HAVING A GRAND OLD TIME! The 2013 Grand Floridian Resort & Villas FAQ

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BlueSkies

~GF Gal.....
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
k&a&c'smom Seems that we were composing at the same time..lol..and posting at almost the same time too..again! :goodvibes
This is getting to be a habit! :goodvibes LOL... BTW..whats STL??? LOL..

I agree......we have our favorite(s), but we also like to try new resorts. I am excited to try the CR.....we visit every trip for shopping, eating, and just walking around so it will be nice to see what it's like to actually stay there :thumbsup2.

You're welcome......I think your dad will love the GF. Even though the Poly is our favorite, I do love the GF for different reasons.....it's hard not to ;). You are going to have a fabulous trip :wizard:.
I have a feeling that you are going to be adding the CR to your fave list soon...not higher on the list than the Poly..or the GF..but still..on thel ist! :lovestruc Cant wait to hear what you think...

I am originally from STL but now I live in NJ. We still go back every year to visit my family, although now my brother has a house at the lake and we spend most of our time there:boat: How far are you from STL?

We almost always do a split stay. We go for about 10 days, spend a week in a TS off-site and then stay the last 3 nights anywhere we want on property. We like to explore, however, we bought VGF so that I could ensure our exploring would usually be done at GF :lovestruc

If we are going for a short trip we will just stay put.

Currently my plan now is to do our first night at Narcoosee's and watch the fireworks, and our second night at Citricos. I just couldn't decide :) This will probably change 100 times, but that is ok, I have to pass the time somehow!

This is the month for the Grand Opening of VGF!!! I am so excited to hear about it! Wish I was going to be there :sad:
WTG booking both restaurants..:woohoo: sounds like a great plan.. We are doing our first split stay ever...and I am both excited and nervous about it...

Due to a last minute trip I will be at the GF for the VGF opening....:dance3: I will be sure to visit and take some pics...Too bad I am too challenged to post them...LOL..:blush: But I will gladly share my observations!

grannieminnie I feel another trip in your future too! Maybe we can coordinate...I am thinking March..but waiting anxiously on DDs schedule.. .:bitelip: I think that you will really enjoy Citricos..good food..service and ambience.. if you do decide to try it.. request a window seat..there are very nice views of the grounds...:cloud9: GFC is a fave of ours too...so many good choice for B L and D! You know its always about the food! popcorn::


TGIF fellow GF fans...:goodvibes
 

trishadono

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
:dance3: Congratualtions to you too trisha on getting the discount cr mkv cl...that is a category that not easy to get with a discount usually! Are you switching resorts for your january trip...??


:
1/1-1/2 whole family in SL then transfer to VGF 1/2-1/5. Dh and ds leave and then dd and I CR 1-5-1/8.

Really this is like a dream trip:lovestruc I am just so thankful to have family time with the kids older and busy:goodvibes
 

k&a&c'smom

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 29, 2002
I am originally from STL but now I live in NJ. We still go back every year to visit my family, although now my brother has a house at the lake and we spend most of our time there:boat: How far are you from STL?

We almost always do a split stay. We go for about 10 days, spend a week in a TS off-site and then stay the last 3 nights anywhere we want on property. We like to explore, however, we bought VGF so that I could ensure our exploring would usually be done at GF :lovestruc

If we are going for a short trip we will just stay put.

Currently my plan now is to do our first night at Narcoosee's and watch the fireworks, and our second night at Citricos. I just couldn't decide :) This will probably change 100 times, but that is ok, I have to pass the time somehow!

This is the month for the Grand Opening of VGF!!! I am so excited to hear about it! Wish I was going to be there :sad:
Love your plans so far! It is hard to choose between Narcoossee's and Citricos - different, but both good. If we have to choose one, we used to end up at Narcoossee's, but now it is Citricos.

Can't wait to hear all the reports about VGF.:goodvibes LOL about ensuring your exploration will be at the GF.

