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What's Up Magazine

An Ogre of an Attraction

Dec 07, 2012 12:29AM ● By Anonymous

The holiday-inspired indoor attraction – created entirely of ice - consists of dozens of intricate and colorful sculptures, as well as 20-feet-tall ice slides for guests to glide down. The entire attraction spans over 15,000 square feet of the Gaylord National, and a massive 2 million pounds of ice was used in its making. More than 1,500 LED light tubes are frozen inside the sculptures, lighting them from within.

As guests make their way through the ICE! attraction, they follow the story of Shrek’s attempt to plan a family Christmas, and amid chaos and confusion, he learns the true meaning of the holiday season. And of course, the attraction wouldn’t be complete without the help of Donkey, Puss in Boots, and other characters made popular by the Shrek movies, as well as a 40-foot pink ice replica of Dragon at the end of their journey.

A team of 40 expert ice-carvers traveled from Harbin, a city in northeast China, to Washington, D.C., specifically to create this year’s “Shrek the Halls” ICE! attraction in about a month’s time. Three different types of ice were created in the process – clear “crystal” ice, white ice and colored ice – each requiring a distinct method to generate. Ice also serves as the adhesive in between individual components of sculptures, creating an attraction truly adhering to its name.

The temperature of ICE! is kept at 9 degrees and guests are provided with long, hooded winter coats, available in all sizes. Long pants and closed shoes are required to enter the attraction, and Gaylord National recommends guests bring hats and gloves as well. As they state on their website, “Think Christmas morning in Alaska … and dress accordingly!”

The ICE! attraction is only one element of Gaylord National’s annual Christmas on the Potomac holiday celebration, and guests can take part in various other activities – including an indoor train, a tree lighting show, and gingerbread house decorating.

ICE! will be open daily through the holiday season, ending on Jan. 6, 2013. Ticket prices vary dependent on the day and guest, and can be purchased online or via phone by calling 301-965-4000. Parking is $10.