Gaylord Opryland Resort Kicks Off 29th Annual "A Country Christmas'"

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - by Jenny Barker

Nashville’s iconic Gaylord Opryland Resort kicked off its 29th annual A Country Christmas Thursday night in a festive lighting ceremony to officially turn on the resort’s two million holiday lights and usher in the holiday season.

Guests will experience America’s favorite Christmas destination like never before as the 2,881-room resort welcomes new holiday entertainment and perennial favorites. Presented by Kodak, A Country Christmas runs Nov. 15, through Jan. 1, 2013 and includes Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show; The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes; ICE! featuring DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek the Halls;; Holly Jolly Town Square; Treasures for the Holidays craft show; 2 million twinkling lights and more.

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.

“With more than two million twinkling lights and acres of stunning decorations that attract visitors from all over the world, there’s no better place to celebrate the season,” said Gaylord Opryland General Manager Pete Weien. “And, of course, it wouldn’t be Music City, USA, without amazing live shows and entertainment.”

This Christmas, Gaylord Opryland welcomes country music superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Lorrie Morgan for Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show. Morgan and her exceptional family of musicians will take audiences on an enchanting journey through Christmases past and present, featuring songs from Lorrie's popular Merry Christmas from London album along with the many hits of her platinum-selling, 16-album career.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes, will return to the Grand Ole Opry House with an unforgettable 2012 edition. This year’s show will feature dazzling costumes and a finale called "Christmas Dreams" that makes Christmas more magical than ever before. This year, Nashville audiences will be completely enveloped in the Christmas spirit with a new 3D movie scene, as Santa Claus and his reindeer take audiences on a magical journey experiencing the sights and sounds of New York City. Additionally, the stage will come alive with the incredible precision dancing of the Rockettes in beloved numbers like the legendary "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" and the stunning reenactment of the first Christmas in the "Living Nativity.”

Guests can now animate their holiday getaway with interactive experiences starring favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. The Christmassy DreamWorks Experience features the resort’s popular ICE! attraction, ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meal, “Character Passport” meet and greets, Gingy's Gingerbread Decorating, DreamWorks-themed scavenger hunt, Holiday Shrektacular street party and more.

Forty artisans from Harbin, China arrived this fall to transform two million pounds of ice into larger-than-life colorful sculptures and incredible 20-foot-tall ice slides. ICE! featuring DreamWorks' Shrek the Halls—presented by Coca-Cola and sponsored by Delta Dental of Tennessee and NovaCopy—will be bigger than ever in the new 40,000-square-foot Gaylord Opryland Events Center. When Shrek tries to plan the "perfect Christmas" for Fiona and the kids, his plans are disrupted by chaos and commotion. But, in the end, Shrek learns the true meaning of the holiday.

The iconic resort is transformed into a holiday wonderland with all of the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Twinkling lights, exquisite decorations and trees and special entertainment around every corner add to the excitement of A Country Christmas.

The festivities continue with Holly Jolly Town Square, a step back in time to a nostalgic 1950s town square. The town square is complete with all the shops from Main Street, a holiday kids’ train, story time with Mrs. Claus at the library and live entertainment. Also found in the town square is the Hall of Trees display benefiting local charities; the Treasures for the Holidays craft and gift show; photos with Santa; carriage rides; a FREE outdoor nativity display; and more.

Fun-filled performances, chef-prepared meals and sweeping views of the Nashville skyline await guests on a one-of-a-kind Christmas cruise down the Cumberland River aboard the beautiful General Jackson Showboat—one of the largest showboats in the country.

Several resort packages are available to help guests experience A Country Christmas at its best:

  • A Country Christmas package is available Nov. 16 – Dec. 25, and starts at $419* per night/double occupancy for two nights and $359* per night/double occupancy for three nights. Includes accommodations, front-of-line access ticket to ICE!, a ticket to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes, and a ticket to Lorrie Morgan's Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show. The three-night package also includes an upgraded ICE! VIP Experience ticket, a Treasures of the Holidays craft and gift show ticket, a Hall of Trees ticket, admission to the “Kids Only” shopping area, and a VIP Coupon Book valued at more than $250.
  • The Christmassy DreamWorks Experience package is available Nov. 16, 2012 – Jan. 1, 2013 and starts at $219* per night/double occupancy for two nights and $199* per night/double occupancy for three nights. Includes accommodations, tickets and front-of-line access to ICE!, first-come, first-served VIP seating for the Holiday Shrektacular, ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meal, “Character Passport” meet & greets, Rise of the Guardians Scavenger Hunt, DreamWorks welcome amenity, a souvenir family photo, and special wake-up calls by DreamWorks’ characters. The three-night package also includes an upgraded ICE! VIP Experience ticket, a cup of hot chocolate and a Gingy Meet and Greet.
  • Christmas Memories at Gaylord Opryland package is available Nov. 16 – Jan. 1, 2013 and starts at $239* per night/double occupancy. Includes accommodations, ticket to ICE! and a souvenir ICE! photo (one per room).

For reservations or tickets, visit www.ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or call 888-677-9872.




Navitat's Ijams Canopy Experience Adventure Park Opens July 17 In Knoxville

NAVITAT CANOPY ADVENTURES launches its new Ijams Canopy Experience July 17 at Ijams Nature Center in the heart of Knoxville’s treasured Urban Wilderness. Designed and built by the nation’s premier provider of tree-based zipline adventures, NAVITAT’S Ijams Canopy Experience gives visitors an exciting new way to explore the forest of Ijams and ... (click for more)

Tennessee Tourism Round Up: Music And Independence Day

Tennessee’s upcoming tourism news is consolidated for your convenience below. For a complete list of Tennessee events, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing Nashville –  Artist-designed postcards, textiles, and printed materials from  Wiener Werkstätte  (Vienna Workshops) are now on display through  Oct. 5  in the Frist Center for the ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Non-Custodial Father Who Picked Up Children At Chattanooga Daycare Is Caught In Ohio

A non-custodial father who picked up his children at a Chattanooga daycare and headed north has been caught in Ohio. T ony Thomas and the children have been located in Toledo. T homas is in custody in Lucas County and awaiting extradition. T he children were unharmed and will be in Child Protective Services custody until the mother is able to pick them up. ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)