It’s a DreamWorks Experience at Gaylord Opryland!

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Take your family to visit Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort for something totally different from years past. New this year, there’s a unique, family experience that is a must-do for all fans of Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar — with overnight packages available — called Christmassy DreamWorks Experience and it takes place Nov. 18 – Jan. 3, 2012.

If you’re like me, we usually take the entire family over to this grand resort to see the vibrant light spectacle they put up each year. Not only have they bounced back from the floods, Gaylord Opryland has taken the children in mind more so than ever! You can visit the resort for free (aside from the $18 parking fee) and take in the wonderful atmosphere AND new special features.

There are character stations throughout the Delta atrium that look like parts of the movies plucked straight from the film and built on site! Each of the stations are exquisitely detailed and beautifully crafted. How fun is that!? You can take pictures of the stations, but the meet-and-greets are exclusive to DreamWorks Experience Package guests only.

It’s like they have shrunken a special part of a Disney World idea and made it come to life here in Nashville, TN. So, why wouldn’t you want to go see it, too? There is so much to do, just see for yourself!

ICE! featuring DreamWorks Merry Madagascar The animated movie comes to life with 2 million pounds of ice formed in brightly colored sculptures of the film’s characters. If you are unfamiliar with Merry Madagascar, you will be able to view a short movie clip before your entrance into this wonderful place of ice. AND, if you haven’t taken a ride on the ice slides, you are missing out! It’s cold, but it’s so much fun! As you leave, don’t be in a hurry to get out because the penguins from Madagascar — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico or Private — may be hanging around for a chance meet and greet. Tickets are $24.95 adult, $17.95 ages 4 – 11; ages 3 and younger are free. There is free self-parking for ICE! when you present your ticket stub.

NOTE: DreamWorks Experience Package guests also get tickets to ICE! with a special entry time — one hour earlier than everyone else — on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. If you can’t make it in that early, when you are ready to attend ICE!, you get front-of-the-line access!

Holiday Skrektacular — During your visit, make sure you grab the family and head to the Delta atrium for this FREE show that is to be so grand with Shrek, Fiona (as Ogress Fiona), Puss in Boots, Gingy (the Gingerbread man), Po from Kung Fu Panda and the Penguins from Madagascar taking to the stage to strut their stuff! (DreamWorks Experience Package guests receive first-come, first served VIP seating, which is limited so get there early!) Show times are 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on select dates (no shows on Wednesdays), so check the schedule online. Don’t tell anyone, but I was told they are going to make it SNOW inside during some part of the show, too! How cool!

Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating — Purchase a gingerbread kit (starting at $19.95 plus tax), decorate it until your heart is content and get a chance to meet Gingy, one of the most famous gingerbread men. This event is open to all hotel guests (those that are staying and those just visiting for the day), but DreamWorks Package guests receive a discounted rate.


Don’t limit yourself! Stay the night and get the FULL DreamWorks Experience which includes all of the above AND DreamWorks Experience Package Guests’ exclusives such as:

ShrekFeast Interactive Character Meal — This very special meal takes you on a blissful experience to rock your taste buds with table-side meet and greets with Shrek, Princess Fiona and Puss in Boots — not to mention the chocolate fountain! You also get the chance to be honorary ogres, of which you must solve riddles and puzzles to earn your ogre ears.

DreamWorks “Character Passport” Meet & Greets — Grab your provided “passport” and set out on a quest to travel round the resort to each of the character stations to get a special stamp and have meet-and-greet with Shrek; Alex the Lion, King Julien and the Penguins from Madagascar; Po from The Kung Fu Panda; and Gingy in a giant gingerbread house! Don’t forget Puss in Boots! He has a new movie coming out, too.

DreamWorks Themed Scavenger Hunt — What would family fun be without an interestingly interactive scavenger hunt? Read your clues and search everywhere for the answer. Once you think you’ve got it, go online and enter your answers for a chance  to win the grand prize!

DreamWorks Character Wake-Up Calls — Most kids don’t want to hear Mom or Dad telling them it’s time to get up. So, why not take the fuss out of it and make Shrek or another DreamWorks character to do it? Your kids will love it! It’s also a good way to get them pumped and ready for the day.

DreamWorks Welcome Amenity — There’s all those great things to participate in, but the great spectacle starts with an extra-special amenity when you check in. Limit one item per package, per guest room.

Family Photo — Before it’s all said and done, you should definitely take part in a family photo featuring you and your favorite DreamWorks character. A professional photographer will capture the special moment for you to cherish — and show off to your friends.

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville

DreamWorks Experience One- or Two-Night Packages Available

One-night packages start at $149
(Based on double occupancy and availability, plus tax, resort fee and parking. Extra adult $89 plus tax; extra child $69 plus tax; 3 and younger free.)

Two-night packages start at $199
(Based on double occupancy and availability, plus tax, resort fee and parking. Extra adult $89 plus tax; extra child $69 plus tax; 3 and younger free.

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of three.

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