At the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona, the annual “Christmas at the Princess” festival is underway and running through January 4, 2015. The hotel will host a four-story musical tree, the Desert Ice Holiday Rink, Princess Express Train, two million Lagoon Lights, "snowfalls," a new holiday carousel and a visit from Santa. Here are a few highlights of the six-week “Christmas at the Princess” festival:
Desert Ice Skating Rink -- Made with real ice and surrounded by saguaros, skating fans can practice their spins and figure-8s right at the resort. The rink is open to the public daily through Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, 2015. Afternoon and evening skating session times vary throughout the holiday season. Bonus: Luxury rink-side, fire pit tables with s’mores and blankets are available for day and evening sessions. (Reservations can be made by calling 480-585-7374.)
Lagoon Lights -- With more than 2 million LED lights illuminating the resort’s lagoons, visitors can stroll or ride the Princess Express train through a range of unique decorations that includes swans floating on the water, a buccaneer pirate ship, 14-foot poinsettias, a teddy bear, toy soldiers, a fishing Santa and a candy cane forest. Throughout the resort, 150 trees are wrapped in lights, many draped with icicles and snowflakes, along with a 10-foot lighted menorah, dreidels and the Star of David. New for 2014 are lit leaping arches mimicking a water show, Nessie the 30-foot Loch Ness Monster, 3-D giant reindeer, a 20-foot snowman, elves peeking around trees, as well as a family of four singing trees.
Princess Express Train -- Guests boarding the Princess Express Train can see a curtain of falling snow and listen to carolers on the weekends. The train gives complimentary rides around the Lagoon Lights nightly for spectators of all ages.
New Christmas Carousel -- A new attraction is the resort’s Christmas Carousel that is open in the evenings.
Musical Tree & Animated Holiday Light Show -- Specially-designed for the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the resort’s Christmas tree has 67,000 LED lights matched to 12 holiday songs in Princess Plaza. The musical tree plays from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. nightly throughout the season and the lit palm trees lining the plaza are synchronized to complement the tree’s music. A high-definition animated video show includes five holiday scenes set to music and projected against the resort’s façade. This five-minute show plays promptly at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. nightly through January 4, 2015.
Nativity Garden Light Show -- The resort’s Fragrance Garden becomes the Nativity Garden, where an 88-foot narrated Nativity light and music show tells the story of Christmas. Seating is provided for the 10-minute program. Shows begin at 5 p.m. and occur every 10 minutes until 9 p.m., nightly throughout the festival.
Photos with Santa in Santa’s Workshop -- Friday and Saturday evenings, Santa spends time in his workshop at La Hacienda Plaza, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., November 28 - December 20, 2014, where guests can have their photo taken with Kris Kringle. Photos are $10 and are available for immediate pick-up.
Kringle’s Korner & Holiday Shopping -- Kringle’s Korner Holiday Shoppe sells wintery wear such as hats, scarves and mittens, along with seasonal décor, hand-painted collectible ornaments, new keepsake snow globes, Princess Express train whistles, blinking novelty items and gourmet chocolates. For other holiday shopping needs, check out the unique items in the men’s Maverick store, the new women’s boutique Anna J or health and beauty items at Well & Being Spa’s Community Market. Complimentary gift-wrapping is available.
Magical Memories Holiday Package -- The Magical Memories package includes overnight accommodations, a skating session for two adults and two children with skate rental, express VIP access to the Princess Express Train and a $10 donation to Cox Charities. Prices start from $229 per night, plus taxes and a $29 resort fee. This package is based upon on availability through January 4, 2015. Second rooms on this package may be booked starting at $100 per night.
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is located at 7575 East Princess Drive in Scottsdale. For more detailed information on “Christmas at the Princess,” call 480-585-4848 or visit scottsdaleprincess.com.