What a "Cool" Job

A Sunshine State resort has been transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season. Three-dimensional frozen ice caves, slides and sculptures make-up the Kissimmee, Florida attraction.

A south Georgia company supplied the ice that made the sculptures possible. Three different types of ice were used including colored ice, but a glass-like type of ice is what puts Cairo, Georgia on the map.

Visitors to the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando can now chill out in the midst of frozen holiday figures and scenes, but the coolest thing about this attraction is that the most important part was made right here in Cairo.

Two million pounds of this ice was shipped over to Kissimmee, Florida, but this is not the type of ice cube you find in you refrigerator. It' called crystal clear ice and it's pretty hard to come by.

"M&M ice is the only company close enough to Kissimmee which is where Gaylord Palms is located that is capable of making the clear ice in the quantities that they need for the display," says David Hildebrandt.

It took 25 days to carve nearly 5,000 blocks of ice made over a two-month period, but these guys are no strangers to this type of work.

“We ship several hundred carving blocks a week to south Florida to go to sea on cruise ships for all the beautiful ice sculptures they have at banquets and buffets," David adds.

Preparing such a hot commodity, or in this case cold to be shipped off, is not so complicated. Chris Fortner says it actually an easy job, but the complex part is the next step.

When it reaches the hands of the sculptors who shape it into a seasonal wonder, the attraction appropriately called “ice” is believed to be the first in North America. It will be on display until January 4.


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