Gaylord Palms ICE! Frigid, Frustrating, Family Fun (like the rest of Christmas)

One of the attractions I have wanted to see since moving to Orlando is Gaylord Palms ICE! celebration. Every year, Gaylord Palms (super fancy awesome hotel in Orlando) holds an event in their convention center in which they ship in tons of ice sculptures carved to fit a certain theme. This year, the theme is “Merry Madagascar.” Loving the Madagascar movies (King Julian, holla!) and having the proceeds from ticket sales on Saturday go to Give Kids the World, we headed out to brave the 9 degree freezing room the ice is showcased in.

In short, the exhibit was a decent size, but organized rather poorly. There ware several queue lines that you pass between simply waiting in in order to get into the actual exhibit. The queues are strategically arranged so that you are not aware how many more exist before you get to enter ICE! For those that do not have warm winter gear, parkas are provided. I will note that everyone gets parkas so if you are a germaphobe or would prefer to be able to find your family in the crowd- you should wear your own winter attire.

Once you make it into ICE!, it really is an incredible sight to see. I’m still out for debate on if my favorite moment was the first glimpse of it, or the Floridians shrieking because they could see their breath and it was “so cold!” Priceless. At any rate, here were a few of my favorite sculptures:

When you’re done with ICE!, make sure to take advantage of the $15 you paid for parking and stick around to check out the hotel. In all honesty, this was where we had the most fun. The resort is breathtaking and beautifully decorated for the holidays. Additionally, they have numerous shows, restaurants and shops to see.

And if all that fails, then there is an ice cream shop. How can you go wrong?