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

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Candy Orlando

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Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Wow, that was fast!:laughing: Open just 2 days, and the VGF already has a review posted!
It's a wonderful review!! Buying DVC has been the best thing we did for our family for the past ten years. Selling our 500 points and buying 500 points at VGF is the best thing we did now. I'm so excited!!
 
  • Hisgirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2011
    When I first began looking into the GF, the CM really pushed the theme park view. "oooOh, you'll be so glad you have the theme park view!" Says she.

    But....we just returned today and I spent quite some time on the theme park side of the Grand, craning and preening to see just what the theme park view actually is....and it wasn't what I was led to believe.

    What you actually see is a long line of trees, a lots of lights at the monorail station, the lights at the boat ramp and a very small tiny partial top of Cinderella's castle. Sort of a spire sticking up above the trees quite a ways away. And space mountain is visible, but its just a big white thing.

    So for me, seeing a small spire of Cinderella's castle isn't really worth the extra hundreds of dollars.

    BUT....what about the amazing fireworks at night?! Nowww we're talking! We loved sitting out on our porch at night in our pajamas and watching the huge beautiful fireworks! From our porch in Big Pine Key! That's right! We had a view of the best thing theme park view offers....the fireworks! If you choose a room facing the pool AND facing towards the park, you have a front row seat to the fireworks! We were on the 4th floor, close to the main building in Big Pine Key and had an awesome night show each night! :thumbsup2 And all for the price of a garden view room! ;)
     

    trishadono

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    When I first began looking into the GF, the CM really pushed the theme park view. "oooOh, you'll be so glad you have the theme park view!" Says she.

    But....we just returned today and I spent quite some time on the theme park side of the Grand, craning and preening to see just what the theme park view actually is....and it wasn't what I was led to believe.

    What you actually see is a long line of trees, a lots of lights at the monorail station, the lights at the boat ramp and a very small tiny partial top of Cinderella's castle. Sort of a spire sticking up above the trees quite a ways away. And space mountain is visible, but its just a big white thing.

    So for me, seeing a small spire of Cinderella's castle isn't really worth the extra hundreds of dollars.

    BUT....what about the amazing fireworks at night?! Nowww we're talking! We loved sitting out on our porch at night in our pajamas and watching the huge beautiful fireworks! From our porch in Big Pine Key! That's right! We had a view of the best thing theme park view offers....the fireworks! If you choose a room facing the pool AND facing towards the park, you have a front row seat to the fireworks! We were on the 4th floor, close to the main building in Big Pine Key and had an awesome night show each night! :thumbsup2 And all for the price of a garden view room! ;)
    So glad your family is having fun:goodvibes

    We loved firework from BLT !
     

    phyllis1966

    Something witty
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2003
    When I first began looking into the GF, the CM really pushed the theme park view. "oooOh, you'll be so glad you have the theme park view!" Says she.

    But....we just returned today and I spent quite some time on the theme park side of the Grand, craning and preening to see just what the theme park view actually is....and it wasn't what I was led to believe.

    What you actually see is a long line of trees, a lots of lights at the monorail station, the lights at the boat ramp and a very small tiny partial top of Cinderella's castle. Sort of a spire sticking up above the trees quite a ways away. And space mountain is visible, but its just a big white thing.

    So for me, seeing a small spire of Cinderella's castle isn't really worth the extra hundreds of dollars.

    BUT....what about the amazing fireworks at night?! Nowww we're talking! We loved sitting out on our porch at night in our pajamas and watching the huge beautiful fireworks! From our porch in Big Pine Key! That's right! We had a view of the best thing theme park view offers....the fireworks! If you choose a room facing the pool AND facing towards the park, you have a front row seat to the fireworks! We were on the 4th floor, close to the main building in Big Pine Key and had an awesome night show each night! :thumbsup2 And all for the price of a garden view room! ;)
    So glad you had a great time! Seeing the fireworks from your balcony is a special treat, isn't it? We love it, too!