We live about 3 hours from my sister, but about 4 hours from STL proper. My DS's fiance lives in Affton - he lived on the edge of it for a year (Marlborough), but came back here to live in a rental we own, save up for the wedding.;)

This is getting to be a habit! :goodvibes LOL... BTW..whats STL??? LOL..

....
Due to a last minute trip I will be at the GF for the VGF opening....:dance3: I will be sure to visit and take some pics...Too bad I am too challenged to post them...LOL..:blush: But I will gladly share my observations!

....

TGIF fellow GF fans...:goodvibes
STL is St. Louis, sorry for the confusion! I thought I had said it so often, everyone would know where I meant.:blush:

YAY for the last minute trip! I'll be looking forward to your report, if you would like help posting photos, send me a PM.:thumbsup2

1/1-1/2 whole family in SL then transfer to VGF 1/2-1/5. Dh and ds leave and then dd and I CR 1-5-1/8.

Really this is like a dream trip:lovestruc I am just so thankful to have family time with the kids older and busy:goodvibes
:dance3: Sounds wonderful.:cloud9:
 
  • garada3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2004
    My husband and I are taking our three nieces on their first visit to Disney World!

    I was able to book with RPC TPV with a AAA rate so I also get to stay in my favorite place in August 2014 :cloud9:

    We have never taken girls to WDW before (we have three sons) so it will almost be a repeat first visit for DH and I. Princess meals, meet & greets with the fairies and costumes! So much to figure out princess: !

    I need a countdown pixiedust:
     

    k&a&c'smom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2002
    My husband and I are taking our three nieces on their first visit to Disney World!

    I was able to book with RPC TPV with a AAA rate so I also get to stay in my favorite place in August 2014 :cloud9:

    We have never taken girls to WDW before (we have three sons) so it will almost be a repeat first visit for DH and I. Princess meals, meet & greets with the fairies and costumes! So much to figure out princess: !

    I need a countdown pixiedust:
    Awww, how sweet and wonderful.:tink: I'm so happy for you!:dance3:
     

    grannyminnie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2007
    I was suprised to receive an invitation in yesterday's mail to do the Magicbands and Fastpass+, but I'm not sure I really want to or need to, considering how we vacation. (laid-back and little advance planning, if any) I know some of you have mentioned that you will do this, and some are saying they're confused about it. Can I hear your comments as to why you think it will or will not be helpful?

    Oh, and happy Saturday to everyone~ (I beat you to the punch, Blue! :lmao:
     

    MommyGina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2008
    I was suprised to receive an invitation in yesterday's mail to do the Magicbands and Fastpass+, but I'm not sure I really want to or need to, considering how we vacation. (laid-back and little advance planning, if any) I know some of you have mentioned that you will do this, and some are saying they're confused about it. Can I hear your comments as to why you think it will or will not be helpful?

    Add me to the list of being confused about Magicbands.

    I'm really jealous of everyone who is going to the Grand soon. It doesn't matter if it is the hotel or villas! Can't wait to see pictures of the villas. I have to say that our July trip is up in the air. Since Disney changed its Guest Assistance policy, we have a challenge now with DD due to a medical condition. The Assistance Card was a blessing for us and took the worry off of her getting sick.

    Have a great Saturday my friends!!
     
  • k&a&c'smom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2002
    MommyGina - sorry to hear you will have a tougher time in future.:hug: I hope there is some provision made for those in your situation.

    Warning - the following is Off Topic!:teeth:

    grannyminnie - I'm confused about the whole process, too. I think I get the Magic Bands in general, but the FP+ system has me scratching my head. I've read some, but still don't get it completely. ??

    For instance, it seems you can schedule 3 FP+ per day - does that mean only 3 in advance, or only 3 period? No FP available as you go? If the second, it doesn't seem like enough, especially if you miss any of them. I've been waiting on the tests, to hear how it all works for sure.

