Christmas at the Princess 2016

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Will Light Up the Holidays in Scottsdale

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Christmas Tree
Courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale 

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess held its inaugural “Christmas at the Princess” celebration to usher in the holiday season in 2010. The tradition continues, bigger and better, this year. It is an all ages event.

Where does Christmas at the Princess Take Place?

At Princess Plaza at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. That's northeast of the intersection of Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. and Scottsdale Road in North Scottsdale. Get directions and see a map to the resort.

When is it?

The tree lighting ceremony and special events associated with it will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. Pre-Show begins at 5:30 p.m. At about 6:45 p.m. tree lighting ceremony begins with live entertainment. The Desert Ice Skating Rink, Lagoon Lights, and Princess Express Train begin operating that evening.

After opening night, the tree’s synchronized lighting and music show happens every night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through January 1, 2017. You can also stop by during the day to see the four-story tree with hundreds of mirrored stars that glisten and a 5-foot tree topper.

Take a ride on the "Princess Express" train that will take you around the lagoon. Make sure you take a walk around to see the swans, huge poinsettias, lighted decorations and sparkling trees. There might be snow flurries and carolers.

The train gives complimentary rides around the Lagoon Lights nightly for spectators of all ages.

Made with real ice, the Desert Ice Skating Rink is open to the public nightly, November 22, 2016 through January 1, 2017. There is a fee to skate and a charge for skate rental. Afternoon and evening skating session times vary throughout the holiday season.  For the ultimate experience, luxury rink-side, fire pit tables with s’mores and blankets are available evening sessions. Reservations can be made by calling 480-513-6014.

What else happens?

Santa will be at his Secret Headquarters where the young and young-at-heart can have their photo taken (fee). Reservations can be made online. Photos are available for immediate pick-up. Santa’s Secret Headquarters welcomes children with all spectrums of special needs to a photo environment supportive of their sensory, physical and developmental needs. The event will take place prior to public hours from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., in a comforting, physically accommodating setting designed to lessen behavioral triggers 

The Nativity Garden is 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.

Skaters of all ages from the Ice Den will showcase their talents to holiday music at the Princess’ Desert Ice Rink. Shows are the evenings of November 22, 29, December 5, 6, 12, and 13, 2016.

The Arizona Coyotes’ mascot Howler and the team’s Paw Patrol mix and mingle with skaters on select evenings at Desert Ice throughout the Christmas at the Princess season. Visit the resort’s website for dates.

A nightly menorah lighting with applesauce and latkes takes place in the resort lobby for Hanukkah, December 24 through January 1 at 5:30 p.m. Lagoon Lights also features a 25-foot menorah, a 4-foot dreidel and 4-foot gelt.

New in 2016

  • Character appearances by Graham, Princess Angelica and Shivers the Yeti. Meet them and returning friends Christmas Princess Noel, Peppermint the Penguin and Selfie Elfie.
  • Enchanted Plaza Shows feature the story of The Night Before Christmas projected against the resort's facade. Shows are five minutes long and play every evening at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m.
  • The newest, cuddly, s'mores-loving friend Graham will be at his new home where you can roast marshmallows and make memories around the campfire.
  • Polar Glide slide in S'mores Land
  • An additional Princess Express Train has been added.
  • On November 27 and December 11 guests can bring their pets to Santa’s Secret Headquarters to have their photo taken with Santa from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and appointments are available online. Bixby & Gibbs, the resort’s canine ambassadors will be releasing their first book, “The Golden Friends of Fairmont: The Adventures of Bixby & Gibbs” with a reading by the author Carole Gurule and paw-tographs by the pups.

How Much are the Tickets?

"Christmas at the Princess" is open to the public. Admission/self-parking on November 22 only is complimentary; the rides and attractions are priced à la carte.

For all days after opening night, general admission is complimentary for hotel guests who also receive express VIP access to the rides and attractions. General admission/parking for non-hotel guests is $35 for self-parking for up to six people and $55 for valet without dining. Valet/general admission is complimentary when dining at any of the resort restaurants (Bourbon Steak, La Hacienda, Ironwood American Kitchen or Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar) with a $75 spend. General admission includes access to Enchanted Plaza with the four-story musical tree, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” video show, a walk-through experience of three million Lagoon Lights and the Nativity Garden.

Purchase a $10 wristband for each person to ride all of the attractions including the Princess Express Trains, Polar Glide and the Christmas Carousel (discounted to $5 with a parking voucher). Skating, photos with Santa, shopping, dining and spa are priced separately. 

What's Happening at Well & Being Spa?

Holiday themed offerings, such as the Sugar ‘n’ Spice Aromatherapy Blending Bar where you create your own lotion or body oil, plus mistletoe pedicures and peppermint manicures.

What Better Time is There to Stay at the Princess!

The Season of Giving package includes overnight accommodations with a $50 daily resort credit and express VIP access to the rides. $10 from each package will benefit the Child Crisis Arizona through Cox Charities. Prices start from $199 per room, per night, plus taxes and a $30 resort fee. Other popular holiday vacation packages include the Sip, Savor & Celebrate with a $100 daily resort credit starting from $219 per room, per night and the Family Celebration package, starts from $229 with 50 percent off a second room.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

This tree lighting ceremony kicks off the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ toy drive for Toys for Tots. Unwrapped toys may be dropped off from November 22 through December 20, 2016.

I Have More Questions!

Visit Fairmont Scottsdale Princess online or call 480-585-4848.

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Tree lightings, holiday lights, festivals, holiday music and entertainment, gift guides and holiday travel tips -- find them all at the Christmas Holidays Guide for Greater Phoenix. All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.