    I'm not sure where you were when you saw what you thought was the theme park view...in 2009, we were surprised with an upgrade to TPV in Conch Key, and this was our view from the balcony on the fourth floor, zoomed in a bit, of course:




    Seeing the castle change colors at night was especially beautiful. We loved it so much, we paid for it the next time we went to WDW, so I guess they know what they're doing with those upgrades!




    :sunny:
     

    BCV23

    <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2002
    Morning GF fans. We checked into a 2 BR GF villa yesterday. Awesome. Just love it. Not sure I want to go to the parks. :)
     
  • k&a&c'smom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2002
    Hisgirl - thanks for the review, sounds like you loved your BPK room.:goodvibes Glad you had a magical stay.:)

    It's a wonderful review!! Buying DVC has been the best thing we did for our family for the past ten years. Selling our 500 points and buying 500 points at VGF is the best thing we did now. I'm so excited!!
    Congrats!!:yay:

    So glad you had a great time! Seeing the fireworks from your balcony is a special treat, isn't it? We love it, too!

    I'm not sure where you were when you saw what you thought was the theme park view...in 2009, we were surprised with an upgrade to TPV in Conch Key, and this was our view from the balcony on the fourth floor, zoomed in a bit, of course:


    Seeing the castle change colors at night was especially beautiful. We loved it so much, we paid for it the next time we went to WDW, so I guess they know what they're doing with those upgrades!


    :sunny:
    Lovely photo, thanks for posting it! They are pretty smart with the upgrades.;)

    We have had a very good MK view in BPK, on the lagoon end. Not as close as Conch, but a pretty panoramic view.:cloud9: Another trip, we had a nice view from Boca Chica - an angled view that was obscured by trees, but a beautiful view of the lagoon, CR, Poly, etc.



    Morning GF fans. We checked into a 2 BR GF villa yesterday. Awesome. Just love it. Not sure I want to go to the parks. :)
    Thanks for taking time away from your trip to check in!:goodvibes I've read the villas are even prettier in person, sounds like you will have a hard time leaving!

    Enjoy your vacation, and the rest of your stay in VGF.:cloud9:
     

    DaisyNY

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2003
    Question about upgrades...do you ask when you check in? First time staying at GF and would love a little pixie dust...Arrive on Halloween for MNSSHP! Yeah!
     

    Hisgirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2011
    So glad you had a great time! Seeing the fireworks from your balcony is a special treat, isn't it? We love it, too!

    I'm not sure where you were when you saw what you thought was the theme park view...in 2009, we were surprised with an upgrade to TPV in Conch Key, and this was our view from the balcony on the fourth floor, zoomed in a bit, of course:




    Seeing the castle change colors at night was especially beautiful. We loved it so much, we paid for it the next time we went to WDW, so I guess they know what they're doing with those upgrades!




    :sunny:
    That's a beautiful view and what I would have expected! But...trees grow and it looks like it's time for a trim. All that view is no longer showing, only one spire.
     

    vbarry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2005
    A few weeks back I posted about the RPC deluxe room.... Well today I am happy to say that I finally booked w the discount a deluxe king room for my 15th wedding anniversary!! Running the half marathon and first trip ever without our girls.... Not sure how I really feel about that. 5 nights RPC will be my dream trip!!
     
  • phyllis1966

    Something witty
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2003
    Question about upgrades...do you ask when you check in? First time staying at GF and would love a little pixie dust...Arrive on Halloween for MNSSHP! Yeah!
    Hello! I guess you can, I've read people try that. We've been taken by surprise when we've been upgraded...I don't have the nerve to ask!

    I was truly surprised with the 2009 upgrade I described above, because we were traveling with my parents and DH's parents, so we had 3 Garden view rooms booked, and all 3 were upgraded and were all in a row - I was honestly flabbergasted, as were our parents. They had come to WDW with us once before that, 7 years prior, and had fallen in love with the GF, so they were over-the-moon ecstatic with the upgrade...talk about magical! We gathered in my room for a pajama fireworks party, at DD's insistence, every night we were back early enough. Such awesome memories...




