Sometimes I considered myself a Disney expert, impressing my family and friends with an extended knowledge of Disney facts about the parks, movies, or Disney himself! And then I go online, navigate through the endless websites on the subject, and realize that in the big scheme of things, I am simply a novice.
I stumbled upon an interesting story last night regarding the infamous woman named Lynne, or as she is better known, the Teddy Bear Lady. Her story is both sweet yet sad, and I wanted to share it with you.
Lynne is an older woman (most sites suggest she is in her early to mid 70’s) who lives in a nursing home near the parks. Her and her husband were constant visitors of Walt Disney World, and regularly stayed at the Victorian-style Grand Floridian. They would often hand out teddy bears to kids that were staying at the hotel, as well. By the way, if you haven’t visited/stayed at this hotel, do yourself a favor and get there. It’s probably my top 3 favorite hotels!
Anyways, back in 2007, Lynne’s husband died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. The loss of her “best friend” must have been quite a shock! It appears that shortly after his passing (sometime in ’08 or ’09), Lynne started visiting the Grand Floridian, their cherished hotel, every single day. Yup! She gets a ride to the gorgeous hotel every morning, and stays there throughout the afternoon. She is always dressed up in Victorian fashion, sitting in the lobby, surrounded by her teddy bears.
Apparently the die-hard Disney fans that knew about her have been visiting with her for years! They bring her gifts, usually a new bear to add to her collection, and they all say that chatting with her is wonderful! The staff all know her and, I’m assuming, see her as some local color to the unique resort. Isn’t it awesome that the Cast Members allow her to spend her days basking in the wonderful WDW sun? I think so! 🙂
The one and only time I stayed at the Grand Floridian was back in 2002, and I haven’t been back since. But if I do get out to WDW, I think I’ll have to make a special trip to the Grand Floridian to visit this interesting person!