Ahh, Disney resorts! So many excellent choices, you may wonder, “How will I ever choose?” Walt Disney World specializes in theme parks AND themed resorts. My favorites are in the deluxe category, which may not be best choice for those on a budget. But in my mind, the Disney deluxe resorts are worth the extra for the amenities, location, and level of service. So I’m starting a three part series on my top picks and why they made the cut. This was originally going to be one post, but I have so many glowing things to say, I decided to feature these resorts separately.
“Come on, everybody, here we gooooo!”
The Best Disney Deluxe Resorts
Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
One of three monorail resorts and one of eight Disney deluxe resorts, the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa embraces you with its stunning decor and warm hospitality.
My first impressions were: “Wow! This place is grand, indeed!” Before I stayed here, I assumed it would be too stuffy. Boy, was I wrong!
It starts the moment you arrive and are greeted by the friendly faces at curbside service. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet Richard, a Disney CastMember. For almost 25 years, Richard Gerth has welcomed guests with his dapper demeanor and charisma. He says, “I was blessed with a good smile.” Indeed!
My arrival is off on the right foot thanks to my interaction with Richard. Then my mouth falls open as I enter the enormous lobby filled with live music and laughter. The charm and opulence envelops you. From the grandeur of the lobby to the live music being performed by the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra, the sights and sounds keep that smile on your face. You may even hear a Disney song or two! Described as “victorian elegance meets sophistication”, the Grand Floridian delivers on top notch accommodations located in the heart of Walt Disney World.
Our stay here was during construction of the Villas at Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, becoming the 12th Disney Vacation Club property. So the fact that we were able to overlook the construction woes and issues that came up (like having to close the Alice in Wonderland themed water area) says a lot about the Grand Floridian’s strengths.
My teen and tween loved being so close to the Magic Kingdom, which was merely a short ride away by either monorail or boat ride across the Seven Seas Lagoon. Another huge hit was the Beach Pool. My daughter loved ordering food from the Beaches Pool Bar and Grill and eating poolside while sunning. And as you can see, we had some fun in the sun.
The newest perk just added at the Grand Floridian is called a “Princess Promenade” where Cinderella strolls down the Grand Staircase with kids ages 3-12, followed by a waltz in the lobby. Currently, this interaction takes place at 3:30pm.
Speaking of Cinderella, one of our favorite dining options is at 1900 Park Fare, a character meal with Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Evil Stepsisters. I had to go into the vault for these photos, but you can tell how magical these interactions are for younger children and heck, even the grown-ups, too!
Other delicious options include high tea at Garden View Tea Room and a Perfectly Princess Tea Party that I’ve heard earn rave reviews. Rounding out the dining list are Citricos, Narcoossee’s, Grand Floridian Cafe, and Victoria and Albert’s, recipient of AAA’s Five Diamond Award and probably the crown jewel in Disney dining crown. Someday I’m gonna eat there! And naturally, I’ll share it all the details with you.
I will admit that we stayed at the Grand Floridian at a conference rate while my husband was in Orlando for a conference. But now that we’ve stayed there, it has vaulted up to the top of my list.
Why You Should Stay There: Location. Monorail resort. Simply gorgeous property. You’ll feel like you’re a real life prince or princess!
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830. Phone: (407) 824-3000
My post tomorrow will highlight the second Walt Disney World deluxe resort that is a sentimental favorite. Hint: it’s a South Seas charmer!