Gaylord Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, announce the long-awaited return of ICE!, the brand’s legendary Christmas marquee experience, that will once again anchor Christmas at all five Gaylord Hotels this upcoming festive season. After a two-year hiatus, ICE! will once again bring to life its mammoth holiday-themed, immersive ice displays at Gaylord Opryland in Tennessee, Gaylord Texan in Texas, Gaylord Palms in Florida, Gaylord Rockies in Colorado, and Gaylord National in Maryland. As part of the brand’s beloved Christmas at Gaylord Hotels celebration, this signature experience will also be joined by an exciting and original live entertainment experience, CIRQUE: Spirit of Christmas, at select resorts, as well as the brand’s abundance of festive holiday programming.
ICE! Returns to Gaylord Hotels
A longtime tradition first presented more than two decades ago, Gaylord Hotels’ signature, larger-than-life ice installations will take shape at each resort this festive season. This one-of-a-kind holiday showcase will be created from more than 33,500 massive blocks of ice weighing over 10 million pounds – or 5,000 tons – across the five resorts. Kept at a chilly 9 degrees, each ICE! attraction will bring beloved scenes and characters from classic Christmas films to life with magnificent sculptures and slides. Ice carvings range in size from details as tiny as a coin to soaring scenes more than 30 feet tall. Over six weeks, 40 specialized ice artisans, using skills passed down from generation to generation and following a 300-page design book, will create the magnificent spectacle.
Once again, guests will be able to step into nearly 20,000-square-foot, 3D worlds of their favorite holiday films, with each resort presenting a different theme to discover. This year’s experiences will offer:
- ICE! Featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Gaylord Opryland – Guests will enjoy favorite scenes from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, brought to life in this colorful winter wonderland.
- ICE! Featuring The Polar Express at Gaylord Texan – Families are invited to take a journey of imagination through this heartwarming story as a young child embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole while learning about friendship, bravery, and the true spirit of Christmas.
- ICE! Featuring “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!” at Gaylord Palms – Showcasing the 1957 Dr. Seuss classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, families are invited to experience iconic scenes such as the Grinch lurking through the chimneys of the Who-ville homes, the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes after realizing Christmas means a little bit more and sitting down at the Whos’ feast where the Grinch carves the roast beast.
- ICE! Featuring “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at Gaylord Rockies – Guests will follow along with the lovable Charlie Brown as he rediscovers the meaning of Christmas as the cherished story unfolds.
- ICE! Featuring A Christmas Story at Gaylord National – Fans of this humorous holiday classic will rejoice in experiencing their favorite characters and scenes in this magical ice showcase.
Each theme is brought to life in vivid, colorful fashion with the help of an expert chemist who prepares a proprietary formula of special coloring used in the ice sculptures, which keep them bright and festive all season long. At Gaylord Hotels, many of the same artisans who create the incredible ice displays at the world-renowned Harbin Ice Festival will carve 300-pound blocks of ice into the larger-than-life, whimsical scenes.
Original Production: CIRQUE: Spirit of Christmas
A highlight the 2022 festive season, Gaylord Hotels presents an original production of CIRQUE: Spirit of Christmas at Gaylord Rockies, Gaylord Palms, and Gaylord National. This unique, Cirque-styled live show will feature dazzling acrobatics, feats of flexibility, and high-flying stunts. The Broadway-style spectacle tells the story of Noel, a child dismayed and distressed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Trying to recapture her lost love of the season, the child is visited by spirits who bring back the true meaning of the season in energetic, dreamlike chapters.
CIRQUE: Spirit of Christmas will be presented as a 75-minute show at Gaylord Rockies, while Gaylord Palms and Gaylord National will offer a 35-minute show. An exciting lineup of additional signature live performances will also be showcased across the five resorts, with more details to be announced soon.
Gaylord Texan will also showcase a dedicated Cirque: Winter Wonderland performance. This action-packed fusion of theatre and cirque features high-flying stunts, acrobatic feats, jaw-dropping juggling, stunning contortion, and so much more.
Wintertime Activities for All Ages
Families and guests of Gaylord Hotels can look forward to the tradition of the beloved Christmas at Gaylord Hotels celebration, featuring an abundance of festive activities, events, holiday meals, attractions, and dazzling decorations throughout each of the expansive resorts. During the holidays, each of the five resorts and their expansive atriums transform into breathtaking winter wonderland environments with millions of lights, elaborately themed Christmas trees, thousands of ornaments, and miles of garland.
Guests can look forward to the brand’s notable abundance of festive holiday programming from tried-and-true favorites including snow tubing, ice skating, caroling, gingerbread decorating, and adventurous scavenger hunts, to captivating atrium light shows, character dining, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and so much more. Highlights will include the Christmas Tree Trail at Gaylord Palms to discover and take an “elfie” with eight elaborately decorated holiday trees throughout the atrium and Carriage Rides at Gaylord Opryland, featuring a private horse-drawn ride through the resort’s decorations and lights. Additional experiences will include the Christmas Carousel at Gaylord Texan, a timeless, family-friendly ride offering endless spins and fun; a festive Campfire & S’mores experience at Gaylord Rockies; and live performances including The Greatest Story Stage Show at Gaylord National and Gaylord Palms, a musical stage show and multicultural celebration of six international storytellers highlighting the birth of Jesus Christ.