It’s Christmas time in Orlando, and that means it’s time for Ice! at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Well, it’s 2020, so no, it’s not – but that doesn’t mean Christmas is canceled at the resort, far from it. All the other usual Christmas at Gaylord Palms festivities are happening, and they’ve added a new walk-through attraction called “I Love Christmas Movies.” Gaylord invited us out to experience it all.
Above is a look at the large Christmas tree in the atrium during their light show, but more about that later. If you’d like to read what it’s like to stay at the Gaylord during the pandemic and all their safety measures, read our Resort Report from July. But I will say that face masks are still required at all times during their holiday events.
This was our view of the huge Christmas tree in the atrium from our room. The weather won’t affect your stay at Gaylord since all of the events are inside, and you don’t need to worry about staying indoors during the pandemic because the atrium is so huge, the air column makes it almost as good as being outdoors.
There are holiday decorations all around the resort, including many photo opportunities. These large candy canes are between the lobby and atrium.
This is where you can get your photo with the Grinch after your Feast with the Grinch, but you can also take your own photos here when he’s not around.
The Grinch looks rather happy at Gaylord Palms. I guess his heart has already grown three sizes by the time you meet him.
You also get to meet his dog Max outside the restaurant when you purchase the Grinch breakfast feast.
Feast with the Grinch is held in the newly-remodeled Villa De Flora restaurant. The Feast is $45 per adult and $25 per child ages 4-12.
Speaking of the Grinch, you can purchase this booklet which lets you do The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt. Grinch and Max dolls have been hidden all around the hotel and you must find them and decipher the clues. Once you complete it, you get a Grinch or Max plush keychain.
Before we move down to the Alpine Village in the convention center area where most of the Christmas events are, let’s look at the other ones in the atrium, like the nightly tree lighting show called “#LIT.” It looks better than ever with more lights as you can see above.
There are also two shows on the atrium stage: “Cirque Dreams Unwrapped” and “The Greatest Story.” The latter is mostly singing of the more religious Christmas songs, while “Unwrapped” features some amazing acts like this one above.
The Alpine Village is where I Love Christmas Movies and all the other fun Christmas events are located. It’s in the same ballroom where Ice! is usually held.
I Love Christmas Movies lets you walk through scenes from some of your favorite Warner Bros. Christmas movies. You’ll see scenes from “The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus.”
If you won’t be able to make it yourself, or don’t mind spoilers if you will, here’s our full walk-through of the attraction.
Two families or groups go through at a time and each has a marker telling them where to stand socially-distant in each scene. You can take photos with the props in each scene, but you have to be fast, as they quickly move to each new scene to keep guests moving through.
Fans of the nativity scene at the end of Ice! won’t be disappointed as they have one at the end of I Love Christmas movies as well with cool lighting effects.
As was done with Ice!, they take your photo on a green screen before you enter and you have your choice of backdrops if you’d like to purchase your photo after you exit the attraction.
Also at the exit to I Love Christmas Movies is the gift shop, of course. It’s large and has lots of fun Christmas merchandise from many of the featured movies. You’ll also find Build-A-Bear and snacks here.
Just outside the store is an area to decorate your own gingerbread house, a place to meet a socially-distant Santa, and Elf Training Academy where you can learn to make a toy.
There are also some characters you can see, such as Nutmeg the gingerbread man, Mrs. Claus reading stories, and A Sugary Sweet Storytime musical lead by the Sugarplum Fairy.
Over on the other side of the ballroom, you can step on pedal and make it snow, go snow tubing, and have a snowball throwing contest.
You can get your tickets and find out more details on all the Christmas at Gaylord Palms events at ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com. As you can see below, because of the enhanced safety measures, you’ll need to book ahead.
There really is so much Christmas at Gaylord Palms that you could easily spend a whole day there. You don’t have to be staying at the resort to experience it all, but it makes it so much easier to have a room to rest up in.
Parking at the Gaylord Palms Resort is $26 plus tax, but if you spend $75 at their Moor boat restaurant or purchase the Feast with the Grinch, your parking will be validated.
It’s really nice that the offerings for Christmas at Gaylord Palms are all indoors and the resort takes all the safety rules seriously. We only saw a few other guests with their mask down and they were told to put them back on. The whole atrium is so large, it’s easy to stay socially distant.