When you think of Texas I am guessing you don’t think about wearing a ski parka and walking around in 9 degree temps. Well that is exactly what you can do at the ICE! attraction at the Gaylord Texan Resort.
The ICE! exhibit truly takes your breath away. AND not just because it is so cold in the display I promise 🙂
This year’s exhibit showcases Christmas around the world. It is a beautiful display showing how each of us are connected and how we celebrate the holidays. The ICE! Exhibit is perfect for all ages. During my visit there were local school children enjoying wandering around. There is honestly something for everyone to enjoy. From the interpretive signs that explain Christmas around the world to the video showing how the ice is carved.
Gaylord Texan Resort’s 12th annual Lone Star Christmas event, presented by Noerr, will offer a variety of holiday activities, live entertainment, and grand displays to celebrate the season, including 2 million holiday lights, 2 million pounds of real Texas snow, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, magical miniature train sets, 25-foot-tall Nutcrackers, 2,300 decorated wreaths, 5,600 feet of garland and 15,000 festive ornaments. Don’t miss ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, created with two million pounds of ice that is hand-carved by a team of forty remarkably talented master ice artisans from Harbin, China. Visitors will enjoy magical holiday scenes, brilliant characters, an “On the Blocks” ice bar (21 & up) and five two-story-tall ice slides. The 14,000-square-foot attraction is kept at a wintry 9 degrees and the resort will provide complimentary parkas for both adults and kids. Additional fun activities include The Elf on A Shelf Scavenger Hunt, Santa’s Wild Workshop Snow Tubing, Gingerbread Decorating Corner and Milk & Cookies with Mrs. Claus.
The ice arrives in approximately 36 truckloads over a 3-week period… 2 trucks a day for 15 days, which is about as fast as the ice factory can produce it. Large blocks of ice are delivered on pallets via refrigerated tractor-trailers, then moved into place by forklift.
Three types of ice are used in the making of ICE!
Clear, “Crystal” Ice
The most difficult to make. It is created using highly filtered de-ionized water. It takes 3 days to freeze the 45 gallons of water used to create each 400-pound ice block. By freezing it slowly, the molecules are able to line up perfectly, similar to a diamond or crystal. In fact, this ice is so flawless it is often compared to Waterford Crystal.
It looks like compacted snow, makes up a small part of the attraction, but is invaluable when carving a snowman. This ice is frozen quickly, giving it a cloudy look, much like the ice made in a home freezer. By freezing quickly, the molecules do not have time to perfectly align.
Dyed one of nine brilliant colors, colored ice is used for highlighting and accenting many of the ice sculptures. These giant popsicle-like blocks are made with simple food coloring that is added during the freezing process. Though it may sound simple, there’s a catch… The water must be stirred constantly to ensure a consistent color throughout the block when it is cut.
Can I admit that I really want to see a time lapse video of the displays melting. I think it would be fascinating to see how long it takes for the ice to truly melt. There are thousands and thousands of pounds of ice on display.
I also think it is amazing and genius how the entire exhibit is actually outside of the Gaylord Texan and connected by a giant tent. You would never know it when you walk in to ICE!
This is a great exhibit to enjoy and get in the mood for the holidays.
You can wander through an ice passage way if you are short enough or want to make it down into it 🙂
I checked off another new thing for my 40 new things before I turn 40 list….I took a slide down the ice slide…oh my!
SO FUN! SO SCARY! SO FAST!
Seriously it felt like I was racing down the ice. I was laughing so hard as I went down in a split second. Pre-warning if you do the slide be prepared for the bottom. The carpet comes quickly. Do not plant your feet when you reach it. Let gravity slow down a bit so you don’t wrench your knee or other body parts.
It was so much fun but oh my gosh crazy!
Tickets can be pre-purchased ahead of time so you can set what time you want to visit. Make sure and give yourself enough time in case there is a line.
Also give yourself time to explore the Gaylord Texan and check out all of the amazing holiday lights and displays.