Ali's Mom's Disney Adventure Report

Dates: 8/3-8/8, 1999 (five day trip)


  • Author: Loving Mother, faithful daughter, and Disney Plan-Aholic - Ali's Mom
  • Hubby: 47 and a very loving father, and can't plan for a hill of beans - Doug
  • Daughter: 22 and a junior at a college three hours away - Jennifer
  • Daughter: 20 and a sophmore at college one-hour away - Rachel
  • Daughter: 6, starting first grade in the fall, this will be her second trip to WDW, and is an avid ice-skater - Ali
  • Mom: In her late 60's, first trip to WDW, many many many trips to Disneyland (since we lived 10 minutes away from it for a long time). This is her very first ever vacation - Dotti
  • Dad: In his early 70's, same as mom, many trips to Disneyland, and his very first vacation - Jack
Updated 11/21/03

Copyright 1999-2006
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Questions? Problems? E-Mail Us!

  August 8: Day 5 (Or, What is my Pinkie Supposed to be Doing?)

I had arranged for Mickey to call me at 7:30 for an 8:00 Spa appointment and for Mickey to call my parents at 8:30 for a 9:00 Spa. Had also called Bell services for them to pick up the luggage at 10:30, so we could check out at 11:00am (we almost made it LOL!)...

Mickey called, and I quickly got out of bed before anyone could wake up... Threw on some clothes and off to the SPA I went... I walked through the white sands of the beach, and marveled at the little tracks the ducks and birds had made.

Got over to the SPA, and was given my robe and slippers It never ceases to amaze me that they always get the correct foot size for the slippers correct EVERY time. I got into my robe, and sat on the chair enjoying a Home and Garden magazine until it was time to go back and get the actual massage. I had chosen a 50-minute Swedish massage. First thing was they were offering an upgrade with oils. I choose one with eucalyptus and spearmint oils. I also asked that my parents get an upgrade, and them NOT be told there was an extra charge. We started on my back, went to my legs, onto my upper chest and arms, and then to my head. I ALWAYS hate when you hear the glass of water being poured, as you know that the time is over.

I enjoyed the shower area - they have the nice grapefruit based shampoo and conditioner. Since there was been MANY complaints on the net about the shower area, I wanted to be able to come back and say, that I did not experience any of the complaints, but instead, I also at 10AM had to mention to the front desk people that there was NO liquid soap in the shower area. This is really inexcusable for the first thing in the morning.

As I finished, Mom was just getting ready, so I knew Dad had arrived also. I weighed myself, and was delighted to learn that I had only gained 3 pounds. I had lost 62 pounds prior to this trip, and I allowed myself to eat WHATEVER I wanted on this trip, so the 3 pounds was a delight, as I felt it probably would have been much more.

I went out and paid for mom and dad, and then went back into the ladies lounge to finish the magazine while I waited for my mom. AT 9:30, someone came in to tell me that they had totally forgotten about my dad, and would be starting on him soon (Dad later told me they took 2 other people who came in after him, and some person finally came up to him and asked him what was he there for). I think this is another area that the front desk people could improve on.

Mom had the 50-minute back facial, and she said it was absolutely what she needed. Dad had the 25-minute leg massage. He said it was "okay", but I'm feeling it was probably rushed since I think he now was being "worked" in. I was disappointed for my dad.

After Mom came back in, I asked her what oil she had chosen, and I found out she was never "offered" any oil. Neither was my dad. So much for paying for the up charge. I asked for that to be refunded, and it was.

I can now understand all the complaints being logged on the RADP and the AOL board on the GF Spa. This is the third time I have used the Spa, and although my personal massage was heavenly, the attention to detail that the GF Spa is noted for was not there this morning. I do plan on letting the GF people know this.

After the Spa, we went back to the room, finished packing, and the bell services gentleman was right on time, but we were not. We did manage to get the entire luggage out the door, but it was 11:10 AM before we could finally check out. We said good-bye to Roberto, and we were all sad to know we were leaving their great service, and their wonderful attention to detail.

We hopped the monorail, and decided to do Magic Kingdom and regroup at 1:30 in the lobby of the GF.

Mom/Dad and I went through some of the stores, and the other group of the family went in search of Space Mountain (to ride it several times).

I bought most of all my Christmas presents while everyone was gone.

