Additional Parks & AttractionsDenise's Corner

Christmas at Gaylord Palms Offers Strong Slate of Experiences and Shows Anchored by “I Love Christmas Movies” in 2020 (Photos, Video)

Hi everyone!

Gaylord Palms is running a full slate of activities and entertainment for the holiday season, anchored by the new walk-through experience, “I Love Christmas Movies“.  We were invited for two nights to experience “I Love Christmas Movies” and some of the activities and shows. Here is a look at some of the terrific offerings this year! The yearly signature attraction ICE! is not running this year due to the pandemic as the ice carvers are from China and would not be able to travel.

First up is our Mousesteps Weekly YouTube Show #375 that includes our experience at Gaylord Palms.

It is important to book everything ahead for the date you want as there are a limited amount of tickets for each experience. Christmas at Gaylord Palms is scheduled to run through January 3rd, 2021.


I Love Christmas Movies – This is an enjoyable, creative walk-through that puts guests in scenes of beloved Christmas movies. Elf, The Year Without a Santa Claus, A Christmas Story, Polar Express and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are represented. Gaylord Palms calls it a “multi-sensory experience”, and it is. Guests can hear various sounds from the films, smell hot chocolate in the train scene from Polar Express, and light the Griswold’s house before stepping inside. There is a production assistant to guide guests through the scenes, no more than two parties at a time and with masks and distance.

Here is our video walk-through of the attraction!

“Elf” has several fun scenes.

My favorite Christmas movie is still “The Year Without a Santa Claus”.

Snow Miser from “The Year Without a Santa Claus”

I took a quick photo with Snow Miser

The Griswold house lights up and then guests walk through the door

Snow Flow Mountain – With 6 slides of real ice, guests can slide down the hill in a tube. This looks similar to what has been offered the last few years (it wasn’t operational for most of our stay, so we didn’t experience it this year).

Snow Flow Mountain

Snowball Build and Blast – This was a VERY fun upgrade from previous years (the snowball throwing experience was formerly called Santa’s Snow Throw). Points are accrued and you might even be playing against another team. Throwing snowballs in Florida is a rare thing, but at Gaylord Palms guests get to do that.

Jeff took a turn with the snowballs while I photographed.

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped – Cirque Dreams Unwrapped is one of two complimentary shows in the atrium (guaranteed seating can be purchased). The 25-minute show “is a thrilling 25-minute, action-packed experience of amazement, theatricality and imagination that has audiences on the edge of their seats and standing throughout the atrium mesmerized.” The performers are so talented and this the sixth year we have been enjoying it at Gaylord Palms (the show debuted in 2015).

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped

Cirque Dreams Unwrapped

The Greatest Story –  Gaylord Palms says of the show, “This multicultural celebration of the Christ story will take you on an unforgettable musical journey, bringing The Greatest Story to life like you’ve never seen before.” The resort assembles an extraordinary cast each year and the performers wear masks as they sing. It was really nice to see live music with safety protocols in place. Guests are seated with two seats between parties, and guests and performers wear masks. This is a complimentary show but guaranteed seating can be purchased.

Performer in “The Greatest Story”

Performers in “The Greatest Story”

#Lit Light Show – This is another complimentary show, we watched it from our balcony a few times. Gaylord Palms says of the light show, “This high energy, celebratory spectacle brings the fun of decorating the tree to life through thousands of dancing lights!” Nightly at 8:45pm and 9:15pm.”

Here is our video.

This is the view from our room. If you plan to stay at Gaylord Palms during the holiday season, it is worth having an atrium room.

Gingerbread Decorating – We’ve participated in the gingerbread decorating many times, I like the kit this year because it is just decorating – we didn’t have to build the house. It is a fun activity for families, and the gingerbread character Nutmeg has a different look this year (Nutmeg visits in a distanced way).

Nutmeg spent a lot of time posing and dancing.

The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt – The scavenger hunt costs $11.99 per book but does come with a prize at the end. This was the most challenging of the scavenger hunts we have done with Gaylord Palms, and it allows guests to enjoy the full length of the atrium (stop by and see the alligators along the way!)

Scavenger hunt booklet

One of the locations guests need to find to complete the hunt

Feast with the Grinch Character Breakfast – The Grinch and Max greet guests in a distanced way (not at tables). We have never seen Max before this in character form. Gaylord Palms says of the breakfast, “Enjoy a delicious meal and meet the star of the holiday season… THE GRINCH himself! This one-of-a-kind interactive breakfast experience includes a buffet of Who-ville inspired items, visits with The Grinch and Max and special touches Dr. Seuss fans are sure to adore.” We did not experience the breakfast itself, but it is already sold out for many days. There aren’t a ton of character meals in town right now.

Max poses

These aren’t the only activities available! There is also Photos with Santa; Elf Training Academy; Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions; Sugary Sweet Storytime and more. Most activities have returned this year with modifications.

ICE! is scheduled to return in 2021!

Resort packages are available. Gaylord Palms is one of my favorite resorts due in large part to the expansive 4.5 acre atrium which includes waterfalls, alligators and – for the season – Christmas decorations. The resort did a wonderful job with the holidays this year!

Masks are required in public spaces.

We have worked with Gaylord Palms for almost 10 years and were invited for 2 nights to experience I Love Christmas Movies and some of the other attractions and shows. All views are ours.