Gaylord Palms Resort is Orlando's Host to Christmas Season

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Gaylord Palms Resort is home to Christmas in Orlando, featuring Best of Florida Christmas and ICE!, an attraction hand-carved from nearly two million pounds of ice.

As the Orlando host to the Christmas holiday season, Gaylord Palms Resort will offer a slate of activities that are “merry and bright,” Nov. 18, 2006 – Jan. 2, 2007.

The special events are part of the resort’s Best of Florida Christmas celebration, featuring live entertainment, unique attractions and holiday activities held to commemorate the Christmas season.

This year’s Best of Florida Christmas program will include 46 days of holiday revelry, including several new or revised events:

  • ICE!: This frozen family experience is Orlando’s most unusual holiday attraction, hand-carved from nearly two million pounds of ice. This year’s walk-through experience will reflect the theme “A Season of Wishes.”
  • ICE! Skating: This outdoor skating rink will offer a holiday tradition common only in northern climates. Skate rentals are included.
  • “Holiday Wishes” Christmas Show: A Christmas variety show featuring a cast of characters and a memorable soundtrack of holiday favorites.
  • Christmas in Florida: The County Wreath Collection: A new exhibition of wreaths decorated to reflect Florida’s diverse destinations, from coast to coast.
  • “Lights Alive!” Shows: featuring lights throughout the resort’s atrium, synchronized to festive holiday music.
  • Holiday Gnome Hunt: Families can hunt throughout the Gaylord Palms atriums to spot cleverly hidden gnomes, each ready to celebrate the holiday season.
  • Visit Santa: Kids can take an opportunity to share their special Christmas wishes with Santa Claus…in person, or via email.

While most activities are intended for both day guests and hotel guests, this year’s celebration will include special experiences created exclusively for guests who purchase the Best of Florida Christmas overnight package:

  • Priority entry to the ICE! attraction and ICE! skating rink, as well as the ability to visit both attractions multiple times during a stay.
  • Family memories event, a new experience created just for overnight guests.
  • Holiday bedtime stories, broadcast every night via a special in-room channel.
  • Elf tuck-ins, bedtime visits by one of Santa’s helpers (additional fee).
  • Christmas Concierge, who can recommend and help book unique holiday experiences throughout Orlando.

Overnight Best of Florida Christmas packages start at $249 per night plus tax, based on a two-night stay. Packages include a Florida-view guest room, 2 tickets to ICE!, a souvenir photo, self parking, and a host of exclusive resort guest benefits. Packages and rates are available for families of all sizes, beginning with a one-night stay.

ICE!, the marquee attraction of the resort’s Best of Florida Christmas celebration, will return for its fourth year. The wildly popular family experience gives guests an opportunity to visit a whimsical winter wonderland of interactive environments and larger-than-life, three-dimensional holiday scenes and sculptures, all hand-carved from ice.

The attraction, which is presented by Coca-Cola and co-sponsored by Nissan and Sarah Lee, combines fantastic frozen creations, thrilling ice slides, dramatic lighting and special effects.

The enormous structure used to house ICE! is cooled to a chilly 9 degrees. To stay comfortable inside the attraction, visitors are given oversized winter coats to wear.

“Not only is the artistry amazing to enjoy, but the brisk environment inside the attraction creates a winter holiday experience like no other in the Sunshine State – rosy cheeks and all!” said Kemp Gallineau, general manager of Gaylord Palms.

This year, ICE! features several new or revised scenes, including a holiday train and depot that guests can “climb aboard” to explore. In response to guest feedback, some elements will return for an “encore,” including a breathtaking life-size nativity carved completely of crystal-clear ice. A guest favorite -- three fantastic ice slides -- will return amid a towering Christmas Castle.

The attraction is carved by a team of 40 artisans from Harbin, China. The talented artisans spend nearly an entire month in Kissimmee creating this one-of-a-kind attraction. Harbin is best known for its annual International Ice and Snow Festival. Each year more than 2,000 sculptors carve a 100-acre walk-through Ice Park from blocks of ice taken from the Songhua River.

Produced exclusively for Gaylord Hotels, the artisans’ work appeared for the first time in the United States in 2001, when a similar attraction debuted at Gaylord Opryland Resort’s "A Country Christmas" celebration in Nashville. The project expanded in 2003 to include ICE! at Gaylord Palms, and in 2005 to include ICE! at Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas, located in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Since its inception, this unique attraction has garnered national recognition from USA Today, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Southern Living magazine, and Travel + Leisure magazine.

ICE! tickets range from $9.99 - $24.99, depending on the type of ticket, and day of the week. Discounts will be available for tickets purchased online in advance at http://www.gaylordpalms.com/ice. Tickets will go on sale in late September.

For more information or reservations, call (407) 586-4ICE. To learn more about ICE! or Best of Florida Christmas, guests can visit http://www.gaylordpalms.com/ice. To learn more about other holiday events in Central Florida, visit http://www.ChristmasInOrlando.com.

About Gaylord Palms

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center has gained the attention of the meeting and convention industry by providing world-class convention and leisure-focused amenities – all in one place. The award-winning Gaylord Palms is a Gaylord Hotels-branded property owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a leading hospitality and entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit http://www.gaylordpalms.com or http://www.gaylordentertainment.com.

Guest Information:

Gaylord Palms Resort, (407) 586-2000, http://www.gaylordpalms.com/ice.

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