In Florida, one thing that is super fickle is the weather. For the whole day, the weather would be gray and overcast, and you’d think it’ll be a cold and rainy day. In fact, the temperature is warm and the rain pours for fifteen minutes, and over the next. When we went to Epcot, it was predicted that there would be rain. When we went to Harry Potter World, it was also predicted it would rain. Neither really happened.
But the day after, it was truly a downpour. On top of that, we got a tornado warning. What!?
So when we had to meet up with Joseph’s college friends, he thought it would be a good time to do some indoor activities. Gaylord Palms, a popular hotel in Orlando, holds an annual Winter Wonderland kind of village called ICE!, this year featuring The Nutcracker. This attraction is held one of the Palms’ ballrooms and hosts “more than TWO MILLION pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and four thrilling slides!”
And in order to keep all of the ice from melting, the room is kept to a freezing 9 degrees!
The tornado warning I was telling you about! It happened while we were driving to Gaylord Palms in a drenching downpour. I was actually excited to witness a tornado and get a photo of it (total photographer here!) but Joseph was in complete control mode, saying if we see it in the distance, we head straight in the opposite direction. Boo! Unfortunately, we didn’t see the tornado at all.
Inside the Gaylord Palms. It has an interesting inside where the courtyard is covered in, which I bet is because of the frequent rain that happens in Florida. The castle that you see there is also a small replica of the fort in St. Augustine.
And off we go to Alpine Village! Entrance is about $30 per person to get into ICE! featuring The Nutcracker. There are also other things in The Village, including a souvenir shop full of beautiful ornaments and holiday decor. Very cute and family friendly!
As we got closer to the ICE! presentation, the room got colder and colder. I was TOTALLY not aware of how cold the place was going to be. I wore thin flats with no socks, a regular pair of jeans, and a sweater. THANKFULLY, they provide you with a big, ugly blue coat to help with the temperature.
BRRR! Also, look at the size of these sculptures! SO well done!
Everything looked so big and colorful, and so well done. They honestly look like popsicles that you get at the grocery store, only 2000 times bigger!
One of the things you get to do is go down the ice slide. It would totally be a waste if we didn’t go on it! Besides, when is the next time I would get to go slide down a block of ice? In the Arctic as an eskimo, I would imagine!
YIPPEEEE! It was really fun, actually! And not cold at all! I regret not going down more times, haha!
One of the reasons that the sculptures look so great is because the sculptures are created by 40 ice sculpture artisans flown in from Harbin, China. Once they’ve created the sculptures, the hotel keeps a couple to continue maintenance on the pieces.
Another thing we did: Snowtube Sledding! WOOT! Never did this before, and who knew I would be first doing it in Florida?! We had to purchase Snowtube Sledding tickets differently than ICE!, which got us 10 trips down the slide. After four trips down, I was pretty done, haha. But it was super fun and quite exhilarating to do!
Have you ever gone snowtubing or iceblock sliding before?