January 2018: We talked to Disney cast member Richard Gerth this morning in the Grand Floridian Lobby about Lynn. He says she now lives in a nearby assisted living facility. As she’s 20 years younger than Richard (who’s well into his 90s now), he was disappointed and felt she had given up on life. He said that long time GF guests ask about her and how’s she doing weekly.
She’s 77 years old now and relatively healthy with family nearby.
12-28-2008: A message from Lynn’s (aka Teddy Bear Lady) sister –
The lady who is always at the Grand Floridian Hotel is my sister, Lynn, who lives near there and is definitely NOT homeless.
Her late Husband, Bruce, used to be there often, too, but would often go off and do other things while Lynn listened to the music.
She takes her bags of teddy bears with her everywhere and has for many, many years.
Lynn has a terrific sense of humor, but she does hear the beat to a different drummer, as the old saying goes.
Bruce suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm October of 2007, which was a shock to all of us. He had a fantastic sense of humor as well, and the two of them couldn’t have been more perfectly matched.
Lynn will be 67 in March 2009, so she isn’t as old as some thought.
Even as a child Lynn was rather overly imaginative. I remember when one night she got me to drag her into our closet so she could pretend she was a doll and ‘catch’ all of the toys come ‘alive’ when the rest of us were asleep. She was probably around 7 or 8 at the time. She was disappointed the next morning that none had come to life, but she reasoned it all out that the toys must have realized that she was really a human and not a real toy.
So, Lynn is not homeless, but she is OCD. One day she will no doubt tire of going to the GF and go off into something else.
She and Bruce used to love to hand out teddy bears to children, but only after asking the children’s parent’s permission first. They have been going to Disney since it opened, and have spent a small fortune there, taking 4 kids there very often, spending almost more time in the place where people camp than at their own home, renting golf carts. So, if anyone thinks either of them were or are freeloaders, they are very wrong.
Lynn has a LOT of friends at the hotel, as well as a few who resent her being there daily.
Who is she hurting? No one.
At any rate, I hope this satisfies everyone’s curiosity. Thanks to all of you who were kind in your remarks about her.
Signed Lynn’s sister,
Previous Updates about Lynn:
July 3, 2016 Update on Miss Lynn’s health from a fan: I found this site, saw the wonderful story and had to comment. Lynn is unfortunately in the hospital right now (stroke?) and will probably be there for awhile. I hope she returns to the GF soon as I know she looked forward to going there every day.
July 25, 2016 Update: Miss Lynn, the teddy bear lady, has been transferred to an area rehab hospital and she is said to be in good spirits. The gentleman CM at the Grand Floridian front desk said this was better than they were expecting and they are hopeful for her health. [She’s 74 years old.] They are forwarding get well cards that guests have left for her to the hospital.
September 2016: A note and hand drawn picture from one of our Disney blog fans:
I heard you were in the hospital, I hope you are doing better. I’m 14 years old and I’ve been coming to Disney World every year for 13 years. My family and I saw you in the lobby on our trips; I remember thinking how gorgeous you were and I wanted to know why you had all those Teddy Bears.
We’ve seen you in the lobby every year since. I was told your story and I was touched. I thought it was so nice that someone shares my appreciation for the atmosphere of the Grand Floridian.
My mom adores Teddy Bears. She has a whole collection of them, which is why she named my brother “Teddy”.
Anyway, this year is the last year we will go to Disney World, for a little bit at least, due to the fact that my brother will be going to college.
So, I decided that I should finally say hi to you since I’ve always wanted to but was too shy before.
I drew you this picture to thank you for being so sweet and kind. J
I had hoped to give it to you personally, but unfortunately our paths did not cross on our trip. I hope this explains everything. Keep doing what you’re doing, many people appreciate it.
November 2015 Blog:
We thought we would do an update about the “Teddy Bear Lady” that spends each afternoon at the Grand Floridian’s grand main atrium lobby.
We noticed the Teddy Bear Lady on our past few visits and finally met with her last March. She lives nearby in an assisted living home, but in the past stayed at the Grand Floridian with her husband (now dead) many, many times.
The home drives her over in the late morning/early afternoon after lunch. She brings her suitcase full of teddy bears, all wearing false eyelashes like she does, with her every day. In the late morning, she sits upstairs near the elevator, then moves downstairs when the band arrives and sits in the same chair in the lobby surrounded by her teddy bears. She spends the afternoon enjoying the musical entertainment while doing quite a bit of people watching. (Think of all the international guests and families that she sees every day!)
On our trip to WDW, we decided to give her our childhood teddy bears. We found her sitting upstairs in her chair by the elevator. She had just arrived and was very interested in the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House that was being assembled in the lobby. (It was also Veteran’s Day 2015.)
We told her that we had met her back in March and wanted to give her our bears. She was taken aback by our kindness! We told her that if she didn’t want to keep them that we were sure she could find them good homes!
She is such a sweet old lady (she’s 73). If you see her sitting at the Grand Floridian some afternoon, feel free to stop by and say hello. You’ll be glad you did! 🙂
Read our previous blog about the Teddy Bear Lady of the Grand Floridian: Meeting the Teddy Bear Lady of the Grand Floridian
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
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