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Old 09-06-2008, 08:57 PM   #1
"This is no longer a vacation...It's a quest for fun...Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah" Clark Griswold
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Red Sox Nation
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Thumbs up Disney’s Resort Massage & Fitness Spa Reviews

Hi-ya folks!
Do you guys want to make this the official Spa review? I thought it would be very helpful for spa junkies like myself and spa newbies who want a magical experience. I am personally a licensed massage therapist who works at the Ritz Carlton in Boston and I’m always on the lookout for skilled spa techs when I receive a treatment. I know exactly what I need done and I unfortunately get disappointed more often than not. So I thought this would be a great place to help each other out with a review of your spa experience.

Niki Bryan Spa is the company that operates the spa and fitness centers at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk Village, Coronado Springs Resort, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Yacht & Beach Club, and Wilderness Lodge. Here’s the website:


The Swan & Dolphin works with a different company called Mandara Spa. Click "activities”.


Ok, here it goes…our trip was August 10th - August 16th, 2008 at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for our 15th wedding anniversary. I reserved two 80 - minute massages for my DW and I a month in advance. I scheduled them for the day after we arrive on Monday the 11th. We started the day with room service and then we walked down to Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center for our 10:00 am appointments. I know from my own experience that earlier in the day, means more energy, when you are a MT. Because I need deep tissue work, I hope the MT has enough strength to execute. So I prefer a morning appointment. (a little tip)

AKL has a small gym. We didn’t work out but it seamed to be filled with good up to date equipment and there was about 4 treatment rooms. We checked in around 9:45 am and a personal trainer behind the desk gave us robes and a massage therapist showed us to the men and women’s locker rooms. I always appreciate a good steam room. This one was a eucalyptus steam room, which I love. I highly recommend going into the steam room before a massage. They also have a dry sauna and showers.

My DW (Steamboat Girlie) injured her low back two weeks before our trip. She hurt it while picking up our 18 month old DS. So she was in need of some skilled TLC. DW had a very nice talkative female MT that was petite in stature and was struggling to apply medium pressure. So needless to say, DW did not enjoy her 80 - minute massage. I felt bad about that. It happens a lot to her. She tells me that I spoil her with the work I give her at home. Everybody always comments about how lucky my DW is because she is married to a MT. Yah right! You know the old saying: “The cobbler’s wife has no shoes.” The same goes for Massage Therapists.

But I digress…the good news is that I had a great massage with a female MT named Rachel R. Make sure you request Rachel “R”, because there's another Rachel that works there.

Rachel R. was very nice but she didn’t talk unless I initiated the conversation. Sometimes I mention I’m a MT and sometimes I don’t. I did this time. I’m not a jerk about it or anything. I just explain exactly what I need at the time. I always appreciate it when clients do that for me at the Ritz.

She was a natural…GREAT HANDS. She was very strong. She used her elbows really well. She was intuitive and got the job done.

Now what about my poor DW? Well, I called down to the spa the next day and I asked what Rachel R’s schedule for Thursday the 13th. She was scheduled to be at the Boardwalk that day, but she didn’t have any clients yet. I guess she is based at one of them, but I can’t remember which one. She also told me that they rotate her at all the Niki Bryan Spas except GF. GF has a set staff. So they moved her over to AKL that day for me. YES! WE SCORED! DW wanted me to go first so that I could tell Rachel R. what DW needed for her treatment. I guess DW twisted my arm. So I had a 50-minute massage at 10:00 am and DW had a 50-minute massage at 11:00.

DW was thrilled. Rachel R. didn’t go too deep. She gave smooth medium pressure. Just right.

We hope this will be of some help for those who are planning to go to a WDW spa. I’m interested in the Mandara at the S & D. Please add all your fitness & spa experiences and questions.

Last edited by Planecrazy4dis; 09-07-2008 at 08:52 AM.
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