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“Nice getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

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Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   6000 W. Osceola Pkwy., Kissimmee, FL 34746 (Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center)   |  
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Christmas Gaylord Palms
Ranked #11 of 158 Hotels in Kissimmee
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Nice getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Decided at the last minute to return to this hotel, and glad we did. During our first visit, I noticed interior balconies and decided that was what I wanted this trip. We were on the 8th floor overlooking the bandstand where the holiday shows were staged. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will definitely come back again. The only complaint was being told that there were no available tables at the Steakhouse, but showing up in person we got a table. Wish they had a wider Sushi collection at Sora. Definitely will take the family back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,738 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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TEMPE
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
451 helpful votes 451 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We did not stay at the Gaylord Palms, but we did see ICE. And while I have no doubt that we are in the minority in our vierws of this attraction, I'd like to take a few moments to share our reactions so that people who feel the way we do about such things might avoid disappointment.

Unless your child is absolutely in love with the central characters of this show -- this year, the four main characters from the film, Madagascar -- do not waste good money on this thing. The Gaylord people import Chinese ice sculptors to work their magic, telling the story of the year. The problem is that 90 percent of their work barely looks like ice sculpting at all. That's because the figures are carved and then painted, and many of the details that you might expect to see carved in them -- buttons on coats, etc -- are painted on. The figures might as well be plastic.

I suppose if you live in Florida and this is all the ice sculpture you will ever see, you might think it is wonderful. But having seen ice sculpture in many places, in my humble opinion these are like viewing a velvet Elvis and calling it fine art.

This is not true of the last scene, which is a complete nativity. All the figures are there, right down to the last sheep and donkey. Not a drop of paint to be seen and it is beautiful. But it's not why you came. You came to see the rest, right?

So when you pay your $30 or so -- less for kids -- you watch a couple of Madagascar movie sequences that set up your experience. You then are given a heavy blue coat to velcro shut around you. This is sort of like wearing a quilted blanket that movers use. It has no pockets, so if your hands are cold, you are out of luck unless, voila! you buy some gloves from the store nearby. They claim it is 9 degrees in the place, so you need warm clothing. You troop into one scene after another of the Madagascar characters,. Most scenes consist of ice sculptures with audio taped segments of the movie tyhat you just saw playing in the background so you know what would be happening if anything were moving, which mostly, nothing is.

Toward the end, you and the kids can climb a stairway and slide down a big ice sculpture with one of four slides with ripples in them so -- if you can get moving -- you will bounce a little as you come down. Most kids were not moving fast enough to notice, having to scootch their feet underneath to get them moving at all.

At the end you can buy a photo that they took of you at the beginning of your experience. It's taken in front of a green screen, so the actual picture shows you with the Madagascar characters -- the actual cartoon characters, not the statuary you have been walking by. Twwo prints set you back $26.

Speaking of photos, what most of ICE is is is a series of Kodak moments. You can take pictures of your loved ones wearing heavy coats in front of statues of cartoon characters. If that's your bag, you're gonna love it. And there certainly were plenty of people who were having fun snapping photos, although not much of the oohs and aahs that you might expect of a real attraction,. Anyway, it's very much not our thing, so we weren't impressed.

