First things first, I must say that Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is just that … GRAND! As the flagship resort of Walt Disney World, this victorian-style retreat is pristine and luxurious in every possible way.
The stunning five story lobby is both sumptuous and inviting. Like some of my other favorite Disney resorts, this one is a treat for the senses.
In the early afternoon you will find the grand pianist playing classic Disney tunes and friends and families relaxing in the many sitting areas.
You might even get to have a little waltz with Cindy and Charming!
The evenings are splendid with the orchestra playing ragtime, jazz and Disney classics. I might have had to wipe away a tear as we watched couples take the floor in the lobby below. The orchestra recently moved to the main floor of the lobby (and has since moved again just a couple of weeks ago) in advance of the new Enchanted Rose lounge grand opening.
Accommodations at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
There are a wide variety of room types at Grand Floridian. You will find everything from standard rooms with two queen beds to studios to 1-, 2-, and 3- bedroom grand villas. The resort also has two club level sections – one in the Main Building with the orchestra and pianist and the second in an outer building. All of the rooms are generous in size compared to any other resort on property, feature high end bathrooms and elegant linens and furnishings.
Outer Building Rooms
The standard room has two queen beds, a lovely bathroom, a small desk area and a balcony or patio.
Main Building Concierge Level Rooms
All rooms in the main building have access to the Royal Palm Club. There are specialty suites and regular hotel style rooms available. This is a one bedroom suite with a living room, dining area, bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms.
The Royal Palm Club is the best of best as far as concierge lounges are concerned. The lounge space overlooks the gorgeous Grand Floridian lobby and the Grand Orchestra and pianist. There are plenty of tables and a balcony to walk out on and enjoy the fireworks in the evenings.
In a separate building you will find the studios and 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom villas. There is a covered walkway connecting the main building (dining, shopping, monorail) to the villa building.
If you’re driving or using Minnie Vans and Uber like we tend to do, the villas have their own parking area and porte cochere as well.
Inside the villas building you will find a lovely lobby, as well as dedicated check-in and concierge cast members.
The Nepresso in something we almost always hit on our way out the door and is a very nice amenity.
Meanwhile, the boys engage in checkers or chess!
Grand Floridian Villas: Studio
My family loves staying in a studio, no matter the resort. They kids are fine sleeping on pull-outs and then during the day it gives so much more space to move around without having a second queen bed in the room. The studio at Grand Floridian has a queen bed, sleeper sofa and a pull down bed. The other thing we love about this set up is that the boys each get their own bed. Makes going to sleep at night so much easier! These are the kind of things I help my clients with day in and day out!
Here you can see where the pull down stores when not in use…
… I adore the Dumbo sweet dreams when pulled down.
Studio accommodations also come with a kitchenette, including a microwave, toaster, coffee maker and mini fridge.
The kids are always wowed by the bathroom mirror tvs at Grand Floridian. Who am I kidding… I love it as well :-) The studio bathroom is a split style, which I also love. You have a toilet and tub/shower combo on one side and a very nice shower and sink on the other side with a pocket door between.
There is really no bad view category at Grand Floridian. You can get everything from garden to theme park! We love having something nice to look out on from our room – even if just to have a quick breakfast out here or glass of wine before dinner while getting ready.
Grand Floridian Villas: 1 Bedroom
For our Grand Floridian resort stays in 2017 and 2018, we loved the 1 bedroom villa so much that it is our #1 type of room to stay in at Disney. It is HUGE!!!
You enter into a foyer area great for storing shoes and backpacks. The hallway connects the kitchen to the bathroom, with the laundry closet being on the right here.
There is a very generously sized living room and kitchen space. It is so open, light and bright.
Like in the studio, the living room has a sleeper sofa and pull down bed under the TV.
The banquette dining space was large and we were all able to spread out. One thing I loved about the villa was the attention to detail in all of the wall hangings.
The 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom villas all have a full kitchen, as well as washer and dryer.
The master bedroom was also extremely spacious, with a king bed, chair, workspace, walk in closet and TV.
Like the studio, the 1-bedroom also has a split style bathroom – but it is about three times the size! One section has a free standing tub and sink, while the other has a shower, toilet and sink.
This is an example of the lagoon view category. We really enjoyed our view in this villa – watching the boats and monorails by day and fireworks by night.
And this is an example of the standard view category.
The 2-bedroom villa would have the same set up as the 1-bedroom, but the second bedroom would open off of the den area and have room to sleep 4 more plus another bathroom. I have not been in the 3-bedroom grand villa… but a girl can dream :-)
Dining at Grand Floridian
One of the wonderful benefits of staying at a deluxe resort is the fantastic array of dining choices. Grand Floridian has it ALL. From pool side to quick service facing the castle to character dining to the five diamond Victoria and Albert’s, no other resort can rival Grand Floridian.
