Known for its family-friendly entertainment, Everglades-inspired Cypress Springs water park, a wide variety of restaurants, and its giant climate-controlled glass atrium environment, Gaylord Palms is close enough to the best Orlando theme parks to be easily accessible, yet also self-contained enough to offer plenty of things to do without ever leaving the resort grounds.
Spring Events at Gaylord Palms Resorts
On select dates between March 12 and May 16, 2021, the sprawling Florida resort modeled after a historic fort is taking guests on a springtime adventure like nowhere else in the area. With a brand-new kid-friendly show, a bar with drinks to delight adults, and an opportunity to see the Easter Bunny, it’s a great way to welcome spring on your family vacation.
Paint Me A Fairytale
From the moment you walk into the resort’s giant atrium, you’ll be greeted with blooming tulips and daffodils in bright yellows and purples. Just through the gates of the replica fort, a small stage is set for the new interactive show Paint Me A Fairytale. The show is about 30 minutes long and brings classic children’s stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Princess and the Pea to life.
Gaylord Palms is requiring advanced online reservations for the show to help maintain social distancing and capacity limits. All of the performances of Paint Me A Fairytale are later in the evening, so it won’t interfere with precious pool time.
Food and Drinks at Gaylord Palms
Just next to the Paint Me A Fairytale stage is the ART Bar, where adults and kids can enjoy a craft cocktail or mocktail of their choice. With names like the Basil Botanist, Secret Garden, and For the Peeps, each of the drinks are meant to invoke the bright and colorful nature of spring. The drinks can be enjoyed in the pop-up bar or taken around the resort to sip on while at the pool or another activity.
One drink that cannot be missed is the Bourbon in Bloom, a bourbon-based cocktail mixed with muddled strawberries, raspberries, and mint leaves along with simple syrup, then topped with sparkling wine. It’s garnished with a mint leaf and features an ice cube with edible flowers frozen inside.
Crystal River Rapids at Cypress Springs Water Park
Outside at the pool and Cypress Springs Water Park, guests can enjoy the Springtime Pool Party, which brings pool games, prizes, sing-a-longs, and line dances to the resort’s outdoor water park. All of this is leading to the unveiling of the newest attraction at Gaylord Palms: Crystal River Rapids. While an official opening date has not been announced, all signs are that it’s coming soon.
This “action river” will take guests through speeding currents at a whopping three and-a-half feet per second. Cabanas will be available to rent around the rapids, and beach chairs are everywhere.
Easter Experiences at Gaylord Palms Resort
Inside the atrium, a new walkthrough experience called the Eggspression Garden welcomes visitors super cute photo opportunities for the whole family. (Think larger-than-life Easter eggs and a giant chocolate bunny.)
On select days through April 4, you can see Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny at the recently renovated Mediterranean-themed Villa de Flora restaurant for a fun character breakfast. On Easter Day, the entire family can enjoy a specialty brunch at the restaurant. And if a big breakfast isn’t your thing, then cookies might be! A cookie-decorating experience runs on select days through April 4 as well. Families can decorate their own Easter egg or bunny cookie before visiting the Easter Bunny.
Year-Round Family Activities
There are numerous other year-round activities at Gaylord Palms as well, including scavenger hunts, in-room activities themed around the classic Peter Rabbit stories, and a chance to get up close with Florida wildlife. One thing to note about each of the activities is that you will need to check with the resort to see which activities require a ticket in advance and which can be done at your leisure.
Tips for Visiting Gaylord Palms
Pre-Plan As Much As Possible
Because there’s so much to do at Gaylord Palms, it will take you at least a few days to do it all. Pre-planning when you want to see any shows, where you want to eat dinner, and perhaps a dedicated pool day will help reduce any vacation stress.
Know the Health and Safety Rules
Gaylord Palms is following strict health and safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests are required to wear a mask at all times, and there are numerous hand-sanitizing stations around the resort to use.
Get an Atrium-Facing Room
If you can swing it, opt for a room that faces the atrium. This will allow you to see all of the happenings of the resort from the comfort of your private balcony. You’ll love watching the nightly light show with a cocktail or cocktail in hand.