Even without ICE this year, Christmas is still on and still awesome at Gaylord Palms! Christmas at Gaylord Palms Resort runs through January 3, 2021, and offers more than 15 festive activities for guests and locals to enjoy, including dazzling live performances, a festive breakfast with the Grinch, gingerbread decorating, and more.
This is a partnered guest post by Melissa. All opinions are her own.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms 2020
Before I tell you about the fun activities this year, I want to highlight some of the safety precautions they are taking. First, masks are required, and everyone was wearing them, both staff and guests.
They are limiting capacity and requiring visitors to purchase tickets online. You can save the tickets directly to your phone (or print them), and scan them at the hands-free scanner at the entrance of each activity. While you’re waiting in line, there are festive social distancing stickers to mark the six-foot distance between visitors.
The marquee event at Christmas at Gaylord Palms is “I Love Christmas Movies.” This is an interactive walkthrough event that takes you through multiple key scenes in 5 popular Christmas movies. These movies include THE POLAR EXPRESS™, A CHRISTMAS STORY™, ELF™, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™, and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS™.
Each scene has replica props and audio clips, and you have your own tour guide/set director to escort you through the scenes. This event is booked to allow for social distancing, and they have stickers on each set for parties to stand. Walking through these scenes was like stepping into some of my favorite Christmas movies. My daughter was in awe walking around looking at everything.
Our family’s favorite activities were in the Snow Factory! My favorite part was in the Snowball Build and Blast area. They give you buckets of real snow! You make snowballs with the snow and then throw them at targets worth different points. The best part is they make it into a fun competition between two different parties! The parties are separated by the snowmaking machine, and the winning team gets the glory. It’s so much fun you won’t care if you lose though.
My daughter’s favorite part was Snow Flow Mountain. This is an indoor slide down a frozen conveyor belt on a tube. She wanted to go again and again!
With 4.5 acres of airy indoor atriums decorated with millions of twinkling holiday lights, a towering Christmas tree in the St. Augustine atrium and thousands of shimmering ornaments, visitors can look forward to even more festive experiences, including:
- Live performances on the St. Augustine Stage, including the dazzling Cirque Dreams Unwrapped featuring stunning feats of showmanship performed on stage and in the air. Plus, holiday spirits will soar during The Greatest Story, a multicultural, musical journey celebrating the story of Christ.
- A fun and festive breakfast with the mean, green one himself at The Grinch Character Breakfast at Villa de Flora.
- An interactive experience that will show kids what it takes to become one of Santa’s helpers during the Elf Training Academy.
- A one-of-a-kind light show in the St. Augustine atrium sky that will bring the fun of decorating the Christmas tree to life in the #LIT Light Show.
- A holiday-themed scavenger hunt that will help grow The Grinch’s heart three sizes and show him the meaning of the season in The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt.
- And more! To learn more about all the activities and events coming to Christmas at Gaylord Palms head here.
I also highly recommend the shows they have there. The #LIT Light Show is about 10 minutes long and centers on a beautiful Christmas tree. The #LIT song is so catchy I have been singing it in my head ever since. The Cirque Dreams Unwrapped had me at the edge of my seat watching all of the amazing feats they were doing.
The audience was clapping almost continuously at some of the things the performers were completing. The musical story of Christ, The Greatest Story, features some beautiful voices and was a touching story.
All in all, Christmas at Gaylord Palms gets two thumbs up from our family! This is a great way to have some fun in 2020 and still stay safe. Every staff member we came in contact with was super friendly and very helpful. On a separate note, it was a bit chilly at the events, so you may want to bring a light jacket.
If you try to tackle finding the clues in The Grinch’s Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt, make sure you do it during the daytime. In the evening with the ambiance and lighting in the atrium, there are a few clues that cannot be seen because it is too dark. We tried it in the evening not realizing how dark it got even though it is inside. We finished it the next morning instead. It was definitely a lot of fun, and you get a cute prize when you complete the scavenger hunt! My daughter wants to know when we can go back to play in the snow again.
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