Planning an Orlando vacation but not sure where to stay? Check out Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando. There is so much to do, the whole family will love it!
I was invited to experience the Once Upon a Spring fun at the Gaylord Palms Resort, however, all opinions are my own.
One of my favorite things to do is explore Florida and all that it has to offer. It’s so much more than theme parks!
When Gaylord Palms Resort asked if we wanted to stay, I knew I had to say YES! Living in Kentucky growing up, I was familiar with Gaylord Opryland Resort, but had never stayed there. They were building Gaylord Rockies Resort when we left Colorado so we never got to explore. Now was my chance to stay and explore!
If you’re planning a trip to Orlando or a local looking for a staycation, I highly recommend checking out Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
Gaylord Palms Resort
Where is Gaylord Palms Resort Located?
Gaylord Palms Resort is located 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and just 1.5 miles from the main gate of Walt Disney World®.
Gaylord Palms Atrium
Gaylord Palms Resort is a beautifully themed resort that includes familiar highlights of Florida all under one atrium roof, including the Everglades, St Augustine, and Key West.
The 4.5 acres enclosed in a glass atrium feature thousands of native Florida plants, animal displays, replicas of Florida landmarks, restaurants, shops, walking trails, and 360,000 gallons of water harboring aquatic life.
Gaylord Palms Restaurants
In the season where we find ourselves, not all restaurants are open. But there are still plenty of food options.
Wreckers provides a neighborhood-like hangout with an old Key West feel. It is where you can catch all your favorite sports games on a 37-foot screen and more than 50 HDTVs. Hours do vary.
Villa de Flora is open for breakfast with a traditional breakfast buffet. For dinner, the attended buffet restaurant evokes modern coastal vibes reminiscent of Italy, Spain, and France.
MOOR boasts the freshest seafood in Kissimmee. Chefs partner with local fishmongers to bring you regionally-inspired food and drinks. It’s where you dine on a boat overlooking the lagoon.
SandBar was perfect for grabbing a bite to eat while at the pool. We never had to leave our cabana, which was amazing. You can order refreshing salads, flatbread, sandwiches, burgers, and a kids menu. You can order a beach-inspired beverage and sit by the pool.
The Cocoa Bean was the perfect place to grab my morning Starbucks coffee to start the day.
Once Upon a Spring
Gaylord Palms Resort will provide the perfect springtime retreat from March 12 through May 16 during their Once Upon a Spring theme.
Adventure Kids: Sprout into Spring
Join the resort’s exclusive characters Seth the Sea Turtle, Ava the Alligator, and everyone’s favorite Adventure
Kid Sophie as they explore the splendor of springtime in the interactive live show outside on the stage by the grassy area.
Springtime Light Display
High above the indoor gardens, the atrium “skies” will be bright with the Springtime Light Display, as giant LED
light curtains vividly display flowers blooming, bunny rabbits scurrying, shooting stars and spring-colored
Up-Close Animal Encounters with Wild Florida
Enjoy up-close Animal Encounters with alligators and turtles from Wild Florida’s nearby zoological park.
You can also learn more about the Florida ecosystem by walking throughout the atrium and stopping to read the signs and exhibits.
Blossomin’ Bunnies Scavenger Hunt is an at your own pace scavenger hunt that takes you all around the atrium to find bunnies. This was definitely a favorite activity for the kids. The prize at the end can be picked up at the Towel Hut near the pool area.
Florida Explorer Scavenger Hunt helps you learn about unique plants, animals, and historical landmarks as you navigate through the atrium through the flora and fauna from all over the state.
One of our favorite activities, perfect for our rainy day, was the Wildlife Rescue app presented by bubly. We walked around looking for markers that we were able to scan with the app and learn about endangered animals.
We even got to take pictures with the animals via augmented reality.
Paint Me a Fairytale
Paint Me A Fairytale takes guests on an enchanted adventure as Mother Goose uses her magic paintbrush to bring the pages of storybook favorites to life!
These storybook favorites include Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Princess and The Pea. Through each classic story, guests will learn that magic lives within all of us when we treat others with kindness and have the courage to tell the truth.
As a special keepsake, guests take home a custom watercolor paint set and coloring book featuring characters from the show. One of the first things my kids did when we got home was to grab a cup of water and start painting.
If you miss live performances as much as I do, you’re going to love Paint Me a Fairytale. It will come as no surprise to you that I got teary and cried as the performers sang their songs. Make sure to grab your tickets as space is limited to accommodate social distancing.
Eggspression Garden is an imaginative walkthrough experience that features blossoming tulips, gigantic Easter eggs, a massive chocolate bunny, and five additional spring-themed photo opportunities.
It was so much fun to walk through and perfect for pictures!
Relâche Spa is offering a Springtime Renewal special from March 1 – April 30 that allows guests to receive a $25
spa boutique credit and $25 off a future service with the purchase of any 50-minute or longer massage, facial or body treatment.
Cypress Springs Water Park | Gaylord Palms Water Park
I am so glad we decided to spend the whole day at Cypress Springs.
Cypress Springs Water Park features a zero-entry swimming pool, multi-level tree house playground, racing slides, a drop slide, a FlowRider surfing experience, and of course the thrilling new Crystal River Rapids.
Crystal River Rapids
Crystal River Rapids, the thrilling new action river attraction, opened March 1 at Cypress Springs Water Park. This exhilarating water ride will twist and turn guests through speeding currents at three-and-a-half feet per second as they race past roaring waterfalls, crumbling limestone walls, and larger-than-life leaves.
Guest can take in the stunning views of Cypress Springs Water Park from the river’s alcove, cabanas, spas, or premium pool seating.
Big Cypress Tower
Do you love a slide that drops you? The Florida Free Fall drop slide will not disappoint with its’ 35-foot fall through a trap door. It ends, spinning you around and around the slide’s giant bowl. It made me dizzy just watching people slide down.
If you’re more like my kids and competition gets your heart pounding, you can choose the Tampa or Miami slide on the Tamiami Twister for a winding and turning race to the deck. They LOVED racing each other down.
The Multi-level Water Playground
This area was perfect for kids of all ages. There are four kid-sized water slides, a place where they can jump around in the geyser and ground spray area, and get drenched by the 317-gallon tipping bucket of water! If you watched my Stories, you saw two of my kids get dumped on. It was hilarious (and no one was hurt.).
Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” Program
As the safety of its guests and STARS (a.k.a. employees) is of great importance, the resort’s spring events and activities have been developed in accordance with Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean” program, including enhanced protocols and social distancing measures.
This includes not having housekeeping enter rooms during your stay.
Face coverings are required by all guests two and older in all public indoor and outdoor areas.
To find out more about Once Upon a Spring and how to book your resort stay, visit the Gaylord Palms website.