The ultimate insult is to have to pay $15 to park to see this event. This is around the amount that Disney, Universal and Sea World charge for you to park and then see world-class events and attractions. For the Gaylord people to suggest that Ice is worth a $15 parking charge on top of an overpriced ticket is, well, adding insult to injury.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winter Springs, Florida
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My husband, on a last-minute whim, decided to whisk me off for a holiday weekend and chose the Gaylord. As locals, we have visited the resort to view their annual ICE exhibit, but had never spent the evening or toured the hotel/atrium. Upon arrival, as we pulled up to the front entrance, I was surprised. We wanted to valet and carry our overnight luggage in as we checked in. We were told that they were "too busy to valet" at that time and offered self-park. Yes, it did seem as if there were a dozen or so vehicles waiting to be valeted, however; our wait to speak to the attendant was less than two or three minutes, so I cannot imagine they were "that" busy. Okay, so we asked if we could stop at the entrance to check in and then return immediately to self park. We were told "no, too many cars." Huh? So we made our way to the self park area (which in itself would be reason enough not to stay here. If I were to say that the parking spots were tiny, I would be exaggerating. As a matter-of-fact, they passage ways were so narrow that there was a traffic block which held us up for 25 minutes, just to park our car. Not enough room to park. Not enough room to back up to leave. Not enough room for cars passing in opposite directions to clear each other. It was actually a stand-still of no activity as guests had nowhere to move to in order to give way.) Once we finally parked and carried our luggage across the property to check in, we noted a line for check in that was probably 150 persons deep. Here's another surprise. They handled the check in lines VERY efficiently and we received personalized service by the front desk personnel, along with a room upgrade. Making our way to the room (with no offer to assist with luggage) we wandered through what seemed to be a Vegas-style atrium with faux rocks, supposed St. Augustine replicas (made of plaster), and a pond with a half-dozen of the smallest alligators on Earth. I was amused and a bit in awe of the kitchiness of this property. It was if they were attempting to replicate Disney in some sense. Not really hitting the mark, however. We found our room, which was wonderfully located very near the elevator on the 7th floor in what they called the Emerald section. The room was nicely decorated. We loved the carpeting. The bed was comfortable, and the amenities were adequate. I will say that the room was a big small, however nice. We had a room that overlooked the pool areas. Nice view, I must say. We were disappointed that the resort offers no "outside" rooms with balconies. I would guess not even suites, as we inquired and were willing to pay. We had a few requests for our room and pushed the "smiley button" for service. We were met with a recording which stated that their mission was to make their staff happy, which would translate into "consider it done" service. We waited 10 minutes on line to request pillows. The attendant was courteous. We waited for 15-or-so minutes, but were excited to wander around the property to check out the amenities, so we left a note on our door to please leave the pillows on our bed (a tip with another note was on the bed). As we set out to explore, we were taken aback by the vastness of the facility. HUGE portions, all assigned a theme such as Key West, or St. Augustine. Many restaurants, merchants, and souvenir shops were located all over. There property was nicely decorated for the holidays in a manner which was both fantastical and yet traditional. We appreciated this. It seems as if non-guests could pay to enter the property to utilize the free holiday shows (good talent and nice variety), shops, and restaurants, so the public areas were quite busy and crowded during this weekend prior to Christmas. The offered photo-taking opportunities for guest and visitors with Dreamworks characters such as Puss in Boots, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. Nice for families, if not for the congestion in walkways they caused. We attended three of the Christmas themed shows in the atrium...all of which were of good quality with talented performers. We also visited several of the property's food and libation offerings and found them to be good in quality and excellent in service. I will say, that as this time of year, if you are on a couples stay, this may be a bit too family-oriented of a location, as SO many children were everywhere. Although the weather was sunny this weekend, the temperatures never met the mid 60'sF. The pools, however, did have heating, and there were those that braved the chill for a Floridian splash. The activities for children, the towel service, and the libations were all very nice at the pool. I will say that the adult pool (although it was supposed to be heated, but evidently was not) was beautiful. We usually stay at hotels like The Four Seasons/Ritz and the adult pool at the Gaylord matched their beauty. Here's what we appreciated most. With the exception of nonexistent bell service, and the valet experience, there was not one employee that did not smile and welcome us with a perceived sincerity. It did seem as if the training they provide on "consider it done" had been effective for 95% of the staff. To sum up our experience, and considering it was a busy holiday weekend, this was a nice resort with adequate amenities and above average service. It is a shame, however, that the valet, parking, and bell service left a bad taste in our mouths. I'm not sure we will return as service is our desire, however if you have a family gathering and want something kitchy to keep the little ones busy, the Gaylord should meet your prescription.

