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We freeze ourselves while trying to board the Polar Express, but it’s all worth it to see those sculpted Tom Hanks figures! And we get to check out the shows at ‘Christmas at Gaylord Palms’, including a HASHTAG LIT Christmas Tree Lighting! Be sure to like and subscribe for more Orlando fun!
Disclosure: Gaylord Palms hosted us for this event, but these opinions are our own!
My family and I have been visiting Gaylord Palms ICE! as part of our holiday traditions since 2007, before I even wrote about it in Zannaland. It has really become one of the things my children most look forward to, and they ask every Fall – “when does ICE! start?” (Part of the perks of being Orlando locals; our holiday traditions are just a little bit bigger and over the top than many places.)
Over the years, we’ve seen the displays and offerings change and grow – ice skating outside, ice skating inside, snowball fights, snow tubing, enchanting circus performers, characters, and differing Christmas themes in ice. In all those years, none has been so magical, to me personally, than this year’s theme – A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Growing up in the 1980’s, I have very specific and very wonderful memories of Christmastime. Christmas is always exactly 2 weeks after my birthday, so the whole month of December has forever been overwhelmingly magical to me. I remember the weeks leading up to Christmas were filled with Christmas specials: Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” the Rankin Bass productions of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” and of course, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
I can see myself clearly, sitting on the floor close to the T.V. in my festive Christmas nightgown, while the lights on the Christmas tree twinkled behind me and the scent of pine and the cookies my mother was baking wafted around me…watching those shows, commercials and all, once a year. At the risk of sounding even more ancient than I already do, this was before a time of cable and satellite television, before 300 channels and DVR’s and Netflix and Roku and Apple TV, or even Blockbuster and VCR’s at this point. So waiting all year to see these shows and making sure you didn’t miss them was a big thing. It became a part of the season, a part of the traditions, a part of the magic.
So to walk in to Gaylord Palms at 9 degrees (a very common temperature feel growing up outside of Boston), and see “A Charlie Brown Christmas” larger than life, right before my eyes, was pretty special for me. The detail was absolutely mind-boggling. Every character, every color, every detail from the television special was carved in perfection. Add to that the music and audio clips from the show, and it was truly a wonderland for anyone who’s grown up with the show, or the Peanuts in general. They were my grandmother’s favorite, and she loved Snoopy, so the Peanuts Gang were always a big part of family visits to her house. I left the ICE! display and wanted to go right back in and see it all again, so I could be little 8 year-old excited-for-Christmas-me once more. If anyone is a fan of the Christmas special or Charles Schulz’s work in general, you must go, you will not be disappointed. The night we were there, Charles Schulz’s son, Craig Schulz, was on hand and seemed to be enjoying himself as well. I can only imagine the memories he must have of these characters.
More to see at Gaylord Palms
Also a part of Christmas at Gaylord Palms is a tree lighting display, A Christmas Wish Light Show, which is the most impressive display yet. Returning for the second year is Cirque Dreams, an impressive show of acrobatic artisans performing in the lobby stage nightly. Alpine Snow Tubing also makes a come-back in the ICE! area, where you can tube down snow-covered slides, as well as other fun activities like photos with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, a Build-a-Bear Workshop, and much more. ICE! runs this year through January 1, a perfect treat for winter break from school or work. The property itself is so beautiful, it’s like another world when you are inside and my kids ask me all the time when we can stay there next!
Thank you to Gaylord Palms for inviting my family and I to experience the magic of Christmas at Gaylord Palms and see ICE! and the other entertainment offerings first hand. My opinions, as you can see, are my own. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Continuing the grand tradition of millions of pounds of ice sculpted by artisans and formed into amazing displays for all to see, this year Gaylord Palms Resort returned to a classic Christmas story, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.This was actually one of my favorite Gaylord Palms ICE! displays in years past, so I was happy to see it return to Gaylord Palms in an updated form.
