The Polar Express”. Every year starting in November and going on thru the 1st week of January, the Gaylord Palms turns the Convention Center into a Magical Christmas wonderland of Ice and Christmas festivities.
It just leaves one with a sense of amazement that all of this is carved from big hunks of ice!! The talent that is required to sculpt the ice and in such extreme cold, it is just mind boggling.
The walk through takes about 30 minutes and truthfully it is about all you can stand in conditions that cold, but in 30 minutes you will be left speechless with the wonder that they created with 2 million pounds of ice!! Our first stop after our walk through was a stop at the hot chocolate counter to purchase some good ole fashioned, warm me up quick, deliciousness.
The Ice exhibition is just one of the festive things going on in the Gaylord Palms’ convention center. They have set up an entire Alpine Village of activity. There is gingerbread cookie decorating, visits with Santa in Santa’s workshop, an Elf Training academy, a secret Santa scavenger hunt, Sugary Sweet Story Time and more.
There is an admission fee for each activity and a kiosk is available in the Village so you can pick and choose which ones would be right for your family. You could end up spending a lot of dough if you participate in every festivity, and on top of that is a $25.00 parking fee so it can really add up. However advance bundle packages are available which offer a bit of savings. The admission fee for Ice is $31.99 for adult and $17.99 for child, with the other activities starting at $9.99 on up. There are a couple of activities that are free of charge if timed right so you will want to be sure to go on line and check out the schedule. Gaylord Palms “ICE”
The Gaylord Palms’ atrium is also adorned for Christmas and you will absolutely want to walk through and see it. The resort itself is most certainly a vacation destination and if you can’t make it there for Christmas, not to worry, as they have a celebration for every season.
If you are planning a trip to the Walt Disney World parks, Gaylord Palms is certainly a lodging option as it is just outside the Disney Resort area and does offer transportation to and from the parks.
We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon at Gaylord Palms “ICE” and it added some Christmas sparkle to the season for our grandson. I would recommend the “ICE” exhibition as a must do with optional additions of a few of the other festivities depending on the age of your child. It is great for adults as well, combine it with a lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants on resort property and you have a nice days outing.
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