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FOX 13 goes behind the scenes as Midway Ice Castles prep for January opening

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Posted at 9:45 PM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 23:45:52-05

MIDWAY, Utah -- The Midway Ice Castles gained attention from all over the world in 2013, with thousands of people flocking to see the magnificent structures throughout the winter.

But last year, the unusually warm winter made it so they were only open three days. Now, the forecast looks like it will be in their favor.

“You're a 30-year-old little kid getting to build an ice fort; it's every persons dream,” said Jesse Stone, site manager for the Midway Ice Castles.

It's Jesse Stone's third season building the Midway Ice Castles from the ground up.

“We're able to grow exponentially every single day,” Stone said.

The team is taking advantage of each freezing day Mother Nature graciously gives them.

“She can make or break us,” said Brent Christensen, Founder of Midway Ice Castles.

The work consists of stacking hundreds of thousands of icicles and transforming the acre and a half of land at Soldier Hollow into a winter wonderland. We got a behind the scenes look, which you can see in the video above.

“This is kind of the base layer of the ice castle, you can see how we've put some icicles and they've been flowering for a day or two, and then what we do is put more icicles on top of that. We'll turn this sprayer on in a few minutes,” Christensen said.

The structure will grow from 3 to 20 feet in a matter of weeks. Brent Christensen, the man behind the castles, says this year will be bigger and better.

“This year in compared to last year will be night and day difference," he said. "We should be able to really build it up a lot more massive and have an opportunity for more people to come."

With several dozen employees, a lot of water and even more hard work, the castles come to life. This year they'll be more elaborate than even with more to explore

“We've got mazes, ice slides, waterfalls, water fountains, we have secret passage ways for the kids and even the adults to find, they’ll be placed all throughout the castle,” Stone said.

And, if you've never explored the castles before: “You need to see it," Stone says. "It's unlike any other feature in the entire world. Nobody else in the world does what we do. It's something you need to see."

They expect to open the castles to the public around the first week of January. For updates, visit their website.