Gaylord Opryland Resort Marks Start of 28th Annual Country Christmas

Louise Mandrell’s Christmas Dinner Party, part of Gaylord Opryland Resort's Country Christmas, combines a traditional holiday meal with performances by Louise Mandrell, her band and special guest Christy Sutherland © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Nashville’s iconic Gaylord Opryland Resort kicked off its 28th annual A Country Christmas tonight in a festive celebration featuring Shrek, Alex the Lion, King Julien, Po the Panda, Puss in Boots and a host of other lovable characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA).

Presented by Coca-Cola, A Country Christmas runs Nov. 18, 2011 through Jan. 3, 2012, and includes the 10th anniversary edition of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the world-famous Rockettes; ICE! featuring DreamWorks Animation’s Merry Madagascar; Louise Mandrell’s Christmas Dinner Party; the all-new 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 ten places to spend Christmas in the world by Travel + Leisure and a “Nashville treasure” by Southern Living.

New for 2011 is a special Christmassy DreamWorks Experience vacation package that, for the first time ever, will provide DreamWorks fans with an up-close and personal experience with characters in a resort environment. Available for one-night with rates starting at $149*** per person and two-nights, with rates starting at $199*** per person, the package includes a series of exclusive offerings.

ICE! featuring DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar. DreamWorks package guests receive priority access and early admission to this life-sized winter wonderland hand-carved from 2 million pounds of ice and themed to reflect DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar. These hilarious and colorful displays, hand carved by 40 artisans from Harbin, China, depicts the holiday television special and features such scenes as Santa and his reindeer crash-landing on the island of Madagascar, and how Marty, Alex, Gloria and Melman hatched their scheme to save Christmas.

ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meals* feature delectable menu items only an ogre would love. Fairytale photo opps will abound as kids dine with Shrek, Princess Fiona and Puss in Boots, and discover a Magic Fountain bubbling over with chocolate potions.

DreamWorks “Character Passport” Meet & Greets* offer a chance for enthusiasts to stroll through Shrek and Princess Fiona’s beloved swamp for a face-to-face encounter with the green ogres; explore the island of Madagascar, that Alex the Lion, King Julien and the Penguins call home; and discover China’s ancient Valley of Peace where Po has become a true kung fu master. Guests can even meet the star of DreamWorks’ newest film – Puss In Boots!

Puss in Boots Quest for the Magic Beans Scavenger Hunt* creates fun for the entire family. Everyone will enjoy searching the expansive, indoor atriums at Gaylord Opryland on this interactive scavenger hunt. Answers can be entered online to win the grand prize!

Family Photo* A professional photo of each family with their favorite DreamWorks character will be taken and provided to them as a special keepsake of their Gaylord Hotels Christmassy DreamWorks Experience.

DreamWorks Character Wake-Up Calls* The immersive experience continues with a wacky wake-up call from one of the DreamWorks characters. Guests can choose from a host of their favorites for a fun way to start the day!

DreamWorks Welcome Amenity at Package Check-In** Package guests will receive a special DreamWorks welcome amenity to commemorate their visit. (Limit one item per package, per room.)

Children will also enjoy Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating and the DreamWorks’ Holiday Shrektacular, where families are invited to join the DreamWorks characters for a festive gathering with music, lights, dancing, and merriment in Gaylord Opryland’s Delta Atrium.

The 2,881-room 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.

Audiences can experience the magic of Christmas like never before with an all new production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular®, starring the world-famous Rockettes®. America’s favorite holiday show—celebrating its 10th year in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House—is re-defining spectacular with dazzling brand new Rockette numbers and beloved favorites like the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and the Living Nativity.

Louise Mandrell’s Christmas Dinner Party combines a traditional holiday meal with all the trimmings with sensational and awe-inspiring performances by the multi-talented Louise Mandrell, her band and special guest Christy Sutherland. With favorite Christmas songs and dizzying dance routines, Louise wows audiences with her boundless energy in the new show she has created for her final holiday season at Gaylord Opryland.

All new this year is Holly Jolly Town Square, a step back in time to a nostalgic 1950s town square, complete with all the shops from main street, a holiday kids train, story time with Mrs. Claus at the library, live entertainment, the Hall of Trees display benefiting local charities and more.

For the first time ever, admission is free for Treasures for the Holidays, a festive craft and gift show featuring more than 40 unique merchants from across the country.

The festivities continue aboard the General Jackson Showboat, one of the largest showboats in the country, with two Christmas cruise experiences. Fun-filled performances, chef-prepared meals and sweeping views of the Nashville skyline await guests on both the evening show, A Country Christmas on the Cumberland, and the mid-day holiday-themed show featuring Steve Hall & Shotgun Red.

Ticket and package information is available at www.ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com or 1-888-999-OPRY (6779).

ABOUT GAYLORD OPRYLAND RESORT
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, located at 2800 Opryland Drive in Nashville, Tenn., is the largest non-gaming hotel facility in the continental United States and the flagship property of Gaylord Hotels, owned by Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET). The newly-renovated resort features 2,881 rooms and more than 600,000 square feet of meeting, convention and exhibit space. The property is best known for its signature glass roofs and nine acres of lavish indoor gardens and waterfalls. For more information, visit http://www.gaylordopryland.com or call 1-888-999-OPRY.

See also:

OPRYLAND’S ‘A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS’ IS SPECTACULAR FAMILY HOLIDAY PLACE

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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