It seems my recent MagicBand post caused a bit of a ruckus and got lots of attention across the interwebs. Today, I’ve got something that’s much more worthy of your attention, and the 218 photos below will hopefully convince you of the same.
These photos were taken on my recent birthday weekend with the lovely Melissa, girlfriend of mine and owner of Mouse on the Mind. Melissa’s got a wonderful recap of our time at the Grand Floridian Villas, and I feel you should check it out. I more than feel you should check it out. I URGE you to check it out. She’s the whole reason this post happened. She gave me the gift of three incredible DVC stays for my birthday weekend. She’s awesome. Go, give her the clicks. I’ll wait here.
My short thoughts on the Grand Floridian Villas? Lavish. Luxurious. Surprisingly cozy. Whimsical while serious. Comfortable. Amazing. I’ll even possibly start a twitter war and say this: I found the public spaces more inviting, more luxurious, and more beautiful than those aboard the Disney Dream.
While exploring the lobby area, I felt like a seven-year-old on Main Street all over again. So many new things to discover. Thoughtful touches everywhere my gaze rested. Myriad cues to remind me that I was both at Walt Disney World but also right at home. I was in awe. I was in love. I’ve stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani once and Jambo twice), Wilderness Lodge once, and Boardwalk twice – and not a single one of these stays compared to how I felt in this Victorian corner of the monorail loop. Utterly unreal.
My pictures, as always, show some of my favorite things – you’ll notice a LOT of attention was paid to detail work, monorails, and happy little penguins. I guess one of the advantages of having a hobby-level blog that’s not a business is that I can focus on whatever I choose and my boss is never mad. :) As always, I tried a bunch of different things and shot with a Canon 6D, a Canon EOSM, a 28mm f/1.8 lens, a 24-105mm f/4L lens, and a 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 lens. All photos were processed in Aperture for OS X and are mostly in the order I took them. You can tell the many trips I took to the lobby and back to the room by the order of the pictures.
Thanks for reading, and on with the pictures – all 218 of them!
As usual, click on the photos to make them larger and also to read captions explaining many of them.
The plants were covered due to sub-freezing temps overnight.
Cabinetry at the check-in desk.
Fancy dishes at check-in.
Countertop at check-in desk.
Fresh flowers, daily.
Super Mario Brothers accent in the rug…
Little Disney fans get their own seating area.
Mary was here…
That level of shine shows an incredible care and attention to detail.
From the most famous carousel scene ever to grace the silver screen.
Recognize the cute little cues?
Something looks familiar…
Nook in the kitchen.
Entry hallway – left of the door. Heads past storage and into the (massive) bathroom.
The tilework on the bathroom floor is exquisite.
Bathroom vanity. One of them. Yes, there are two.
Beautiful sink and countertop.
The most ridiculously large shower. It was… wonderful.
Seriously #lavish shower.
Look at this freaking thing!
The many-knobbed shower.
That same hand-laid tile carries to the shower and is wonderful.
A beautiful, modern take on a Victorian claw-foot tub.
Vanity number two. Beautiful and spacious.
That’s an odd looking TV remote… what sort of TV uses that?
OH! That’s the sort of TV that uses it… It’s the TV built in to the mirror across from the tub.
Boy Meets World, of course.
The tub, with its Victorian callbacks, is thoroughly modernized, with controls on the small panel for bubbles to relax your stresses away.
Choose your relaxation level.
The metal flows like the water that comes from it.
BEAUTIFUL space to sleep and relax.
Just look at those gentle colors and the natural light flooding the room.
We never knew who took care of our room…
iPhone 30-pin compatible.
A closet off of the bedroom is as large as some hotel rooms alone.
Lighting controls next to the bed, no need to get up to change any lighting… pure luxury and comfort.
Love this wallpaper pattern.
View through the bathroom from the bedroom.
Lovely accent on the bed.
Massive, massive bed.
EPCOT shoes optional.
Desk and bedroom TV.
The relaxation isn’t confined to the bathtub and comfortable bed…
For watching all those Vault Disney Blu-Rays.
Living room TV.
Living room table.
View from the sofa.
I wish they’d sell me these… I’d buy them in a heartbeat!
The kitchen from the living room.
Modern door with Victorian flourishes.
The view from our living room balcony.
The private porte-cochere just for the Villas, as described in Melissa Sue’s write up.
Apologies to JJ Abrams.
This isn’t what it appears to be…
Bam! Another bed! The TV stand flips open.
Inside the TV/bed.
Everything is comfortable…
…and everything is detailed.
Beautiful Victorian touches.
This drawer exists solely to make and store ice. Melissa laughed, but I feel this was a real highlight of the whole place.
Tea? Coffee? Disney has you covered.
Everything, as well as the kitchen sink.
Having friends over for wine?
Wine for everybody!
Bedroom desk chair.
You know this place is nice the second you roll up.
Melissa discusses these chalk paintings in-depth over on Mouse on the Mind.
Do you see what I see? A little beak on the left… feet on the right?
The beautiful chandeliers from the second floor.
Step right into the elevator.
The elevator is new technology, but has an old-school touch that keeps it Victorian.
This was not our room number, but I wanted to share with you the number plate details.
As we left, we noticed how differently housekeeping works at a resort such as this.
This photo from the resort map should give you an idea of how small and cozy the Villas are in comparison to the main resort.