Florida Guide > Other Activities
This article is the second in a series and should be read in conjunction with the others which give details of the location and how this amazing attraction is constructed.
This year, ICE! will feature several new or updated scenes these will include a typical Victorian holiday scene, a sparkling new Santa's Toyland, and an amazing Church in the Woods. Back by popular demand will be the beautifully lit ICE! bridge, which you can actually walk over, and the grand finale will be a breathtaking life-size nativity, carved completely of crystal-clear ice. There will of course be the poplar three fantastic ice slides amid a towering Christmas Castle beckoning anyone who feels brave enough to try them. Toy soldiers stand guard at the entry to the Christmas Castle and anyone can climb up the towering spires to race down the slippery slides. A word of warning here is that they are very fast and if you want to take pictures be sure to have you flash ready as the time from top to bottom is very short.
“ICE!” is divided into eight different handcrafted ice environments and this will explain some of what you will see.
The Victorian Fantasy scene is a look at one family's Christmas through a vision of yesteryear featuring Santa's Toyland. This toyshop scene is made even more spectacular by the use of coloured ice. This is where the elves are hard at work carving toys and placing them on a conveyor belt to load up Santa's sleigh. The scene is further brought to life by the use of flashing lights and colourful candy decorations. While all the time Santa watches over the whole process. Located within Toyland is the demonstration area, it is here that guests can see the ice carving process actually taking place. The Chinese artisans who make this whole display possible demonstrate their skills and craftsmanship for all those that want see how it’s done. If you want the perfect spot for that unusual Christmas photo then now’s the time. The Santa photo opportunity let you see him in a new light with his coloured hand carved ice lit from within. This has to be a near perfect spot for that original Christmas card.
As you enter the next section you find yourself in the night time forest. It is here that polar bears and dancing penguins have made a home. This is a tranquil and restful area which transports you from the normal rush and I find this particular section very peaceful. It also features a running waterfall, twinkling stars behind a painted dusk sky, a winding footpath and of course the amazing ice bridge which is another good place to take an unusual photo. After crossing the bridge, visitors encounter a rustic church facade with light streaming through ice stained "glass" windows, creating a colourful display.
The Nativity is the signature scene of the show. It presents the scene in a truly dramatic sparkling, crystal-clear, life-sized replica. It is certainly one of the world's most unusual renditions of this scene.
As you are now ready to leave one last photo opportunity presents itself before you return to the Florida sun and that has to be an ice Santa with a pink flamingo.
“ICE!” is the highlight of the resort’s “Christmas at The Palms” festivities but while you are there have a look around as its well worth the trip. A good plan would be to go an hour or two before you plan to have a meal. The hotel has a large number of different themed restaurants which offer good food over a range of budgets. A new feature this year will be a Christmas tree which will be perched on top of the Castillo de San Marcos Fort. This is in the main lobby area and will tower more than 50 feet from base to top. A daily tree lighting ceremony is planned and you may want to plan this into your schedule.
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