Have you heard of the “Teddy Bear Lady” at Grand Floridian Resort at Disney World?
Back in 2009 our family was on our annual Disney World trip and we were taking our 5 year old Princess to dine with Cinderella at 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian. After we checked in for dinner we went to the lobby to take in the beautiful resort. We quickly noticed a lady sitting in a chair in the lobby, and let’s just say we couldn’t look away.
She was an elderly lady (I’d guess in her late 70’s) with a lot of makeup on sitting there with a suitcase propped up on it’s side and on top were a TON of teddy bears all dressed up, it was a odd looking for sure. We had never heard of her before and I hate to admit that we laughed a bit at her expense. We wrote her off as Disney people watching at it’s finest and thought it was a one time sighting.
Well….. several days later in the vacation we had reservations at Narcoosee’s at the Grand Floridian and we were shocked to see her sitting in the lobby once again in the same spot surrounded by her teddy bears.
O.K, now we just had to find out more about her……. We asked our waitress and she had no idea. At the end of the meal she came in and told us to google her. She summarized by saying co workers said it was a sad story and if we googled it we could get some background information.
It took some searching on the internet that night but we managed to find out more.
Long story short, the “Teddy Bear Lady” is a wonderful woman named Lynn, who, like most of us, has a profound love for Disney. She and her husband Bruce (when he was alive) used to enjoy their visits to Disney World with their 4 children together very much and the Grand Floridian was a special place for them. As adults they both would visit the Grand Floridian together and they would give out teddy bears to little girls to brighten up their vacations during their stays. Her husband passed away in 2007 and now her family drives her to and from the resort to enjoy the lobby, show off her teddy bears and enjoy conversation.
We now make it a tradition when visiting Disney to make sure she is still present in the lobby, (our way of making sure she is alive and well) tell her hello and compliment her on the bears. She truly enjoys the conversation and she will gladly discuss her bears with you.
I have been told that she still occasionally will give away her teddy bears to lucky young ladies.
This story has taught my family not to judge a book by it’s cover and makes us realize how those meaningful Disney connections that we experience together as a family impact us forever.
I want to spread the word about “The Teddy Bear Lady” because every time I am at the Grand Floridian and see her sitting there surrounded by her bears I see people in corners pointing and staring. I also have seen talk on the internet of people thinking she doesn’t have a right to be there- it is a public place after all and she isn’t hurting anyone.
I hope next time you see her in the Grand Floridian lobby you take a moment to say hello to Lynn, who knows, your child may be lucky enough to walk away with a bear : )
Have you and your family seen the “Teddy Bear Lady?”
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