Christmas at Gaylord Hotels Opens with Dozens of Festive Holiday Events and 10 Million Pounds of Carved ‘ICE!’

BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Gaylord Hotels, as the brand’s five resorts begin their holiday celebrations this week with a sleigh-full of immersive activities, live shows, new dining experiences, a winter wonderland of family fun, and “ICE!” – a one-of-a-kind, 9-degree attraction featuring larger-than-life ice sculptures, hand-carved into characters and scenes from classic holiday films.

The resorts – Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md., Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn., Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., Gaylord Rockies Resort in Aurora, Colo. and Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas – opened their holiday celebrations with festive light and fountain shows, visits with Santa, cookies and story time with Mrs. Claus, holiday-themed escape rooms, hundreds of elaborately decorated Christmas trees, millions of sparkling lights and more than 100,000 ornaments.

Gaylord Hotels are also home to live, Christmas stage shows, including the “Cirque: Spirit of Christmas” show at multiple resorts, and the premiere of the “Darryl Worley and Friends: Home for the Holidays” dinner show at Gaylord Opryland Resort. Character dining, gingerbread decorating, scavenger hunts and holiday craft workshops add to the yuletide celebrations.

Freeze the Day – with ‘ICE!’

For more than a month, Gaylord Hotels across the United States resembled Santa’s toy factory as master ice carvers – busy as St. Nick’s elves in their wintry workshop – created Gaylord Hotels’ signature attraction, “ICE!,” by carving more than 10 million pounds of ice into classic scenes from holiday films.

An annual tradition at the brand’s five resorts, “ICE!” is a 20,000-square-foot, walk-through attraction featuring eye-popping scenes from classic films, completely made of ice. The 9-degree, arctic experiences are created by a team of 200 international ice artisans.

Over the last five weeks, artisans at each resort hand-carved “ICE!” attractions that retell the stories of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Gaylord National), The Polar Express (Gaylord Opryland), A Charlie Brown Christmas (Gaylord Palms), A Christmas Story (Gaylord Rockies) and Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (Gaylord Texan).

Carvers followed design books that outlined every detail of each film’s characters. Using chainsaws, chisels, grinders and even homemade hand tools, artisans created each attraction in stunning detail from giant blocks of ice. The spectrum of ice coloring, created by a chemist using a proprietary formula, is carefully mixed to maintain its vivid hues the entire holiday season. Lighting designers help create dramatic show vignettes using spotlights, accent lighting, colorful projections and LED lights frozen into sculptures.

“ICE!” made its debut in 2001 at Gaylord Opryland Resort and has since expanded to all five Gaylord Hotels. An annual fan favorite, “ICE!” is the most popular attraction annually at each resort.

This year, guests will be able to experience these holiday classics at Gaylord Hotels:

  • ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Gaylord National, Nov. 19-Dec. 31, 2023 – Guests enjoy favorite scenes from the classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, brought to life in this colorful winter wonderland.
  • ICE! featuring Warner Bros.’ The Polar Express at Gaylord Opryland, Nov. 10, 2023-Jan. 1-2024 – Based on the beloved Warner Bros. film, 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.
  • ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas at Gaylord Palms, Nov. 17, 2023-Jan. 3, 2024 – Guests will follow Charlie Brown as he rediscovers the meaning of Christmas, alongside Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang.
  • ICE! featuring Warner Bros.’ A Christmas Story at Gaylord Rockies, Nov. 17, 2023-Jan. 1-2024 – Based on the Warner Bros. perennial holiday classic, guests join Ralphie Parker as he dreams of the perfect Christmas present, and later discovers the real meaning of Christmas happiness.
  • ICE! featuring Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at Gaylord Texan, Nov. 10-Dec. 31, 2023 – Showcasing the 1957 Dr. Seuss classic, families are invited to experience iconic scenes such as the Grinch lurking through the chimneys of the Who-ville homes, and the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes after realizing Christmas means a little bit more.

There’s Snow Much More!

Alongside “ICE!,” Gaylord Hotels guests are invited to enjoy an exciting lineup of holiday events. Each resort has transformed into a winter wonderland full of dazzling decorations with millions of lights, hundreds of Christmas trees, thousands of ornaments and miles of garland.

Guests can enjoy dozens of immersive activities (activities vary based on the individual resort), including ice skating on a 9,000-square-foot outdoor rink, the “Merry and Bright Skating Spectacular” show featuring champion skaters, ice tubing, snowball throwing, special dining experiences like “Breakfast with Charlie Brown and Friends” and “Feast with The Grinch” character breakfast, sweet fun inside the Gingerbread Decorating Corner, the Naughty or Nice Escape Room, story time and sing-alongs in “Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions,” craft-making inside the Elf Training Academy, craft cocktails at holiday-themed pop-up bars, and more.

Overnight Stays Sweeten the Holidays

Guests staying overnight at Gaylord Hotels enjoy special perks and access to select holiday attractions, including early entry and front-of-line access. Upgraded, atrium-view rooms provide brilliant views of the resorts’ spectacular atriums, while at Gaylord National Resort guests can book the “Christmas Dream Suite,” featuring enchanting holiday decorations, an amazing view of the resort’s 19-story atrium and other Christmas perks.

Packages are available that bundle holiday activities and special room rates. Tickets must be purchased online, in advance. For more information or to purchase tickets and make room reservations, guests may visit

A CHRISTMAS STORY and all related characters and elements © & Turner Entertainment Co.
THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
TM & © 2023 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 Peanuts Worldwide LLC
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and all related elements © & under license to Character Arts, LLC. All rights reserved.

SOURCE Gaylord Hotels

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