During the holiday season, I love to take some time to reconnect with the family. Planning a weekend getaway can be a great way to celebrate the kids having a break from school, enjoy the seasonal festivities and bond as a family. It’s no secret that I love visiting Orlando and one of the best holiday traditions in the city is at Gaylord Palms. The Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2018 activities have just been announced and our family can’t wait to check them out!
Just Announced: Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2018
For the first time ever, beloved holiday film “A Christmas Story” will be recreated as a frozen, immersive attraction inside ICE!–the signature experience during Christmas at Gaylord Palms. During the holiday season, the Orlando-area resort welcomes guests to make memories amongst festive décor and a charming mix of Christmassy activities and shows, becoming “Everything Christmas in One Extraordinary Place” for the 52-day event, Christmas at Gaylord Palms presented by Pepsi.
A Cinematic Holiday Classic in ICE!
“A Christmas Story” has been a staple of holiday movie lists for years, but now guests can experience this holiday favorite in a whole new way inside ICE! presented by DEI. The hilarious family tale will come to life through hand-carved ice sculptures and displays, inviting guests to relive the film’s iconic scenes such as The Old Man’s Major Award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare and the ultimate triple dog dare at the school’s flagpole, and many more!
The ICE! attraction is crafted by artisans from Harbin, China, home of the world’s largest ice and snow sculpture festival, who travel more than 6,000 miles to hand-carve more than two million pounds of colorful ice, creating larger-than-life sculptures. This year, as guests explore the nine-degree attraction, they will discover more than a dozen fan-favorite scenes from “A Christmas Story,” along with the event’s two-story ice slides and the popular Frostbite Factory live ice carving showcase. The ICE! experience concludes with a separate area dedicated to a traditional Nativity created with crystal clear ice.
New For Christmas at Gaylord Palms
Award-winning buffet restaurant Villa de Flora will welcome special Christmastime friends during The Elf on the Shelf® Character Breakfast, where guests can join Santa’s Official Scout Elves for a fun and festive character breakfast. Kids and adults will enjoy a delicious buffet spread complete with classic breakfast favorites and live cooking stations, enjoying special visits from Santa’s Official Scout Elves as they dine.
Gaylord Palms’ St. Augustine atrium will be home to a brand-new, dazzling light show when Dreams of Christmas makes its debut. This multisensory experience will feature a new musical score accompanied with millions of dancing, choreographed lights all around the resort’s six-story Christmas tree during nightly shows.
Holiday Favorites Return
“Holiday thrills” take on a whole new meaning during Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, a 25-minute, action-packed experience, featuring soaring acrobatics, theatricality and imagination that will have guests on the edge of their seats. Cirque Dreams Unwrapped features new acts and performers each year to bring to life a magical and timeless Christmas wonderland, all imagined by Broadway director and renowned Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg.
Guests exploring the meandering paths inside the resort’s Everglades atrium will find the Christmas Tree Trail, a display of nine magnificent trees provided by Balsam HillTM. Sparkle the Elf, Santa’s chief Christmas Tree Decorator, has personally prepared these for display at Gaylord Palms. From snowmen and candy canes to reindeer and nutcrackers, each tree represents one of Sparkle’s favorite things about Christmas, with one even honoring the Florida-themed resort!
The immersive, interactive Reindeer Express Post Office returns this year, where everyone is invited to jot down their top Christmas wishes on a postcard before entering this special facility to launch their wishes off on a journey to Santa.
Festive Alpine Village will again be the central hub for holiday happenings. In addition to ICE!, the village is home to various attractions and shows, Photos with Santa, seasonal food and beverage options plus holiday retail locations, including a Build-A-Bear Workshop®, where imaginations soar. Guests choose from all kinds of furry friends to make and bring home, including the Gaylord Hotels-exclusive light-up Snowburst polar bear.
Gingerbread Decorating Corner returns, now located inside the brand-new Alpine Village Sweet Shop! Guests may select a gingerbread house or a themed cookie kit to enjoy a sticky and fun interactive experience, creating sweet souvenirs to take home. The Alpine Village Sweet Shop will offer additional candies and treats for purchase to decorate sugary masterpieces or to delight someone’s sweet tooth. The deliciously fun gingerbread pair, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, will also be available for toasty hugs and holiday photos.
Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions brings the First Lady of the North Pole back to Gaylord Palms as she leads a half-hour interactive show. Guests enjoy classic holiday stories and a sing-a-long, plus a delicious finale as the holiday hostess presents everyone with warm cookies and a glass of cold milk.
Santa’s Snow Throw puts real snow in the hands of guests as they show off their pitching prowess by tossing snowballs at a variety of interactive targetscreated by Santa’s Elves. Bragging rights go to those with the best aim!
Snow Tubing sends guests zooming down an eight-lane tubing hill covered in real snow. This all-ages attraction offers both single and double tubes to accommodate children and parents.
Plan a Holiday Weekend Getaway
The best way to experience all of Christmas at Gaylord Palms is with an overnight stay. One-night packages start at $250 plus tax, resort fee and parking. Packages include ICE! tickets for two (with option to add additional adults or children) plus a souvenir family photo. Overnight guests may also schedule a visit to ICE! during the daily hotel guest-exclusive Extra Cool Hour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Make the holidays merrier and extend the package to stay for multiple nights! For additional information and to book packages or tickets, visit ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2018 is open daily from November 16 through January 6, 2019 including holidays.
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