I’ve loved this hotel since I was a child. The small pond just outside the entrance, filled with large koi fish and flowers. The beautiful waterfall centerpiece in the lobby, often inhabited by exotic birds, the flowers constantly changing per season. During the winter holidays, poinsettias line the centerpiece, and decorate a small Christmas tree. I used to pick out candy on the second floor, rock candy and chocolate coins, lollipops and candy necklaces. There are shops and restaurants and, most importantly, the second floor holds a monorail stop that will take guests to the Grand Floridian Resort, the Contemporary Resort, and Magic Kingdom (among other stops). I love looking out the window and watching weddings in progress under the pavilion, complete with Cinderella’s horse-drawn carriage.
Arriving at Magic Kingdom, the crowds move down the path to the entrance, a sea of colorful hats, strollers, balloons, and excitement. The monorails float by in a flurry of bright and pastel stripes. It’s a case of the journey there building the mood to the destination.