For those unaware, ICE! is an indoor winter wonderland featuring:
- Walk-through holiday attraction, kept at a chilly 9 degrees
- Two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures
- Four ice slides
- Six individual rooms depicting the story of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
- The Frostbite Factory — a live carving zone
- Final room is a breath-taking Nativity scene carved from crystal clear ice
In addition to the sculpted ICE! displays, there is Alpine Rush Snow Tubing in a separately ticketed area, for unlimited rides down snow-covered slides on tubes.
Both of the above ticketed events are part of the larger Gaylord Palms Christmas, including free events like an all-new show:
Cirque Dreams UnWrapped
Be dazzled by an array of seasonal characters brought to life in a dreamscape of imaginative costumes and creativity, while stunning feats of showmanship are unwrapped, performed on stage and in the air. Broadway director and Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg is bringing the famed entertainment brand to Orlando for the first time in the company’s 22 years with this exclusive show. The entire family can enjoy this uniquely inspired 25-minute Christmas dream presented with the Broadway style and inventive theatrics for which Cirque Dreams is renowned.
This show was captivating and fun for the whole family, a wonderful addition to the beautiful decorations in the grand atrium – which also features SNOW this year after the Cirque Dreams shows.
You can find out more about the events and activities at Gaylord Palms on their site, and purchase tickets to ICE! and other events. Staying at the Gaylord Palms is always a magical experience, I find myself just not wanting to leave the resort because there is so much to see and do and experience. The holidays amplify that feeling, so if you haven’t booked your stay, go ahead and make plans now for this year or next!
Disclosure: I was invited to experience ICE! with my family by Gaylord Palms. My opinions and thoughts are my own.
After my recent visit a little further north of the hot Florida sun, the cooler weather got me thinking about the holiday season, so I was thrilled when this announcement about the Gaylord Palms ICE! theme and other Christmas events came through. This year, ICE! will feature The Nutcracker, one of my favorite holiday tales and one with a personal connection – my mother (a former professional ballerina) played the Sugar Plum Fairy for the Boston Ballet many years ago and it’s always been a family tradition to watch or experience The Nutcracker somehow each year. I think The Nutcracker is a perfect theme for the amazing ice sculptures featured at Gaylord Palms and can’t wait to see it in person. I’ll have to bring my mom too! This year they’ve also added Alpine Snow Tubing to the ICE! festivities. Can’t wait!
Here is more about ICE! and the other Christmas offerings at Gaylord Palms, which is beautiful year-round, but even more so during the holidays:
Dreams of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King will come to life in a full-on frozen wonderland this winter during Christmas at Gaylord Palms. On Nov. 15 scenes from everyone’s favorite ballet, the Nutcracker, will be reimagined in nearly 2 million pounds of hand-carved vibrant ice sculptures. ICE! will feature four slippery ice slides and live carving stations inside of the Artisans in Action Frostbite Factory.
New in 2014
That’s not the only exciting happening during this year’s annual Christmas at Gaylord Palms. Guests can now experience the rush – Alpine Rush Snow Tubing – an 18’ 8-lane giant snow hill created with 1.5 million pounds of real Florida snow. Children and adults of all ages will frolic with delight as they speed down these snow covered hills.
The Christmas Experience
Christmas at Gaylord Palms is a mystical experience that boasts the true nature of the season all under a glass enclosed atrium. Lush gardens sprinkled with poinsettias, grand holiday displays and more than 2 million twinkling lights. Don’t forget the famous 54-foot-tall majestic Christmas tree; character dining and meet and greets; delectable holiday dining; Cookies with Mrs. Claus and awe-inspiring live entertainment that crowds have grown to love including the rhythmic Luminescence show.
With so much to see and do, the best way to experience Christmas at Gaylord Palms is to spend the night with us. Packages are now on sale at ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.
ICE! is open daily from Nov. 15, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015, including holidays. The Christmas experience begins Nov. 21, 2014. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com. There are many specials, Florida resident deals and more to choose from!
