We always try and do, or see, something new every time we visit WDW.
Disney held the grand opening for The Villas in October 2013 while we were doing our Fall DCP program. Unfortunately, we were both working a lot and missed it.
We’ve stayed at the Grand Floridian several times and wanted to see this new addition to the resort.
So, one day after lunch at Captain Cook’s, we took the monorail over to the Grand Floridian to check it out.
The best part of the lobby is most certainly the penguin fountain located right in the center. It’s beautiful. The penguins depicted in the fountain are the penguin characters from the movie Mary Poppins.
Opening in October 2013, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa became the twelfth Disney Vacation Club property. Combining the charm and allure of Victorian elegance and premium service that only Disney can provide, the Villas immerse guests in a true “Jolly Holiday” vacation.
Sitting center stage in the lobby is a bronze fountain featuring the ever classic maître d penguins best known from the film. Over half a dozen of these friends make up the fountain as they greet guests in the early hours of the morning or after a long day of travel. Spare change is often tossed into the surrounding water which, like other “penny wishes” cast elsewhere at Walt Disney World, are collected regularly for local charities.
Throughout the atrium lobby, guests will feel welcomed and at peace. Overstuffed chairs and couches offer a great spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks. It’s also a fantastic area to enjoy a few pages of your favorite book under the light of 45-foot brass and green crystal chandeliers. Be sure to take in the decor surrounding you while doing so especially the carousel horses.
One is a replica of Jingles, the most ornately decorated horse on King Arthur’s Carrousel in Disneyland, which was used as the attraction’s lead horse before the ride was automated; cast members would count the number of times Jingles made it full circle and stop the carousel appropriately. Seeing its sister horse at the Villas lobby is a nice touch.
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.