This vacation post was written in 2016 and has been updated for 2021, any affiliates or times in this post are outdated, but this post can be used for informational purposes.

Orlando is the family vacation capitol of the world! Toss a flip flop in any direction and you are sure to hit a theme park, resort or sandy beach.

There’s so much to choose from. How do you decide?

Gaylord Palms Resort with a boat, fauna, and water.

Sometimes its nice to ask a local. That would be me…and I just returned from a weekend staycation at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando near the gates of Walt Disney World.

Gaylord Palms Resort Vacation

Gaylord Palms is Orlando’s “Inside Out” Resort. It sits on 63 acres and there are three glass atriums inside the hotel so you actually feel like you’re outside even though you are inside under AC.

Perfect for those rainy afternoons that are typical in Central Florida. Which I assure you are usually random, heavy, and quick to pass and are generally frequent. 

Atriums within this hotel

Vacation Summer Plans

Gaylord Palms Resort just announced their plans for the summer. Grab your pirate eye patches and princess hats because this year you can head out on the high seas for a proper swashbuckling family vacation that your kids are gonna flip over. 

Make your summer plans a high fantasy adventure with:

Summerfest at Gaylord Palms
featuring Princess Blackheart and the Buccaneer Bash

In 2016 the theme for Gaylord Palm’s summer offerings is “pirate and princess”. Summerfest at Gaylord Palms runs from May 27th to August 21st and offers guests of the resort an experience like no other. Let’s check out what they have to offer families this year.

Mermaids And Sharks

The Merfolk Academy will allow your kids to transform into a shark or a mermaid in this underwater adventure at the Cypress Springs Water Park.

What are Merfolk? Mermaids! So many of us love mermaids and now we can finally be one! Even if it is only for a short while…

Love Shark week? It happens every August and now you can transform into a shark!

Gaylord Palms Orlando Mermaid Academy where you can turn into a pink mermaid and swim in a pool.

Cypress Springs Water Park

And speaking of water parks…The Cypress Springs Water Park is included in your stay. This summer you can enjoy pool games and lip sync battles at the SoBe Splash Party. The pool also hosts morning cartoons and evening movies.

It’s like the ultimate pool party! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to be a part of this pool party this summer.

Gaylord Palms Water Park with lots of people swimming, palm trees, and cabanas.

Wild Animals

Do you have a child who loves wild animals? Or perhaps you like wild animals. Well, if that is the case you’re in for a treat!

Arg…There be alligators inside the resort and you can gather round to watch them feast at Gator Springs during afternoon feedings.

Fish feedings take place in the Key West Section where a sailboat sits in a 161,000 gallon lagoon.

Gaylord Palms Pirate Ship full of people with fauna all around in shallow water.

How cool is that ship?!

Breakfast Sweets

Who said you can’t have breakfast sweets or dessert for breakfast?! It’s vacation, anything can happen! Meal times are kind of a limbo where nearly anything goes! Not really, but sorta.

Saturday and Sunday you can become part of the pirate crew and eat dessert for breakfast here during  Princess Priscilla’s Coronation Character Breakfast.

Gaylord Palms Pirate Brunch with sprinkles, brownies, cupcakes, and cookies.

After you’ve filled up on pirate and princess fare. Head on out to the Coquina Lawn and participate in giant Y’ARRRD Games.

Gaylord Palms Summerfest with princesses and pirates on a deck of a pirate ship.

Princess Stories And Sea Chanties

As the sun starts to set you can regroup with  Princess Priscilla and  Johnny Stranger aboard the story time ship, the Siren’s Song for Pirate Stories & Chanties Under the Stars followed by a good old fashioned S’mores roast by the fire.

Who doesn’t love a good story before bed? After all the S’mores and exciting tails of princess and the dangerous seas it might be hard to go right to sleep! There is too much fun to be had.

Gaylord Palms Summer Orlando princess and pirate story times by a roaring fire and chest.

Treasure Hunt

Save some energy for  Blackheart’s Treasure Hunt inside the Gaylord Palms atrium…

This treasure hunt is exciting for kids and a great way to spend time as a family.

Who knows what treasures await inside!

Gaylord Palms Pirate Treasure Hunt with a treasure chest and key.

…before retiring for the night in your very own pirate lair…

Gaylord Palms Resort Room with a lamp, chair, and made bed.

For more information on Gaylord Palms SummerFest or to book your reservation visit

Gaylord Palms Resort  hosted me for the purpose of this review. As always all opinions are my own.

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