Disney’s Grand Floridian 2 Bedroom Villa

When my family vacationed in Walt Disney World in April, We did a split stay between two resorts. The first resort we stayed in for two nights was Disney’s Grand Floridian 2 bedroom villa. (PS be sure to check out the link to the video tour at the bottom of this post.)

Over the years we have stayed at the Grand many times, but this was our first experience with the villas.

Having all the extra space is so nice especially when traveling with a small child! My parents took the master, and the three of us had a second bedroom with two queens. However, more people could have fit as the living room sofa is also a bed and there was a trundle under the TV.

When you book a villa, you can choose a standard view which looks out over the back/parking lot, or a Bay Lake view. We lucked out and were upgraded to a Bay Lake view on this trip! We had beautiful sunrises, and spent a good amount of time on the balcony which was super long!

Here is a panoramic shot of our view. We could see from Space mountain all the way to the Poly and Spaceship Earth in the distance.

When you walk into the villa building, there were desks there with cast members available at certain hours to check you in, answer questions, and more. There were also bell hops. The lobby is Mary Poppins themed, and there was a Nespresso maker for our use as well which was a nice touch (although it was broken one of the two days we were there.)

Looking down into the lobby from our floor:

Other amenities of the villas aside from access to the pools and other Grand Floridian amenities/restaurants/etc. were grills outside near the parking lot, as well as a basketball court. We were right by the spa and gym, and a quick walk along the path to the Polynesian. We loved the central location.

Ok, moving on to the room. When you walk into the villa, there was an entryway. To the left was a hallway with a desk leading to our room and bathroom, to the right was a hallway going to the master (which you could also access off the living room) and in that hallway was the washer and dryer. Straight ahead was the kitchen and dining combo, then past that the living room and balcony. In the below photo you can see the “front door” to the back which is halfway open.

The kitchen had a large refrigerator, stove, microwave, sick, coffee pot, and dishwasher. We bring our own breakfast foods as well as bottled water, alcohol, and snacks and we save a ton of money this way! My mom even cooked Jambalaya at the house and brought it for us to eat the first night and not only was it delicious but let’s face it, WAY cheaper than any Disney restaurant!

Pro tip: if you are flying in from out of town you can have a grocery service deliver groceries to your villa!

As mentioned before, the master had two entrances, one off the front hall and one off the living room to the back right as shown in the photo above, just past the TV. Both bedrooms also had their own balcony access.

The master bedroom and closet were HUGE with plenty of room for luggage etc. Also, we had lots of room in the front hallway of our villa to put our stroller at night or when we weren’t using it.

The master bathroom was gigantic and had two sinks, a large soaking tub, and big shower. The mirrors also have TV’s in them!

On the other side of the villa was a built in hallway desk, and then the second bedroom with closet and bathroom. I love the way they set up the villa so that you can close off your bedroom door but whoever is sleeping in the living room still has access to the bathroom at night without having to go through or into a bedroom and potentially waking people up. In the below photo you can see the desk at the end of the hall. Turn left and after a few steps is the front door of the villa. In the below hallway, to the left was our closet, to the right was our bathroom, with separate doors for the shower and sink, then the toilet and a shower tub combo were in the next room.

Our mirror had a TV in it as well which we basically left on playing Disney music whenever we were getting ready and dressed to go somewhere.

We had our own door to the balcony as well.

We loved the layout and flow of the 2 bedroom villa, and would love to be able to stay here again! I was skeptical because the “regular” part of the Grand is kind of my “first love”, but we really enjoyed the space, decor, and everything else about the villa!

Be sure to check out a video room tour of our villa HERE.

I would love to help you plan your next trip to Disney World, free of charge! Email Heather@Travelwiththemagic.com for a quote.

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 6

In case you missed part 5, go back and read it here.