POINT OF INTEREST: WDW will allow you to do three things with your purchases: 1) Send them to your resort room (up to the next to last day of your stay) 2) Hold them at the front of each park for you to pick up on your way out of the park 3) Ship them to a home address.

The shipping is a hidden treasure if you live outside of the state of Florida. You pay NO sales tax, and all you pay is an UPS fee. I had three separate purchases, and the most the UPS fee was $13.95 (on a $348.00 Purchase) but the tax WOULD have been $22.00. So actually, the shipping was free, and I gained $8.05 on this sale. If I had know this, I would have had more things shipped to my house. I even bought stuff for my grandchildren for Christmas, and had it shipped to their house.

We then walked through Toon Town, caught the train, and rode it around the park 1 and 1/3 times, getting off at the Front gate, and then taking the boat back to the GF. We loved taking the boat - in fact we used it more than we did the monorail.

At the GF, we all regrouped, and got ready to do the Grand Tea. This was actually the MOST disappointing part of our whole stay at the Grand Floridian. I would NOT recommend this to anyone, at least not in its current point. I had read many a trip report (Dave's from Canada comes to mind), and our experience was NOTHING like his.

Garden View Lounge's Grand Tea Menu Offerings
Tea Selections
Traditional Teas
Garden View Bouquet - An exotic mixture created by Harnet and Sons exclusively for the Grand Floridian. Earl Grey - A mixture of four types of tea from China and the Indian Sub-Continent, infused with Oil Bergamot, and expensive citrus flavoring. English Breakfast - Pure China Black (Keemun), this is the original English Breakfast tea.
Darjeeling - Grown high in the Himalayas, Darjeeling is considered the best tea in the world. Ceylon and India - Known as Orange Pekoe. This is the classic blend of strong Assam from India, and smooth Ceylon fromSri Lanka. Jasmine - From the Kwinglung Province, this tea is scented with dried Jasmine flowers giving a refreshing fragrance. Irish Breakfast - A rich, smooth and full bodied tea with a quiet taste from the high mountains. Formosa Oolong - A gentle brown unblended tea whose fruity aroma is often compared with that of ripe peaches. Flavored Teas with Caffeine Hot Cinnamon Spiced - A mixture of Black tea, orange peel, three types of cinnamon, and sweet clove. Black Currant - A mixture of black teas that are flavored by natural Black Currant. Herbal and Caffeine Free Chamomile - A tea with the flavor of ripe apples and the feel of a fine Chardonnay wine, made with the finest Chamomileflowers from Egypt. Peppermint - This is a brisk drink made from dried peppermint leaves. Raspberry - A mixture of raspberry and hibiscus that smells just like the delicious berry.
Lemon Verbena - An herbal tea that tastes like a lemon. The French love this light, refreshing drink.
Tea Offerings
The Grand Tea - The classic English tradition of Afternoon Tea, Grand Floridian style. We offer you a variety of tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts, followed by your choice of our freshly baked tea pastries or English trifle, accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine and your choice of tea. $20.00 per guest.
Tea for Two - A selection of tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts and our freshly baked pastries, complete with a choice of two teas. $32.00 for two
Buckingham Palace - Our traditional tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts complimented by fresh strawberries and cream, along with your choice of tea. $16.50 per guest
The Queen's Tea Sandwiches - A selection of Grand Tea Sandwiches accompanied by your choice of tea. $14.50 per guest
Scones, Jam Tarts and Nut Breads - The cornerstone of Afternoon Tea. These traditional delights are served with Devonshire cream, preserves and your choice of tea. $12.50
Tea and Pastries - A selection of 3 pastries and your choice of tea. $12.50
Wimbledon - For lighter fare may we offer fresh strawberries with whipped cream accompanied by a glass of Sparkling Wine. $13.50 per guest
Special Offerings
Grand Coffee - Bailey's Irish Cream and Kahlua combine in a rich creamy coffee drink. $6.95
Hazelnut Coffee - Frangelico and Vanilla are blended with a heavy cream and added to our Columbian coffee. $6.95
Raspberry Coffee - Chambord and Kahlua give this coffee a sweet fruity flavor. $6.95
Belle's Tea - For the little "tea lover" in your party, we offer tea sandwiches (peanut butter & jelly), our hearty dark tea (chocolate milk), and a selection of our fresh baked pastries. $7.25

First, we had a lovely lady escort us to our table, and explained that we could get a menu offering, or anything a la carte. I had asked, because I had wanted to get some cheddar cheese (if available), and there was no a la carte options on the menu.
She left, and another person came to take our order (BTW: That was the LAST time we saw her until she gave us our bill (more on this later))

We were going to order the Grand Tea all around, but we did not want any wine. When we ordered and said hold the wine, she told us we really wanted to order the Buckingham Palace, and we could get a choice of the strawberries and cream OR English trifle (described below). So, we changed our order to this, and we ordered the Belle's tea for Ali. She did not want Chocolate milk, so the lady said she could order tea. I also ordered some ice to accompany this tea.