Room Tip: If you don't mind lots a noise from the grand atrium, get an inside balcony room, otherwise, req...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Stewart, Georgia, United States
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We were taking a much needed family trip for Christmas before my husband's next deployment and this was the perfect place to do it! We loved EVERYTHING about the resort! It was decorated so beautifully for the holidays and we loved all of the amenities they offered. However, our only complaint is that the restaurants were pretty pricey for our family of 5. We understand that the conveinence of it all being right there for us was a key factor. But we could not pay $9 a child's plate for dinner when we have kids that barely eat. We choose to go off the resort several times for lunch and dinner. We had 1 day of the Character Breakfast in our package and the food at the Villa was AWESOME and we loved that it was buffet style! But, the rest of the trip we ate at Golden Corral, Logan's Steakhouse and McDonald's because of the prices at the resort restaurants.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

Traveled to Orlando for ICE. Arrived in time and easily found close parking in the $15 self parking lot adjacent to the convention center. We bought and printed our tickets online so there was no need to wait at will call. We decided to get a bite to eat at Wreckers and 2 of us split the $18 half rack of ribs and it was plenty. The ribs fell off the bone and the fries were seasoned well. Neither of us cared for the beans but only because they were different from the ones we grew up on. The best part was learning that they validated parking so bye bye $15 self parking fee! Unlike some other reviewers experiences, there was no line to enter ICE and we moved through the entry area quickly. The provided parkas kept us warm and the ice sculptures were amazing! What was almost as amazing was how the hotel was able to create a structure to house the ice at 9 degrees! Although it was busy, it was not crowded and we moved through and took pictures at our own pace. Line for ice slide was brief. I suggest buying tickets and printing them in advance, picking a non peak time so that's its cheaper ($18) and less crowded and grabbing a snack to get free parking. Didn't have young kids with us but there were lots of other activities like cookie decorating too. Hotel grounds and atrium were beautiful. Really enjoyed the free holiday music concert in lobby, the shopping and the tropical plants!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Cape Canaveral, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We went to this resort to celebrate our anniversary. We only live 50 miles away, but stayed 4 nights. This time of year they have the ICE show, which are ice statutes inside an area that's kept at 9 degrees. They are beautiful, and absolutely unbelievable.....I can't imagine how they were carved and colored in that kind of temperature. They also have Christmas shows going on. Had "Not a Boy's Band" for entertainment and it was so good. The "atrium" was decorated beyond belief in the Christmas spirit, and we had a balcony view from our room of it all. We have also been to this resort at other times of year and the restaurants are always great food' They are a little pricey, but not more than what you would expect. They have specialty shops, clothing, Brighton, Baskin Robins....just a great place to go to just relax. The best thing about this resort? It's SERVICE. Absolutely superb. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help...and the beds are very very comfortable. We are glad we are so close so we can go more often.

Room Tip: A balcony room overlooking the atrium is always the best. It will cost a little more, but it's...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

The Ice event was impressive but we left feeling that it was over priced when you consider what you get and how long we were there. (90 mins)
I felt a little ripped off being charged the same price to park my car as a Disney park when there was less than a tenth of the entertainment available.
Ok but I wouldn't bother again.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Address: 6000 W. Osceola Pkwy., Kissimmee, FL 34746
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Kissimmee > Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kissimmee
#3 Spa Hotel in Kissimmee
#5 Romantic Hotel in Kissimmee
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Kissimmee
#6 Business Hotel in Kissimmee
#11 Family Hotel in Kissimmee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center 4*
Number of rooms: 1406
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just minutes from Central Florida's world-famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Orlando, the 1,406-room Gaylord Palms Resort is the ideal destination for leisure and business travelers alike. This spectacular resort features 4.5 Acres of beautifully manicured gardens and themed environments beneath a signature glass-covered atrium. On-site leisure and recreation opportunities abound with the Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park, featuring a multi-level water playground and four water slides; the adults-only South Beach Pool; Forbes Travel Guide's Four Star Relache Spa & Salon; Wreckers Sports Bar, featuring a two-story sports screen; and a 24 hour fitness center. And with eight restaurants and lounges ranging from fine dining at Old Hickory Steakhouse to casual poolside fare at SandBar, Gaylord Palms offers something for every appetite ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gaylord Palms Hotel Kissimmee
Gaylord Resort
Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando
Gaylord Palms Orlando

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