Gaylord Palms Resort will again transform into a Christmassy wonderland for the holiday season with brand new experiences along with familiar guest favorites, providing “Everything Christmas in One Extraordinary Place” daily from November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019, including holidays.
“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.
Dreams of Christmas
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.
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.
The all-new Secret Santa Scavenger Hunt will have families and friends enlisting in Santa’s Secret Service to decode some fun. Guests will utilize their very own Santa’s Secret Service Decoder Ring to decipher clues to become full-fledged members of Santa’s Secret Service. Only the most elite yuletide sleuths will be able to locate the unique Christmassy clues hidden throughout the resort’s atrium to break the code and earn a Santa’s Secret Service badge.
A new feature in the resort’s holiday village area, the Alpine Village Sweet Shop will be the home of new show Sugary Sweet Storytime! Guests will be transported to the world of The Nutcracker in this interactive show led by the Sugarplum Fairy herself. The experience is completed with a one-of-a-kind, super sweet, super sparkly and super tasty Sugarplum Hot Chocolate in a festive souvenir mug.
All ages will delight in the holiday hijinks inside the Naughty or Nice Escape Room, as mischievous Jack Frost has moved the names of “Nice” Gaylord guests onto the Naughty side of Santa’s delivery list! Guests will need to work together to follow the clues and solves the puzzles to secure a spot on the better side and avoid a stocking full of coal!
For the second year, Christmas at Gaylord Palms will host its Sounds of the Season Concert Series presented by Celebration Golf Club. The performances that will shine on stage beneath the resort’s towering Christmas tree this year include legendary Grammy® award winner Sandi Patty (Dec. 5), powerful vocalist Deejay Young (Dec. 6), a cappella group Voctave (Dec. 12), homage to Christmas movies Holidays in Hollywood (Dec. 18), pop star moms 4eva29 (Dec. 19), and the theatrical vocals of VoicePlay (Dec. 20). All performances will also include a concert patron-exclusive admission to the ICE! attraction.
“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.
Christmas Tree Trail
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!
Reindeer Express Post Office
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
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 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 targets created 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.
For additional information and to book packages or tickets, visit ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.