    And I think your 3 per day have to be in the same park, right? Another dilemma, as we often change the park as we go, depending on what we've done already, or the weather or...whatever.:laughing:

    I'm sure I will eventually figure it out, but the beginning of any new program takes a while to get used to it. We don't use FP that much now, unless we have a newbie with us, so it may not affect us very much, in the end. Unless the ability to schedule FP+ in advance means walk ups are more difficult, that is.:scratchin
     

    grannyminnie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2007
    k&a&c'smom, I feel like you that it's the FastPass+ that's more at issue.. you raised a lot of valid points re: FP+, the most important for me being the question of, can I still pick up a FP the usual way while in the parks? I'd hate to think I missed any of my favorite attractions because of this; on the other hand, planning to get a FP for them in advance might be a moot point if, like you said, we chose to forego that park that day because of the weather...:confused3 I'm not liking it at this point! :stir:
     

    mom2CaitlinRyan&Erin

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2011
    Hi! Our family will be staying at the GF in an outer building garden view room this upcoming January. It'll be our first time staying at the resort. We originally had the Poly reserved, but we were just there this past January and don't want to deal with construction. We are so excited! DH and I honeymooned at Hotel Del Coronado, so the whole ambiance of the GF is special to us :) Can't wait to learn more about the resort over the next 98 days!:banana:
     

    BlueSkies

    ~GF Gal.....
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2008
    1/1-1/2 whole family in SL then transfer to VGF 1/2-1/5. Dh and ds leave and then dd and I CR 1-5-1/8.

    Really this is like a dream trip:lovestruc I am just so thankful to have family time with the kids older and busy:goodvibes
    :yay: Thats terrific!! Happy for you! Enjoy the family time..and then the mother daughter time too..! :goodvibes

    My husband and I are taking our three nieces on their first visit to Disney World!

    I was able to book with RPC TPV with a AAA rate so I also get to stay in my favorite place in August 2014 :cloud9:

    We have never taken girls to WDW before (we have three sons) so it will almost be a repeat first visit for DH and I. Princess meals, meet & greets with the fairies and costumes! So much to figure out princess: !

    I need a countdown pixiedust:
    How wonderful! princess: princess: princess: Enjoy seeing the world thru they eyes of your princesses..in your beautiful RPC TPV room! You are going to spoil them for future trips! Did you book an afternoon tea by any chance...My DD has loved this since she was a little girl! :lovestruc

    I was suprised to receive an invitation in yesterday's mail to do the Magicbands and Fastpass+, but I'm not sure I really want to or need to, considering how we vacation. (laid-back and little advance planning, if any) I know some of you have mentioned that you will do this, and some are saying they're confused about it. Can I hear your comments as to why you think it will or will not be helpful?

    Oh, and happy Saturday to everyone~ (I beat you to the punch, Blue! :lmao:
    Morning grannieminnie You early bird! Yes you did beat me to the punch!! LOL..We vacation very much the way you do...and all of this pre planning everything right down to fast pass times does not make me happy!! :confused3

    Our good friend Maxie86 was just at WDW and she said that this whole FP+ process has definately impacted the FP waiting times much earier in the day..??

    We have gotten used to having to book dining way in advance...I really miss those days of just walking up to a particular restaurant dependnding on the way the day is going..

    We have ADRs FP+ the whole nine yards for the upcommming trip...I will let you know what my thoughts..and experiences were when we get back...:thumbsup2

    Hi! Our family will be staying at the GF in an outer building garden view room this upcoming January. It'll be our first time staying at the resort. We originally had the Poly reserved, but we were just there this past January and don't want to deal with construction. We are so excited! DH and I honeymooned at Hotel Del Coronado, so the whole ambiance of the GF is special to us :) Can't wait to learn more about the resort over the next 98 days!:banana:
    Congratualtions on booking the GF! GV rooms are lovely! and welcome to the GF FAQ! :goodvibes

    k&a&c'smom I am totally confused about all of the rules for the FP+'s too...:confused3 As I mentioned a friend of ours who was just at the world said that the FP+ did indeed seem to impact the return times for the FPs very early in the day..She said that first thing in the morning the FP return time for TSM was early afternoon...?? So if you do elect not to book FP+'s I guess it will take the longer to get a FP return time... Did that just make any sense?? LOL...:confused3

    The whole MB thing is very interesting..from what I gather???? LOL..Everything is linked right to that little old band on your wrist...?? Even DME??? Not really sure how I feel about all of that..but it is the wave of the future..of now actually..so I guess we will all have to get used to it...as I told grannie I will be happy to share my thoughts in just a few weeks!!! :yay:

    MommyGina Im sorry to hear that the new GA policies will make things harder for your family...:( Hope that you can work somthing out that will still make enjoying the parks possible for your DD...:hug:

    MickeyNut Whatcha up to this morning??

