Christmas in July at Gaylord Palms Kissimmee/Orlando

Original Special to Central Florida Top 5 by SeaWorld Mommy

Alex the Lion gives this GKTW family a reason to smile at Gaylord Palms!

July 18th Gaylord Palms welcomed the media, bloggers, community leaders, Give Kids the World representatives and families, and a host of children from The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida to see a preview of ICE 2012.

On deck to welcome were the cast of the Shrek movies, including Shrek himself, the lovely Fiona, Puss in Boots, and everyone’s favorite “Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons!” cookie a.k.a. Gingy. Once through the Shrek-tastic receiving line, the sounds of a quartet were heard. And not just any quartet. Santa hat-wearing, tropical-shirt donning, pool-wading singers belted out the holiday tunes, Florida style!

Guests mingled around the tropical pool by the new Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park and enjoyed holiday treats, summer style, including gingerbread cake pops and eggnog frozen ice cream push-ups. Kids everywhere walked around with green mustaches from the (seemingly) mile-high icing on the cupcakes.

After a word of welcome, the stars of Madagascar made a special appearance to unveil this year’s ICE theme, “Merry Madagascar.” Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, and sweet little Mort waved and blew kisses to the fans both in the pool and all around. As they stepped off the stage, the logo appeared with Alex and Marty the Zebra. Everyone thought it was “cool” (pun intended) to see a video of Madagascar’s finest introducing the event. And then…

Dry ice billowed and out popped a DJ. A familiar beat got the (pool!) dance floor hoping. Guests knew the song from the instant those first few notes rang out. Ding dit dit dit dit ding ding. Ice, Ice Baby! Vanilla Ice, also known as Robert Van Winkle from the Vanilla Ice Project on HGTV, performed his signature tune to fans both in the water and out.

Gaylord Palms’ Christmas in July proved to be the coolest place in town!

ICE! Will continue to be the “coolest” attraction in Central Florida this year, with the Christmas tradition that brings over 20,000 square feet of 9-degree fun. Two-story ice slides constructed from 2 million (MILLION?!) pounds of ice will chill bundled riders as they giggle and wiggle their way down. In addition to the frosty (no, not THAT Frosty) fun, will be dazzling lights, Madagascar Merriness, ice sculptures, holiday treats, and the Luminescence Christmas Show.

Don’t want to pack a parka for the event? No problem. Calf-length hooded winter coats are provided. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are, however, required. ICE! is open daily from November 10, 2012 through January 1, 2013, including holidays.

Purchase your tickets online at least 24 hours in advance of the date you plan to attend.