Weather Report: Snow & Ice Arrive in Orlando Area | Great Escapes
It's hard to believe the holidays are fast approaching. After all, we're still experiencing 80-plus degree weather and even humidity.
If you need a little dose of winter to get you in the holiday mood, hit the road and head to Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee. That's where you'll find snow and ice and you'll actually feel cold.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms is back. The festivities run through January 2nd. This year's theme is ICE! "Shrek the Halls" and SNOW! DreamWorks Animation.
Inside ICE, you'll need to bundle up in the provided parka. It's not much of a fashion statement, but you'll need it inside the freezing, nine degree temperatures required to keep the ice sculptures intact. ICE is all about Shrek this year. The sculptures feature the many characters and themes from the Shrek movies. A favorite with kids (and adults) are the ice slides. There's five of them, including a smaller one for the little kids. After you've checked out the detailed ice sculptures, you'll turn in your parka and then have a chance for a meet and greet with Shrek and Fiona. You may see Gingy along the way, too. Gaylord Palms has photographers taking photos of guests with characters. At the end of your visit, you can purchase photo packages.
Over on the SNOW side, you'll find ... snow, of course! The ground is covered with it. The snow is made fresh daily. Inside SNOW, there are playground areas for the kids to run around. There's also a big slide. The decor inside is something out of the Kung Fu Panda movies. Red lanterns hang from the ceiling and there's a statue of Po from Kung Fu Panda. On this side, you'll also have the chance to take photos with characters. You may bump into Po, himself, as well as Puss from Puss In Boots and characters from Madagascar like King Julian.
There are other experiences available at Christmas at Gaylord Palms, like the chance to decorate gingerbread with Gingy. You can also see a 3D Dreamworks movie. Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without Santa. He's there, too. And the souvenir shop sells ornaments, stuffed animals and more.
Here are a few more fun facts about the event:
ICE is kept at 9 degrees farenheit.
Ice scupltures cover 16,000 square feet.
There are five, 30-foot ice slides.
Sculptures are carved by 40 artisans from Harbin, China.
130-tons of snow is made fresh daily for SNOW.
Atmosphere inside SNOW is 55 degrees.
Before you go, grab gloves and a hat. The experience will be more fun if you're not shivering throughout. Make sure your camera is charged as the cold weather drains the batteries and your flash might be a little slow. If you're going to play in the snow, make sure you're wearing shoes with some traction. Otherwise it can be a little slippery.
The cost of attending the event depends on what you want to do. You can pay separately to attend ICE or SNOW or get a package deal that includes both. There are other packages available that might save you money. Be sure to check out the website for complete details about admission costs and hours. If you want to stay at the resort, there are resort packages, too, that give you special access to the characters.