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Gaylord Palms opens ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ Ice! with chilly nine-degree exhibit

by Chelsea Tatham Zukowski

Floridians looking for a taste of winter weather can once again head to Gaylord Palms Resort for the popular Ice! experience. And this year’s theme is the beloved classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

The event opened on November 20, 2022 and features more than two million pounds of ice hand-carved by expert sculptors into both clear and colorful scenes from the animated feature. The process to recreate “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” in ice took about five weeks in the 20,000-square foot exhibit.

The chilly walk-through exhibit showcases 10 scenes from the short film, with characters like The Grinch, of course, as well as his dog Max, Cindy-Lou, and many festive Whos from Whoville.

To keep the ice from melting, the exhibit is kept at a cool nine degrees, and visitors are given hefty blue parkas to wear while inside.

“Since debuting here in 2003, Ice! has always been a one-of-a-kind attraction, and we’re excited to welcome this Gaylord Hotels tradition back this year with ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ and all the beloved characters in the classic Dr. Seuss story,” said Johann Krieger, general manager of Gaylord Palms Resort.

Alongside scenes from “The Grinch” are two-story ice slides, tunnels, arches, and a Carver’s Showcase to watch live ice sculpting. The finale of Ice! brings back the quietly beautiful Nativity scene carved from crystal clear ice.

Gaylord Hotels bring back their signature Ice! experience this Christmas
Photo by Doug Scaletta

This year’s event is the first time the ice artists have been able to travel to the area from their home in Harbin, China – which is known as “Ice City,” – since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last couple of holiday seasons at Gaylord Palms have been filled with other Christmas exhibits and shows.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas Ice! At Gaylord Palms

When you’re finished freezing in the Ice! exhibit, warm up with these other holiday offerings:

  • Alpine Village: Parts of the Gaylord Palms Resort convention center are transformed into a holiday village with mini storefronts, shows, characters, treats and drinks, and a giant Christmas shop.
  • Cirque: Spirit of Christmas”: The Cirque-style show features elaborate staging and stunts, acrobatic talents, and festive music. The 30-minute show in the atrium follows young child Noel as they venture through dreamlike chapters in order to reignite their Christmas spirit.
  • The Greatest Story“: Experience the story of Jesus through the musical stories of six international performers.
  • Shine” light show: Head to the atrium to witness the musical light show on the towering centerpiece Christmas tree and LED curtains hanging from the ceiling.
  • Adventure Kids: Wonders of Winter“: Join Adventure Kid Sophia, Ava the Alligator, and Seth the Sea Turtle for a holiday show with an emphasis on the importance of the local environment and wildlife.
  • The Journey of Los Tres Magos“: The live stage show celebrates the day the Three Wise Men visited the baby Jesus. The show premieres at select times from Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2023.
  • Naughty or Nice Escape Room: You’ve been placed on the Naughty List by Jack Frost, but he promises to remove your name if you sneak into Santa’s office and solve a few puzzles.
  • Snow Factory: Get in a bit more winter fun with ice tubing down Snow Flow Mountain, snowball throwing at the Snowball Build & Blast, and themed drinks at the Snow Bar.
  • Elf Training Academy: Learn the secrets of Team Santa’s best toymakers and create a special gift to take home.
  • Gingerbread Decorating Corner: Meet Nutmeg the gingerbread man and decorate gingerbread houses and other treats.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop: Don’t forget to check out the mini Build-A-Bear Workshop inside Alpine Village and create a commemorative holiday plush friend.
  • Christmas Tree Trail: Around Gaylord Palms Resort are more than 100 Christmas trees sporting over 20,000 ornaments, including the towering 60-foot lighted tree in the atrium. Also in the atrium is the winding Christmas Tree Trail featuring themed trees and photo spots.
  • Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus: Visit Santa Claus in the Alpine Village through Dec. 24 and hear stories from Mrs. Claus while you snack on milk and cookies.

There are even more holiday experiences for those staying over at Gaylord Palms Resort, including character breakfast with The Grinch and his pals and a Grinch-themed scavenger hunt.


Shine Holiday Tree Lighting show at Gaylord Palms Resort

For more information about Christmas at Gaylord Palms and to buy tickets, visit ChristmasatGaylordPalms.com.

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