Gaylord Opryland’s 40th annual A Country Christmas begins today, November 10, 2023, and continues through January 1, 2024. This year’s celebration features a brand new ICE! theme based on the beloved Warner Bros holiday film, The Polar Express.
Using a staggering two million pounds of ice, which translates to about 1,000 tons, a team of 40 ingenious, professionally trained artisans from Harbin, China, have painstakingly etched out the well-known scenes from “The Polar Express”. The result is a visual spectacle that extends an enchanting pathway into the world of the beloved movie, forming the center attraction at the resort.
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However, the fun doesn’t stop at witnessing the icy masterpiece. Visitors can look forward to an extraordinary Christmas dinner show, pay Santa and Mrs. Claus a visit, take a thrilling slide on ice tubing or glide around the ice-skating rink along with many more merry activities.
Once guests step into the icy domain of “The Polar Express”, they embark on an adventure that carries them towards the magnetic North Pole. Along the journey, they are reminded of virtues like friendship, bravery, and the inherent spirit of Christmas, all wonderfully echoed through the hand-carved ice sculptures mimicking scenes from the movie. Be prepared to see the film’s unforgettable plots come alive, such as the arrival of “The Polar Express” at the Hero Boy’s residence, anxious passengers cradling cups of hot cocoa as they journey, or the adrenaline-pumping Glacier Gulch incident.
Adding to the excitement, for the first time ever, the display will incorporate five two-story interactive ice slides, providing an experience superior to any in previous years. A combination of colored and clear ice, illuminated with technicolor LED lights, curates the astonishing frozen panorama.
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The artistry behind these grand ice exhibits begins with no less than 6,000 extra-large blocks of ice. Over a duration approximating to six weeks, or 12,000 man-hours, the artists meticulously shape the frosty slabs into a near 17,000 square foot spectacular ice spectacle. Reflecting the intricacies in a 300-page design guidebook, the sculptors carve minute details as small as a coin to towering scenes looming over 30 feet tall.
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Tom Petrillo, the General Manager and Managing Director of Gaylord Opryland Resort & Attractions, expressed their excitement at the novel offering. “Our 40th anniversary of A Country Christmas coinciding with the debut of a completely new ICE! theme makes this occasion extra special. We look forward to presenting our guests with a unique and fresh experience this holiday season.”
As the ICE! tour concludes, visitors are treated to a dedicated area showcasing a breathtaking Nativity scene, formed using crystal-clear ice, a poignant reminder of the religious origins of Christmas.
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While ICE! holds a prime position, a visit to A Country Christmas entails an overwhelming spread of festive features and activities. Sprucing up the resort into a veritable winter wonderland are more than five million sparkling lights, a 48-foot fully adorned tree, more than 15,000 poinsettias, along with 15 miles of green garland and 10 miles of hand-tied ribbon. For adrenaline seekers, there are thrilling rides at Pinetop, an outdoor location reminiscent of the picturesque Appalachian landscape, as well as numerous other joyful experiences awaiting to be discovered.
This holiday season, immerse in an atmosphere teeming with joyful diversions, brand-new ICE! displays, and discounts on select Tuesdays with the return of Nashville Nights at Gaylord Opryland’s 40th A Country Christmas.
For event tickets or more information, visit ChristmasatGaylordOpryland.com.