Florida Resorts Dressed In Holiday Style

In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas at Florida
resorts. If this year you are planning a getaway for the holidays,
Florida properties are ready for the holiday season with majestic
Christmas trees, special decorations and themed activities and
attractions.

Here are some to check out:

Captiva – The Sixth Annual Captiva Holiday Village gets
into spirit of the season with various events on specially-themed
weekends in November and December. The hoteliers, merchants,
attraction owners and restaurateurs of Captiva Island get into the act
beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving. Events typically include
fireworks, tree lightings, holiday readings, musical performances,
lighted boat parade, decorated golf cart parade and more. Visit
www.CaptivaHolidayVillage.com.

Florida Keys – Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys puts a
Florida Keys twist on treasured seasonal activities – think Santa on a
Jet Ski rather than a sleigh. Those who would like to escape to the
Florida Keys for a December getaway may wish to check out the Hawks
Cay Christmas Package. The package includes hotel accommodations or
one of the property’s two- and three-bedroom villa lodgings as well as
these features (a $300 dollar value): savings of 15 percent off
accommodations on a stay or two nights or more; 15 percent off Main
Marina accommodations on a stay of two nights or more (including
nightly and weekly live-aboard boat slips); Fridays at 6 p.m. (Resort
Lobby): Story Time and Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus; Christmas
“Spirit” Card: A punch card allows guest to receive a sample of a
designated Christmas cocktail at each of 4 outlets (Bar at Alma, Beach
Grill Bar, Tiki Bar and Island Time –Island Time would be
non-alcoholic) during business hours; Saturdays 10 – 11 a.m. – Meet
Santa Claus himself; Saturdays at 4 p.m.: Decorate Christmas cookies
with a special Christmas helper; and other features. The package is
valid on bookings Nov. 29-Dec. 25. For rate details, inclusions, and
terms, visit www.hawkscaychristmas.com.

Kissimmee – The magic of the holiday season comes to Gaylord Palms
Resort from Nov. 24 to Jan. 3. The resort is dressed to the nines with
two million lights, poinsettias galore, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree
and other decorations. ICE! is a huge highlight with hand-carved ice
sculptures made from nearly two million pounds of ice, ice slides, an
ICE! Bar for adults, and live ice carving stations. The theme for ICE!
this year is the beloved classic poem “’Twas The Night Before
Christmas.”

Another activity at Gaylord Palms is the new The Elf on the Shelf®
Scavenger Hunt that takes guests on a journey throughout the
holiday-clad hotel. Participants follow clues and scan the hotel to
spot the 10 scout elves that have landed at Gaylord Palms. By solving
puzzles and finding all of the elves, guests will reveal the elves’
names so they can report back to Santa. All families that complete the
scavenger hunt will win a prize.

Other attractions and activities include the Alpine Rush
Snow Tubing on an 18-foot, eight-lane tubing hill covered with snow in
the resort’s Alpine Village, character dining and meet and greets;
Brunch with Mrs. Claus; gingerbread decorating; and entertainment
including a spectacular new live stage show, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped.
Visit www.ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com.

Lake Buena Vista/Orlando – The resorts at Walt Disney
World go all out for the holiday season with spectacular trees,
lights, poinsettias and other decorations, including gingerbread
houses. Disney’s Victorian-inspired Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
features an amazing, Victorian-style 16-foot-high gingerbread house in
the resort’s lobby. It requires 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of
sugar and 1,050 pounds of honey to build, and it sports a chimney. If
you look closely, periodically you will see puffs of smoke. And since
the sight of all that sweet concoction may tempt you, there is a Bake
Shop beside it.
The Grand Floridian is a monorail ride away from Disney’s Magic
Kingdom Park, which is decorated with festive Christmas trees, miles
of garlands, millions of lights and thousands of poinsettias. A
highlight of the Magic Kingdom’s holiday decorations is the Castle
Dreamlights, with more than 300,000 white lights giving Cinderella
Castle the aspect of an ice palace. Special events at Disney World for
the holiday season include Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the
Magic Kingdom, a separate ticket event with a special holiday-themed
parade, snow flurries on Main Street, and Christmas-themed
entertainment on select evenings in November and December; the
Candlelight Processional at Epcot featuring an orchestra, massed choir
and celebrity narrators telling the Christmas story (included in theme
park admission); and the Osborne Family Spectacle Of Dancing Lights,
with millions of lights “dancing” to music and snow flurries, at
Disney’s Hollywood Studios (included in park admission and this is the
last year it will be presented) and fabulous fireworks displays in the
Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Visit www.disneyworld.com.

Another option in Lake Buena Vista/Orlando is the Holiday
Happenings at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin at the Epcot resort
area. This resort offers a variety of festive events and activities
beginning in December with two special guest hosts, Santa and Mrs.
Claus. Activities include mingling with a tropically-clad Santa who’s
brought along his favorite elf, Kandy Kane; lighting of the 45-foot
Christmas tree with Mrs. Claus in the Dolphin lobby on select nights;
and the option for children to be tucked in by one of Santa’s elves in
costume on Christmas Eve. Santa and Mrs. Claus Meet ‘n Greets occur on
select nights in Santa’s customized Tiki hut. The hut features
reindeer, palm trees and flamingos. Other highlights include a
chocolate holiday sculpture weighing approximately 2,000 pounds
featuring a life-sized Santa, fireplace, Christmas tree, toy train and
seven-foot-tall nutcracker displayed in the lobby of the Swan during
December. Visit www.santasfavoriteresort.com.

Vero Beach – Disney’s Vero Beach Resort & Spa is decorated
to the nines with a majestic Christmas tree with lovely ornaments
including sea turtle ones –a nod to our Treasure Coast’s nesting
visitors—takes center stage in the lobby along with garlands and
poinsettias, and several other trees adorn public areas. A Mickey
wreath lights up the facade and lighted deer are charming at the
entrance to the resort. A festive dinner buffet is offered on
Christmas Day and Goofy and Donald Duck typically make appearances to
pose for photos with guests. Visit www.disneybeachresorts.com.

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