Gaylord Palms Christmas Celebrations 2017

Nativity scene at Gaylord Palms ICE!
Nativity scene at Gaylord Palms ICE!

Between mid November and early January, the Gaylord Palms resort hotel in Orlando presents their annual walk-through holiday attraction ice spectacular made from over two million pounds of ice, now in its 15th year. Amongst the many attractions are five two-story ice slides and a traditional Nativity scene.

Each year ICE! at the Gaylord Palms features several new and revised scenes and for 2017 the theme is “Christmas Around the World” with the tagline “Everything Christmas in One Extraordinary Place”.

ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World

“ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World” runs daily from November 21, 2017 to January 7, 2018 between 10:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m to 10:00 p.m. depending upon the date.

In previous years, the ice sculptures were spread over several different “rooms” culminating in the Nativity scene carved in crystal clear ice. For 2017 they will feature the different holiday traditions of a number of countries including Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom plus five slides, all carved from ice offering plenty of photo opportunities.

You can also watch some of the ice sculptors from Harbin, China demonstrating their amazing skills in the “Frostbite Factory”.

See below for ticket prices for ICE! and for Snow Tubing. Combination tickets are also available.

Snow Tubing

First introduced in 2014 is an eight lane Alpine Rush Snow Tubing downhill run covered in real snow. You can ride singly or there are double tubes for parents with small children. In the evenings there is music and flashing lights at the “Cosmic Snow Tubing” event.

There are height restrictions for children that affect the type of tubes they can ride. You must be 42” or taller to ride without an adult accompanying you.

As well as ICE! and Snow Tubing, there are an every increasing number of other attractions some of which are free and others have separate entrance fee.

JOYFUL Atrium Light Show

The “JOYFUL Atrium Light Show” is held in the magnificent St. Augustine Atrium up to five times each evening (times vary). First introduced in 2015 as “A Christmas Wish Light Show”, it is free.

It features a six story high Christmas tree lit with millions of dancing lights accompanied by a holiday musical score.

Christmas Tree Trail

New for 2017 is the “Christmas Tree Trail” located in the Everglades Atrium. There are nine themed Christmas trees representing various countries including Italy, Brazil and China. The attraction is free to view.

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped

Also in the St. Augustine Atrium is the 25 minute “Cirque Dreams Unwrapped” which is performed at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day except November 23, Thanksgiving. On Saturdays there is an extra performance at 8:00 p.m. (except January 6).

Free seats are available on a first-come first-served basis but you can reserve a seat.

Guaranteed sea prices for the matinee performance are $14.99 for adults and $10.99 for children (aged 4–12). For the evening performance they are $17.99 for adults and $12.99 for children (aged 4–12). All prices are plus tax.

The Cirque Dreams UnWrapped live stage show was first introduced in 2015.

Sounds of the Season Concert Series

New for 2017 is the “Sounds of the Season Concert Series” held on the St Augustine atrium stage.

Each of the five concerts feature holiday inspired music from five very different groups of artists ranging from a Gaylord Palms employee chorus to cappella groups and opera.

On December 6 and 13, it is “Christmas in Every Language” featuring eight Central Florida vocalists. This is followed by the “Orlando Gay Chorus” on December 13, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” performed by Opera Orlando, Orlando Philharmonic and the Orlando Ballet on December 20 and finally “Voctave” a local cappella group on December 21.

Tickets start at $29.99 (plus tax) and include admission to ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World after the show.

Photos with Santa

You can also meet Santa Claus in the Alpine Village and purchase an optional photo package. Photo package prices start at $29.99 (plus tax).

Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt

The “Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt” is suitable for all ages and costs $9.99 (plus tax) per person if you want to participate. See if you can find Snowburst and his polar bear friends.

Build-A-Bear Workshop

At the “Build-A-Bear Workshop” you can create a soft toy bear. Prices vary depending upon the item selected.

Mrs. Claus Christmas Traditions

In 2016, they introduced a new 30 minute show, “Mrs. Claus Christmas Traditions and Story Time Sing-a-long” with a glass of ice cold milk and cookies.

Price is $9.99 (plus tax) per person.

Gingerbread Decorating Corner

At the “Gingerbread Decorating Corner” you can create everything from a holiday themed ginger bread or snowman cookie all the way up to a complete gingerbread house.

Prices range from $22.99 to $29.99 (plus tax) depending upon the kit.

Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends

At the “Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends” at the Villa de Flora Restaurant you get to enjoy a buffet breakfast with Peanut inspired dishes including Charlie Brown’s Build-Your-Own-French-Toast Station with Snoopy’s Maple Syrup, Pig Pen’s Dirty Hash Browns, Lucy’s Flap Jacks and Woodstock’s Granola as well as meeting up with some of the Peanuts gang. Price to be announced.

Prices are $34.00 for adults (plus tax) and $23.00 for children between 8:00 and 10:30 a.m.

Santa’s Snow Throw

You can throw real snowballs at targets at “Santa’s Snow Throw”. Price is $9.99 (plus tax) for all ages.

ICE! Proposals

You can even purchase one of two romantic “ICE! Proposal Packages”. Prices start at $199 (plus tax).

