NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Every year, Gaylord Opryland resort transforms its property into a dazzling winter wonderland, with attractions and displays beyond even a sugar plum fairy’s wildest dreams. But there is one attraction that stops them all-- ICE!
“It is nine degrees here but that’s because we’re surrounded by ice sculptures, two million pounds in fact," said Rob Regg, Marketing Manager for Gaylord Opryland Resort. "We’re in our ICE! attraction and this year it’s featuring the theme of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer which is a theme obviously that everyone knows and loves, and you basically walk through the story of and how he saved Christmas, but it’s all brought to life in colorful ice.”
The two million pounds of ice that create this icy wonderland start by coming to the resort in 40 pound blocks. Food coloring is used to create the many vibrant colors that tell the story of Rudolph—but most impressive is the fact that 40 ice artisans fly in from Harbin, China every year to help create this frozen masterpiece.
“We bring them here about four weeks before we open the exhibit, and they work to sculpt these ice sculptures using hand tools from ice picks, to chain saws," Regg said.
One interactive, and very real, aspect of the attraction is that it is kept very cold due to the obvious need to keep the ice from melting. But the resort doesn't want you to freeze on your way through Rudolph's story, so they provide blue parkas that you pick up on your way into the attraction.
You can also purchase some delicious hot chocolate on your way out of the exhibit (and take our word for it-- you'll want it). Stay warm!