Sherry B. (NDM#393) (10 Posts)

Sherry’s an unashamed Disneyaholic! Her earliest memories of Disney World include meeting Mickey and Minnie aboard the Empress Lilly Steamboat (now Fulton’s Crab House), the luau (complete with shell lei), and of course, Hoop de Doo! She has specialized in DisneyWorld experiences, ranging from childhood, teenager, college, newlywed, and mom. (Though she wishes she had been more persistent that her friends go with her to Disneyland Paris!) Interesting factoids: her dog’s real name is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (Cali for short) and she is still pinching herself from her stay in Bay Lake Tower’s Grand Villa. (Second only to the Castle Suite, no doubt!) But don’t tell the kids about THAT one: Sherry and hubby Clay snuck away for a “grownups only” trip to the World and finally checked something off her bucket list: the Keys to the Kingdom tour and seeing the Utilidors. Best. Day. Ever!

Consider this Part Two of my earlier post about my GrownUps Only trip to WDW last October. My husband was in Orlando for work and after leaving my kids with the grandparents, I hightailed it down there. Telling the kids NOTHING except we would be in Orange County (at least we didn’t LIE to them, right?) Mwahhaha! Fun and frivolity ensued, including my “Keys to the Kingdom” tour (pure awesomeness-just look for my earlier post in the archives!) Anyhoo, we move from conference hotel to the FABULOUS Bay Lake Towers, where I had booked a studio. Here’s where it gets interesting: at check-in, the lovely Dorothy notices we are celebrating our anniversary and tells us to expect a text when our room is ready (since it was only 10AM). Having never received a text, we return at 3PM to get our room number. OK, arriving at Room 8430, our key doesn’t work. So we call them and wait. Then after 15 minutes, hubby heads back to the front desk. A bit frustrating when you are tired and just ready to kick back and relax. Then, you guessed it, a CM shows up to open the door. And voilá:

Holy Moly! I am stunned! Speechless! It’s the Grand Villa…

  • Sleeps up to 12
  • 1 king-size bed, 4 queen-size beds, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa & 1 double-size sleeper sofa
  • Full kitchen
  • Washer/dryer
  • 4 full bathrooms, including master with whirlpool tub

Oh my goodness, we have won the Disney lottery! I was like one of those people on the home makeover shows that is simply going nuts over everything! And you can see why…


Photos courtesy


So how do you replicate such an upgrade, you might ask? There is no formula, but I will say I think a few factors combined to make the pixie dust sprinkle down on us. My advice? First, always tell the CM when making a reservation or at check-in if you are celebrating a special occasion! We are proof that it can definitely work out in your favor. (And even ask for a room upgrade-all they can do is say no, right?) Second, be friendly and chatty with the CM-they are working hard to make your Disney experience magical, but even CM’s have less than stellar days (unimaginable thought that might be) and may need a smile and some kind words.

And a final tidbit: take tons of pictures, video, and document this most momentous occasion so your friends and family actually believe you! And hopefully you have a better camera on hand than we did (we have since purchased a much nicer camera that ensures awesome photos!) Dork that I am, I even filmed a tour of the space (but none of the Travel Channel hosts have anything to worry about).

In truth, I almost felt guilty for such an embarassment of riches–the Grand Villa can rent for $ 2,055 a night this same time of year for goodness sake! Heck, it has two separate entrances on two different floors! Every bedroom has its own balcony, plus the kitchen does too! AND we had a Magic Kingdom view. Too much, truly, but we relished every moment, believe me.

The worst part (if there is such a thing): not being able to tell the kids or have them with us to experience such an amazing place. Guess that’s what I get for not being 100% straightforward on our whereabouts! Hoping for another lucky experience on our next Disney adventure 🙂 And wishing all of you the same!

Photo courtesy NDM 393

Photo courtesy NDM 393

Photo courtesy NDM 393

Contributed by: Sherry Boswell (NDM#393) Sherry is the DDL Fine Arts Blogger. She is also the creator of Music to My Ears.

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