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Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort Review

Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort Review

Christopher Parr | Pursuitist
Pursuitist Luxury Best Luxury Blog

Here’s our video review of Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort. Go behind the scenes on the concierge floor — to experience Disney World, and the Magic Kingdom, in luxury. This is a great location for families — and a quick ride via the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Guestrooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian are decorated as they might have been a century ago, with soft colors, pale-wood armoires, Victorian accents, and marble-topped sinks with old-fashioned fittings. For the Grand Floridian experience, check out our YouTube video review of the Grand Floridian Resort:

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Victorian themed hotel and spa located at the Walt Disney World Resort. The property opened on June 28, 1988 as the Grand Floridian Beach Resort. The name changed to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa during the fall of 1997. The resort contains 867 rooms among six buildings at an average of 400 square feet (37 m²) per room. A standard room can sleep up to five people. The resort is owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The Grand Floridian is categorized as a deluxe resort, one of four types of accommodations at the Florida site. According to The Walt Disney Company, it is considered Disney’s flagship resort. The resort has received designation in the Florida Green Lodging Program.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers 867 rooms surrounded by tropically landscaped gardens on Seven Seas Lagoon, across from the Magic Kingdom Park. Most rooms have balconies. Decor includes Victorian accents, pastel colors, printed wall coverings, light-wood armoires, marble-top sinks with period fittings, and 19th century–style woodwork.

Dial-up Internet access is complimentary and high-speed Internet access is available for a surcharge. Rooms provide coffeemakers, complimentary safes, and hair dryers. Microwaves and refrigerators are available on request. All guestrooms (including room patios and balconies) are nonsmoking.

Guest Rooms at Grand Floridian Resort:
2,112 guest rooms
For a chance at a view of Cinderella’s Castle from your room, request a Lagoon view.
“Dormer” rooms feature private balconies and vaulted ceilings.
Lodge tower rooms have an extra sitting area and views from five windows.

Activities and Amenities at Grand Floridian Resort:
The zero-entry swimming pool has a twisting water slide and water spouts.
Full-service spa and fitness center on site.
Children’s activities at the Grand Floridian include the “Lady Bug Release” (Thurs. at 11 am), “Adventure Time” (daily at 3:30 pm), “Arts and Crafts” (four days a week at 12:30 pm), “Wonderland Tea Party”, “Pirate Cruise” and “Kids’ Adventures in Cooking.”

Good to Know About Grand Floridian Resort:
Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary service that transports you and your luggage to the hotel.
Kid’s Nite Out, a private company, provides in-room babysitting or fun, trained mother/father helpers to spend time with your family; call 407-828-0920 to arrange in advance.
The beach and the boat dock are great places to catch the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show and the Electrical Water Pageant.
Inside the grand lobby, look for Big Bertha, a century-old band organ from Paris.
Weddings at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort:
The Fairy Tale Wedding Pavilion is located on a small island adjacent to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and has a beautiful view of Cinderella’s Castle. For information, contact Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons at (407) 363-6333.

Kid Tips:
Toddlers & Pre-K: For an all-out splurge, top a stay off with My Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party with Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora. Call 407-WDW-DINE for details and reservations.
School-Age Kids: The front car of the Monorail is one of the best rides in the park. With its glassed-in “nose,” the lead car traveling on the raised track feels akin to flying. The car has room for but a few passengers, and it’s a popular request, so there’s often a wait.

Planning Notes:
Get the right room. Rooms over the Seven Seas Lagoon afford a lovely view of the castle and the nighttime fireworks.
Manga! There are numerous dining options. But room service, particularly if you have a balcony overlooking the Magic Kingdom, is a perfect way to enjoy a meal.
Take a dip. Swimming areas include the Courtyard Pool and the lovely Beach Pool with slide.
Build in play time. Services include the Mouseketeer supervised kids’ club.
Transportation. The Grand Floridian offers monorail service to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot®. Bus service is available to all other areas of the Walt Disney World® Resort.

What to expect: Understated opulence starts with bell-service attendants in pastels, white shoes, and knickers. The beautiful lobby reaches five stories to a Victorian ceiling adorned with three illuminated stained-glass domes, ornate chandeliers, and metal scrolls. Disney’s Grand Floridian rooms are in the main building and in four- and five-story white-frame buildings around the swimming pool.

Amenity highlights: The monorail is a luxury for travel to Epcot® and the Magic Kingdom® Park. The resort’s spa is adjacent and includes a fitness center. Two of Disney’s finest restaurants—Citricos and Victoria & Albert’s—are adjacent on the hotel’s second floor. A pristine beach stretches along the waterfront with old-fashioned beach umbrellas decorating the white sand.

Insider tip: To get up close and personal with Disney characters, join Cinderella at 1900 Park Fare buffet restaurant, where she appears along with other storybook characters every night. Breakfast is with Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter. All characters make their rounds in the dining room, happy to pose for pictures.

Dinning at Grand Floridian:

* Victoria & Albert’s: A restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort, with a menu created nightly and an award-winning wine cellar. The intimate restaurant has received AAA’s Five Diamond Award each year since 2000 and currently is the only Central Florida restaurant to achieve the designation. Serves dinner nightly. As of January 2008, children under 10 are no longer permitted.

* Cítricos: American food with a Mediterranean flair. Serves dinner five to seven nights a week, depending on season. Formerly an Italian restaurant called Flagler’s that operated until 1997.

* Narcoossee’s: A seafood restaurant with an open kitchen and views of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, ”Wishes”. Serves dinner nightly.

* 1900 Park Fare: Buffet dining with Disney characters including Mary Poppins and Cinderella. Inside this restaurant is “Big Bertha”, an organ built in Paris and used from 1909 to 1955 in a Grand Rapids, Michigan amusement park. The organ’s instruments include pipes, drums, bells, cymbals, castanets and a xylophone, and are played by a piano-roll score. It plays short concerts periodically during mealtimes. Serves breakfast and dinner daily.

* Grand Floridian Café: Traditional American fare, with fresh fruit, seafood, and burgers. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

* Gasparilla Grill and Games: A 24-hour snack bar with an adjacent arcade.

Contact Grand Floridian Resort:
4401 Grand Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
Direct Phone: (407) 824-3000; Reservations: (407) 939-6244
Fax: (407) 824-3186
Web site: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort