A few weeks ago, I talked about how much fun I had at Gaylord Palms during their “Spring It On” event — but one of the things I left out was one of the true highlights of the visit to this beautiful hotel, the Cypress Springs Water Park.

Normally, for my vacations, the pool is something that I might visit if I needed a break from the parks or had a half day before traveling. However, the Cypress Springs Water Park is a different story as it is indeed a water park. With three big slides, a great water play area for kids, a fun pool, and a not-so-lazy river, it is easy to lose track of time and spend a full day out there.

Big Cypress Tower

The center piece for me of the water park is the big tower, home to three different slides.

  • Florida Free Fall Drop Slide – If you have never had the opportunity to experience a drop slide, it is a must do! Gone are the old “lay on your back and inch yourself forward ‘til you start down the hill.” This is step in the tube, cross your arms, and wait for the countdown to start screaming. The exhilaration of the floor literally dropping under you and you plummeting down a 35 foot slide into a giant bowl is something you need to see to believe.
  • Tamiami Twister (Tampa and Miami) –  This dual set of racing slides not only offers great thrills but is also a perfect way to pass the time racing both people you are there with as well as also other resort guests.

Multi-Level Water Playground

Designed for kids, this water playhouse really has a lot to explore. With four smaller slides, the kinetics of this area just looked so much fun. On top of that, there are water jets and play areas all around. However, the true highlight of this area is the giant 317-gallon tipping bucket at the top that is sure to drench everyone around.

Zero Entry Pool

One of two pools in the water park, this is where the true fun is to be had. Take basketball hoops and a giant screen to display all sorts of fun then add in a DJ spinning some fun tunes and there you have the reason you go back home with a sunburn.

FlowRider Surfing Experience

What is coming to Florida without doing some surfing? Well, for those of you who know where Orlando is in comparison with the nearest beaches, the FlowRider surfing experience may be the closest you get. For an additional charge, guests can have a 30 minute session with a pro that can help you learn to body board or surf in the safety of your own hotel. I didn’t take advantage of this (long time readers know how my last surfing experience went), but just standing and watching the trainers do some tricks was a lot of fun.

Crystal River Rapids

What I like to call a “NOT SO lazy river,” this newest addition to the Cypress Springs Water Park is a great place to just go round and round for a few hours. But unlike other water parks, this river has a very strong current and keeps guests moving at a quick pace through caves, under waterfalls, and past sprinklers you never know where you might end up. With a state of the art sound system and heated water, this was most definitely the place to be throughout the day.

One of the things I loved the most about the water park was the option to upgrade to premium seating, including cabanas and day beds. For a bit of an upcharge, you have your own private spot to catch some rays or a nap as the sounds of the water relaxes you. Plus, the closeness to the SandBar was convenient for when you wanted some great food and drinks.

Overall, I don’t think I could recommend not only Gaylord Palms but also the Cypress Springs Water Park enough. Whether you just need a nice getaway or if you want a vacation that may not be only about the theme parks, it’s a great option for enjoying your time in Orlando.

For more information and how to book visit GaylordPalms.