One of our Christmas traditions is to head to ICE! at The Gaylord Palms resort. We were of course disappointed when for obvious reasons ICE! couldn't happen this year but we were overjoyed that they came up with an awesome plan B experience. So on the day after Thanksgiving me, Tamy and Gabby headed to the resort for the I Love Christmas Movies experience. I mean obviously you know I love Christmas movies but to walk through scenes from some holiday classics definitely piqued my interest.
The Gaylord Palms resort is always decked out, from the lobby, to the atrium, to the event area there is no shortage of trees, lights, photo ops and decorations. The resort also has a snow factory, tubing, a Cirque show and character dining options but we were there strictly for I Love Christmas Movies! Please note that parking at the Gaylord Palms is a little steep, for us with tax it came to $28.75 and we were only there a couple of hours.
We got there before our reservation time and strolled around the market taking pictures and looking at all of the merchandise which was plentiful! We could smell the treats cooking, we spotted Santa walking towards his workshop - he was even wearing a mask! Masks must be worn unless you are in a designated location for eating and drinking.
Once our reservation time was called we were able to get into line. The lines were marked for social distancing and a video played with reminders to keep your mask on properly and to to stay on your mark. We were pleasantly surprised that almost everyone followed the rules, there was a gentleman in line behind us who lowered his mask and Tamy just politely asked him to put it back on and he politely obliged. When you enter the experience, groups are pretty small, our group had the three of us and another family of three and our guide. Once inside the experience there were socially distant marks for each party and the guide was incredible making sure we all got to see everything while maintaining our distance.
I don't want to give too much away because there are so many interactive surprises that I don't want to spoil but the movies featured are The Year Without a Santa Claus, Elf, A Christmas Story, The Polar Express and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. We were big time impressed by the experience, by the cute photo ops, by the fun movie trivia our guide shared and just the general merriment included in this adventure.
The whole experience takes about a half hour to walk through but we in no way felt rushed. Tamy was glad she didn't have to wear the normal blue parkas you have to wear for ICE! and that she wasn't freezing to death the whole time she actually felt she was able to enjoy the experience.
You exit the experience in the Market area and Gabby and I couldn't help but notice a specialty cocktail cart! We sipped on Santa's Little Helper a coconut, rum, vanilla delight. Which we had to drink in a designated location but it was lovely and cheerful and we felt safe. It was the perfect finish to this really fun experience. I would totally do this again with different featured movies and I would totally do it in conjunction with ICE!
I'm so glad we were able to have this Christmas adventure even though it was changed from previous years. What are some traditions you have that might have to change this year?