Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Ice was fun!
Yesterday Roxy and I went to see Ice at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando. The Gaylord Palms is ridiculously beautiful... we drove up, parked and walked through the doors to experience winter in Florida.
There are plenty of picture opportunities as you step inside the first room which is roughly the size of a ballroom with enormous ornaments hang from the triple high ceilings. To your right you will find a typical mall Santa set up to have your kid’s pictures taken on Santa's lap. There is also a large, glassed in snow scape with a train set. The kids will enjoy looking at this, I know I did.
At the end of the room there are two entrances. On the right is the Ice gift shop and the left is Ice itself. As you enter the Ice entrance someone helps you choose a parka to keep you warm. Unfortunately someone forgot to add pockets to the parka. On second though, it may have been intentional. Can you imagine how many things would be forgotten in the pockets? However, I love pockets and missed them. I might bring gloves next year.
As you round the corner snuggled up in your blue parka you are asked to step in front of a blue screen to have your picture taken, another money spending opportunity which we declined and passed right on by. Finally the doors are opened for you and you step inside.
The first room surrounds you in ice. The ice sculpture before you is of old man winter and on either side are carvings of children playing in the ice. Everything is huge and as I try to take a picture I look over at Roxanne and mention something about it being colder than last year. If is freezing in here!
Room after room is a delight as we encountered ice sculptures of polar bears, a camp fire with children playing, and plenty of landscaping. There are ice arches, spiky ice hallways, an entire room dedicated to ice ornaments, gorgeous ice angels, and more. We finally enter a room with a full sized ice carousal. Horses with people riding them all carved to perfection in ice. They also included little seats so you could hop up there and take some pictures. In fact, they give you a lot of places to stop and take pictures at with little cushion seats which makes it nice. I took a lot of pictures but I was freezing!
Another room had a full nativity set which is just amazing to look at and the next room a full scale slide for children (and adults) surrounded by Santa's reindeer. We opted out of sliding and instead enjoyed the artistry of the sculptures.
Ice was over before we knew it. If you walk slowly and really look at everything it takes about 15 minutes to see it all. We could go a little slower I suppose but it was so COLD! They have to keep that ice frozen but Roxy and I could hardly feel our faces any more. I took plenty of pictures which I will share on Sunday.
As you leave Ice you are directed to turn in your parka and look at that picture you took on the way in. Finally you are deposited into the gift shop for more spending opportunities! Of course we purchased several ornaments for our tree to remember our experience by, a tradition we started last year. After that you are directed back into the resort where you follow signs to some free hot cocoa.
Last year was our first year of seeing Ice. We decided to do it again this year because it was just so cool (literally). Pros are that you are not likely to see anything like it. It is truly beautiful and amazing at the same time. Lots of chances for pictures and it is so cold. Cons are it is expensive. With an $18.99 price ticket plus $12.00 parking and all of the spending opportunities Ice can cost you quite a bit for only an hour of your time. That would include stopping for everything and taking your time in the gift shop. But there is the free hot cocoa!
Of course we followed the signs but instead of enjoying our hot cocoa (it was in the 80s yesterday in Florida) we took a little tour of the resort again. There are plenty of shops, a gorgeous man made nature walk with coy ponds, a real boat, and actual glassed in wildlife. In the center of it all a giant Christmas tree. This part of the resort is called the atrium because it has a fully domed, glass ceiling. Last year we were here in the day but this year we saw it in the evening so it was pretty neat to see it in two different ways.
Will we do Ice again next year? Probably.