    :dance3: Have a super Saturday fellow GF fans! Even if someone ;) did beat me to the punch today! LOL...
     
  • mickeynut1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2007
    I see that new RO discounts have opened up for the new year... I feel another trip in my future..;) (thanks, Mickeynut)
    You're welcome :goodvibes. I hope another trip in the spring works out for you.

    I agree, trying something new is always fun and saving money is a plus! I'm sure you'll have a great time.
    Thanks, I'm really looking forward to it :).

    This is the month for the Grand Opening of VGF!!! I am so excited to hear about it! Wish I was going to be there :sad:
    Me too.....it's always nice to be at the Grand, but being there during the opening of the villas would be extra special :wizard:.

    I have a feeling that you are going to be adding the CR to your fave list soon...not higher on the list than the Poly..or the GF..but still..on thel ist! :lovestruc Cant wait to hear what you think...

    Due to a last minute trip I will be at the GF for the VGF opening....:dance3: I will be sure to visit and take some pics...Too bad I am too challenged to post them...LOL.. But I will gladly share my observations!
    You might be right. I am expecting to really like the CR......like you said, maybe not up at the very top with the Poly and GF, but I think I'm going to like it. Can't wait to hear what you think of the villas as well as see lots of great pics ::yes::.

    Really this is like a dream trip:lovestruc I am just so thankful to have family time with the kids older and busy
    You are going to have a great trip while making some nice memories :).

    My husband and I are taking our three nieces on their first visit to Disney World!

    I was able to book with RPC TPV with a AAA rate so I also get to stay in my favorite place in August 2014 :cloud9:

    We have never taken girls to WDW before (we have three sons) so it will almost be a repeat first visit for DH and I. Princess meals, meet & greets with the fairies and costumes! So much to figure out princess: !
    Congrats on booking RPC TPV. I'm sure you will have a great trip with your nieces....and the GF is the perfect resort princess:.

    I was suprised to receive an invitation in yesterday's mail to do the Magicbands and Fastpass+, but I'm not sure I really want to or need to, considering how we vacation. (laid-back and little advance planning, if any) I know some of you have mentioned that you will do this, and some are saying they're confused about it. Can I hear your comments as to why you think it will or will not be helpful?
    I feel the same way.....not sure I would be excited to get an invitation, especially since I'm very confused on how everything works :confused:.

    I have to say that our July trip is up in the air. Since Disney changed its Guest Assistance policy, we have a challenge now with DD due to a medical condition. The Assistance Card was a blessing for us and took the worry off of her getting sick.
    I'm sorry that your trip is up in the air and things will be harder in the future :hug:. I hope things work out for your trip.

    grannyminnie - I'm confused about the whole process, too. I think I get the Magic Bands in general, but the FP+ system has me scratching my head. I've read some, but still don't get it completely. ??

    For instance, it seems you can schedule 3 FP+ per day - does that mean only 3 in advance, or only 3 period? No FP available as you go? If the second, it doesn't seem like enough, especially if you miss any of them. I've been waiting on the tests, to hear how it all works for sure.