    :sunny:
     

    phyllis1966

    Something witty
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2003
    That's a beautiful view and what I would have expected! But...trees grow and it looks like it's time for a trim. All that view is no longer showing, only one spire.
    Just saw your response...I would be really upset to check in with a TPV and have that view totally obscured by tree growth! Maybe it looks more obscured from the ground than from the upper floors of the buildings? We had the same floor and view in 2010, then booked it in 2011 but got upgraded to RPC, so haven't seen what that view from Conch Key actually looks like in 3 years...




    :sunny:
     

    mickeynut1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2007
    We leave in 2 weeks also.
    It won't be long before you're checking into the Grand :yay:.

    Wow, that was fast!:laughing: Open just 2 days, and the VGF already has a review posted!
    Thanks for the link :).

    It's a wonderful review!! Buying DVC has been the best thing we did for our family for the past ten years. Selling our 500 points and buying 500 points at VGF is the best thing we did now. I'm so excited!!
    Congrats on buying into VGF :goodvibes,

    When I first began looking into the GF, the CM really pushed the theme park view. "oooOh, you'll be so glad you have the theme park view!" Says she.

    But....we just returned today and I spent quite some time on the theme park side of the Grand, craning and preening to see just what the theme park view actually is....and it wasn't what I was led to believe.

    What you actually see is a long line of trees, a lots of lights at the monorail station, the lights at the boat ramp and a very small tiny partial top of Cinderella's castle. Sort of a spire sticking up above the trees quite a ways away. And space mountain is visible, but its just a big white thing.

    So for me, seeing a small spire of Cinderella's castle isn't really worth the extra hundreds of dollars.

    BUT....what about the amazing fireworks at night?! Nowww we're talking! We loved sitting out on our porch at night in our pajamas and watching the huge beautiful fireworks! From our porch in Big Pine Key! That's right! We had a view of the best thing theme park view offers....the fireworks! If you choose a room facing the pool AND facing towards the park, you have a front row seat to the fireworks! We were on the 4th floor, close to the main building in Big Pine Key and had an awesome night show each night! :thumbsup2 And all for the price of a garden view room! ;)
    Sounds like you had a great room with an amazing view :wizard:.

    Seeing the castle change colors at night was especially beautiful. We loved it so much, we paid for it the next time we went to WDW, so I guess they know what they're doing with those upgrades!
    I agree....Disney knows exactly what they're doing when they give upgrades ::yes::.

    Morning GF fans. We checked into a 2 BR GF villa yesterday. Awesome. Just love it. Not sure I want to go to the parks. :)
    Thanks for checking in. Can't wait to hear more about your stay :flower3:.

    They are pretty smart with the upgrades.;)
    I agree :thumbsup2.

    Question about upgrades...do you ask when you check in? First time staying at GF and would love a little pixie dust...Arrive on Halloween for MNSSHP! Yeah!
    Upgrades are usually given for certain reasons such as maintenance issues, overbooking, etc. rather than "just because". From what I've read in the past, asking for an upgrade is usually a sure way of not getting one, although I'm sure some people have asked for one and did get it. With that said, it doesn't hurt to ask, but I would maybe be prepared to pay for it if one is available :).

