Out and About: Christmas Comes to Gaylord Palms

The theme for this year's holiday program at Gaylord Palms is Christmas Around the World.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms starts today, November 21, and there is so many fun things to do for the whole family!

Last night CSO was invited to a media preview so we could experience it first hand, and it was a great evening.

The night started with “Joyful,” a new light show in the resort’s atrium featuring its gigantic six-story Christmas tree and hanging curtains of lights. The theme for this year’s holiday program is “Christmas Around the World,” and the show featured a quick tour of holiday celebrations around the world, both in the soundtrack, and in images projected upon the curtains of lights.

This was followed by the theatrical acrobatics of Cirque Dreams Unwrapped. I’ve seen it the last few years, but this year’s show topped them all. Since the show will be performed three times nightly, there are three casts of performers. The ones we saw last night included two aerial acts (the trapeze artist nearly gave me a heart attack with some of his release and grab techniques) without nets, and a trick roller-skating duo.

I had a chance to get a photo op after with the amazing cast, too.

Both Joyful and Cirque Dreams Unwrapped are free to enjoy nightly, along with a brand-new experience, the Christmas Tree Trail in the Everglades Atrium, featuring nine trees adorned with decorations honoring the culture and traditions of various countries including Brazil, China, Italy and more. All are a nice complement to the rest of the holiday attractions at Gaylord Palms.

This year’s ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World celebrates the world’s diverse holiday traditions, representing United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany and more. And all of it is carved out of more than 2 million pounds of ice by artisans brought in from Harbin, China.

I found it interesting to see some of the different customs brought to life in the ice sculptures, and I liked that there were a lot of photo ops areas built into the attraction this year. The hall of children representing different countries and cultures was a nice touch, too.

Of course kids of all ages enjoyed the two-story ice slides built into the center of ICE! The parkas provided by Gaylord Palms have just the right surface for sliding, while keeping you warm in the 9 degree rooms.

Those who enjoyed the slides also enjoyed the Snow Tubing next door to ICE! in the Alpine Village. Grab an inner tube and slide down real snow covered lanes. I did it and you can definitely pick up some good speed!

As if all that isn’t enough there’s still more to do!

There are photos with Santa; a Gingerbread Decorating Corner featuring photo ops with the gingerbread pair, Cinnamon and Nutmeg; Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions, a half-hour interactive show with cookies and milk; the Reindeer Express Post Office; and a Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt.

You can even start the day off with Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends at the award-winning buffet restaurant Villa de Flora.


Tickets are available for individual attractions, like ICE! and the snow tubing, or guests seeking to save can bundle multiple attractions and experiences by purchasing a Play & Save Pass, available in three tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum.

All passes include ICE!, Snow Tubing and Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt. The Gold Pass adds Santa’s Snow Throw and Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions. For the greatest savings, purchase the Platinum Pass, which also includes priority front-of-the-line access to ICE! and a gingerbread decorating kit. Play & Save Passes are available for adults and children and offer as much as 30-percent off depending on the bundle selected.

Parking for day guests is $25 per vehicle.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms is open daily from November 21, 2017 through January 7, 2018, including holidays. For additional information and to book packages or tickets, visit ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.

Disclaimer: I attended a media preview to experience Christmas at Gaylord Palms. As always, my opinions are my own, and honest.

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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