This morning we learned that the 2012 season of Gaylord Palms Resort’s ICE! will feature Alex, Marty, Gloria and the whole gang with a Merry Madagascar theme. Alex the Lion and King Julien were on hand last year with the Kung Fu Panda themed ICE!, for character greetings. Now in addition to Alex and Julien, there is a Mort and Gloria and penguins characters as well. Mort is simply adorable and my favorite, so I was excited to see him there.
ICE! is an amazing display of sculpted ice along with some play areas as well. Gaylord Palms will present ICE! from November 10, 2012 – January 1, 2013 and will be themed after the Dreamworks Animation holiday special Merry Madagascar. An interactive world of colorful ice sculptures and four two-story ice slides carved entirely from two million pounds of ice. It is truly breath-taking (and don’t worry, winter parkas are provided!).
Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating will be back this year as well, where you can choose from two different options to create a gingerbread cookie family or a complete gingerbread house – don’t forget the gumdrop buttons! Gingy will be on-hand for photos after you finish your edible creations.
Gaylord Palms also offers amazing holiday decor throughout the sprawling Florida-themed resort. Holiday lights, trees and entertainment as well as scavenger hunts offer plenty to keep you in the Christmas spirit.
ICE! tickets start at $22.99 for adults and $13.99 for children – you can call 407-586-2000 or head to ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com for more information. There are also special packages starting at $189 per night, where you can enjoy the beautifully renovated rooms and Cypress Springs Water Park within the resort grounds.
I can’t wait to Move It, Move It! in November!
Oh, and as a special treat – Gaylord Palms brought in Vanilla Ice to sing his hit “Ice Ice Baby” for this fun announcement. Vanilla Ice is back and better than ever! Check out the video of his performance below:
We first caught the trailer and some behind-the-scenes info for Wreck-it-Ralph at last year’s D23 Expo in Anaheim and I fell in love. As a little girl who grew up with Atari 2600 and spent many a day playing Centipede, Donkey Kong, Pac Man and more in arcades, the storyline appealed to me instantly. Throw in some appearances by Q*Bert (I was SO addicted to that game!) and more classic video game characters, and you’ve got millions of kids from the 80’s ready to “press play” on this film.
Here’s the official synopsis from Walt Disney Animation Studios:
Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore (TV’s “The Simpsons,” “Futurama”) take moviegoers on a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping journey in “Wreck-It Ralph.” Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Step Brothers”) is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer, “30 Rock”), the “good guy” star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he’s tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.
On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch, TV’s “Glee”) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman, “The Sarah Silverman Program”) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late? “Wreck-It Ralph” crashes onto the big screen on November 2, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
Walt Disney Animation Studios released the first official trailer today so now everyone can see the genius that is Wreck-it-Ralph – check it out!
What did you think? I love it!
Fans of Illumination’s 2016 film Sing rejoice! Announced earlier this year, the sequel has received a brand new trailer out today, with some stylish new promo art to boot.
I know I personally was a fan of the original film – featuring performances from Matthew McConaughey, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, and more. The gang is back together for this sequel, and to celebrate, the studio has released a fun poster collection of the cast.
This holiday season, the new chapter in Illumination’s smash animated franchise arrives with big dreams and spectacular hit songs as the ever-optimistic Buster Moon and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet …all in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star—played by global music icon Bono, in his animated film debut—to join them.
The cast of the original film returns for this exciting sequel. Joining them are a few fun new faces, and we were provided a set of posters to introduce them! Here are just some of the new members of this ensemble:
(From left to right, Halsey, Pharrell Williams, and Bono)
Advance tickets are now available for the film’s official release – but those who can’t wait can experience Sing 2 on Thanksgiving day. Tickets are available here for sneak preview screenings at more than 1000 theaters nationwide – get them while you can!
I know I’m excited for this one, so stay tuned here for my inevitable review of the film when it releases December 22!
Musical fans rejoice! The film adaptation of the Tony phenomenon DEAR EVAN HANSEN is practically here! Today, Universal released a new featurette of the film. In the featurette, the cast talks about the meaning and impact of the track “You Will Be Found.”
