Nov. 11, 2022 - Jan. 1, 2023 - NASHVILLE, Tenn.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Gaylord Opryland Resort invites guests to "freeze the day" this Christmas as the longtime holiday tradition, ICE!, returns to the annual A Country Christmas celebration Nov. 11, 2022 - Jan. 1, 2023, after a two-year hiatus.
Using more than 2 million pounds - or 1,000 tons - of ice, the classic 1964 Christmas animated television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, will be brought to life by a team of 40 ice artisans who carve for thirty days to create the nearly 20,000-square-foot, frozen attraction.
Starting with more than 6,200 massive ice blocks - created by three different ice manufacturers because of the sheer amount needed - carvers will tally more than 12,000 manhours on the project. The artisans, using skills passed down from generation to generation, follow a 300-page design book to create the spectacle.
This year, ICE! will include 12 scenes from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, featuring classic characters including Clarice, Bumble. Sam the Snowman, Hermey the Elf, and of course Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer himself. Ice carvings range in size from details as tiny as a coin to soaring scenes more than 20 feet tall.
The environment will be kept frozen by a state-of-the-art chilling system which maintains the temperature at a frosty 9 degrees Fahrenheit. And while the 9-degree temperatures turn ICE! into one of the coldest spots in Nashville, guests experiencing the attraction will be provided Gaylord Opryland's signature blue parkas to keep them warm and toasty.
Colored ice (created by a chemist who mixes special food colorings to ensure sculptures maintain their bright colors the entire season), clear ice, and LED lights are all used to create the display, as the frozen fun follows Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as he guides Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve.
"We are thrilled to welcome guests back to experience ICE! and help them create even more holiday memories with their family and friends at Gaylord Opryland. Since debuting here in 2001, ICE! has always been our most popular attraction during A Country Christmas, and we're excited to welcome this Gaylord Hotels tradition back this year with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," said Tom Petrillo, General Manager and Managing Director of Gaylord Opryland Resort.
In addition to seeing characters from the classic television special, guests can also take rides down four two-story-tall ice slides and traverse through ice tunnels and arches. The ICE! experience concludes in a separate area dedicated to a beautiful Nativity scene, meticulously carved and shaped in a dramatic display of crystal-clear ice.
The talented carvers who create this arctic artwork will travel more than 6,413 miles from their homes in Harbin, China to Nashville, Tennessee. Known as "Ice City," Harbin is no stranger to elaborate ice carvings - it's home to the world's largest annual ice and snow sculpting festival. At Gaylord Opryland, some of the same artisans who create the Harbin festival will carve 300-pound blocks of ice into the larger-than-life, whimsical scenes. Carvers will use chisels, chippers, tongs, handsaws, grinders and even chainsaws to bring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends to life. The artisans from Harbin have created ICE! for Gaylord Hotels for many years but haven't been able to travel to the United States the past two holiday seasons because of international travel restrictions.
While ICE! is the signature attraction for the 39th annual A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland, there are plenty more festive activities, events, attractions, and dazzling decorations throughout the 2,888-room property. The entire resort transforms into a holiday wonderland with more than 4 million lights, elaborately themed Christmas trees displayed throughout the property including a fully adorned 48-foot tree, 15,000 poinsettias,15 miles of green garland and 10 miles of hand-tied ribbon. Christmas shows and activities are presented in the atriums, while guests can also enjoy a variety of exciting experiences at Pinetop, an outdoor Appalachian-esque village.
Here's a rundown of the events, live entertainment, hands-on activities, holiday meals and exciting attractions taking place this holiday season at Gaylord Opryland:
For the holiday season, Relâche Spa at Gaylord Opryland is featuring Winter Wonderland massage, facial and pedicure treatments, highlighting the benefits of eucalyptus. The aromatic plant is known to be high in antioxidants, to promote relaxation and reduce pain
In addition to a full lineup of special events, attractions and activities during A Country Christmas, guests can enjoy many year-round amenities. The resort features three atriums spanning over nine acres full of plants, flowers, waterfalls, streams, and fish. Also inside the atriums, a delicious selection of dining options await, including authentic Italian cuisine at Ravello, gourmet steaks and an award-winning wine list at Old Hickory Steakhouse, Mexican fare and signature Margaritas at Solario Cantina, and and array of classic dishes, fresh sushi, and a variety of cockatils at Cascades American Cafe.
Even during the holiday season, guests can visit Gaylord Opryland's upscale aquatic adventure, SoundWaves, which fuses music and water to create a modern-day oasis featuring lazy and rapid rivers, a family mega-raft ride, four thrilling tube and body slides, a multi-level play structure and toddler water play area, a FlowRider® Double and an adults-only pool and bar. Additionally, the water attraction features an arcade with virtual reality games, a rock-climbing wall, game tables and more. The only guaranteed way to visit SoundWaves is by booking an exclusive holiday package including wristbands or the SoundWaves Experience Package. Seasonal specials and Tennessee resident package rates are available.
For guaranteed access to Gaylord Opryland Resort during the holidays, purchase event tickets or holiday packages including room accommodations, tickets to ICE! and more, on sale now at ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com
Gaylord Opryland will hold several A Country Christmas hiring events beginning August 18 to fill nearly two hundred seasonal part-time and seasonal full-time positions including Special Event Manager, Special Event Coordinator and Special Event Attendants for Retail, Box Office, Delta Riverboat Co. driver, and Attraction locations. For more information on hiring events and to apply online, visit GaylordOprylandHiring.com.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, located at 2800 Opryland Drive in Nashville, Tenn., is the flagship property of Gaylord Hotels, part of the Marriott portfolio of brands. The 2,888-room hotel offers "everything in one place"— SoundWaves upscale indoor/outdoor water attraction, diverse dining options, a full-service spa, top-notch entertainment, on-site shopping, an award-winning golf course and more. For more information, visit www.GaylordOpryland.com.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and all related elements © & ™ under license to Character Arts, LLC. © Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.