I’ll admit it, when it comes to anything DreamWorks, I’m in. Yes, your suspicions have been confirmed I am in fact a giant, over grown child. It’s okay, I own it. When my Co-Over Lord in the Momz Share experiment, Jenny G, called me up to say that we were “go” for hosting an event in conjunction with the Kingpins of cool at the Gaylord National Resort, to intro area bloggers (and their families) to DreamWorks Merry Madagascar Christmas on the Potomac, I totally did a fist bump with the phone. Which Jennifer thought was a dropped call. Yes, I blamed it on Verizon.
I’ll confess, I’m actually not that easy to impress. Maybe being married to a New Yorker has made me jaded by association. Whatever the cause, my “Cool” bar is set pretty high. I figured it would be a fun day out for the family, I’d get to see Shrek (totally a crush of mine) and we’d be ready to go before the sun went down. Was. I. Ever. Wrong.
Let’s start with the gourmet GREEN Ogre milk, mini back and white cookies and Shrek ears…
Now we move on to learn that over 40 artisans from a village in China, have worked to create the ICE! Merry Madagascar experience, which is built of 2 MILLION pounds of ice in the form of 5,000 blocks sculpted into LIFE SIZED characters from the DreamWorks’ holiday classic. I had to see this! After a thigh slapping funny, 20 minute movie in the warm part of the huge tent that houses ICE! It’s on to dawn giant blue parkas that fit OVER the coats we already had on. Turns out it’s 9 degrees inside!
Inside we walked through rooms filled with life-sized characters, each one telling a part of the story. I swear this was as mesmerizing as the MoMa! Oh and I totally wanted to shake a tail with this guy (yes it IS made entirely of ice!) …
We were welcomed back into the warm with hot coco, ice skating and THE PENGUINS of Madagascar (yes I totally saluted the Skipper). Had we stopped at this point in the day, I would have been impressed. Oh, but the experience didn’t stop there. We headed back into the breath-taking atrium at the resort -a small village in itself- and had lunch. The menu was so laugh worthy you almost got distracted by how good the food was!
Now the moment I waited for… seeing Shrek in his own swamp home. LOVED. IT. He even picked his nose for a handshake with the kiddos (swoon)! Also there were, Po THE Kung Fu Panda, Gloria and little Mort from Madagascar, Puss in Boots himself and Gingy, gumdrop buttons and all!
The kids were totally enthralled with joining Puss in Boots on his Quest for the Magic Bean. It’s an adorable and FUN, scavenger hunt (part of the Merry Madagascar DreamWorks experience package that is NOW available to not only overnight guests of the hotel but the public too!) that ends in some fun prizes. Our day wound down with the lighting of the Tree of Light inside the atrium. All the characters came out to sing and dance as the 7,000 pound, 60 foot tall, awe inspiring glass tree was lit.
Sure that was impressive, but when the snow began to fall on our heads (INDOORS) it sealed the deal. This was the most magic holiday event we’ve ever attended as a family. If you live in the Baltimore, DC or Northern Virginia area, take the short drive over to the National Harbor to check it out. If you’re from out of town, skip the crowded slopes, leave the long lines at other “kingdoms” behind and come visit the Gaylord National. You’ll be so glad you did!
Disclosure: This event was hosted by the Gaylord National Resort, in conjunction with Momz Share (which I co-own). We were provided free admission to the experience but, as always, opinions expressed are authentic and my own. My family and I did stay at the resort, but were not compensated for accommodations or meals.