We were invited to Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee to experience Summer of More for 2 nights. We visited over Memorial Day Weekend. Summer of More runs from May 13th – September 5th, 2022 and includes Pirates and Princesses themed activities, animal encounters with Wild Florida and the Illuminate Florida Light Show (many activities are on select dates, not every day). Here is our experience from last weekend!
I love many things about Gaylord Palms Resort, with one of those being the reveal of the 4.5 acre atrium from the check-in area. The atrium is gorgeous, with waterfalls, landscaping, alligators and more.
We were invited for 2 nights but not with a specific agenda except for a time to visit Pirates & Princess Academy. We experienced activities and the resort as a regular guest otherwise would. We are very familiar with Gaylord Palms, having been invited numerous times over the last ten years and I stayed here and experienced the ICE! walk-through prior to that.
This is a rundown of Summer of More. One note – the Secret Garden Escape Room is $120 for groups with 1-4 members, not a per person price.
We received an Emerald Bay room with two balconies, it has been quite some time since we had a similar room. We have always received a Main Atrium view balcony (many years ago – near when the resort opened – I had a “Florida view” room without a balcony). We enjoy the view and sound of waterfalls in the atrium.
Here is a look at our balcony with the view beyond it.
From here, we ended up watching a wedding, seeing one of the Adventure Kids shows and just enjoyed the sights and sounds. Whether it rains, or is very hot outside, it doesn’t matter with the atrium.
We did watch the Adventure Kids show downstairs as well. The show is quick, maybe ten minutes total including meet and greets. Sophie, Seth the Sea Turtle and Ava the Alligator are Gaylord Palms characters.
They posed for photos after the show.
Gaylord Palms is divided into three areas: St. Augustine, Key West and the Everglades.
MOOR is primarily a seafood restaurant and it is hard to miss with the boat as part of the restaurant.
In the Everglades, Old Hickory Steakhouse is a popular location.
We were given The Shiny Stash Scavenger Hunt as part of our stay. If you book a room at Gaylord Palms this summer, the resort package can be a good deal compared with other ways of booking. The different activities, including the scavenger hunt, can also be purchased separately.
Crystal River Rapids opened last year as part of the Cypress Springs Water Park at the resort. It can get busy, I recommend arriving early to secure a seat. Crystal River Rapids is called an “action river attraction”.
We were given a $100 resort credit for food. We used it primarily at Wreckers Sports Bar, which is our go-to every time we stay here.
There are a variety of televisions showcasing sports. We ordered cocktails before having our food.
Jeff ordered the Blackened Chicken Sandwich with tater tots. I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger with fries. The food here is always good, and we like the atmosphere. During lunch time, the pool bars were busy but Wreckers was not.
We went to Sawgrass Place for the Wild Florida Animal Encounter.
All the time there are grunts (baby alligators) and snakes to look at.
During the animal encounter, we held a ball python and an alligator. There was also a parrot.
There is a photo opportunity with a pirate ship backdrop on the Captain’s Quarters Trail.
We checked out the Pirates and Princess Academy, which is a show that guests can book.
The Captain’s Quarters Trail looks even cooler at night, with special lighting.
There is a pop-up bar called Captain’s Quarters, which features specialty drinks. It was open each evening we were there.
Gaylord Palms is always great with theming locations.
Guests can see alligators anytime in Gator Springs, but Tuesdays and Saturdays there is a gator feeding show presented by Wild Florida.
It took about a half hour for the gators to be fully fed. The viewing area was pretty busy at first but guests do leave as the feeding goes on. We ended up with a great spot to see it!
This is where we watched the feeding from, with a waterfall in front of us. There is an even better area on the other side but it’s a smaller location.
The Illuminate Florida Light Show happens at 8:45pm each evening. Gaylord Palms says about the show:
This multisensory celebration will excite and amaze as thousands of animated lights showcase the wonder and beauty of the Sunshine State. Take a journey from the swamplands to the beach and enjoy all Florida has to offer!
Here is a look at the atrium in the evening.
Here is one more look at the light show.
Our Mousesteps Weekly YouTube Show#438 includes our review on Gaylord Palms.
Thank you to Gaylord Palms for having us out!
Gaylord Palms invited us, all views and experiences are our own. Gaylord Palms is one of my favorite area resorts for many reasons, especially during the holiday season but also all year round (there are activities and events much of the year now).