Acclaimed Florida Resort Destination Introduces Brand New Experiences Alongside Returning Annual Programming This Winter

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Grande Lakes Orlando, the 500-acre luxury resort destination in the headwaters of the Florida Everglades anchored by The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, welcomes guests to celebrate the festive season in “grande” style. With an array of exciting Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s programming, including the unveiling of a brand-new Winter Wonderland Market, beloved life-size gingerbread display and Gingerbread School, alongside the resort’s award-winning dining scene, Grande Lakes Orlando is proud to offer an array of festive experiences for guests of all ages.

Brand New Festive Fun 
On select days throughout November and December, guests may enjoy resort-wide festivities with the return of the resort’s signature Gingerbread School at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, a new Gingerbread Social at JW Marriott Orlando, and the first annual Winter Wonderland Market. At Gingerbread School, guests will “enroll” with the resort’s acclaimed pastry team to build and decorate their own gingerbread houses at Santa’s Workshop, drawing inspiration from the life-size display in the lobby. For the festive Gingerbread Social, adults can experience a cocktail show and creative gingerbread decorating challenge, as well as unlimited access to a hot cocoa and coffee bar. Plus, for younger residents, the inaugural JW Marriott Children’s Cookie Masterclass will take place, where kids of all ages will decorate homemade cookies with colorful icing and candy and sip on a warm cup of hot cocoa with a selection of toppings such as whipped cream, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.

Additionally, in its first iteration, guests may stroll through their very own Winter Wonderland on select dates in December where eight custom-designed European-inspired cottages will feature holiday home-made delicacies both savory and sweet, including bubble waffles with whipped cream and seasonal toppings, tasty beverages including warm mulled wine and local artisan crafts. Families can enjoy Christmas carolers strolling through the market center each evening along with complimentary children’s craft workshops. Plus, travelers can experience daily snowfall to usher in the festive season during the Winter Wonderland Market open dates.

Guests seeking a lavish getaway may also choose from two festive packages to decorate their room, sure to bring cheer to the whole family. Beginning at $220 and available from November 25December 30, the “Deck the Halls” package will offer a festive four-foot tabletop pre-lit tree and assorted decorations for families to decorate the tree together upon arrival, while the “Holiday Stocking” package features a stocking stuffed with sweet and savory treats, a holiday game or toy, and a plush, available beginning at $150.

Travelers can also look forward to additional resort-wide festive activities such as Stargazing and S’mores. Every Saturday November 18December 30, guests may head to the resort’s expansive Lakeside Terrace and gaze at the stars through a telescope while enjoying s’mores and hot chocolate over an open fire.

Give Thanks 
This Thanksgiving, guests may enjoy timeless traditions and decadent dining experiences featuring holiday classics across the resort’s acclaimed outlets. Guests can begin the morning with The Ritz-Carlton Spa team at the annual Gobbler 5K, a walk or fun run family event to enjoy the resort’s natural landscape, before Grande Lakes Orlando encourages guests to keep time-honored traditions alive with the hosting of an exciting viewing party for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the JW Studio, complete with complimentary juice and donuts. In the evening, travelers can experience a classic Thanksgiving dinner at MICHELIN-starred Knife & Spoon at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes or at the MICHELIN-recommended Primo at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, or choose something less formal and enjoy a buffet dinner at the resort’s other culinary outlets. A “Thanksgiving To-Go” meal will also be available for those looking to bring luxury home, complete with a 14-16lb whole roasted turkey complemented by an array of farm-to-table elevated traditional side dishes.

Additional Christmas Cheer 
On select dates throughout December at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, Santa Claus will make an appearance at Santa’s Teddy Bear Tea, where guests are treated to a special holiday take on traditional tea service complete with gifts for kids and an ornament craft to take home. Parents can even reserve a bedtime Santa Tuck-In offering a stocking filled with treats for sweet dreams, join a magical Storytime with Mrs. Claus event boasting s’mores kits and Christmas cookies, or settle in for Santa Cookies and Milk. For those looking to break free from tradition, a special themed Holiday Escape Room will be crafted at JW Marriott Orlando. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the resort’s dining venues will also offer a number of decadent experiences ranging from buffets to a la carte dining, for guests and residents alike.

Ring in the New Year 
As the year winds down, Grande Lakes Orlando will host indulgent New Year’s celebrations at several of its renowned venues. At JW Marriott Orlando, Primo is hosting its Emerald New Year’s Eve celebration where guests will taste the most popular dishes from the last 20 years in one night. Additionally, Citron is offering a special buffet experience, or guests can join JW Marriott Orlando for an evening of food trucks, live music and delicious drinks on the lawn, then head inside to EvrBar for a signature New Year’s Eve cocktail, live music, and midnight balloon drop.

At The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, the Lobby Lounge will transform into a stylish New Year’s Eve soirée featuring Don Luminous bottles of champagne, a seafood tower and glamorous party favors. The celebration will offer prime views of the resort’s signature New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Additional Resort-Wide Fun
Visitors can take advantage of the warm weather and year-round activities at Grande Lakes Orlando and spend the day at the resort’s newest aquatic attraction, the Grande Lakes Waterpark, play a round of golf at The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Tennis Club, participate in eco-tours and outdoor adventures through the 500-acres and 11 lakes that make up the property, and reset at the award-winning Ritz-Carlton Spa.

For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando and its holiday programming and schedule of events, see the brochure linked here. To reserve a stay, visit

About Grande Lakes Orlando
Hidden in the heart of Orlando, Grande Lakes Orlando sits on 500 lush acres at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. The resort features a 582-room Ritz-Carlton, 1,010-room JW Marriott hotel, the 40,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton spa as well as three picture-perfect pools. The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Tennis Club, which hosts the PNC Championship, includes an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed championship golf course. A dozen celebrated dining venues throughout include Knife & Spoon, a steak and seafood restaurant led by award-winning chef John Tesar, and Primo, Mediterranean/Italian fare by multiple James Beard award-winning chef Melissa Kelly, a leader in the farm-to-fork movement. Grand Lakes Orlando restaurants source fresh ingredients from Whisper Creek Farm, an on-property 18,000-square-foot working farm, as well as on-site apiaries. The resort features a wide array of additional activities: kayaking, eco-tours on Shingle Creek, falconry, mountain biking and fishing school. Conference and meeting attendees have their pick of meeting space options located across 150,000 square feet plus more than 100,000 square feet of outdoor space. Grande Lakes is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and minutes from the major theme parks.

Follow Grande Lakes Orlando @grandelakesorlando on Instagram and grandelakesorlando on Facebook. Also, The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott on Twitter @RC_Orlando and @JW_Orlando, Instagram @ritzcarltonorlando and @jwmorlando and Facebook ritzcarltonorlando and jwmarriottorlando.

For more information, visit

Media Contact:
The Brandman Agency
Michael Gartenlaub & Paige Voeffray
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SOURCE Grande Lakes Orlando

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