‘Ice!’ Is Back!
Beloved Tale ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Told Through Ice Sculptures ~
Gaylord Rockies Resort invites guests to “freeze the day” this Christmas as the hotel’s annual holiday tradition, ICE!, returns November 18, 2022, through January 1, 2023. Using more than two million pounds of ice, the classic holiday story and animated special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” will be brought to life by a team of 40 ice artisans who work for approximately six weeks to create the 17,500-square-foot, frozen attraction. The artisans, using skills passed down from generation to generation, followed a 300-page design book filled with sketches to create the spectacle. Starting with more than 6,700 massive ice blocks – created by three different ice manufacturers because of the sheer amount needed – carvers will tally more than 12,000 man-hours on the project.
ICE! will feature more than 10 scenes from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and classic characters including Charlie Brown, his canine sidekick, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Ice carvings range in size from details as tiny as a coin to soaring scenes more than 30 feet tall. The environment will be kept frozen by a state-of-the-art chilling system that maintains the attraction’s temperature at a frosty 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Colored ice (created by a chemist who mixes special food colorings to ensure sculptures maintain their bright colors the entire season), clear ice and LED lights are all used to create the sparkling display. The frozen fun follows Charlie Brown as he directs the neighborhood Christmas play, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his peers when he chooses a tiny Christmas tree as a centerpiece.
“We can’t wait for our guests to experience the magic and wonder of ICE! during this year’s Christmas at Gaylord Rockies celebration,” said Suzy Hart, general manager of Gaylord Rockies Resort. “ICE! is a one-of-a-kind attraction and we’re excited to welcome this Gaylord Hotels tradition back this year with ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ and all the beloved Peanuts characters in the classic holiday story.”
In addition to seeing Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang, guests can also take slippery rides down two-story-tall ice slides, and traverse through ice tunnels and arches. The ICE! experience concludes in a separate area dedicated to a Nativity scene, meticulously carved and shaped in a dramatic display of crystal-clear ice.
The talented carvers that create this arctic artwork will travel more than 5,700 miles from their homes in Harbin, China, to Aurora, CO. Known as “Ice City,” Harbin is no stranger to elaborate ice carvings – it’s home to the world’s largest annual ice and snow sculpting festival in the world. At Gaylord Rockies, some of the same artisans who create the Harbin festival will carve 300-pound blocks of ice into the larger-than-life, whimsical scenes. Carvers will use chisels, chippers, tongs, handsaws, grinders and even chainsaws to bring “A Charlie Brown Christmas” to life.
There’s Snow Much More!
While ICE! is the signature attraction for Christmas at Gaylord Rockies, there are plenty more festive activities, events, attractions, and dazzling decorations throughout the resort. Here’s a rundown of the events, live entertainment, hands-on activities, exciting attractions and notable news taking place this holiday season at the resort including:
- An original Gaylord Hotels production, “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas” features high-flying stunts, acrobatic feats, elaborate staging, and a dramatic musical score. This Cirque-style show, presented in the bubly™ theater, centers on Noel, a child dismayed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Throughout the 75-minute show, Noel is visited in dreamlike chapters by trapeze artists, acrobats, aerial silk performers and others who help rekindle the Christmas spirit.
- Adventurous outdoor fun awaits on Glacier Point. Guests can experience the thrill of zooming around on ice, sliding, spinning, and bumping with friends and family on Ice Bumper Cars. Other activities include Snow Tubing, Ice Skating, and Snowball Build & Blast where guests build and toss real snowballs to boost the power of the snowmaking machines and earn points.
- Guests can test their winter weather wits inside the Naughty or Nice Escape Room. Yuletide trickster Jack Frost is back with his icy antics and has added new names to Santa’s infamous Naughty List. But Jack has a deal to make – if guests can sneak into Santa’s office and solve a series of puzzles, their names will disappear from the Naughty List. Guests need to put on their holiday thinking caps on, solve the mystery, and then dash away, dash away, dash away all!
- One of Santa’s top toymakers teaches the secrets of becoming one of St. Nick’s helpers and leads the new elf students as they create a special keepsake gift or craft to take home for someone special in Elf Training Academy.
- Christmas creativity runs wild in the Gingerbread Decorating Corner. Achieve confection perfection with edible art, and enjoy a sweet meet-and-greet and photograph with Nutmeg the Gingerbread Man.
- Guests can chat with the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, to make sure they’ve secured a spot on his prestigious Nice List. Santa will meet guests inside Mistletoe Village from November 18 through December 24, before he heads back to the North Pole for his gift-giving journey. Presented by DEI.
- Join the jolliest hostess during Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions for a fun-filled celebration. Delight in the retelling of the Christmas classic, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, sing along to favorite holiday songs and share a batch of Santa’s favorite snack – warm, fresh-baked Christmas cookies and ice-cold milk.
- Also in Mistletoe Village, guests can experience Build-A-Bear Workshop®. Guests make their own furry friend, take part in the iconic Heart Ceremony, and personalize with seasonal outfits, accessories, sounds and scents.
- Guests will search high and low to help Snoopy deck his house out for the Dog House Decorating Competition in the Merry Snoopy Christmas Scavenger Hunt, a fun, resort-wide activity.
Exclusive Access for Overnight Guests
This year, Gaylord Rockies is offering perks and special access to overnight resort guests so they can wait in line less and enjoy more! These perks include:
- “Chill Pass” privileges to ICE!, offering front-of-line access and shorter wait times for this year’s signature attraction. “Chill Pass” is free for eligible guests. Attraction tickets are required and sold separately, in advance.
- An invitation to “Extra Cool Hour,” which provides early-entry into ICE! and Mistletoe Village one hour before it opens to day guests. “Extra Cool Hour” is free for eligible guests. Attraction tickets are required and sold separately, in advance.
Christmas Merchandise and Spa Visits are Nice
- Yuletide Street Market in Mistletoe Village features wall-to-wall holiday gifts, collectibles, toys, plush, home décor, apparel, ornaments, branded merchandise, and more.
- Relâche Spa at Gaylord Rockies features Winter Wonderland massage, facial and pedicure treatments, highlighting the benefits of eucalyptus. The aromatic plant is known to be high in antioxidants, to promote relaxation and reduce pain.
In addition to more than a dozen special events and activities during Christmas at Gaylord Rockies, guests can enjoy many of the year-round amenities. Arapahoe Springs Water Park is a water wonderland open to overnight guests, with three water slides, indoor and outdoor pools, and a 750-foot-long lazy river. Guests can also enjoy a world of cuisine and fine dining at a variety of exciting and diverse restaurants.
Also being unwrapped this year are Christmas at Gaylord Rockies packages that include special room rates and admission to select events. Guests are encouraged to book their experiences early, as advance online reservations are required for all ticketed events. Tickets are limited to many of the experiences. For tickets, more information, or to book an overnight stay, guests may visit ChristmasatGaylordRockies.com.