We woke up on Thursday morning and my dad had left at about 5:00 that morning to drive back to Tampa for work. We loaded up the cars and then met a friend of mine for breakfast. This was the only day I broke my fast early for a delicious breakfast. The weather was amazing so we sat outside of the quick service restaurant at the hotel. I had bananas foster french toast and an iced smores latte. Amazing!

After saying our goodbyes to my friend, we hit up the pool for one more swim before hitting the road to my parent’s house in Tampa. We had some guests in the pool. Mama and baby ducks!

The weather was so perfect, we stayed until about 11:30 and soaked up the last few moments of vacation.

We said sad goodbyes to Disney, and got to my parent’s in the early afternoon. We just hung out and then my dad grilled burgers that night. The next day, we took Emma Kate to the pool (like we hadn’t had enough pool time!)

Bobby and I also hit up the gym which felt great after all the food we ate in Disney.

EK and my mom made bunny cupcakes, and we grilled again for dinner.

I think my mom also took Emma Kate to the library somewhere in that day. Our plan for Saturday was to stay until lunch, then get on the road and drive halfway again, then the second half Sunday morning. But, we knew we had to wear Emma Kate out before getting in the car, so Saturday morning they took her to Bob Evan’s (tradition) and we went to the pool again.

I was so proud of my plan, because homegirl was passed out before we even got to the interstate.

The drive was pretty uneventful for 6 hours, and we enjoyed a dinner at Cracker Barrel and an early bedtime before getting up and driving back home Sunday morning.

That’s it my friends! Our wild and crazy week in Florida has come to an end. We had an amazing time and I loved staying in new places and trying new things. I’m ready to plan my next trip so I can go back.

Don’t forget, I can help you plan your next trip! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote!

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 5

If you missed part 4, you can check it out here first!

We left off last time with our day at Hollywood Studios and a fun evening at Splitsville. The next day was our last full day (HOW does it go by so fast?!?) and we headed to EPCOT that morning. We actually arrived before it opened and had to wait for a bit to get in, but we headed straight for Anna and Elsa and only waited about ten minutes!

Look at the concentration in her face below haha!

After the meet and greet, we roda Frozen Ever After. I needed coffee, so Bobby took EK to the play area and we all met up after getting coffee.

It was so nice to sit in the shade while she played. I love the Flower and Garden festival!

We were getting pretty hungry, and decided to see if we could walk up at Via Napoli. We stopped and looked at pretty topiaries along the way.

Trying to entertain a four year old while you wait for a table is fun.

The restaurant was able to take us, and we split a huge pizza which was delicious.

We headed back towards Future World after this, but stopped for some photos.

We then rode Soarin, and then decided to head back to the hotel to hit the pool.

This is blurry because it’s a screen grab from a video, but yes I went down the slide!

Mom and dad had dinner reservations at Citrico’s, so we decided to take Emma Kate back to Epcot. Why not? It was our last night.

We walked around World Showcase and Bobby got some snacks from some of the booths. We got to America and grabbed food. Just as we sat down outside to eat, John Michael Montgomery took the stage! So we got to listen to his concert while we ate. How fun!

We decided to go ride Soarin’ again, and then did the Nemo ride.

We were pretty wiped from all the walking and decided to head back to the hotel. I was glad we went back to EPCOT one last time though!

I would love to help you book your next Disney adventure! It costs you nothing extra for my help. Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details.

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 3

If you missed part one and part two be sure to check them out then come back to this one!

We left off part two at the end of our fun day at the pool. We woke up the third day ready to go to our first park, Magic Kingdom! I knew this would be my favorite day so I was super excited. We would be checking out of our villa that day and heading over to Wilderness Lodge/Copper Creek villas that afternoon, so we went ahead and packed up our cars that morning and left them in the Grand Floridian parking lot and then hopped on the monorail to Magic Kingdom.

The weather was beautiful again, and we were able to get there for rope drop despite some monorail issues.

I hit up Starbucks with my mom while Ek, Bobby and my dad went to the rope drop and Carousel.

