KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee is in the final stages of a $50 million renovation that includes revamped guest rooms, a new sports bar and a water park that's grand enough to rival those at neighboring Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando.
The resort's new Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park has four water slides, Hoop Water Basketball, an outdoor movie screen and stage, and an adults-only pool.
Wreckers Sports Bar has a 37-foot sports screen, 50 HD TVs and Key West-inspired décor.
The resort also also added a 10,000-square-foot lawn area, Coquina Lawn, for events and movie screenings under the stars.
The hotel revamped all 1,406 guest rooms with new furniture, new TVs and an updated blue and gold color palette.
"It's almost a brand new hotel," general manager and senior vice president Johann Krieger told Hotel Check-In.
One guest who had stayed at the hotel a few years ago told hotel staff she didn't recognize the hotel when she visited again this year after the renovation, he said.
The Palms Resort is finalizing plans to make even more updates in the near future. The hotel may be adding a "guest experience portal," a website where guests can log in to access information about their stay, request room service, access movies through Netflix and take advantage of a wide range of other services. The portal would be offered to guests starting in late 2012 or early 2013.