POINT OF INTEREST: We were NEVER told we could get this tea in a cold tea offering. If you want yours as a cold tea, - request it. As we had our tea, we noticed that there was a thing that did make the hot tea into cold tea.

The tea's we ordered were: Garden View Bouquet (Mom), Raspberry and Lemon Verbena (Doug) - and Dad got regular coffee. Rachel tasted Mom's and said it was a very good tea.

Our first course was some sandwiches:
 sandwich, with a pear filling (I liked it, the girls did not) A pinwheel with a curry chicken spread A small tart with a chicken salad (about the size of a half dollar) A 1.5 inch tall about the size of a quarter hollowed out cucumber with a nice spice thing in it (I am NOT doing this one justice, it was very good) And the last was an egg salad

Next course was 1 scone and 2 tarts (about the size of a half-dollar). The scone (sorta like a sweet biscuit) was accompanied by Devonshire cream and the tart was mounded with this most-excellent seedless Raspberry jam.

The last course was either the strawberries and cream OR English Trifle. Jennifer and Dad had the Strawberries and cream, and Mom, Rachel and I had the English Trifle (gobs of cream, raspberry coulis, berries and sponge cake in a bowl)
Ali had a full size PB & J, and was able to choose 2 fresh baked pastries (one was shaped to look like a swan). The first lady did bring over a tray for her to choose two things from.

The Hot Tea was enough to last the full set of courses (which was nice, because we never would have gotten more

The Garden View Lounge is a small intimate area off the Main atrium, decorated in the light pinks, salmons, whites and greens of the resort. In the middle of the lounge, the serving tables are heaped with the pastries, trifle, fresh strawberries and the classic fine china settings ("The Prince Albert" pattern). I wish you would have chosen from the serving tables, but you could not, NOR could you order any cheese ala cart. I had been under the impression that there was more served then what we had received, but again, it may have just been the fact that we never really had a server.

The girls has a BLAST trying to pick up their cups as dainty as possible, and my dad kept making them laugh as he had comments about EXACTLY how the pinkie was to be while holding the cup (we did giggle a lot on the pinkie comments). And we very much did enjoy the gentleman playing the violin as the sun beat through the large windows. Ali was the most grown up pouring her own tea from her "pot".

Our waitress FINALLY showed up to give me the bill, with an apology that she was the only one there, and that the other person did not come in. I did notice that all the other tables there had their teapots covered in their very own Tea Cozy, but we never were offered any for ours. I just felt that for what we were doing, we should have had some attention during the Tea.

Over all, since our bill was well over $110.00, I felt the service really needed to be better than it was. I had been under the impression from reading other trip reports that this was a wonderful way to end the trip, and I honestly can not recommend this to ANYONE. In fact, I would do just the opposite, and try to steer you away from it.

From the Grand Tea, Ali and Doug decided they wanted to stay in the lounge and watch Bambi (on TV), and the girls wanted to go walk the beach a little (It was 4:00PM, and we were being picked up at 5:30). Since I have never been to the Wilderness Lodge, and they had a "Pooh" that I wanted to get that only could be obtained at that lodge, we took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, and then took the boat over to the lodge.

POINT OF INTEREST:The boat to the lodge is the slowest boat I have EVER experienced. Fort Wilderness had 2 boats arrive and leave, and the GF had three boats arrive and leave BEFORE the FW had even one boat.

We walked around the lodge, it is indeed beautiful, found my Pooh, and a couple of other Pooh things (for Christmas gifts), had them shipped to the house, and we were on our way via bus to the TTC, so transfer to the monorail to get back to the GF.

We got back just in time to find Desi from Tiffany's waiting for us, and we were on our way to the airport...

We got to the airport, and got on our plane with NO HASSLE, and were on our way to Houston.

Next: Final thoughts

Explore Some More


Search the entire site


Home to the top page


Or jump back to the...