    A few weeks back I posted about the RPC deluxe room.... Well today I am happy to say that I finally booked w the discount a deluxe king room for my 15th wedding anniversary!! Running the half marathon and first trip ever without our girls.... Not sure how I really feel about that. 5 nights RPC will be my dream trip!!
    Congrats on scoring a discount :cool1:. RPC is absolutely amazing.....you're going to love it :cloud9:.
     

    k&a&c'smom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2002
    That's a beautiful view and what I would have expected! But...trees grow and it looks like it's time for a trim. All that view is no longer showing, only one spire.
    It is true that some TPV rooms now have trees blocking the view, but there are many that still have the view phyllis1966 posted. It is a much different view from even the 2nd floor than it is at ground level, but incredible when you get to the 4th and 5th floors.:thumbsup2

    A few weeks back I posted about the RPC deluxe room.... Well today I am happy to say that I finally booked w the discount a deluxe king room for my 15th wedding anniversary!! Running the half marathon and first trip ever without our girls.... Not sure how I really feel about that. 5 nights RPC will be my dream trip!!
    :cool1::cool1:

    Just saw your response...I would be really upset to check in with a TPV and have that view totally obscured by tree growth! Maybe it looks more obscured from the ground than from the upper floors of the buildings? We had the same floor and view in 2010, then booked it in 2011 but got upgraded to RPC, so haven't seen what that view from Conch Key actually looks like in 3 years...




    :sunny:
    Awesome upgrade story, what a great family trip that must have been.pixiedust:

    Question about upgrades...do you ask when you check in? First time staying at GF and would love a little pixie dust...Arrive on Halloween for MNSSHP! Yeah!
    Less than a week, woohoo!!:banana:


    ....

    Upgrades are usually given for certain reasons such as maintenance issues, overbooking, etc. rather than "just because". From what I've read in the past, asking for an upgrade is usually a sure way of not getting one, although I'm sure some people have asked for one and did get it. With that said, it doesn't hurt to ask, but I would maybe be prepared to pay for it if one is available :).



    ....
    This is what has been my understanding as well, upgrades now are more often given for resort needs rather than just sprinkling pixie dust. They seem to upgrade from a lower category when they have lagoon/TPV/club rooms unfilled, to open up more of those least expensive rooms for last minute bookings.

    As you say, can't hurt to ask, but be prepared to pay for the upgrade if you really want it.:flower3:
     

    Nancy F

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2007
    "you can't win if you don't play..." ;) (that's an oft-quoted phrase in my family! lol)
    That reminds me of an old joke... One day a man who needed cash went to his knees and prayed "Lord Please let me win the Lotto!" The next day came and he didn't win. So he prayed for the next three days for the same thing. Finally he went to his knees and said "Lord... give me a break!" "Let me win the Lotto!". A voice came from above... "Give ME a break and at least buy a ticket!" :rotfl:
    Nancy ;)
     

    k&a&c'smom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2002
    With all this discussion of the theme park views, or lack thereof, I thought I would post some photos to help DISers get an idea of the number of trees that possibly block the view. I hate for anyone with a TPV booked to get the impression there are no good views from those rooms.

    Misti posted some photos of her favorite TPV in Sago Cay in an old FAQ. It is from 2009, but if you scroll through her posts and photos, you'll see there cannot be any change - there are no trees in front of the MK end of Sago!:teeth: You can see that in the following photo, look past the Grand 1, that is Sago in the background (MK end facing away from boat):



    The following photo was posted just a few weeks ago by JoBird from the boat she and her family rented. I think this is Boca Chica, and as you can see, there are a number of trees that block rooms but there are quite a few without trees.



    A link to a photo posted on the photos thread, showing the MK side of Boca Chica, and a portion of the Big Pine Key TPV end (far left of photo).

    Another link to an overall view of the MK side of the resort, posted on the photos thread; you can see two large trees blocking some rooms on the end of Conch Key (just to the right of the octagonal Narcoosee's restaurant over the water) - many rooms not blocked.

    View of the MK end of Conch Key, posted on the photo thread by DisneyFreak06 (hope they don't mind me reposting! there were too many other photos in the post to give the link). The end nearest the octagonal Narcoossee's and boat dock is the TPV end:



    And a view of the castle from the outside deck, Narcoossee's (ground level, somewhat zoomed - I have a pns! lol):

     

    Hisgirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2011
    I wanted to post some photos we took this week. This is from an outer building garden view in Big Pine Key, 4th floor.

    And a few around and about.

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