We were then able to knock out some rides like Dumbo, and then we saw Daisy and Pluto!

Emma Kate has been asking about cotton candy for WEEKS for some reason, so we told her she could get some at Disney World, so of course she immediately spotted it at the park so we let her get some at 9:00 in the morning.

We then had a fastpass for Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Emma kate got to be Mrs. Potts. She is such a ham. I can’t remember exactly what was next, but I know we rode, Peter Pan, The PeopleMover, Buzz lightyear, Ariel, and then we saw Princesses while Bobby and my dad rode Splash Mountain.

Oh and we also rode Winnie the Pooh.

After a quick service lunch of Mexican food, we headed to Tomorrowland for delicious chocolate milkshake desserts. Emma Kate waited so patiently at the counter for hers.

Mom and dad were worn out after that, so they took off to go back to the Grand and pick up their car then check in at the next hotel while me, Ek and Bobby rode Pirates of the Caribbean. I can’t remember what else we did, but it was getting really people-y in the park so we decided to head out as well. We ended up taking a boat (apparently the monorail was taking forever per mom and dad) and we ended up only being a few minutes behind them.

Our two bedroom villa was on the 6th floor with a pool and water view. We got all the luggage up there and took a little rest before dinner. I will do a full review of this resort in another post!

We had dinner at Trail’s End buffet to celebrate my dad’s birthday, so we took the boat over.

We had a great dinner and dad was thoroughly embarrassed for his birthday, and we got back on the boat with full bellies. Unfortunately a huge storm came up while on the boat, and we were all dumped off at the Contemporary because they closed the boats down. We ended up just taking a cab to Wilderness Lodge since it was so close and much more convenient then trying to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom then a bus. Emma Kate was dying to go swimming, but with lightning in the area the pools were closed.

We were finally given the all clear, and Emma Kate had a late night swim/play time in the splash pad.

We had an awesome day and were worn out by the end of it. Up next we have Hollywood Studios!

Disney 2019 Vacation Recap: Part 1

We are back from a wonderful Disney vacation, and I can’t wait to share all the fun we had in Florida. I’m going to break this up into parts, but try and get them all up quickly before I forget what all we did! I will link all the parts here once I am done.

Friday April 5th we left after lunch to drive halfway to Disney. We stopped north of Destin just off the interstate and were all too excited to sleep!

We got on the road the next morning for the 6 hour drive to Orlando. We arrived right at 4:00 at the Grand Floridian villas, and my parents were already there and had checked into the room. We were on the top floor and had an amazing view of Bay Lake! I will post a few photos here but plan to do a whole other post just about the villas.

The two bedroom villas are gorgeous, and I loved how light and airy they were. We spent a good amount of time on the balcony just enjoying the view. I posted room tours on my IGTV channel (@HeathersLG) if you want to check them out!

As soon as we got unloaded into the villa, we changed and headed to the pool. Emma Kate was so excited, so we went straight to the splash pad.

She loved the giant bucket of water that dumped out every couple of minutes and would just sit in the water waiting for it.

After a couple hours, we went to leave and saw they were roasting marshmallows, so obviously we had to do that!

My mom had made jambalaya at home the night before so we had that up in the villa. It was nice to not have to go anywhere or get dressed for a restaurant on arrival day. It allowed for more pool time and just relaxing and hanging out.

After we ate, we went for a walk around the hotel grounds, and into the lobby to see the beautiful Easter egg display they do every year. I can’t believe these are chocolate, they are so intricate it’s amazing.

We were all pretty wiped out after that, and decided to go to bed. We had a fun day of relaxing at the pool planned for the next day!

I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation! It’s free for me to help you! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details.

Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018 Part 2

You may have seen part one of my Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018.

Well, I am back with part two of our trip! Check out the video below for all the Disney fun, and be sure to hit “subscribe” so you don’t miss any videos on my channel. I would venture to say that Emma Kate had the time of her life.

