If you live near a Gaylord Texan Resort, then you should seriously consider visiting the ICE!® exhibit during the Christmas holiday season. It is a holiday treat and an amazing holiday treat to see the handiwork and craftsmanship performed by ice carving expert artisans from the country of Siberia.
This is our third time visiting ICE!® at the Grapevine Gaylord Texan Resort near Dallas, TX. The theme for the 2018 Christmas season was Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer. As we love Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, and it had been a few years since we attended our prior ICE!® shows (Shrek and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas).
We were excited to attend again this season at the frozen winter wonderland of the Gaylord Texan Resort near our home.
Where does the ice come from?
We are told that it takes about 36 truckloads of ice that are transported over three weeks from an ice factory. For 15 days straight, the refrigerated trucks a day deliver the ice to the craftsmen who would be carving the ice displays. It would be an understatement to say the ice factory is busy during this time.
About 2,000,000 pounds of ice is been transformed each year into beautiful and wondrous creations and then preserved throughout XXXX days in temperatures set at 9°F. We would like to tell you how “cool” this event is, but to be truthful, it is freezing cold!
When the ice arrives at the Gaylord Texan, the pallets of ice had been moved around with the forklift to the appropriate locations within the ICE!® Display. Ice of all colors is delivered to create a stunning visual creation for the ICE!® Exhibit.
What kind of ice is used for ICE!®?
The ice is created to exacting specifications based on the clarity and color. A block containing 45 gallons of water can take three days to freeze and will weigh approximately 400 pounds.
Some of the ice is frozen to give a cloudy white appearance, some ice is frozen to be crystal clear, and some ice is mixed with food coloring to form brilliant color displays to be enjoyed by all.
Who carves the ice?
Serious artisans who are seemingly impervious to the cold! Working in 9° temperatures is not a work environment for the faint of heart!
The ice craftsmen who create the ICE!® Exhibit come from the city of Harbin, in northeast China. Evidently, it’s pretty cold in northeast China with the temperatures sometimes fun making to -36°.
With Harbin staying below freezing for almost half the year, we imagine that carving ice may be a popular pastime. It seems to be a win-win for the Gaylord Texan and the Harbin craftsmen and craftswomen each year!
The Gaylord Texan offers discounted tickets during the weekdays and during off-peak times if you’re looking to save a few dollars (must be purchased online and tickets printed and presented upon arrival).
Weekends are prime show times, and rates will be higher. Earlier in the ICE!® Season, ticket pricing is lower, and ticket pricing increases closer to Christmas.
Arriving at The Gaylord Texan
You must park your vehicle in the Gaylord Texan garage (be aware there is a charge for parking).
The Gaylord Texan does a magnificent job with Christmas tree lights and seasonal festivities, both inside and outside of the resort. Walking into the resort, your eyes are treated to a beautiful Christmas time light display. It’s a visual treat that is only the start of the decorations and Christmas festivities inside the resort.
Inside the Gaylord Texan
The massive open area inside the Gaylord Texan is stunning on a typical day, the even more so during Christmas time. Lights adorn all the trees and other features throughout the open area at the center of the Gaylord Texan. Toy trains and other seasonal festivities are other Christmas highlights available for adults and children.
Be sure to walk to the center of the Gaylord Texan Resort open area and look straight up!
The Gaylord Texan is a massive resort, and we had to walk a while to get to where the entrance of the ICE!® Exhibit is located. We purchased our tickets online in advance (highly recommended, so you get the exact time slot that works best for you and your visitors).
As we were entering the ice exhibit, there was a snow tubing area (tickets required).
Before entering the ice exhibit, heavy blue parkas are provided to all ICE!® guests.
If you think you’re tough enough to battle the elements inside the ICE!® exhibit, you’re wrong. It’s bitterly cold inside the exhibit, so take a blue coat to wear so that you can stay warm and enjoy all the sites to be seen.
Tickets are sold for a specific period so that not too many people can enter the exhibit at one time. This makes sure that you can enjoy your experience and not be overly crowded inside the display area.
We took our time and enjoy all the sites to be seen inside the ICE!® Exhibit. As you enter, you are immediately welcomed by Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer.
Here we are getting photo-bombed by Rudolph!
The abominable snowman was a particular treat, right behind Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.
When you attend the ICE!® Exhibit, you absolutely must be adventurous enough to go down the ice slide near the end of the exhibit. Long slides are provided for adults, and short slides are provided for children.
Randy’s trip down the ice slide!
Just before you exit the ICE!® exhibit, you are treated to one last encounter with Santa and his reindeer.
Here is a crystal clear ice manger scene that is the last ice sculpture you will see before exiting the exhibit.
After exiting the exhibit, there is a coat gathering station where the blue coats are gathered, and you are free to search for trinkets and memorabilia in the retail area.
Our walk back to the parking garage through the main open area took us over this wonderful bridge at the Gaylord Texan Grapevine.
We highly recommend that after visiting the ICE!® Exhibit you visit a local restaurant and have a delicious meal with friends (we went to Red Robin in Grapevine, TX).
We highly recommend you mark the Gaylord Texan Resort ICE!® Exhibit on your calendar for Christmas each year. With affordable off-peak tickets, there is no reason whatsoever to not enjoy this wonderful experience!
Randy & Kim