Save 50% on your tickets to ICE!® Enter promo code HOHOHO when you buy tickets online.
ICE!® featuring scenes from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Courtesy: Gaylord Texan
CREATING A WINTER WONDERLAND
It takes quite a few elves to turn a 14,000 square foot space into a magical exhibit of ice sculptures. These 40 “elves” are actually an extremely talented troupe of artisans that come from Northeast China, and they begin hand-carving the 2 million pounds of ice in early October. The 9 degree temps inside the ICE!® tent seemed mighty frigid to me during my visit, but these artists are used to temperatures in Harbin, China, that dip as low as -36 degrees. Woah!
An ice sculptor creating ICE!®
Courtesy: Casey Walker
Blocks of ice used to create ICE!®
Courtesy: Mary Murphy
Carving blocks of ice into ICE!®
Courtesy: Casey Walker
ICE, ICE, RUDOLPH
During my sneak peek, I got to see the talented sculptors use a variety of tools to turn large blocks of ice into scenes from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, an ice bar (where 21+ visitors can purchase alcoholic drinks at ICE!®), five ice slides, a life-sized Nativity and more! The ice blocks that the sculptors carve arrive in a variety of colors and types. The colored ice, well, that’s thanks to food coloring. The other two types of ice blocks are “Clear, Crystal Ice” and “White Ice”. The White Ice is similar to what you can make at home—it’s cloudy and looks like snow. The Crystal Ice, however, is created from highly filtered deionized water and takes longer to freeze. This slower freeze leads to a more perfect ice, similar to a diamond or crystal. All three types of ice are needed to create the Gaylord Texan’s unique ICE!® exhibit.
One of the finished scenes from ICE!® featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Courtesy: Gaylord Texan
LONE STAR CHRISTMAS
Along with ICE!, the Gaylord Texan has a whole slew of activities for you to enjoy during the holidays. For the thrill seekers, there’s Ice Skating under the stars and Snow Tubing down a two-story, 12 lane ramp. Tradition lovers, you can spend time with Mrs. Claus reading classic holiday stories and singing carols, all while enjoying some cookies and milk. There’s even a special corner for gingerbread decorating and an all-new Christmas Carousel! Other Lone Star Christmas fun includes Holiday Escape Rooms, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast and a scavenger hunt with Rudolph and the Misfit Toys. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy if you want to make a day out of your visit to ICE!®
GET READY FOR ICE!®
Although I haven’t seen a finished ICE!® exhibit with my own two eyes, I’ve heard the walk-through attraction is one of the most magical holiday experiences in all of DFW (and beyond). Over 300,000 people walk through ICE!® every year. If you want to be one of them, mark your calendars: ICE!® featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer opens to the public on November 9th, 2018 and runs through January 1st, 2019. Don’t worry about the cold temperatures—Although it is BYOG (bring your own gloves), the Gaylord team provides parkas for all guests of ICE!®
10 TIPS TO MAKE IT MEMORABLE
- Make Reservations in Advance: There are days and times that sell out, so be sure to plan ahead and get a reservation, especially if you’re going with a large group!
- Aim For Week Day Visits: This is easier said than done, but I promise it will be worth it—you’ll avoid the large crowds that come during the weekend.
- Early Bird Gets the Worm: If you can’t make it on a weekday, set your alarms and visit ICE! in the morning. You’ll experience smaller crowds before lunch on busy weekend days.
- Avoid Denim: If you plan on going on the slide or tubing, leave the denim at home. When denim becomes damp, it gets really heavy and uncomfortable to wear. No thanks!
- Lean Back: Speaking of slides, the trick to a successful experience with the ice slides is to lean back! If you don’t lean back, you’ll have to awkwardly scoot down the slide.
- Come Fully Charged: The cold temps drain your phone battery, so be sure to come fully charged and ready to take photos! If you have an external charger, be sure to bring it along with you for an easy re-charge.
- Layer, But Not Too Much: No matter how cold (or hot) it is outside, once you get into ICE!®, you’ll want to have layers on to keep you warm. Hats, gloves, hand warmers, an extra layers of socks… they’re all great ideas! However, I’ve been told by an inside source that you should leave the big coats at home and opt for a Parka instead.
- Wear Closed Toed Shoes: Wearing closed-toed shoes is a must! If you have sturdy, non-slip boots, that’s even better.
- Save Some Money: Keep your eyes open for Value Days, ICE!® giveaways and discount codes. Our special code “HOHOHO” will save you 50% off online tickets any day from 11/15 – 11/23, 11/25 – 11/29 and 12/3 – 12/6.
- Have Fun: This should go without saying, but enjoy your time at ICE!®. Take photos, share laughs and enjoy the holiday fun. After all, this winter wonderland only happens once a year!
Ice Slide; Courtesy: Gaylord Texan
Featured Image Courtesy: Mary M. Murphy