I took a bus trip with GoodTime Getaways in Vero Beach, Florida to visit Orlando’s Disney hotels for a holiday decorations tour. The hotel lobbies were dressed in their best Christmas attire. The tour cost $71 per person and included transportation to visit hotels and Celebration for their holiday festivities. Lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe at Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney, was included as well. It was quite a fun holiday decorations tour that really kicked-off the season.
Our first stop was to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa where we were given an hour to explore the stunning array of holiday favorites. It rained so we did not get to explore much outdoors; however, the inside was decorated with gorgeous Victorian charm. Grand Floridian feature a life-sized gingerbread house consisting of 1,050# of honey, 600# of powdered sugar, 800# of flour, 700# of chocolate, and more! I had just watched the preparation of the gingerbread house on a TV show the night before my visit. Children dressed as Disney Princesses were in line at the Garden View Tea Room for their elegant afternoon tea party. Everything was beautiful!
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was decorated in a rustic theme, with red & black bows, nature themed ornaments, and antlers. There are a total of nine giant Christmas trees and the one in the lobby was my favorite. The Wilderness Lodge has a cozy vibe and beautiful fireplaces; but I prefer the Victorian elegance of Grand Floridian comparatively speaking. An hour was a bit too much considering the small smaller size of the Wilderness Lodge’s common areas. My friend, Dorothy, and I grabbed a chicken salad snack and drink while we were waiting.
Lunch was quite a debacle as Disney Springs was undergoing major construction. GoodTimes Getaways were not permitted to use the Disney loops since we were not on a Disney brand bus. Keep it mind it was pouring the rain and we literally traipsed a mile to get to the Rain Forest Cafe. Once at the restaurant, the Rain Forest Cafe staff did a great job serving our large group. Our food and service was commendable. Many of the bus tour participants were upset with GoodTime Getaways over the stress of the fiasco, but we continued the tour.
The third hotel was at the turn-of-the-century Atlantic City themed BoardWalk Inn. I had not been to this hotel before. The BoardWalk Inn was beautifully decorated with bold primary colored decorations and ornate garlands around the fireplace. A stand was in the hotel lobby sold cupcake style goodies in none other than a gingerbread cone. They also featured other gingerbread items for sale. I took home a $20 gingerbread house kit for my daughter, which required adding your own icing. The pre-assembled house sold for $40. I enjoyed the ambiance and decor of this hotel a lot.
Due to our delay at the Rain Forest Cafe, the group voted on whether or not to go to either another hotel or the town of Celebration, Florida. Though the majority voted for to see Celebration, when we arrived, they decided not to go after all. It was barely drizzling and definitely not a reason to cancel this big portion of our tour. I was disappointed that almost half our trip was cancelled, though the parts we did do had been enjoyable. It is worth noting that Good Times Getaways did nothing to reimburse us for our missed portion of the trip.
Disney is packed this time of year and it seemed many other people enjoyed the Orlando hotels holiday decorations along with us. I hope to do a tour like this next year as well, only modified a bit, and visiting hotels outside of the Disney chain.
Disney Hotels Holiday Decorations Tour Gallery:
Check out our other fun Florida adventures: