*This post is sponsored by Gaylord Palms but are my own thoughts and experiences*
SO. MUCH. CHRISTMAS. We spent last weekend at Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando and those three words don’t even begin to describe how much Christmas fun the whole family had. We got to experience the I Love Christmas Movies exhibit as well as all the fun things to do in Alpine Village and none of it disappointed!
When you walk in, you’re greeted with tons of Christmas decorations right down to the revolving door that you walk in! Hello Christmas joy! You’re given a fun scavenger hunt like usual but this time it’s Grinch themed and you have to go around until you finally reach the end and collect your prize. The kids loved going from atrium to atrium seeing everything the different areas have and also spotting that silly Grinch who just can’t stop stealing Christmas. Throughout the entire atrium areas, there are different trees, cute little photo props like the snowman and woman pictured below and poinsettias throughout. Christmas cheer is not far from every corner!
Once you enter Alpine Village, you are greeted with the smell of Christmas and a tad chill. This year, there’s no ICE exhibit so parkas and cold weather clothing not needed but still can be fun to be festive in all things Christmas wear. But the exhibit in it’s place this year is just as fun! I Love Christmas Movies takes you through five different movies and some of their iconic scenes. You are transported to the scenes of the movies where you can hear some of the iconic lines from the scene, see an exact replica of the scene and feel like you are standing right inside the movie.
When you begin your journey through the sets, you get a personal guide who will help your family stay socially distant from other parties as well as give you fun facts about the movie. For example, did you know that the famous Narwhal in Elf is actually the directors voice? Yeah, me either! That’s just one of the many facts that you learn as you take a tour around the different movies. You go through the Candy Cane forrest like Buddy the Elf does, make it snow in Southtown, see the bunny suit from A Christmas Story, hop onto the Polar Express and smell delicious hot chocolate (no really, it smells like hot chocolate when you step into that scene), and light up the house like Clark Griswold. There were so many parts of the experience where you just feel the Christmas joy and spirit. Our family’s personal favorite was the Polar Express scenes.
Another fun fact for you regarding the Polar Express…the main character doesn’t have a name in the movie! He’s listed as Hero Boy in the credits. No one has a name actually only Billy. See? Super fun facts are given to you during the whole experience.
At the end, you get to see a cute sign that says I heart Christmas Movies and it’s another photo opportunity as well! You then walk through and get see a special scene that reads off a small snippet from the Bible about Jesus’ birth. That has always been our family’s favorite part of the ICE sculptures. Then you come to a sign that tells you that ICE will be back next year! Yay! Due to COVID restrictions, the sculpture artists were unable to come but this exhibit definitely is just as fun! You then head into the Alpine Market where you can purchase ornaments and gifts, view your photo that you took in the beginning, grab some hot cocoa or Cinnabon/Auntie Anne’s and there is also a Build A Bear station. You can also grab a socially distant photo with Santa himself!
Near the Alpine Market is Gingerbread decorating which of course is one holiday tradition you can’t miss out on! We decorated a gingerbread house the first night and then a gingerbread man the second. The kids loved eating the candy and icing. On the stage is usually Gingerbread Man Nutmeg. Next door to gingerbread decorating is Mrs. Claus Christmas Tradition where you can sit down and listen to a story told by Mrs. Claus herself as well as the cast of Sugary Sweet Storytime. Across from that, is Elf Training Academy where you get to “make a toy just like an elf.” You get your own ornament to paint with water-based paints.
There is also the new Snow Factory where you can do the Snowball Build & Blast or sled down Snowfall Mountain. There’s even a Snow Bar that has fun holiday drinks! Robert tried their Holiday Ale while I had one of the signature drinks named Santa’s Little Helper! It had vanilla and coconut flakes on it though and it was definitely the holidays in a cup!
There is also of course the #Lit show in the main atrium if you are staying at the resort which is completely worth it! The show is gorgeous and you get to watch as they light up the tree and the entire atrium. There are also a few shows that go on during the day and night as well. We saw both Cirque Dreams Unwrapped which was PHENOMENAL as well as The Greatest Story which depicts Jesus’ birth and was also equally amazing.
Lastly, there is a Grinch character breakfast that you can attend but you need to make sure to make a reservation and they go fast! We weren’t able to do it but I’m sure it was so much fun! Grinch is there and of course you can take proper socially distant photos with him and enjoy a yummy breakfast.
To touch on the safety measures that Gaylord Palms is taking to make sure that you are also safe while enjoying all of the fun things they have to offer, masks are required whenever you are out and about. They also make announcements periodically that remind you to social distance and make sure to have your masks on properly above your nose. There are markers everywhere to make sure you stay socially distant and also hand sanitizing stations to keep you sanitized and clean. Also, there is no housekeeping that will enter your room while you are gone but you are able to call down if you need anything and they will bring it up to your room and leave it outside for you. I personally, 100%, feel safe here at the Gaylord.
Enjoy some more photos of our fun time at Gaylord Palms Resort.