Madagascar Characters Star in Gaylord Hotel Show
USA- Nashville, TN | Dec 10 2011 | (09:00:53 - EDT)
More than 1 million people are expected pass through this year's ICE! holiday show at four ofGaylord's hotels in the USA.
The hotels are expecting a record crowd this year partly because DreamWorks characters play a role in the festivities.
Earlier this year, the two companies announced a partnership to promote characters such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar's animals in Gaylord's hotels during slow periods for conferences.
"With DreamWorks and the power of Shrek and 'Merry Madagascar,' we think the sky's the limit," Dave Kloeppel, president and COO of Gaylord Entertainment, told me Tuesday.
See Gaylord's website for descriptions of the festivities and ICE! shows, which vary by location. The Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, for instance, has an ice show with a "Shrek the Halls" theme based on DreamWorks' Shrek movies.
I attended the media kickoff event for the Gaylord National's show in suburban Washington D.C. on Nov. 17. After the dramatic lighting of the hotel's 60-foot-tall, glass Christmas tree amid a fireworks show, we walked over to the show.
The ice-carving show is housed not inside the hotel, but in an enormous white tent that houses the ice show - stored at a frigid 9 degrees - as well as an ice skating rink, retail store and small choo-choo train.
To create the ice shows, about 40 ice carvers are flown from Harbin, China, to each Gaylord property, Kloeppel says. It takes each group about 30 days, and 12-hour shifts, to carve approximately 2 million pounds of ice.
In Harbin in northeastern China, ice carving dates back hundreds of years; about 40 years ago Harbin launched its own outdoor ice sculpture festival on a frozen lake.
Regardless of which hotel you might visit, you'll find the largest, signature ice sculpture - a gigantic ice slide that you can actually slide down.
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