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Old 03-29-2006, 05:11 AM   #1
Disney Planner Mama
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finally booked GF

After years of saying someday we'd really like to splurge and stay at GF, I finally went ahead and booked a garden view room for this Christmas (it's me, DH, DD8 & DD4). Now of course I'm stressing about it. Is it worth the money? I've read some reviews of the CM's not being terribly efficient or friendly, and are the garden view rooms any good? Am I insane to be going at Christmas? Help! Someone reassure me!
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:21 AM   #2
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Yes, you're insane for going at Christmas (I was there right before Christmas this year and all of WDW was a mob scene!)
But GF is worth it and you will have an incredible time. It is a gorgeous resort. We've stayed there at least 7 or 8 times and always loved it. The proximity to the MK makes the whole area very exciting and you have tons of dining options at the GF and other MK resorts.
You'll LOVE all the holiday decorations there as well
Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:36 AM   #3
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I'm sure your Holiday will be Magical.

Although I've never stayed here this is one of my favorite resorts, love the lobby and in the evenings they have the band.

I love just hanging out here. It's so beautiful during Christmas time. We were there during the Christmas Season to see the decorations and was sitting outside and they were serving roasted chestnuts. Yummy!
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:37 AM   #4
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yes, I figured the parks would be mobbed at Christmas. But we used to live in FL and go to WDW all the time so we don't have the pressing need to do and see everything in the parks. That's part of the reason we wanted a really nice hotel to relax at. And having seen the WDW christmas show on the Travel Channel I thought GF did the decorations the best.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
But we used to live in FL and go to WDW all the time so we don't have the pressing need to do and see everything in the parks. That's part of the reason we wanted a really nice hotel to relax at.
Then I think it's the perfect destination for you.

We spent my 40th at the Grand, and I felt like we were staying inside of the Magic Kingdom, if that makes sense. It very much feels like a part of Main Street to me, with the sounds, the warm breezes, and the constant sights of BT, the Castle, and Space Mountain. The train whistles every so often and the dog howls at Haunted Mansion. I can't explain it well, but it's rather surreal to stay there, and I would imagine even more so at Christmas. When you walk in the lobby, you swear you smell someone baking, since the gingerbread house smells so wonderful. The GF Greeter is also utterly adorable, roasting chestnuts for you in the afternoons (and fun to eat!) Most evenings (if not all) there is different holiday entertainment for you. I've seen a handbell choir and several choral groups playing. It makes for a very festive destination.

I totally digressed there... what I wanted to say was when we stay at the Grand, we don't WANT to go to the parks. It's just nice to slow down and relax and enjoy. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney Planner Mama
I've read some reviews of the CM's not being terribly efficient or friendly, and are the garden view rooms any good? Am
If you read message boards long enough, you'll find both positives and negatives about all the resorts. I can say that in 7 trips to the GF, we had one very minor incident with a CM who was training on the registration desk. Other than that, we've met some very magical CM's who we see time and time again.

If you're concerned that a garden view might encompass the parking lot, don't worry. All the garden views are just that, views of the garden or courtyard pool. Because of the angles of the buildings, you might also be overlooking another lodge building, but there are very few of these. You're going at a very busy time of year, but you can still add some requests to your reservation. For example, you might want to ask for a corner room. These are slightly bigger than a standard and offer you 2 balconies. Some people like to put in a request for a particular lodge building. Sago Cay is very close to the main building, Gasparillas Grill and there's a little path beside the building that leads right to the bus stop. It's quiet and thier marina view rooms also qualify as garden view. Conch Key rooms all overlook the gardens and it's closest to the boat dock. Big Pine Key and Boca Chica will have more of the courtyard pool view and they're closest to the pools and beach. All in all though, the walk between the two furthest points at the resort is probably no more than 6 minutes at a leisurely pace. If you have small children, you might want to stay away from the dormer rooms. These are located on the top floors. They are actually a bit smaller than a standard room, but have high cathedral ceilings. The balconies are private, but they are small and the railing is solid, making it difficult to see over for a child, or adult who's sitting in a chair.
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:40 AM   #7
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We had saved to splurge at GF also, we are in the GF is less than magical group and won't stay again.

I hope you enjoy your stay, everyone has to judge for themselves.
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Old 03-30-2006, 06:00 PM   #8
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We did a split stay in September, and after 3 nights at an All Stars, we were THRILLED to be at the GF!

We had fantastic service, from check-in, to the guy who drove us to our room, to the woman who was cleaning the hallway in our building. I was afraid of disappointment as well, but we loved it. My only complaint is that with kids we couldn't enjoy all that the resort had to offer (my 2 and 4 year old boys weren't really well behaved enough for the finer dining establishments).

I must add, that part of the enjoyment was the free upgrade to concierge from GV, but even without that, the grounds, pool, and rooms were absolutely lovely.

The problem is that we can't afford staying there every time.
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Old 03-30-2006, 07:56 PM   #9
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In early Dec, 2002, we stayed at the Grand Floridian (got it for $199/night!!) and it was absolutely breathtaking!!!! It is the perfect hotel to stay in for the holidays! The tree in the lobby is just gorgeous!!! The gingerbread house was so cute!! It was perfect!!! Everyone was so nice, and it was great being on the monorail!

Have a wonderful time!!!
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:13 PM   #10
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Congrats! I'm sure you'll love it.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:54 AM   #11
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Thanks to everyone for their responses. Now I'm starting to get excited about the trip.

You know, we every time we go to disney we say "well, that was a great vacation, but next time maybe we should go on a trip somewhere else now that the girls are older". This resolve lasts about a month after our return and then I start making reservations for the next disney trip.

My name is Disney Planner Mama, and I'm a disney-holic.
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:10 AM   #12
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We have always found the CMs to be very friendly and never rude so I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. Have a grand time.
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:00 PM   #13
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I'm right there with you. We are also going for Christmas and staying at the GF -- first time for us too (DH, and DD12). I figure it is a once in a lifetime Christmas experience. We walked around the GF the last time we were there and DH said if we're going back, that's where he wanted to stay -- so I booked it. I don't think either of us will be disappointed!
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC Sadie
We have always found the CMs to be very friendly and never rude so I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. Have a grand time.
Same here!

I definitely find it interesting how people can have such different experiences at the same resort. IMHO, often it's legit, and I've read about some doozies, but sometimes it has to do with people's expectations.

You'll have a great time, I'm sure!

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