The annual holiday programming at Marriott’s Gaylord Hotels is a family event that many look forward to year after year, and 2021 will not disappoint. This year’s programming will be headlined by the Warner Bros. film “ELF” with visitors to many Gaylord Hotels around the country finding themselves “helping” Buddy the Elf prepare for his holiday journey.
Each year, the multi-sensory experience draws thousands of visitors as they walk through interactive exhibits themed around holiday films and pop-culture moments. Even though this year’s event is based on the “ELF” movie starring Will Ferrell and Zoey Deschanel, it’s not only Christmas movie buffs that will find something of interest. Visitors of all ages can enjoy family-friendly activities like ice skating, indoor sledding, carnival-style games and outdoor light shows.
The decorations alone are impressive and fill every corner of these large convention-focused hotels. From enormous Christmas trees to ornaments and moving toy trains, it is a fantasy land for both kids and kids at heart. Gingerbread house decorating, photos with Santa, themed breakfasts, arts and craft areas and live music add to the fun.
New for 2021 is the Elf-themed experience where visitors help Buddy the Elf “save Christmas” and power up the “Kringle 3000” (Santa’s sleigh). With a dozen virtual and interactive stations, visitors will walk through a candy cane forest, watch as elves prepare toys in time for Christmas Eve and experience a virtual snowball fight in Central Park.
The ELF-themed Christmas experience, dubbed “Mission: Save Christmas,” is available at four Gaylord properties: Gaylord Palms in Florida, Gaylord Opryland in Tennessee, Gaylord Texan in Texas and Gaylord Rockies in Colorado.
Gaylord National in Maryland will feature “I Love Christmas Movies” programming that the other four properties offered in 2020 while Gaylord National was still closed. Thirteen different scenes from popular Christmas movies were recreated for guests to walk through including real movie props and audio clips that involve visitors in the story as if they were part of the film.
Each property will also have a winter-themed space that is unique to the hotel. Gaylord Opryland in Nashville will have an outdoor Appalachian-style village for visitors to stroll through while a “snowy outdoor adventure area” will be set up at Gaylord Rockies. Bring your winter clothes to Orlando where artificial snow greets visitors at Gaylord Palms. The hotel will also have a holiday-themed acrobatic and stunt show. Both the Gaylord Texan and Gaylord National will have their own Christmas markets with shops and decorations.
The holiday events are open to both overnight guests and day visitors beginning in mid-November and lasting until Jan. 2. Special overnight hotel package rates are also available. Day visitors can buy advance tickets online with ticket prices varying by location.
Gaylord Hotels is one of the 30 Marriott Bonvoy brands where members can earn and redeem points. This fall, Marriott Bonvoy members can take part in a seasonal promotion to earn 1,500 bonus points on every stay. Registration is required before checking in, and the last day to sign up for the promotion is Nov. 28 (with the last eligible checkout day being Dec. 12).
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