 

 

We love Disney in the fall, the Halloween Party, Food and Wine Festival, and decorations are all amazing. Now we can’t wait for the Christmas decorations! (Ok, maybe we can wait until after Halloween!) What is your favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018

Hola friends! Some of you may have seen the video recap of our media event with Disney. After the event was over, we extended our trip by a few days. I had a friend in town that let us stay with her for a bit, then we got a room at Port Orleans Riverside for a couple of days to make it an almost week-long trip. We ate at some of our favorites and really enjoyed just being together and taking our time. Check out some of the fun in the video below.

Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you don’t miss any future videos!

Thanks for watching y’all!

Tips for an Adults Only Disney Trip

Update: This post on tips for an adults only Disney trip originally appeared in 2016, but I have updated it for 2018. Thanks for reading!

It’s no secret I love Walt Disney World. When I tell some of my friends my husband and I are going alone to Walt Disney World for the weekend without Emma Kate, they look at like I’m crazy. Why would I want to spend my adults only time with a bunch of kids? That’s when I get to explain our “Disney style”, and how it’s very different than a trip would look with Emma Kate in tow. While trips with her are super special and so much fun, there are “other ways” to tour the world as well.

Tips for an adults only Disney trip

So, here are my top five tips for an adults-only Disney trip, and maybe you will then see why we find our time in Disney so relaxing and enjoyable.

1.) Go Deluxe: I know it’s not in everyone’s budget, but if you can swing it (go at a cheaper time of year, use discounts, save up for a year etc.) I recommend staying at a deluxe resort, and if you save lots of pennies, splurge on a club level stay. I have stayed club level at all the Disney resorts, and it is truly a special treat. Honestly, it’s not worth it if you plan to jump up every morning, grab breakfast at the park, and stay gone until bedtime, but if you want to enjoy Disney at a leisurely pace, it’s the way to go. (Think: continental breakfast, snacks in the afternoon, wine and appetizers in the evenings, cordials and desserts at night.) Plus a lounge for you to sit in and read a book, chat with family members, or simply use it as a meeting spot. There are also dedicated cast members who help just club level guests with questions, dining reservations, and more. We love to eat and relax so it works for us!

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Even if you can’t splurge for club level, I recommend a deluxe resort if you plan to take things slow and spend time at your resort. Deluxe resorts have the best pool areas, lobbies, and food options, so there is plenty to do just soaking up the theming.

Even if you can’t splurge for club level, I recommend a deluxe resort if you plan to take things slow and spend time at your resort. Deluxe resorts have the best pool areas, lobbies, and food options, so there is plenty to do just soaking up the theming.

2.) Less park days: Here is where you can actually save some money. If you are going for a week, only get 4-5 days of park tickets and spend your other days doing things around your resort,  or even visiting the other resorts on property. There is plenty to do, which leads me to the next tip…

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3.) Beyond the Theme Parks: Since you have a couple of “free days” with no park tickets, take time to explore some of the lesser-known Disney fun such as Disney Springs, miniature golf, water parks, going fishing or parasailing, or enjoy tea at the Grand Floridian. I actually wrote two blog posts a while back about things to do beyond the theme parks. You can check them out here and here. Check out the awesome cabanas you can rent pictured below if you are at the Contemporary!

 Adults Only Disney Trip

4.) Sit on a bench: I know this sounds silly, but to this day it is one of my favorite things to do in Disney. People watching. I love grabbing Starbucks and finding a bench or laying in the hub grass at Magic Kingdom, and just watching the crowds go by while soaking up the Disney atmosphere. I feel like so many people rush from one ride to the next, that they don’t always take the time to really just soak in the fact that they are in Disney World! Stop and take a break and just be for a little while on your next trip. Grab some popcorn or a drink and just savor the moment.

