Families in search of some additional Christmas fun outside Orlando’s many theme parks will find no shortage at Gaylord Palms in 2017. Returning favorite entertainment is joined by exciting new additions to create a wonderfully well-rounded evening of excitement.
In its 15th year, ICE! returns to Gaylord Palms, this year with a theme of Christmas Around the World celebrating diverse holiday traditions,
“We’re excited to offer this theme in Central Florida, a destination welcoming millions from around the world every year,” said Johann Krieger, General Manager for Gaylord Palms Resort. “This year’s ICE! theme also inspired our creative team to add new activities and live shows that celebrate cultures and highlight diversity during this special time of year.”
Artisans from Harbin, China travel more than 6,000 miles to hand-carve more than two million pounds of colorful ice into larger-than-life sculptures that include tunnels to crawl through and even a two-story ice slide. Hooded parkas are provided because it gets cold in there, down to 9 degrees. But it’s well worth venturing into the frigid indoor environment to see all the colorful creations, that make great photo ops.
Elsewhere in the Alpine Village that houses ICE! guests will find meet-and-greets with “Peanuts” characters as well as Santa and Ms. Claus. There are giant snow tube slides that are good for a quick thrill (though not particularly worth waiting a long time for) and plenty of sugary treats and drinks to keep energy high. And to help burn that sugar high off, there is Santa’s Snow Throw that puts real snow in the hands of guests as they show off their pitching prowess by tossing snowballs at a variety of interactive targets.
WATCH – PEANUTS MEET-AND-GREET AT GAYLORD PALMS CHRISTMAS 2017
The main atrium of Gaylord Palms is filled with Christmas cheer this year as the popular Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show returns, reimagined by Broadway director and Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg. High-flying acts steel the show along with eclectic costumes that keep audiences entertained for a solid 25 minutes. The show varies night by night witih a few different acts, so it could be worth catching more than once for those staying at the hotel. The act starts a little slow but builds with impressive acrobatics by the end. Seats are available in front of the stage, but many rooms around the atrium could get a great view of the show.
WATCH – CIRQUE DREAMS UNWRAPPED 2017 HIGHLIGHTS
Each evening, “Joyful” is also performed – a light show featuring the resort’s six-story Christmas tree and thousands of dangling lights. This show continues with the “around the world” theme and while the bright lights are beautiful, the show does drag at times and could use to be a little shorter. But it’s great background entertainment for those passing through or enjoying their atrium room balconies.
WATCH – “JOYFUL” LIGHT SHOW DEBUT AT GAYLORD PALMS CHRISTMAS 2017
This year Gaylord Palms is also hosting the Sounds of the Season Concert Series, featuring a capella concerts on select nights in December as well as a Christmas Tree Trail throughout the resort with trees inspired by nine different nations. The resort’s Reindeer Express Post Office invites kids to jot down their top Christmas wishes on a postcard to send their wishes off on a journey to Santa.
In the mornings, Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends is presented, allowing guests to pose with Snoopy and hang out with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus. The breakfast includes a hearty morning buffet with everything you’d expect.
Prices vary on tickets to all of the above, depending on how many of the activities guests wish to partake in. The easiest way to see it all is to stay at Gaylord Palms for a night, with one-night packages starting at
$240 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.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms is open daily from November 21, 2017 – January 7, 2018, including holidays. For additional information and to book packages or tickets, visit ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.