    And I think your 3 per day have to be in the same park, right? Another dilemma, as we often change the park as we go, depending on what we've done already, or the weather or...whatever.:laughing:

    I'm sure I will eventually figure it out, but the beginning of any new program takes a while to get used to it. We don't use FP that much now, unless we have a newbie with us, so it may not affect us very much, in the end. Unless the ability to schedule FP+ in advance means walk ups are more difficult, that is.:scratchin
    I'm about where you are in understanding all of this FastPass stuff. My understanding is what you described.....that you have 3 per day in the same park. That doesn't make much sense to me because like you said, what if you hop around and do more than one park a day.....you don't get a FP for any ride in another park :confused3? Plus, I don't mind picking ADRs 6 months ahead of time (I actually love that part of the planning :)), but the way we vacation as far as park time, there's no way I could choose which park(s) we will go to on what days.

    k&a&c'smom, I feel like you that it's the FastPass+ that's more at issue.. you raised a lot of valid points re: FP+, the most important for me being the question of, can I still pick up a FP the usual way while in the parks? I'd hate to think I missed any of my favorite attractions because of this; on the other hand, planning to get a FP for them in advance might be a moot point if, like you said, we chose to forego that park that day because of the weather...:confused3 I'm not liking it at this point! :stir:
    I've wondered this as well. Can you still get FastPasses the old fashion way or will that be obsolete now :confused3.

    Hi! Our family will be staying at the GF in an outer building garden view room this upcoming January. It'll be our first time staying at the resort. We originally had the Poly reserved, but we were just there this past January and don't want to deal with construction. We are so excited! DH and I honeymooned at Hotel Del Coronado, so the whole ambiance of the GF is special to us :) Can't wait to learn more about the resort over the next 98 days!:banana:
    You are going to love the GF :goodvibes.
     

    BlueSkies

    ~GF Gal.....
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2008
    Well there you are MickeyNut!! :goodvibes

    I am with you on the whole FP FP+ confusion...:confused: LOL...

    Did you see that the new discount offer includes dates into the spring??? I think that we might have some new planning to do...??? :thumbsup2
     

    Mousemommy1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2010
    Hey Guys!

    Just back from a 5 night stay at POFQ, but I did a lot of resort visiting while there...research for next trip. ;)

    GF was beautiful as always and I thought I'd share some pictures. :goodvibes

    The DVC Building is coming along nicely, they did such a good job making it blend in with the resort.



    The Beach Pool had the waterfall going....tickle, trickle...:confused3



    The Alice in Wonderland splash area...LOVE this!



    And lastly, the Courtyard pool was closed, and partially drained...but they were nice about telling you. :laughing:

     

    mickeynut1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2007
    Well there you are MickeyNut!! :goodvibes

    I am with you on the whole FP FP+ confusion...:confused: LOL...

    Did you see that the new discount offer includes dates into the spring??? I think that we might have some new planning to do...??? :thumbsup2
    Hi BlueSkies :wave2:.

    LOL on the FP/FP+ confusion......I just know there's no way I can choose a FP ahead of time as the way we vacation just doesn't fit into that kind of pre-planning :sad2:.

    Yes, the new promo is out now for Disney Visa cardholders and will be released to the GP on Tuesday, 10/8. I think the dates are beginning of January-mid April. From what I've read, deluxes are being discounted 35%.....pretty good discount for March/April since that's usually peak season and spring break time ;).
     

    Maxie86

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2006
    Well there you are MickeyNut!! :goodvibes

    I am with you on the whole FP FP+ confusion...:confused: LOL...

    Did you see that the new discount offer includes dates into the spring??? I think that we might have some new planning to do...??? :thumbsup2
    Get that planning started. I hear early February is a very nice time to visit. ::yes::

    I am not a fan of the Magicbands, I can't even stand to wear my watch in the heat and the MB's are bigger. It may be OK in the winter, but I have been there in December when it was 86 degrees so it would depend on the weather. At least for now you do not have to use a MB and can still get a KTTK card. As for FP+, I would love to get a FP the day of from my phone without running to the ride, but do not want to make them in advance.

    Hi grannyminnie and mickeynut :wave2:

    MommyGina, Hope you can still get a GAC for your DD. I hate that a few cheaters have changed things for the people who really need one.
     

    k&a&c'smom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2002
    Mousemommy - welcome back, thanks for the photos! Beautiful blue skies, wish we were all there.

