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Ice! – Florida’s Unusual Winter Attraction
Something rather unexpected and rather special happens each year in Orlando. From the beginning of November through to early January the spectacular winter attraction Ice! is held at one of Orlando’s largest hotels, the Gaylord Palms.
Over two million pounds of ice is hand carved into an incredible winter wonderland. The sculptors come from China to show off their amazing skill, working and maintaining the exhibition at temperatures of 9 degrees Fahrenheit. (Not a temperature regularly associated with Florida! ) Each year has a theme and in 2008 it was Santa’s Arctic Blast which included a colossal Santa fourteen feet tall – and yes completely carved out of ice and maintained to last for two months! 2008 saw a candy house with a huge cup cake and an enormous ice cream sundae. Many sculptures have lights to add to their drama. Fantastic smooth slippery slides are fun for children to glide down – imagine a child’s delight at the experience of sliding down one. However, if you are feeling brave enough there is nothing stopping you from having a go too!
If you would like to visit this event you will need to make sure you are suitably clothed – long trousers and trainers are recommended – this is not an event for beach wear or you will feel extremely chilly! Bright blue parkas are provided and included in your entry fee. If you do feel you are getting a little too cold or the temperature feels extreme, go outside and them re-enter the exhibition. Be sure to take a camera – family and friends will be amazed at what you see – and many will not believe this was found in the Sunshine State!
If you visit in the evening there is a live stage show featuring Christmas characters and seasonal music together with a light show of synchronised music and lights. (There are over 1500 lights. ) And if ice skating is one of your family’s passion there is an outside ice rink to have a go. The cost of renting ice skates is included in your ticket.
After you’ve finished warm up and take a look at the 70 foot Christmas tree! It’s quite something! It is a fantastic sight to see and well worth a visit.
To find out more about the Floridian Fridge, visit the website www. gaylordhotels. com - 2009 will be the seventh year. Tickets can be bought in advance at a slightly reduced rate and start from around $17. Parking at the hotel is additional but you may find discount vouchers in the tourist booklets found near the checkout area of stores like Wal-Mart and Superbay.
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