Jul 27, 2023
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang will be the stars of the holiday celebration at Gaylord Palms Resort, as "ICE!" returns for 2023. The heartwarming, animated feature "A Charlie Brown Christmas" will be brought to life Nov. 17, 2023-Jan. 3, 2024, by a team of 40 artisans who carve the characters out of 2 million pounds of ice to create the nearly 20,000-square-foot attraction.
Kept at an arctic 9 degrees Fahrenheit, "ICE!" will include other classic Peanuts characters like Lucy, Sally, Linus, and Peppermint Patty, as well as Charlie Brown's famous little Christmas tree.
Creating the attraction is a team of world-renowned carvers that will travel more than 7,000 miles from Harbin, China, to Kissimmee, Fla. 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 in the world.
At Gaylord Palms, artisans will carve approximately 6,700 blocks of ice - each weighing 300 pounds - into the larger-than-life, whimsical scenes. Carvers use tools of all shapes and sizes, including chainsaws, chisels, tongs, handsaws, hand tools and grinders, to bring "A Charlie Brown Christmas" to life. Colored ice (created by a chemist who mixes special food colorings to ensure the ice maintains its vivid color the entire season), crystal clear ice, and colorful LED lights are all used to create the massive display. It will take the team of artisans approximately five weeks to complete the chilly attraction.
"We're so pleased to bring this Central Florida holiday tradition back for our guests in 2023," said Johann Krieger, general manager of Gaylord Palms Resort. "Since debuting here in 2003, ICE! has become a one-of-a-kind attraction for our guests, and one of our most popular events of the year."
In addition to seeing characters from the Peanuts gang, "ICE!" guests can ride down two-story-tall ice slides and visit Carver's Showcase to see live sculpting demonstrations. "ICE!" concludes in a separate area dedicated to a Nativity scene, meticulously carved in a dramatic display of crystal-clear ice.
And while the frozen fun is kept cold by a state-of-the-art chilling system, guests are provided Gaylord Palms' signature blue parkas to keep them warm inside the attraction.
Snow Much More!
In addition to the "ICE!" attraction, a sleigh-full of events and activities will be featured across the 64-acre resort. Christmas shows and activities are presented in the atrium, while parts of the convention center transform into Alpine Village, a bustling, holiday hamlet with Bavarian-style storefronts, immersive activities and one of Florida's largest Christmas shops.
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Here's a rundown of the sleigh-full of events and activities planned for the celebration:
Live Shows & Entertainment Highlight the Holidays
"Cirque: Spirit of Christmas" features high-flying stunts, acrobatic feats, and an original musical score. The show features Noel, a child trying to find holiday cheer. Noel is visited in dreamlike chapters by acrobats, aerial performers and others who help rekindle the Christmas spirit.
Guests can experience a retelling of the birth of Jesus Christ through the eyes of six storytellers in "The Greatest Story," a musical stage show and celebration of faith and everlasting love.
The skies above Gaylord Palms' atrium come alive in the "#LIT Light Show." Suspended light curtains and the 60-foot-tall atrium Christmas tree come to life in this animated, musical show.
Guests can chat with the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, to make sure they've secured a spot on his prestigious Nice List. Santa will meet guests inside Alpine Village from Nov. 17 through Dec. 24 - before he heads back to the North Pole for his annual, gift-giving journey.
The jolliest hostess of all stars in Mrs. Claus' Christmas Traditions. Mrs. Claus entertains guests in Alpine Village with a sing-along and storytelling of the Christmas tale, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." She also shares Santa's favorite snack - milk and cookies - with guests.
Guests can enjoy the sounds of the season with the Dickens Carolers, who will be strolling and singing Christmas classics at various times and locations throughout the celebration.
Tons of Fun at Interactive Attractions
A snowy play space awaits guests in the Snow Factory. After climbing Snow Flow Mountain, guests hop in inner-tubes and speed down atop real ice. (Admission allows unlimited ice tubing rides on the date on the ticket.) Guest can also head over to Snowball Build & Blast. Conveyor belts deliver tubs of real snow for guests to make snowballs and toss them at targets.
Guests test their wintry wits in the Naughty or Nice Escape Room. Trickster Jack Frost has added new names to Santa's Naughty List. However, if guests can sneak into Santa's office and solve a series of puzzles, Jack will remove their names from the Naughty List. Guests need to put on their holiday thinking caps, solve the mystery, and then dash away, dash away, dash away all!
Snoopy needs guests' help to find the most festive décor for his doghouse in the Merry Snoopy Scavenger Hunt. Families are challenged to search high and low in the 4.5-acre garden atrium and follow clues and complete the quest to receive a special seasonal souvenir.
Hands-On Holiday Fun
In the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, guests let their Christmas creativity run wild while they adorn gingerbread treats. After they've reached confection perfection, they can enjoy a meet-and-greet and photograph with Nutmeg the Gingerbread Man.
Guests can get crafty in Elf Training Academy. One of Santa's top toymakers joins the fun as guests create a special keepsake gift to take home.
Overnight Stays Sweeten the Holidays
There's never a better time of year for guests to book a room with an upgraded atrium view. With balconies that overlook acres of Christmas décor, guests can immerse themselves in the festive surroundings. Select rooms even provide prime balcony viewing for atrium shows such as "Cirque: Spirit of Christmas," "#LIT" light show and "The Greatest Story."
The night will light up at Gaylord Palms with more than 3 million sparkling, holiday lights. In total, more than 100 decorated Christmas trees will be on display, including the centerpiece, 60-foot-tall tree in the main atrium, and 12 elaborately themed trees along the atrium's Christmas Tree Trail.
Gaylord Palms is offering perks and special access to overnight resort guests so they can wait in line less and enjoy more. These perks include:
Holiday Dining for Resort Guests: Eat, Drink and Be Cranberry
Overnight guests at Gaylord Palms also have exclusive opportunities to enjoy holiday dining experiences:
One-Stop Christmas Shop
In addition to the fun of the Christmas celebration, guests can enjoy many year-round amenities. In addition to the 4.5-acre indoor atrium, the resort features Relâche Spa and also Cypress Springs Water Park - a 3-acre water wonderland open exclusively to overnight resort guests.
Resort Amenities & Resort Packages Are Sure to Please
Also being unwrapped for 2023: "Christmas at Gaylord Palms" packages that include special room rates and admission to select events. Guests are encouraged to book their experiences early, as advance online reservations are required for all ticketed events. Admission is limited to many of the holiday experiences and showtimes. For tickets, more information, or to book an overnight stay, guests may visit ChristmasatGaylordPalms.com.