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Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Gaylord Palms celebrates the holidays with an ALL NEW “Elf” themed attraction!

So. Much. Christmas. That’s the tagline for this year’s Christmas at Gaylord Palms, and boy is it true! From holiday shows to gingerbread decorating and sliding down Snow Mountain, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. While Gaylord Palms is known for their themed Ice! exhibits every year, travel restrictions prevented their sculptures from being delivered from overseas. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t come up with something just as spectacular to take it’s place!

The all-new Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf is an interactive event that gives visitors the chance to help Buddy the Elf spread Christmas cheer that’s needed to fuel Santa’s sleigh. Characters and scenes from the movie “Elf” are brought to life and allow you to immerse yourself in the whimsical world of Buddy as he goes on his adventures in New York City. Even if you’ve never seen the movie, it’s still a must-see event that both children and adults will love. So put on your elf hat and getting ready to help save Christmas!

Travel From The North Pole to NYC!

Upon entering, you’ll travel through the candy cane forest and meet Leon the snowman, Mr. Narwhal, and Arctic Puffin and his friends as they bid you goodbye on your way to NYC. From there, you make a stop in Santa’s Workshop where elf-sized tables are strewn with toys being built. Shelves with toys ready to be loaded on to Santa’s sleigh surround the room, and there are interactive games for guests to play.

Next, you’ll head into the kitchen to find all of Buddy’s favorite food groups – candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup. You can even customize virtual Christmas cookies at interactive baking tables. When they’re done “baking,” the oven lights up with your name and cookie-scented smoke fills the air.

A stop at the department store where Buddy worked is up next. It features decorations made by Buddy himself, including paper garland, snowflakes, and the famous lighted “Welcome Santa” sign. You can take pictures in front of the gingerbread castle and dance on the life-sized piano keys before heading to the mailroom of the Empire State Building. The mailroom is filled with Christmas presents and letters ready to be sent out. A giant interactive screen lets you dance on the mailroom tables just like Buddy did.

As Christmas Eve approaches, it’s time to head to Central Park to help spread even more Christmas cheer to fuel Santa’s sleigh. While snow falls from the sky, you can partake in a virtual snowball fight. Then it’s on to play Christmas songs and check out Santa’s sleogh before he takes flight.

The entire attraction takes about 30-45 minutes to get through. The attention to detail is amazing – from the Post-It Notes on the mailroom walls to the intricate details in the department store scene. There are tons of fun photo ops and it’ll be hard to resist shouting out favorite lines from the movie!

More Christmas Fun

In addition to Mission: Save Christmas, there is so much holiday fun to experience. You can slide down Snow Mountain, build snowballs, decorate gingerbread houses, and train to be an elf at the Elf Training Academy. There are also several shows to check out – Cirque: Spirit of Christmas, The Greatest Story, and the Shine Light Show. Take a stroll through the Christmas Tree Trail to experience eight elaborately decorated trees. Special holiday dining options are available as well.

Some attractions are complimentary while some require ticket purchases. Be sure to check out their website before planning your trip. 

Brie Gorecki
Brie has been writing for websites and local publications for over 10 years. A USF graduate, she has worked for several major companies in New York, Atlanta and here in Tampa. You can read her articles on Tampa Bay Parenting, Tampa Bay Date Night Guide and Orlando Date Night Guide. She’s a Disney fanatic, an animal lover, and is a huge foodie who loves trying all the amazing restaurants around Tampa Bay. She’s a proud mom to a sweet little Star Wars and Godzilla-loving boy, and to her “fur-babies,” a rescue dog and cat from Humane Society of Tampa Bay. She loves spending time with her family, whether it’s a date night out with her husband or a day filled with roller coaster rides at a theme park.

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