Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Sneak Peak at “Ice: A Charlie Brown Christmas” with Charles M. Schulz’ Family

November 20, 2009

Amazing! Just got back from a sneak peak at “Ice: A Charlie Brown Christmas” with Charles M. Schulz’ family – his wife, Jeannie Schulz, son Craig, Daughter Jill, and the producer of “Charlie Brown Christmas” and the other Peanuts television specials, Lee Mendelson.
I had seen the ice carvers from Harbin, China, as they were just three days into a 40-day process that turned two million pounds of ice into eight scenes (you can see pictures at an earlier blog). To see it now, this amazing cartoon world come to “life” in ice, is indescribable.
We are all given special parkas before we enter this 9-degree “world”, and are immediately dazzled by life-sized, colorful, three-dimensional re-creations of the Peanuts characters. It is as if they had come to life, in ice.

Peanuts characters on ice, in ice

Peanuts characters on ice, in ice at Opryland Country Christmas © 2009 Karen Rubin/News&PhotoFeatures

Jeannie Shulz, Charles’ wife from 1965 until he died, was most moved to the last room where Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Christmas tree are surrounded by all the Peanuts characters, as you hear them singing, “Hark the Angels Sing”.

Jeannie Schultz with Charlie Brown

Jeannie Schultz with Charlie Brown at Opryland's "Ice" © 2009 Karen Rubin/News&PhotoFeatures

Most amazing, and fun for all, is this enormous room with four ice slides that you get to come down. Jeannie Schulz did it. So did Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown ice slide

Charlie Brown goes down ice slide, where Snoopy, Jeannie Schultz wait © 2009 Karen Rubin/News&PhotoFeatures

You will be dazzled by how the famous scenes from the 1965 television classic, from the first scene on the ice-skating pond to the transformation of Charlie Brown’s tree are transformed into three dimensions.
The figures are five feet tall, fully formed and with all their color and nuanced expression, not to mention the incredible details in the wood flooring, leaves on trees, wreaths, streetlamp all made of ice – artistic marvels. It is uncanny, indescribable in words or pictures. It is magical. An icy wonderland.
Jeannie, as well as Charlie Brown and Snoopy also went down the ice slide in another room that is jaw-dropping awesome.

Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown and Linus recreated with amazing detail at "Ice" © 2009 Karen Rubin/News&PhotoFeatures

This is a phenomenon that must be seen, but it is only one element of Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas”.  Other key attractions include the RadioCity Christmas Spectacular starring world-famous Radio City Rockettes; Louise Mandrell’s ‘Joy to the World’ Christmas Dinner & Show; and General Jackson showboat.

Ice is on view daily, from Nov. 20, 2009 through Jan. 2, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. depending on the day of the week. Ticket prices range from $13 (child) to $24 (adult), depending on the day. Children ages 3 and under are admitted free.

Two-night package at Gaylord Opryland Resort featuring room, ticket to Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Ice, Louise Mandrell, starts at $339 pp/double. For info, go to ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or call 888-OPRY-872.

More complete story, photos at http://www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate.

October 29, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

Ice Carvers from China Already Busy

on Gaylord Opryland’s

‘Charlie Brown Christmas’

You can easily imagine what it’s like for the elves at the North Pole when you peak inside the building that will be the setting for an all-new interactive ice sculpture world, ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz that will be on view at Gaylord Opryland’s Nashville resort from Nov. 20, 2009 through Jan. 2, 2010.

Ice carving at Opryland

Ice carver prepares Nativity scene out of crystal clear ice

Working in the equivalent of a freezer for 12 hours straight at a time, 40 ice carvers who have come from Harbin, China, are busy turning 300-pound, four-foot blocks of clear, white and colored ice (imported from Georgia) into eight different Charlie Brown scenes, plus an ice slide that guests can go down. Here, the ice carver works on the Nativity scene out of crystal clear ice.

Ice carving of Charlie Brown characters

From 300 lb. colored blocks of ice, the Charlie Brown characters emerge (Karen Rubin/News&PhotoFeatures

From 300-pound clear, white and colored blocks of ice, the images of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and others come to amazing life. In just the first few days, figures start to emerge. It will take this team of 40 ice carvers 300 hours to create the dazzling show, that includes a 20-foot long ice slide that guests can go down, and a nativity scene in crystal-clear ice. In all, the carvers create more than 30 characters, four and five feet tall. Visitors go through 10 different rooms with displays – nearly 15,000 square feet of space – filled with some 2 million pounds of ice.

opryland-102409 (c) 2009 Karen Rubin 069e-icecarvers-hands

Two ice carvers from Harbin, China, work on Charlie Brown's "hands" out of flesh-colored ice (c) Karen Rubin/News&Photo Features

Here, ice carvers work on the “hands” using flesh-toned ice. Hardest color ice to make? Black. These are two of 40 ice carvers working on the Opryland display; in all, 160 ice carvers have been brought from Harbin, China, altogether who are working at all four of the Gaylord resort properties: Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida: ICE! reflecting the theme “Welcome to the North Pole,” taking guests through nine dramatic holiday scenes Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas: ICE! featuring How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss; and Gaylord National Resort on the Potomac in Maryland: is a winter fantasy with elements reflecting the region.

 

The ice display is one of 12 different special Christmas shows and events that are part of Opryland’s “Country Christmas” festivities, a tradition for 26 years. There are more than 2 million lights and more than a dozen shows and attractions including an The Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes at the Grand Ole Opry House, plus, Louise Mandrell’s ‘Joy to the World’ Christmas Dinner and Show, A Country Christmas on the Cumberland that takes place on the General Jackson riverboat. (Contact www.ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com, or for info on lodging, 888-777-6779, http://www.gaylordhotels.com).