Gaylord Palms Resort
If you haven’t heard of the Gaylord Palms Resort, it is situated over in Kissimmee. It’s actually very close to the ESPN Wide World of Sports/Art of Animation side of the Walt Disney World Resort property. It’s super easy to get to and close-by for those wondering if it’s easy to stay there and go to the parks. We have stayed there a few times over the years, and absolutely love the resort. The resort itself is a great place to do a staycation for locals too because there is so much to explore and do in the hotel itself. We’ll have full resort and room tour videos coming up later this week, so be sure to subscribe to our Zannaland channel and click the bell to get notified when they go live! Now, let’s get to our review of Goblins & Giggles Weekends!
What is Goblins and Giggles Weekends?
We discuss all that’s included in Goblins and Giggles Weekends in our previous article, so check that out if you’re curious as to what’s included. In addition to this Goblins and Giggles review, you can watch our video from our weekend there to see what we saw and enjoyed! Watch here:
Is Goblins and Giggles Worth it?
I think it is, yes. The event weekend rates start at $189/nt and I think that’s a great value with some extras thrown in like the Halloween Hide & Seek with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, the Trick or Treating, and the little shows, animal encounters and storytelling on the tv. We didn’t get video of that but basically on channel 51 of our room tv, from 6-10pm, we could watch storytime with Morgana, and Monster Mash with Vlad, where their costumed characters told stories or did dance numbers for the kids. That was the only place we saw the Goblin in question from the weekend name. Unless we missed him being somewhere else, be sure to tune in to see him.
I will say that while I personally enjoyed the Castillo de San Marcos ALIVE! experience, because I love fun theatre-y stuff like that where people perform dramatic monologues, I can see how some people might not think it was worth the $15 per person ticket price. I don’t usually do any sort of Halloween experiences like that, so maybe that’s the going rate, I’m not sure, so I’ll let you decide for yourself.
For the ticket fee, you see some lit up jack-o-lantern collections, which are very fun, but I do wish I could’ve taken some photos of them in the daylight too. Then you experience 3 different ghost “stations” where each ghost tells you their tale and then ushers you on. It ends with Bones, a “comic relief” performance to counteract the creepy (and based on real stories?) tales you just heard. Bones was really fun, we loved him. Then you are sent to the SpookEasy, where you can enjoy an alcoholic drink if you’d like. So if you had a big family, that price would add up quickly, but again, it’s up to you to decide if it would work for you. I will say the performers were all great, really into their characters and the makeup and costumes were on point too. I really had fun.
Lastly, there is the Phantom of the Atrium Light Show. I was really looking forward to this as I love a light show, and anything Phantom of the Opera related. This was a fun show, but it was quick, only 5 minutes long. The Phantom “conducts” from below, and the lights display various Halloweenie images and characters, with classical spooky music. I think this could be a much longer show, even if the lights aren’t necessarily showing graphics, they are just lights. Some of the images were a little cheesy, but again, it was super fun to watch from our balcony. I’d have sat through an hour-long show!
Will My Kids Like it?
There are some activities which are definitely geared toward younger kids. The Seth the Sea Turtle and Ava the Alligator Adventure Kids show is for sure. The bedtime stories on the tv are as well. The Hide and Seek is great for little kids and older kids, because if the little ones can’t solve the puzzles, older siblings or parents can help, and the littler kids can search for Spookley the Square Pumpkin. Trick-or-Treating is of course for everyone. The ALIVE! experience isn’t really very scary, it’s just loud in some parts when the actors really get into something. But little kids may not enjoy it if you are going at night. The Phantom of the Atrium Light Show is great for everyone!
Bottom Line Review
My Gaylord Palms Goblins and Giggles review in a sentence: I had a great time, my family had a great time. I think the value is there, and on par with Disney’s value resorts, which Gaylord Palms certainly exceeds in terms of comfort and surroundings. Again, I love going there for a Staycation and not even visiting the parks, because with the resort itself (even now when some things are closed) and the water park area, there is a ton to do.
I will say that we were a little disappointed in the lack of enforcement of the mask-wearing policy. It IS clearly stated everywhere that it’s required in the hotel, and at the pool unless you are in the water, but we did not see anyone outside of the front desk reminding people to keep their masks on or up over their noses. Many times people would be asking an employee a question, with no mask on, and no one was telling them to stop and put their mask on.
Additionally, they have notices to keep elevators at 4 people max occupancy, or your entire party, and we had to, at least twice, stop people from getting on the elevator with us. I realize that is a people problem and not a Gaylord Palms problem, but I do wish they had at least one person stationed around the atrium enforcing mask-wearing. We felt safe the whole time, however, we just stayed away from those who weren’t complying. Just something to be aware of if you are immuno-compromised.
How to Book
You can book directly at GaylordPalms.com and don’t forget about their upcoming holiday season as well with the Gaylord Palms I Love Christmas Movies pop-up experience!! We can’t wait for that! Thank you to Gaylord Palms for having us out and we hope you enjoyed our Goblins and Giggles vlog and review – stay tuned this week for Resort and Room Tour videos coming up on Zannaland!
Disclosure: Gaylord Palms invited my family and I to stay for the weekend and experience Goblins and Giggles Weekends. We were provided with a $100 resort credit, passes for the ALIVE! experience and preferred seating at the pool area. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.