Ice! returns to the #Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando on November 18, and this year’s theme is the beloved holiday classic “A Charlie Brown #Christmas.” This year’s ice carvings will tell the story of Charlie Brown as he and the gang discover the true meaning of Christmas, even though it’s only October, talented Chinese artisans are already hard at work making the coloring carvings.

Ice! is just one part of Christmas activities

Ice! runs through January 1, 2017, this year as part of the annual Christmas at the Gaylord Palms celebration. While the resort also features activities indoor snow tubing, gingerbread decorating, a revamped Cirque Dreams show, cookies and stories with Mrs.

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Claus, and visits with Santa himself, Ice! is the top attraction each year. Visitors brave nine degree temperatures (don’t worry, you can borrow a parka) to venture inside the chilly domain filled with the story-telling sculptures. This year, the On the Blocks Ice Bar also returns so you can imbibe in a warming adult beverage inside the exhibit. As always, the culmination is a dazzling clear-ice depiction of the nativity.

Artisans come to Orlando from Harbin, China

The Chinese artisans who create the sculptures get a warm welcome every year when they arrive at the Gaylord Palms Resort. They hail from Harbin, China, which is famous for its ice festival. They travel to Orlando and work for several weeks at a time to complete the Christmas display so it’s ready for opening day. In the video below, you’ll meet two of those artisans, one of whom has been working in Ice! for many years.

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At the end of the video, you’ll see a group of the talented craftsman getting a big welcome as the arrive at the resort:

 

See artistry at Ice! throughout the event

Most of the artisans head back to China after Ice! opens, but some stay behind at the Gaylord Palms Resort to maintain the sculptures and do any necessary touch-ups. For the past several years, the exhibit has also featured the Frostbite Factory, an area where guests can watch the craftsman firsthand as they work on additional pieces that are added to the exhibit as they’re completed. You’ll marvel at how fluidly they sculpt the intricate details in the freezing cold. In the video below, you’ll see a scene from the Frostbite Factory from 2013:

 

Go behind the scenes at the Gaylord Palms

While it’s fascinating to see one of the artisans at work inside the Ice! exhibit, that’s barely a taste of the many weeks of work that go into transforming a barren area in a frigid winter wonderland of icy color. The Gaylord Palms Resort allowed some members of the media to go behind the scenes and see what things look like when the work is just getting underway.

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You’ll see what that looks like, including the busy sculptors and the giant blocks of ice that will eventually get whittled down to become part of the Christmas display, in the video below:

 

The Gaylord Palms Resort has several different ticket options for Ice! and packages that include the other Christmas activities for one price. You can stay at the resort or visit as a day guest for a day. You might even need two days to pack in all of the fun. The resort’s website has all the details. #Ice!