 Adults Only Disney Trip

5.) Eat. A lot: I know everyone eats more on vacation, but when you are traveling with small kids, you typically don’t eat at fancy table service restaurants enjoying four-course meals. It’s more of let’s stick some chicken nuggets in your mouth and move on before they have a meltdown. This is your chance to enjoy some of the nicer restaurants, just taking your time and enjoying your vacation and the atmosphere. Some of my favorites are: California Grill, Narcoossees, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Citricos, and Artist Point. Be sure to schedule in a lot of time to sit and eat nice dinners, or even nice breakfasts and lunches, too! Whatever you want, it’s your vacation!

This was on our honeymoon! Babies!

These are just some of my tips for planning an adults only WDW vacation. The key is to relax and enjoy without feeling like you need to be somewhere every five minutes. That doesn’t sound very relaxing and enjoyable to this girl. You earned those vacation days my friend, and you don’t have to have your kids with you to enjoy Walt Disney World. Have fun!

 Adults Only Disney Trip

RELATED: Sign up for my FREE My Disney Experience and Magic Bands E-Course!

QOTD: What is your favorite tip for an adults only Disney trip?

#DisneyKids Media Event Video Recap

Disclosure: We attended a media event at Walt Disney World, however, all opinions are my own. 

In September, we had the privilege of attending a #DisneyKids media event at Walt Disney World centered around preschoolers and Toy Story Land. We also got to eat at Homecomin’, Hollywood and Vine, the Grand Floridian, and also enjoyed Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Check out this recap video we made of our amazing experience! Parents of preschoolers, these activities are a must with your kiddos! so much fun! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel after watching. 🙂

 

What is your favorite thing about Toy Story Land? Have you been to the Halloween party or any of the restaurants we dined at?

#disneykids

Related: Toy Story Land with a preschooler

Related again: Art of Animation Cars family suite

Toy Story Land Disney World with a Preschooler

Disclosure: We attended a #DisneyKids media event at Toy Story land Disney World, however, all opinions are my own.

Disney's toy story land with a preschooler

When I first heard that Walt Disney World was creating Toy Story Land, I was pumped. Not only would I get to experience the nostalgia of a favorite movie series I grew up with, but I just couldn’t wait to see what Disney was going to DO with it. You know, how they always go above and beyond with every little detail? Well, I can tell you that it does not disappoint, and it was amazing getting to experience Toy Story land with a preschooler who loves the films as much as I do.

Pro tip: Go early before the crowds so you can see all the fun details!

Life-size characters, bright colors, and an amazing “backyard” to explore as one of Andy’s toys. It’s so exciting as you turn the corner and see Woody waiting to tip his hat and greet you as you enter the land. My four year old LOVED all the fun “toy”, details, and seeing her favorites everywhere she turned.

Toy Story Land with a Preschooler

Pro tip: The sun is blinding at this photopass spot, so maybe come back later in the day for a pic!

There are tons more “toy-sized” characters to discover, including meet and greets with some of the stars. Emma Kate even found fun characters to pose with as we waited for our breakfast at the new quick service dining location. This dining location, Woody’s Lunchbox, has some great food options not found at other locations.

Pro tip: Woody’s Lunchbox has breakfast! We had a delicious yogurt parfait that hit the spot!

Of course, We loved taking photos in front of several of the famous “walls.”

Related: The Walls of Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land with a Preschooler

Emma Kate was a little scared to ride Slinky Dog Dash (her mom and dad loved it!) But she ADORES Alien Swirling Saucers and it is her new favorite Disney ride. She also still has a huge love for Toy Story Mania. I can’t blame her, I do too! Even the exit queue of Toy Story Mania is a blast

Pro Tip: The exit queue is also where two of the fun walls are located as well.

Adding Toy Story Land  Disney World to Hollywood Studios is a huge plus in our book. We already love the fun and shows at this park, (not to mention character breakfast at Hollywood and Vine), so now it’s even more valuable to us as a family with a small child. One thing we have yet to do is go at night. I guess we need to make another trip back!

Toy Story Land Disney World