ICE! at the Gaylord wows Wilkinson

By Shannon Wilkinson
Staff Writer

Nothing screams “Happy Holidays” like a nine-degree room and huge, elaborate ice sculptures. The Gaylord Texan Resort hosted its 10th annual ICE! show, with this year’s theme being The Nutcracker.

The sculptures you see at ICE! are all carved by 40 master ice artisans from China. These sculptors spend 45 days in Grapevine carving the beautiful sculptures thousands of people come to see.

“It was my first time going to see ICE!,” senior Grace Naranjo said. “It was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced because of how detailed each sculpture is and the amount of time the artists had to put into it.”

The tour starts with an informative video about how the show is put together and ends with “snow” falling from the sky. Attendees are then ushered through a door where they are given large, blue parkas and head into the below freezing exhibit hall.

“The sculptures were ginormous and super interesting to look at because of all the detail, but the room was so cold, I could not feel my hands,” Naranjo said. “Even though it was so cold, it was fun because everyone was all bundled up walking close to each other.”

This year, the ICE! show added a bonus interactive area. Participants got the chance to walk through the streets of New York City made entirely out of ice.  All the major tourist attractions of New York City were highlighted.

Toy Soilders line the enterance to the Gaylord's 10th anual ICE! show. This years theme was The Nutcracker. Photo by Shannon Wilkinson
Toy Soilders line the enterance to the Gaylord’s 10th annual ICE! show. This years theme was The Nutcracker. Photo by Shannon Wilkinson

Besides the two million pounds of ice used for the show, there are also 1.5 million lights used in the creation and colored ice to bring the display to life.

“The ice is really impressive, but the fact that they could put lights inside the ice to bring it to life was even better,” CMS North seventh grader Michael Tierney said. “I also liked sliding down the ice slides inside the attraction, my butt was freezing.”

After strolling through the below freezing ice room, attendants have the chance to take a picture with Santa, decorate gingerbread houses with Gingy from Shrek, experience a 5D interactive movie and sled down the slopes of Po Mountain.

“I have never seen anything like this before,” Kiran Harpavat of Lewisville said. “It is incredible how real they make all the sculptures look and just everything they offer is breathtaking.”

The Gaylord Texan hopes to bring the classic ballet to life this holiday season for thousands of families to enjoy. ICE! is going on now through Jan. 4. Grab your coats and look forward to a freezing room of fun.

“I highly recommend this event to anyone, young or old,” Harpavat said. “Once you get over how cold it is, you really do enjoy the beauty of the sculptures.”