Merry Christmas… in July: Gaylord Palms announces 2019 ICE! theme

Gaylord Palms announces The Polar Express to be the theme of this year’s ICE! attraction in part of Christmas at Gaylord Palms.

Though we are in the heat of summer, the holiday season will be here before we know it. Gaylord Palms is gearing up for its annual Christmas at Gaylord Palms celebration — where guests can find “Everything Christmas in One Extraordinary Place” — as the resort and convention center in Kissimmee recently announced its 2019 ICE! theme.

So, what is the theme for the resort’s signature holiday experience? *Drumroll...*

The Polar Express.

New to Gaylord Palms, the theme of popular Warner Bros. film will take guests all aboard for a magical adventure to the North Pole — through ice.

“We can’t wait to debut ‘The Polar Express’ as this larger-than-life attraction,” Johann Krieger, general manager for Gaylord Palms Resort, said in a press release. “Christmas is a truly magical time here at Gaylord Palms, and this film embodies the magic and wonder of the season. We know guests of all ages will love experiencing ICE! this year to feel that holiday joy.”


The 9-degree, walk-through ice display showcasing The Polar Express will feature more than 2 million pounds of clear, white and colored ice — all hand carved into sculptures to recreate iconic scenes from the film.

Presented by DEI, the sculptures of the ICE! attraction are created by artisans from Harbin, China. This city is home of the world’s largest ice and snow sculpture festival, and the artisans travel to Gaylord hotels across the nation annually to showcase their talents through ICE! Previous popular themes at Gaylord Palms have been Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story and more.

The Polar Express will bring more than 10 scenes to the attraction, plus a look inside the carving process at the live-carving Frostbite Factory, several two-story ice slides, a traditional Nativity scene created with all crystal clear ice and more.


After exiting ICE!, guests can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa at Alpine Village. This indoor area is the hub for all holiday happenings, and features an array of family-friendly activities.

At Alpine Village, guests can have photos taken with Santa, enjoy seasonal food and beverage options and shop in holiday-themed retail locations including a Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Every evening during Christmas at Gaylord Palms, the Sweet Shop in Alpine Village will present Sugary Sweet Storytime — which features an interactive look inside The Nutcracker and sweet, sparkly hot chocolate in a souvenir mug.

Mrs. Claus will also host an interactive show, Christmas Traditions. In this show she will tell classic holiday stories and allow guests to sing along with her before a finale of holiday cookies.

Guests can decorate their own cookies at the returning Gingerbread Decorating Corner — now located in the Alpine Village Sweet Shop.

 To keep things cool, guests can grab a snow tube and go for a ride. The eight-lane snow tubing hill in real snow is an all-ages attraction, allowing guests to snow tube right here in Central Florida.

Guests can also participate in Santa’s Snow Throw — where they can throw real snowballs at a variety of moving and still targets.


ICE! isn’t the only attraction to return to the Christmas at Gaylord Palms celebration.

New this year, the interactive experience Elf Training Academy will bring guests into a day in the life of one of Santa’s toy makers. Guests can become honorary gift maker elves —creating Christmas gifts for someone special, under the guidance of the elf supervisor.

There will be plenty of returning favorites — including the Sounds of the Season Concert Series, located in the atrium of the resort. Gaylord Palms has confirmed the return of VoicePlay, with more names to be announced in coming months. All concerts include admission to ICE!.

Also returning to the atrium, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped will make a big return to the atrium this year. With new acts and performers every year, this 25-minute show always keeps guests on the edge of their seats.

And finally, the Three Kings Festival will honor the Three Wise Men with a special musical show: The Journey of Los Tres Reyes Magos. (Dec. 27 through Jan. 5, 2020)

Christmas at Gaylord Palms will run from Nov. 25 through Jan. 5, 2020, including holidays. Guests of Christmas in July do not need to be hotel guests.

Visit ChristmasAt to see even more of what Christmas at Gaylord Palms has to offer guests this year. For more information about the resort and convention center, visit