NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gaylord Opryland Resort's 31st annual A Country Christmas is officially underway, following a festive ceremony tonight to turn on the iconic hotel's 2 million holiday lights for the season.
"It's our favorite time of the year as our resort is transformed into a magical winter wonderland inside and out," said Gaylord Opryland General Manager Pete Weien. "Our horticulture team has been working since July to meticulously hang the stunning lights and create magical settings for families to create holiday memories."
With acres of stunning decorations, dazzling shows and family-friendly activities, A Country Christmas at the 2,882-room resort has become a holiday destination for more than 1 million visitors annually.
A Country Christmas, presented by Kodak Event Imaging Solutions, runs through Jan. 3, 2015. Tickets and vacation packages are on sale at ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular® starring the Rockettes returns to the Grand Ole Opry House for its 13th and final season in Nashville. America's #1 holiday show will celebrate the magic of Christmas like never before with an all-new, unforgettable experience as Santa Claus takes center stage with a re-imagined second act featuring technological enhancements and dynamic Rockettes choreography. The Rockettes will dazzle audiences with their iconic eye-high kicks in show-stopping numbers, including the holiday celebration of New York at Christmas as well as classic favorites like Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and The Living Nativity.
Country music powerhouse group RESTLESS HEART is bringing its rich, soaring harmonies to Gaylord Opryland's A Country Christmas with the all-new A Season of Harmony Dinner Show. Known for chart-toppers like "The Bluest Eyes in Texas," "I'll Still Be Loving You," "Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right)" and "When She Cries," the band—celebrating 30 years with its five original members—will perform holiday classics and original songs from its new Christmas album as well as favorite hits.
Gaylord Opryland's signature ICE!™ attraction brings the classic holiday poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' to life in 2 million pounds of colorful ice sculptures carved by 40 artisans from Harbin, China. All new this year is The Frostbite Factory—an interactive area where visitors can watch artisans carving sculptures before their very eyes. Visitors age 21 and up can "chill out" at the new On The Blocks bar at ICE! This new upgrade option includes signature drink samples poured through an ice luge plus a souvenir glass.
For more frozen fun, guests can brave the hills of the new Arctic Plunge Snow Tubing attraction—an extreme six-lane tubing hill covered in 1.5 million pounds of real snow—or go for a yuletide glide at the new 6,000 square-foot outdoor ice rink, complete with private rink-side cabanas and a DJ spinning tunes on the weekends.
Parade of Trees is a new self-guided tour of stunningly decorated Christmas trees throughout the resort. Each tree's decorations and presents are up for grabs to the highest bidder—all to benefit favorite charities. Zac Brown Band, Charlie Daniels, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Brenda Lee and more will have trees featured.
Guests will also be able to interact with beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation franchises including Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. Highlights include a character-themed feast and sticky fun at Gingy's Gingerbread Decorating.
Photos with Santa is sure to be a "hit" as Santa himself makes a special stop in Music City. Children can join Santa in his guitar-shaped chair surrounded by giant record albums to share their Christmas wishes.
Toe-tapping performances await audiences on one-of-a-kind Christmas midday and evening cruises down the Cumberland River aboard the General Jackson Showboat—one of the largest showboats in the country.
Delta Riverboat Rides on the resort's ¼-mile-long indoor river and Carriage Rides offer unique ways to enjoy the holiday lights and decor.
Back for 2014 are favorite FREE activities like the Treasures for the Holidays Craft Show and the Outdoor Nativity with its audio rendition of the biblical story of the birth of Christ.
A Country Christmas has been hailed as one of the "Ten Great Places to Catch up with Santa" by USA Today; "The Most Christmassy Hotel in the Nation" by the Travel Channel's "Extreme Christmas;" one of the top 10 places to spend Christmas in the world by Travel + Leisure; and a "Nashville treasure" by Southern Living.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, located at 2800 Opryland Drive in Nashville, Tenn., is the flagship property of Gaylord Hotels, part of the Marriott portfolio of brands. The 2,882-room hotel offers "everything in one place"— diverse dining options, a full-service spa, top-notch entertainment, on-site shopping, an award-winning golf course and more. For more information, visit www.gaylordopryland.com or call 1-888-999-OPRY.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,100 properties in 79 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and all related characters and properties © 2014 DreamWorks Animation LLC
© 2014 MSG Entertainment, a division of Madison Square Garden®, LP. All rights reserved.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 2 million outdoor LED holiday lights (20,000 strings of lights with 100 bulbs each)
- 189 miles that the 2 million lights would string end to end
- 200,000 indoor holiday lights
- 1 million visitors to the resort during the holidays each year
- 15,000 poinsettias
- 15 miles of green garland
- 10 miles of hand-tied, red ribbon
- 48-foot-tall Christmas tree
- 1.5 million pounds of real snow at Arctic Plunge Snow Tubing
- 2+ million pounds of ice for signature ICE! attraction
- Nearly 7,000 giant blocks of colored ice
- 40 ice artisans from Harbin, China
SOURCE Gaylord Opryland Resort