Gasparilla Island Grill
The quick serve restaurant is one of my favorites because after you order they bring your food to your table. They also have a Coke Freestyle machine, which I love. There is ample dining inside, but we almost always take our food out to the patio overlooking the marina and Cinderella Castle. The food quality is excellent here and I’d rank it as one of the top quick serve dining locations in any resort. It is always quiet and I’ve never seen the crowds like at other resorts.
Enchanted Rose Lounge
Grand Floridian Cafe
Grand Floridian Cafe is a table service restaurant and, in my opinion, one of the most under-rated on property. I just don’t think people think to eat here. I fell in love with the salad on our last trip and we ended up coming back the next day to have it all again. On previous trips I had the pasta and steak and both were very good. They also have a wonderful breakfast in the morning.
Garden View Tea Room
The high tea at Grand Floridian is absolute perfection. It is hard to get a reservation for and is pricey, but is a marvelous dining experience that I’d highly recommend!!
1900 Park Fare
The Supercalifragilistic Breakfast is delicious (try the strawberry soup!) and has Mary Poppins, Hatter, Alice in Wonderland, Tigger and Pooh in attendance.
In the evenings, Cinderella’s Happily Ever After dinner is a hidden gem. The food is good and you meet Cinderella and Prince Charming along with the Step Mother and Step Sisters!
Citricos is what Disney calls fine or signature dining and is also very good! I’ve been for dinner twice and my favorite menu items are short ribs and scallops! On most trips, we also stop in to the lounge for a dessert and cocktail. It is usually a walk up and makes for a wonderful way to relax after a day in the parks.
Narcoossee’s is another signature dining option at Grand Floridian, and quickly made it to the “best of the best” on our Disney dining list. It is located right on the water in the gazebo like structure sitting on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Our meal was excellent and the view spectacular. The menu primarily consists of seafood and steaks. We absolutely loved watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks and Electric Water Pageant from our table.
Find a full review of Narcoossee’s here:
Victoria and Albert’s
I surprised Honey with dinner at Victoria and Albert’s for his 40th birthday. This is one of the premier restaurants in the Southeast and the recipient of many, many awards. It is terribly expensive, but is the nicest meal we’ve ever had and we STILL talk about it three years later! So much so that John as asked if we will take him for his high school graduation. We said college… maybe… :-) If you are looking for the highest level of quality in a dining experience for a special celebration, THIS is the place!
Recreation at Grand Floridian
As far as recreation, there are two pools – the Courtyard Pool is large, has a zero entry, hot tubs, food service and a bar. You will also find ping pong on the deck. It is usually very quiet here – no matter the time of day.
The Beach Pool overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon and has a water slide, cabana rentals, dining and drinks.
The Alice in Wonderland kids splash area is located next to the Beach Pool and is fully gated.
The Grand Floridian is one of just 3 Walt Disney World Resort pools that offer cabana rentals. Learn more here:
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
A new addition to the Grand Floridian in 2019 was a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! This has been so convenient for many of my clients. Afterwards, there is a walk-up PhotoPass area for princess portraits.
Senses Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Grand Floridian is home to one of Disney’s two full service Senses Spa locations! I’ve been for both a pedicure and a massage on separate occasions and had a wonderful experience both times. If you go, leave plenty of time to relax in the whirlpool, enjoy the eucalyptus steam room and lounge on the heated zero-gravity chairs.
Grills, Basketball and Tenns
Adjacent to the spa you will find outdoor grills (for the villas) as well as a basketball court.
The Arcadia Games arcade periodically does a free arcade hour daily from 1-2PM. My boys LOVE this! Be sure to check the resort activity guide for availability.
And, there are SO many more things to do here as well, including:
- Boat rentals
- Fishing excursions
- Pirate Adventure Cruises for the kids
- Private fireworks cruises
- Movies under the stars
I’ll leave you with two of my favorite things about Grand Floridian. One being the monorail AND boat service to the Magic Kingdom, walking path to Polynesian, and reliable bus service to the other parks.
The other is being able to enjoy fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant either from our room or by just walking a few steps out of our room! The view over the Seven Seas Lagoon is lovely and you can’t beat stepping out in your jammies to end your night with what feels like a private viewing of Happily Ever After.
It was a grand stay at the Grand and I really cannot wait for the opportunity to go back!!
Oh, and here a little “did you know” about the Grand… Princess Diana rented the entire fifth floor for Prince William and Prince Harry on their 1993 visit! Prince Harry was spotted there again in 2016 as he traveled to Disney for the Invictus games!
As Premier Level Gold Key Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Disney Aulani Hawaii, Universal, Sea World and to 35 countries on 6 continents through Adventures by Disney®.
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