    Your comment about the courtyard pool made me laugh out loud! I wonder what is up? Very frustrating for those staying there right now, I'm sure.

    Maxie86 - thanks for the update, I was just going to post that I vaguely remember you are supposed to be able to change your FP+ on the fly.:confused: If so, that will help with switching parks last minute, if they allow you to re-do all 3, and to a different park.

    I've said the same about wearing a band all the time, I don't wear my watch much, especially in the summer. I hope they keep the ability to have a regular ticket, in case I can't get used to the bands. I'm going to give it a shot, maybe it won't bother me as much as I think it will.

    grannyminnie, mickeynut and BlueSkies and anyone I forgot!;) - I know, I'm so looking forward to more reports about the tests. We need info!! lol

    At first, I was a bit concerned about all our info attached to the band - hackers, etc. But after more details were posted, I am less concerned about that now. Apparently, they will use a coded number for the band, not the actual data - shouldn't be any more insecure than our key cards of old.

    I think I've said how much we loved using the new RFID system to enter the parks on our last trip! So easy. One of our biggest complaints at the parks was the amount of time it took to enter - especially at DHS, for some reason. This eliminates that problem, at least when we were there, so 4 big thumbs up from us! I hope the rest of the elements of NextGen are similar, when they get all the kinks worked out.:goodvibes
     

    grannyminnie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2007
    Well there you are MickeyNut!! :goodvibes

    I am with you on the whole FP FP+ confusion...:confused: LOL...

    Did you see that the new discount offer includes dates into the spring??? I think that we might have some new planning to do...??? :thumbsup2
    Yep, me too, on that spring planning...:thumbsup2 Not sure I can swing March, Blue, but we'll see...:) And re: your upcoming trip...I didn't realize that you would get to see the villas. Do you have to take a tour or can you just walk in and visit?

    Hi Maxie! Good to "see" you! :wave: Hope your visit was "grand"!

    I spoke to my sister this morning about our receiving an invite for the Magicbands, and she said, go for it...anything to cut our wait time..:cheer2:
    So I guess I'm signing us up, but still have my doubts as to this choosing fastpasses ahead of time. I guess we'll just hope that the reports coming back to us here are positive! popcorn::

    As for the actual bands, I have read on other threads that some people do not want to wear them for one reason or another. I can see how the heat would make them more uncomfortable. At least for now, we can still use the KTTW cards...
     

    BlueSkies

    ~GF Gal.....
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2008
    Maxie86 Hey you!:hug: You know that I am working on Mr BlueSkies for those dates! :wizard:

    I was just "talking" about your experiences on your recent visit to WDW with the new FP+ trials that were going on...

    k&a&c'smom I agree with you about the new RFID system making getting into the parks easier..the room too..just a little wave of the card..:teleport: I love your optimism :)..and too hope that the NextGen will make things easier than ever! :goodvibes

    MickeyNut It really is a very good promo...too good to pass up..With a little Disney logic and a lot of Disney math..There be could be another trip works! ;) :goodvibes

    I would like those new MB a whole lots more if they were say.. made of a precious metal...LOL..and a little blinged! ;)

    **I was just reading on another thread that someone staying at the Poly got a flyer stating that the monorail would not be running from 11-6 daily for the next two weeks... :confused: Not a fun surprise if you are staying at the monorail resorts now...

    Thank goodness that there a few options for getting around..we prefer the water launches anyway (hopefully they will have more running than usual) ..but having a dinner ressie at the CR or the WL could be kind of challanging...if you were planning on using Disney transportation...I guess you could take the water launch to the MK and walk on over to the CR..or a boat over to the WL...still doable but all things that would definitely take more time ...

    So just a heads up to any of my fellow GF fans with a trip coming up...you might want to adjust your plans some given the extra travel time you might need**

    ETA Hi again today grannyminnie Looks like you might be trying out those MBs after all...need to keep your best Disney travel buddy aka your sister happy! :goodvibes

    I'm hoping we can walk in and visit the VGF property..just to look around..not sure if you need to be staying there to get in tho??
     
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