Holiday Family Fun
The Gaylord Texan is gearing up for it’s 11th year of ICE!®
ICE!® is a walk-through exhibit that attracts over 300,000 visitors every year. The theme this year is Christmas Around the World and will feature various countries including the United States, Japan, France, Africa, Mexico, and Canada. The attraction is a chilling 9° Fahrenheit, but the experience will warm your heart and get you into the Christmas spirit!
Planning for the display begins over a year in advance. A special events team decides the theme, then blue prints, designs, and measurements are developed. In August, the 14,000 square foot tent that houses the display is set up. Ice artisans arrive in October and carve the blocks of ice into the colorful figures guests see for a month before the exhibit opens in November. Then, carpet is applied, music and lights are added, and touch ups are made before the show makes its public debut.
The Gaylord Texan allowed DFW Images special behind-the-scenes access to see the incredible display as it is constructed. Each year, forty artisans travel from Harbin, China to Grapevine, Texas to carve the sculptures. Once the project is completed, thirty fly home while ten stay to touch up the ice and build sculptures for the live artisan section of the show. The artisans bring their own chef and translator, and get to explore other DFW attractions on their days off.
The exhibit is made of two millions pounds of ice and is constructed over a month long period using food coloring to create the different colored ice. Delivered in two truck loads a day for 15 days from a local Ice factory, the artisans use chainsaws, small saws, chisels, shovels, paintbrushes, and forklifts to make the detailed sculptures. The adhesive they use to attach the pieces together is just water! In just a month, a warehouse full of two million pounds of ice blocks turns into a beautiful Christmas display that thousands will enjoy!
In addition to celebrating the cultural traditions from around the world, visitors will also have the opportunity to slide down the two-story tall ice slides, enjoy the beautiful nativity scene sculpted in ice, and even try the interactive ice carving station – Frostbite Factory. You’ll want to bring your entire family out to celebrate a Lone Star Christmas at The Gaylord Texan!
ICE!® opens on November 12th, 2015 and runs through January 3rd, 2016. Tickets are available at ICE®Christmas Around The World, or you can win a family 4 pack of tickets (keep reading)!
Check out the slide show below for more photos:
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Have you been to ICE!® in the past? What was your favorite exhibit? Tell us in the comments below!
Article by: Ashley Statham
Photos by: Calvin Mims