ICE! Ice Baby
When it comes to Christmas time, is there anything better than seeing the Grinch? We love the classic cartoon, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – and we finished a fun weekend by watching it together as a family. It was the perfect way to cap an early Christmas gift from Nana and Pop Rod (THANK YOU!!!), where we drove down on Saturday to experience ICE! featuring our favorite green character at the Gaylord National Resort.
We thought we loved seeing the Grinch on the small screen, but nothing prepares you for the amazing and frigid experience that is ICE! Our tickets were for the first available entry at 10 AM. We arrived early and we walked around the hotel to see some pretty amazing decorations. It also gave us time to spy some eateries that might make a good option once the event ended. Because, our kids, you know, they’re giants. So, when the doors opened, we walked through the doors and the kids were extremely excited. Their level of bouncing off the walls was tangible. They were ready, and to be honest, so were we.
I think it’s safe to say that we had an idea of how cold it would be. It literally says on the site when you purchase tickets, “A walk-through holiday attraction kept at a chilly 9°F.” Of course, it’ll be cold. We’ll be fine. They even provide parkas for everyone to use. Also, if you want to go down an ice slide, you must wear a parka. And, yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. I don’t think I’ve ever moved so fast in my life – and I’ve chased after toddlers before. Okay, so it’s cold. It’s freezing, but the awe of what you see is so impressive.
Fun and Caution at the Slides
ICE! is literally “2 million pounds of colorful ice sculptures.” It’s a spectacle that almost doesn’t seem real. I don’t even think I’d ever seen colorful ice before. It was so vivid, it almost appeared to be gigantic life-sized dolls that were constructed out of plastic. That’s how unique the experience was. The kids were pointing and rushing towards different creations, as each room had its own special features. Each of the rooms have various decorations or lighting that definitely enhanced the experience, especially for the kids.
For this experience, it is something we would do again. The website does mention that a walk-through will be from 30 minutes to 2 hours. We were definitely at the former lasting a little longer than 30 minutes, and it was totally worth it. The kids were freezing. They even said, “I’m freezing,” simultaneously, but that all disappeared when they could slide down the two-story ice slides. There are four of them, so they could go back up and go again.
Quick side note: Perhaps ask the crew watching over the slides to watch more carefully. Our son wasn’t finished going down the slide when a much larger kid/teenager slid down and slammed into Marshall. He held it together quite well, but he was clearly upset that he got hit. So, yeah, there’s that blip on the radar.
Beyond that moment, it was a fun experience. It is safe to say that I would probably go up each and every time the kids go down the slide in the future. After a once through with the kids, I felt the situation shouldn’t have posed any risk seeing as there were people at each slide station. So, next time perhaps I’ll go up each time.
Icy Fun for the Family
I’m happy that moment didn’t take away from the kids’ ICE! experience. The event is fun and layers are absolutely encouraged! By the end of it, my hands were popsicles for sure. The kids were both exclaiming how cold they were at the end, but that was part of the adventure. Both Adelaide and Marshall had several layers on. They both wore a coat with hoodie, hat, and gloves. Plus, they had a parka on top of all those layers, which also had its own hoodie. It’s incredible to think that something so cold could be so much fun. You might think you’re prepared for the arctic feel, but you are not.
What’s possibly the most incredible thing, is when it’s all over. The ICE! event is held in a special enclosed tent outdoors, so you walk outside to get back into the Gaylord Hotel. We stepped outside and it felt like Florida heat, despite it only being in the 30s. How crazy is that? Meghan and I would recommend ICE! to anyone that loves the Grinch and wants to see something uniquely amazing. I will again make sure to throw out that caveat of the ice slides, especially if you have younger ones.
ICE! runs through December 30, 2019 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Visit their page to learn more about how ICE! is made, which includes those who make it and the types of ice created.
In the meantime, check out some of pictures below highlighting some of the fun we had there. Please be aware that these pictures might be blurry from the shivering taking place while taking each photo. 😊
Our kids love having control of the TV, so we let them use the Fire TV Stick. It gives us peace of mind knowing they can't accidentally watch something too mature.