The breathtaking, generation-defining Broadway phenomenon becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age.
In addition to the featurette, Universal also released two singles from the film’s soundtrack on music streaming services. “Waving Through A Window” and “You Will Be Found,” as well as the preorder for the film’s soundtrack are available here.
The film is in theaters September 24, and you can bet we “Will Be Found” first in line to see it. Stay tuned here for our review!
On the heels of their last announcement regarding Gaylord Palms Halloween event – Goblins and Giggles Weekends, the resort hotel has now announced their holiday offerings. Gaylord Palms ICE! has become a staple of holiday events in the Orlando area for well over a decade. My family have been visiting since 2007, and it has become a tradition for us and many others as well. However, due to international travel restrictions and the global pandemic this year, ICE! will not be a part of the Christmas at Gaylord Palms lineup.
Don’t let that deter your plans to include Gaylord Palms as part of your holiday traditions. Gaylord Palms still has a HUGE schedule of events for the upcoming season. Traditional favorites like Cirque Dreams and the tree lighting atrium light show return, along with an all-new “pop-up” offering. Let’s see the news directly from Gaylord Palms:
As the holiday season approaches, Gaylord Palms is excited to announce a new one-of-a-kind marquee Christmas pop-up experience that will debut November 13, 2020 and run through January 3, 2021. Called “I Love Christmas Movies,” the new experience presents a multi-sensory exhibition in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products allowing guests to experience beloved holiday movies in a completely new way. The new pop-up experience anchors Gaylord Palms’ lineup of renowned annual Christmas programming, promising an enchanting holiday celebration this year.
With the unveiling of the new I Love Christmas Movies immersive pop-up experience, visitors will enjoy enhanced holiday fun and delights as they discover this exclusive activity offered only at Gaylord Hotels for a limited time.
I Love Christmas Movies presents a fully immersive exhibit featuring key moments from some of the most iconic Warner Bros. Pictures Christmas movies including THE POLAR EXPRESS™, A CHRISTMAS STORY™, ELF™, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™, and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS™. As guests young and young at heart navigate the multi-sensory exhibits, they will enjoy over 13 fully immersive scenes complete with replicas of film props, audio clips and more, making participants feel as if they have stepped into part of the actual story. Guests will travel with Buddy the Elf from Santa’s North Pole workshop to New York City; take photos in front of the Griswold’s house adorned with thousands of Christmas lights; and more.
For almost two decades, Gaylord Palms has become legendary for providing magical holiday events and activities for winter visitors to experience, and this year will be no different. A lineup of additional signature activities and experiences visitors have come to know and love over the years is being developed and will be featured alongside the new I Love Christmas Movies experience.
With a full lineup to be announced soon, visitors can look forward to experiences such as ice tubing, scavenger hunts, gingerbread decorating, elf training academy, holiday stage shows and much more, all to be enjoyed within acres of airy indoor atriums decorated with millions of twinkling holiday lights, towering Christmas trees and thousands of shimmering ornaments.
“The holidays are the perfect time of year to make memories with friends and family, and we know that this year more than ever, guests will be looking for places where they can celebrate the magic of the season in a safe environment,” said General Manager Johann Krieger. “This year we are excited to present the new I Love Christmas Movies experience, along with our other amazing events and activities our guests have come to know and love.”
As the safety of guests and STARS (employees) is of paramount importance, the Christmas at Gaylord Palms program is being developed in accordance with Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” program and with enhanced protocols and social-distancing measures. Programming will also operate in consideration with the latest local, state and federal legislation.
Overnight Christmas packages including admission into the I Love Christmas Movies immersive pop-up experience are available to book now. Tickets for all the events and activities for Christmas at Gaylord Palms will go on sale in early October.
For more information about the I Love Christmas Movies pop-up and Christmas programming, visit ChristmasatGaylordPalms.com, which will be updated with this year’s lineup soon.
Have you visited Gaylord Palms for the holidays? What was your favorite part of the lineup? Let us know in the comments below!
Check out our Gaylord Palms room tour below: