Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Archives

December 20, 2014

Disney Princess makeovers added to 3 Walt Disney World hotel salons


Hear yea, hear yea. The royal little princesses have another opportunity to look their best before parading around at Walt Disney World.

We reported last month that the dining room in Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom is undergoing renovations after the holidays and the Cinderella's Royal Table dining experience is moving temporarily to Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort. And that got us to thinking: What what would royal dining be without the opportunity for young princesses to be transformed at the nearby salon?

Of course, Walt Disney World planners have thought of this, and the Ivy Trellis Salon will begin offering the new Perfectly Prepared Princess Package on Jan. 8. (Reservations will open on December 22; call 407-WDW-SPAS.)

Much like the makeovers offered at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, a popular salon run by the fairy godmothers-in-training with two locations at Walt Disney World, the new services designed for kids ages 4 to 12 focus on hair, makeup and nails.

However, what you get for your money is not quite the same. As the mother of a 10-year-old daughter who LOVES the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and has been fortunate to have visited it multiple times since she was a toddler, I have a keen interest in these types of experiences. Yet my first impression of the news of the makeovers offered as the Perfectly Prepared Princess Package is that they are significantly more expensive.



The new Perfectly Prepared Princess Package has three options:

** Princess hairdo with a souvenir tiara -- $50.
** Hair-styling plus glow make-up -- $75.
** Hair, makeup and a fancy manicure -- $90.

By comparison, the entry-level Crown Package at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique includes hair, makeup and nail polish PLUS a face gem, princess sash and tote for about $60. Even considering that the new package offers a manicure and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique only paints a child's nails, that's still a $30 difference. And, sure, that could be explained as the cost of a spa service. But does a young girl really need a full manicure when painting her nails usually is just as exciting?

Certainly, parents can pick the option of the Perfectly Prepared Princess Package that best fits their budget, but I speak from experience when I say that many girls will feel cheated if they don't get all the treatments when the other young princesses are being indulged. In addition, visitors to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique take their makeup palettes, hair accessories and nail polish home with them. I would imagine this will be the same at the salon makeovers because each princess is given a new kit for sanitary reasons. One of my fondest memories is seeing my daughter at age 4 clutching that pink Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique bag for the rest of her day at the Magic Kingdom. She was so thrilled with her goodies that she would not let them out of her sight, and she even slept with them next to her pillow that night!

Still, I have to applaud the decision to add princess makeovers to more locations at Walt Disney World. (The Perfectly Prepared Princess Package also will be available at the Coronado Springs Casa de Belleza Beauty Salon and at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort Ship Shape Salon.) That's because the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique sites are so popular that you really have to make reservations far in advance, and even then, it can be difficult to book during busy periods. So, even with the higher cost considerations, the Perfectly Prepared Princess Package gives more families the opportunity to be immersed in the experiences that their children love. And after all, that's likely a large part of the reason they chose to vacation at Walt Disney World. And if you have any doubt about how important those experiences are to youngsters, just ask the countless number of little girls in princess dresses throughout the parks on any given day.


October 24, 2013

Disney Vacation Club opens Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa


Disney Vacation Club, the time-share branch of The Walt Disney Co., opened its 12th property on Wednesday, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Of course, one of the biggest advantages to this resort is that it is located on the monorail loop around Seven Seas Lagoon.

"It's like having your own home right here overlooking the Magic Kingdom," said Ken Potrock, Disney Vacation Club's senior vice president and general manager, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "That's what we set out to do -- welcome people home."






Like its neighboring resort, the Grand Floridian, the Villas are designed to make guests feel like they have stepped back in time. The facade clearly matches the architectural style of the 1900s with the white walls and red tile roof. The interior spaces are appropriate as a look and feel of a bygone era, as well.

"The main idea in the storytelling [of the Villas] is that it be connected back to the Grand Floridian," Walt Disney Imagineer Debbie Peterson told me. "That storyline really celebrates a Victorian, turn-of-the-century feel, and we definitely wanted to make it a seamless transition. So, we wanted to bring the elegance, but then we also wanted to make it feel updated. And then we added some fun and uniquely Disney touches, so it's different but it's part of the same property."


In the midst of beautifully appointed studios and villas, two such new features stand out. In each bathroom that includes a bathtub, guests will find television screens projected from within mirrors so they can catch up on their favorite shows while relaxing or getting ready to go out to the parks.




Perhaps an even bigger wow factor is the clever way Murphy beds are disguised as bureaus in the deluxe studios and one-bedroom villas. The use of the Murphy beds makes The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian the first DVC property to accommodate up to five guests in each deluxe studio. In addition to the space-saving design, the beds offer a touch of whimsy when they are unfolded -- murals with scenes from "Dumbo" (in the deluxe studio) or "Mary Poppins" (in the one-bedroom villa).

Why were these stories chosen?

"We started researching some stories from our Disney library, and we realized that "Alice In Wonderland" and "Mary Poppins" were both themes that took place at the turn of the century, and we said that we can have some fun making these connections with the Villas," Peterson told me. "The one last story that we discovered was "Dumbo," and it's actually a Florida story, so you'll see inspiration art with "Dumbo," "Mary Poppins" and "Alice in Wonderland" throughout the resort and the amenities."



The penguins from the "Jolly Holiday" song in "Mary Poppins" are immortalized in a bronze fountain in the resort's lobby. This centerpiece is sure to draw guests in for a closer look, but don't miss the other visual reminders of the song and movie, such as the carousel horses.


Next door, at the Grand Floridian, guests will find the addition of a water play area for young kids that is themed to "Alice in Wonderland," plus the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast, a nod to another catchy tune from "Mary Poppins." Unlike Disney Vacation Club's other monorail loop property, Bay Lake Tower, the Villas do not have their own swimming pool, kids' area or lounge. Those amenities are shared with its sister resort, which is within walking distance.


There are 106 units in the newest DVC property, including six grand villas that each offer three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a full kitchen, a dining table that seats 12, a state-of-the-art media room and laundry facilities.

You can see a detailed description for each type of room in the new Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian on our AllEars.Net page. Videos and photos coming soon!

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About Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is the previous category.

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