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The bus shuttled me from the Orlando airport to the resort that Disney reserved for my stay during my involvement with Disney's Imagination Academy. The resort is the Grand Floridian, their highest-falootin Southern-themed facility.
Out front was a well-maintained horse-drawn carriage and an equally excellent 1929 Cadillac. Nearby, Disney cast members awaited arrivals. A kind young lady.took interest in getting me to my room as quickly as possible, first congratulating me on the honor of being one of only 50 teachers nationwide before escorting me to the front desk and talking the clerk there through my information and needs.
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Return to this large room in the evening, and you'll be treated to a pianist whose repertoire includes all the required Disney catalogue. Stand here for too long, and you'll notice a bride and groom descending a wide staircase or ascenting on the visually appealing elevator.
Look down and find the hidden Mickeys in the corners of the tiles. Or approach the entry to find the images of Mickey's main gang. Make your way to the right to locate Cinderella and her Prince Charming, along with a nearby pumpkin-shaped carriage portrayed on the carpet. Look up to appreciate the stained glass domes that provide natural light for the building.
Some four restaurants are located in this main building, as well as a Disney gift shop, a clothier, and a soap and lotion store.
I shortly located the fourth floor of Building 6 (known as Sugar Loaf) housed my room, unlocking the door with my Goofy gift card (left). Later in the trip, I would get brave and use the magical Disney app itself to unlock the door. Inside, the television was already on, playing some bouncy music and a message welcoming the "Hoggatt Family".
A sliding glass door gave way to the private balcony with a view of the large central swimming pool.
A short walk gets you to the wedding chapel. Peek into the windows to find gown selections and cake samplings. You might find your own reflection superimposed over an elegant wedding dress and realize that you look marvelous. Keep an eye out for snakes and alligators as you walk along the shore. Precautions are now in place following the death of a child here a few years ago.
Beyond that, find the Contemporary Hotel. Watch the monorail enter one end of the building and emerge from the other end. Enjoy watching the boat shuttles, large and small, transporting visitors from place to place. Take a look to the left, and you'll easily spot the iconic Cinderella Castle and the peak of Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. Yes, they are that close. In fact, wait until dark and the nightly fireworks at the castle are clearly visible from the resort. They'll even pipe the music from the show into the area for a more complete experience.