Denise's Corner

Review: Gaylord Palms Offers up a Summer of Pirates and Princesses with Summerfest Featuring Princess Blackheart and the Buccaneer Bash

Hi everyone!

We were invited for one night to the Gaylord Palms Resort to experience Summerfest, which is offered on Thursdays through Sundays (for most event experiences) through August 21st, 2016. Gaylord Palms is absolutely one of my favorite resorts in the area, with an atrium that includes the Treasures of Mel Fisher, a variety of folliage and waterfalls, along with alligators from Gatorland. And this summer, the atrium is the setting for Blackheart’s Treasure Hunt as part of the Summerfest additions! There is a Gaylord Palms Summerfest weekend package available, which is a terrific deal since it also includes breakfast one morning. Here is a look at what is available.

Some activities are included as part of the resort, including Blackheart’s Treasure Hunt. Some are an additional cost, such as Princess Priscilla’s Character Breakfast and the Merfolk Academy. Here is a look at what you can enjoy on weekends – Gaylord Palms is a great resort for a staycation!

Blackheart’s Treasure Hunt: This was much more challenging than we expected, we plan to finish it next month when we are there for an event. There is a map with clues that can be found in the main lobby/check-in area. Once guests fill it out, they can enter to win a VIP Getaway at Gaylord Palms Resort by entering online! There is no addition charge for this experience.

SoBe Splash Party – Gaylord Palms has terrific recreation, with both a family pool area (called the Cypress Springs Water Park) with slides and a South Beach style adult pool. At the Cypress Springs Water Park family pool, there is a SoBe Splash Party with Captain Blackheart during Summerfest. Captain Blackheart was especially popular with the kids! Nearly everyone was at rapt attention for the pirate.

Princess Priscilla’s Coronation Character Breakfast – Gaylord Palms always offers a top-notch breakfast buffet. This one is at Moor, the boat inside the resort. Moor does not usually offer breakfast, so it was a treat to dine there for the first time with the characters. Princess Priscilla’s Coronation Character Breakfast isn’t really a standard type of character meal, the characters do come around but it is also performance based (similar to Shrekfeast that preceded it at Villa Flora). The steak and eggs are excellent, and there are other interesting food choices (like shrimp & grits) but also eggs, bacon, pastries and such.

Merfolk Academy – Have you ever wanted to be a mermaid? This is an extra charge experience, and geared more to kids (girls and boys, the latter receive fins). I was invited to participate, and occasionally other women do book the class as well. It helps to have some swimming experience, the kids actually swum rings around me!  But it was a lot of fun to try on the mermaid tail and I did try swimming in it.

Stories and Chanties Under the Stars – I thought this would be just a character reading a story, but it isn’t – it is a performance with music and singing. We really enjoyed it! I’m not sure if any of the event is actually “under the stars”, our experience was in the late afternoon or early evening. This does cost extra, and each guest receives a small box of s’more fixings to enjoy after the show.

Arrrts & Crafts – Young guests can enjoy making a pirates or princess item. This experience has a nominal fee.

We were invited to try it. My eye patch was kind of messy, but Jeff did a terrific job with his pirate sword.

We didn’t make it to everything that was offered. There are Yarrrd Games; morning cartoons at the Cypress Springs pool; First Mate Movies on Deck; and the Pirate Invasion Parade. So much to see and so much to do in a weekend! Thank you to Gaylord Palms for inviting us out.

We were invited to Gaylord Palms for one night, all of our views are ours. Gaylord Palms has been a favorite of mine since before we started covering events, it is a beautiful resort and always a pleasure to visit.