ICE! 2017 Ticket Prices

ICE! ticket prices start at $29.99 (plus tax) but you can make small savings if you purchase online in advance.

Children aged 4 to 12 can purchase a child ticket for $16.99 and children aged 3 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Note there is an additional $22 charge for parking at the hotel. Quoted prices exclude any handling fees.

Each attraction has its own separate charge but you can purchase an ICE!/Snow Tubing Combo or one of three special bundles. The most expensive bundle, the Play and Save Platinum Pass includes “front-of-line” access.

Introduced in 2015 was the On the Blocks ICE! Bar for adults aged 21 and over. Here you can sample various alcoholic beverages with a souvenir glass (separate charge).

There is a separate charge for tubing and it is open for the same dates as ICE!. You can get a 10% discount if you buy your ticket in conjunction with ICE!

ICE! Single Admission Ticket (advanced purchase) Adult Child
Standard single admission to ICE!. $2 discount for seniors (55+). Tickets for children aged 3 and under are free when accompanying a paying adult.
$28.99
plus tax
$14.99
plus tax
ICE! Single Admission Ticket Adult Child
Standard single admission to ICE!. $1 discount for seniors (55+).
$29.99
plus tax
$16.99
plus tax
ICE! Single Admission Ticket for Florida Residents Adult Child
Standard single admission to ICE! for Florida residents. $1 discount for advanced purchases.
$25.99
plus tax
$11.99
plus tax
ICE! Chill Pass Adult Child
Front of line to the ICE! attraction plus a cup of hot cocoa.
Regular admission ticket required.
$9.99
plus tax
$9.99
plus tax
Freezin’ Season Pass, multiple access to ICE! Adult Child
Unlimited access to ICE! (excludes Snow Tubing) for the duration of the event. Price with parking is $90.99
$55.99
plus tax
$35.99
plus tax
Alpine Village Snow Tubing All
Unlimited runs on the Alpine Village Snow Tubing downhill run. $1 discount for advanced purchases.
$19.99
plus tax
ICE! Single Admission Ticket plus Alpine Village Snow Tubing Adult Child
Standard single admission to ICE! plus ten runs on the Alpine Village Snow Tubing downhill run. $2 discount for seniors (55+). Tickets for children aged 3 and under cost $18.99.
$46.99
plus tax
$30.99
plus tax
Santa’s Snow Throw ticket Adult Child
Throw real snow balls at a range of targets.
$9.99
plus tax
$9.99
plus tax
Play and Save Silver Pass, one time entry bundle Adult Child
One time entry to ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, Snow Tubing and Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt
$47.99
plus tax
$37.99
plus tax
Play and Save Gold Pass, one time entry bundle Adult Child
One time entry to ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, Snow Tubing, Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt, Santa’s Snow Throw and Mrs. Claus Christmas Traditions Show
$59.99
plus tax
$54.99
plus tax
Play and Save Platinum Pass, one time entry bundle Adult Child
One time entry to ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, Snow Tubing, Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt, Santa’s Snow Throw, Mrs. Claus Christmas Traditions Show and a Gingerbread Cookie Kit
$83.99
plus tax
$78.99
plus tax

Special prices are available for groups of ten or more.

It is advisable to dress sensibly with closed toe shoes and long trousers/pants. Hats and gloves are also recommended. Complimentary hooded winter coats are provided in a range of sizes to cope with the chilly 9 degrees Fahrenheit (–13 degrees Centigrade) temperatures.

Wheelchairs and strollers are admitted.

ICE! History

Each year around 40 Artisans from Harbin in northern China come to the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Orlando for their ICE! Spectacular. Together they carve some two million pounds of ice into amazing ice sculptures using a mixture of crystal clear ice and coloured ice. Each block can weight up to 600 pounds.

Harbin is home to the annual International Ice and Snow Festival where over 2,000 sculptors create a 100 acre ice park, using ice from the nearby Songhua River.

The theme in 2016 was Peanuts by Charles Schulz in “ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas”.

For 2015, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” re-appeared, it was last shown in 2010.

In 2014 the theme was the “Nutcracker Suite” ballet complete with Tchaikovsky musical score.

In 2013 the theme for ICE! was “Frosty the Snowman” based on the animated TV special from 1969. Also new for 2013 was the Frostbite Factory featuring “Artisans in Ice” where you can watch some of the ice sculptors from Harbin, China demonstrating their amazing skills.

For 2012 the theme was ”Merry Madagascar” based on the film of the same name and featuring Dreamworks’ characters from the Madagascar animated films. Merry Madagascar is an animated short film released in 2009 and the story tells of Santa Claus and his reindeer crash-landing in Madagascar on Christmas Eve. Alex the lion and his friends then have to help Santa deliver all the presents.

This was the second year that the Gaylord Palms had used characters from DreamWorks. The previous year the theme was called “Shrek the Halls”.

In 2011, Gaylord Palms also ran the Kung Fu Panda Awesome SNOW attraction featuring underground snow tunnels, bridges and a 64-foot pagoda slide. Admission was by separate ticket.

See the Gaylord Palms for further details.

Other pages of interest