The Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando has been taken over by pirates, but don't let that scare you away. Captain Blackheart the Pirate King and his daughter, Princess Priscilla, are a friendly bunch who welcome families to celebrate Summerfest with them through August 21.

A slice of Florida

The Gaylord Palms Resort is located just outside of Walt Disney World and near I-4 in a central spot that offers easy access to attractions like Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and International Drive.

The resort is an attraction on its own, with a massive atrium that brings the best of Florida to a climate-controlled indoor environment. Journey from the Everglades to St. Augustine to Key West without ever stepping outside.

Summerfest expands the fun with a number of pirate- and princess-themed activities. They include special crafts where kids can decorate their own tiaras, eye patches and swords, the Mermaid Academy where little girls can fulfill their dreams of splashing around the pool in a bright mermaid's tale, a special pool party, a treasure hunt throughout the hotel, story and chantey time on weekend evenings, and Princess Priscilla's Coronation Breakfast.

For an overview of the events, check out this video:

Gaylord Palms is family paradise

The Gaylord Palms creates a perfect family atmosphere. Its location makes it idea for tourists planning a vacation around the theme parks, and the Summerfest activities mean that the kids might just clamor to spend a day at the resort instead. The Stories and Chanties Under the Stars and the breakfast are two highlights of Summerfest.

The story sessions take place outside on the Coquina Lawn, and the pirates and princess put on a cute, high energy show to draw in the youngsters. Afterwards, they get to cook up fresh s'mores over the fire as a perfect cap to the evening.

Events like the crafts, Pirate Stories and Chanties Under the Stars, and Princess Priscilla's Coronation Breakfast cost extra, although some activities, like the scavenger hunt, are free.

The Gaylord Palms Resort website has full details and special package offers for summer visitors to Orlando.

Eat with pirates and princesses

The breakfast is packed with characters who don't just stop by for photos and run. The pirates and Princess Priscilla interact with guests, singing songs, passing out pirate names, and recruiting people for their crew with an official pirate oath. The food is a never ending buffet with everything from freshly prepared omelettes to waffles to bacon, sausage, cereal and freshly baked goods that fuel up your family for a day of adventure, whether it's at the resort or the theme parks.

Most of the activities take place on the weekend, and the pirate ship sails off into the horizon on August 21. The resort won't be quiet for long, though, as its annual Ice! event and Christmas at the Gaylord Palms is just around the corner.

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