Orlando Area Attraction News

Gaylord Palms ICE! Featuring Christmas Around the World Starts to Take Shape; More Activities Announced for 2017

Hi everyone!

Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee is gearing up for ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, along with a plethora of different activities that will take place at the resort. This is one of my favorite events for the season, I have attended most years since the 2nd year (it is now year 15!). We have been covering the event since 2010 as well – it has changed SO much over the years. ICE! used to be just the walk-through and some musical acts in the atrium, and now it can be a full day experience. I am posting the press release below with all of the activities, more than ever before. Alongside are some of my photos from the preview yesterday and some provided by Gaylord Palms. We were there to see the artisans as they exited the bus for photos, but they had actually been there already for a few days and ice carvings were already forming! 2 million pounds of ice need to be carved by November 21st, 2017. Take a look at our ICE! article from last year here.

Harbin, China artisan carves a sculpture in ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort – photo by Denise Preskitt.

Gaylord Palms at night, courtesy Gaylord Palms.

An artisan at work – photo by Denise Preskitt.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – (July 14, 2017) – Each year, Central Florida attracts visitors from all across the globe, representing a diversity of nations, cultures and customs. This holiday season, Gaylord Palms Resort will welcome ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, showcasing different cultures and their wintertime festivities. In addition to the new ICE! attraction theme, other celebrations of the holidays will join to create the resort’s “Everything Christmas in One Extraordinary Place” event, Christmas at Gaylord Palms presented by FUJIFILM INSTAX®.

Christmas Around the World in ICE! – photo provided by Gaylord Palms.

One of the area’s signature Christmas events, ICE! presented by Pepsi returns to Gaylord Palms, celebrating the 15th season of bringing frozen fun to Floridians! This year’s ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World celebrates the world’s diverse holiday traditions, representing United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany and more.

Artisans arrive by bus – photo by Denise Preskitt.

“We’re excited to bring this theme to Central Florida, especially since the Orlando area hosts millions of visitors from around the world each year,” said Johann Krieger, General Manager for Gaylord Palms Resort. “We feel this year’s ICE! theme and our other holiday events embrace cultural diversity and our unifying similarities, celebrating love and peace during this special time of year.”

Gaylord Palms artisans and performers – photo by Denise Preskitt.

Artisans from Harbin, China, home of the world’s largest ice and snow sculpture festival, travel more than 6,000 miles to hand-carve more than two million pounds of colorful ice into larger-than-life sculptures. When guests enter the nine-degree attraction this year, they will discover holiday scenes from various nations and two-story ice slides surrounded by sculptures and international tidings, all before ending with a trip to the North Pole to experience Santa’s toy workshop. The ICE! experience ends with the Frostbite Factory live ice carving showcase and the traditional Nativity created with crystal clear ice.

Christmas Around the World ice slides – photo provided by Gaylord Palms.

Gaylord Palms welcomes back an exciting, new Cirque Dreams Unwrapped – reimagined by Broadway director and renowned Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg. Never-before-seen acts, artistry and costumes set in a magical and timeless wonderland bring this new high-flying adventure for the entire family onto the atrium stage. This latest Cirque Dreams Unwrapped spectacle is a thrilling 25-minute, action-packed experience of amazement, theatricality and imagination that will have guests on the edge of their seats.

Though it already will be filled with grand holiday displays, Gaylord Palms’ atrium becomes even more merry and bright during Joyful, a dazzling new multisensory experience surrounding the resort’s six-story Christmas tree. Joyful will feature an exclusive holiday musical score along with millions of dancing, choreographed lights during nightly shows that illuminate the resort’s atrium.

Gaylord Palms Christmas Tree – photo provided by Gaylord Palms.

The all-new Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt sends guests to find Snowburst, the Gaylord Hotels Polar Bear, along with his bear buddies (each with a holiday talent) as they make sure Gaylord Palms is festively decorated with holiday cheer! In addition, guests can choose from all kinds of furry friends to bring home, including the exclusive light-up Snowburst polar bear, as imaginations soar at the Build-A-Bear Workshop® at Gaylord Palms.

Award-winning buffet restaurant Villa de Flora brings back the hearty and heartwarming Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends, allowing guests to pose with Snoopy and hang out with Charlie Brown and Lucy. In addition to the Peanuts Gang meet and greets, the breakfast includes a delicious morning buffet with themed dishes, such as Charlie Brown’s Build-Your-Own-French-Toast Station with Snoopy’s Maple Syrup, Pig Pen’s Dirty Hash Browns, Lucy’s Flap Jacks and Woodstock’s Granola.

Breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends – photo provided by Gaylord Palms.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms invites guests to return to the festive Alpine Village, the central hub for holiday happenings. In addition to ICE!, the area is home to various attractions; shows; seasonal food, beverage and retail locations; and Photos with Santa, where holiday memories can be captured inside his toy workshop.

Gingerbread Decorating Corner presented by Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas continues to be a deliciously fun holiday tradition. Guests may select a gingerbread house or a themed cookie kit to enjoy a sticky and fun interactive experience, creating sweet souvenirs that can be carried home unless someone eats them first! The delightful larger-than-life gingerbread pair, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, will also be available for toasty hugs and holiday photos.

Gingerbread Decorating Corner – photo provided by Gaylord Palms.

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. 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. Evenings are enlivened with Cosmic Tubing, complete with flashing LED lights and high-spirited holiday music.

The best way to experience all of Christmas at Gaylord Palms is with an overnight stay. One-night packages start 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. 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.

Remember it is 9 degrees inside ICE! Parkas will be provided, but bring mittens and a hat. This is during the building process.

Gaylord Palms Resort offers Christmastime field trips for schools, youth organizations and religious groups, customizable with educational or performance opportunities. Special ICE! ticket rates also are available to groups of ten adults or more.

For companies wishing to offer their staff an unforgettable holiday outing, Gaylord Palms offers the ideal “Everything Christmas” setting for onsite catered events with 10 to 3,000 guests, with or without an ICE! experience. To learn more about planning a holiday event, contact GPLocalSocial@marriott.com.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms is open daily from November 21, 2017 – January 7, 2018, including holidays.

Gaylord Palms Resort offers a mix of entertainment year-round, creating a superior guest experience in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Guests are welcomed into the resort’s 4.5-acre soaring glass atrium featuring winding waterways, lush gardens and animal habitats. Our extraordinary amenities include fine and casual dining, spa and shopping – all conveniently located within minutes of the Orlando area’s theme parks.