So you’re hearing to Walt Disney World and are making your plans. The age old question: where to stay? With so many excellent choices, you may wonder, “How will I ever choose? Give me a reason.” I’ll give you SEVEN reasons to love Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
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. On that front, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa sets the standard from the outset and delivers. So if deluxe is your desire, then the Grand Floridian will amaze you.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Disclaimer: Disney hosted my stay as part of the TravelingMom.com retreat as guests of the Awaken Summer event, which displayed all the new and exciting offerings coming this summer. All opinions are mine and you can count on my honest feedback.
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. Getting to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is like winning the Disney resort lottery! Let me tell you the 7 Grand Reasons to Love the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa:
1. Top Notch Service
It starts the moment you arrive and hear the phrase, “Welcome Home.” If you’re lucky, you’ll meet Richard Gerth, a Disney CastMember. For almost 25 years, Richard has welcomed guests with his dapper demeanor and charisma. He says, “I was blessed with a good smile.” I think it’s a bit more than that, but we’ll take him at his word.
2. Romantic Opulence
Brace yourself for what’s next: an 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.
3. On the Monorail
One of the major conveniences of the Grand Floridian is that it is a Magic Kingdom monorail resort. The Grand Floridian is fortunately the last stop before the Magic Kingdom, so you’ll be having fun inside the park quicker than you can say “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.”
4. Beach Pool
A resort in Florida MUST have a great pool, and the Grand Floridian offers that plus some! Like this Alice in Wonderland themed splash zone where the Mad Hatter’s hat fills with water to the brim before suddenly spilling the water on the kids below. Squeals of delight erupt! Makes me want to be a kid again.
My kids sadly couldn’t come on this trip with me because of school, but on our last trip to the Grand Floridian, my teen and tween had a blast poolside at 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, my tween had some fun in the sun.
5. Character Interactions
Disney is all about character meet and greets. In fact, those are some of the most memorable moments happen watching your kids engage with a beloved character.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. I hate that I missed seeing this during our stay since we were on assignment in the parks then. Guess that means I have to go back!
Speaking of Cinderella, you can dine with Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Evil Stepsisters at 1900 Park Fare. 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!
6. Divine Dining
The Grand Floridian has a dining lineup that is out of this world. Besides 1900 Park Fare, you’ll have to choose between 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.
During this visit, we dined at Citricos and had a delicious meal, starting with the cheese course. The tuna entree is fabulous, but what really wowed me were the dessert presentations.
7. Gorgeous Property
The Grand Floridian is a real stunner from the design to the layout to its location. Inspired by the Victorian era beach resorts along Florida’s east coast, it was inspired by San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado with red gabled roofs, white walls, and gingerbread trim. The palatial atrium lobby towers 5 stories and has a grand piano, an aviary, fresh flowers, and enormous chandeliers.
So I would jump at the chance to stay again at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for its location, the fact it is a monorail resort, and it is simply a gorgeous property.
Two Last Tips:
While on this trip to Disney, I was introduced to a new website for booking resort residences, and it’s called Vacatia. Did you know that you can use Vacatia to book your stay at Disney properties like Disney’s Beach Club Villas, BoardWalk Villas, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort? Yeah, I had no clue either! I am all about trying new places at Disney, so I thought I would pass this little nugget on to you. (And read my review below of the Bay Lake Tower Grand Villa–that is just the kind of property Vacatia features!)
Vacatia is the resort marketplace for vacationing families. You can search and book resort residences online at dozens of leading hospitality, timeshare and premier independent resorts. Resort residences are fully managed and professionally serviced timeshare and resort condominiums providing home-like comforts and delightful amenities. They combine the spaciousness and necessities of a private vacation rental with the comfort and convenience of on-site staff and services (not unlike a hotel). These resorts are often in the most desirable locations and offer additional amenities. They aren’t in every market yet, but they do have offerings in Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Daytona Beach, Branson, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Panama City, Pensacola, Destin, and all 4 Hawaiian islands.
Oh and one last thing. I started my stay using my iPhone camera and toting my DSLR, but I was disappointed that my nighttime shots weren’t turning out well. The very next day, we received a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 point and shoot camera. Problem solved! I must say that I am massively impressed with the Panasonic Lumix ZS60 camera’s features:
- 30x Ultra-zoom
- 4K Ultra HD video recording, you’ll never miss the shot again! Record a 3 second spread (30 frames per second), then save whatever frame you want as a jpg file.
- 4K Post Focus photo capture features
- Lens-mounted control ring to adjust exposure, giving you DSLR-like control
- Touch-enabled LCD to easily navigate or change settings
- 18 Megapixel sensor for clear, high-resolution photos
And the best part, WiFi mobile device connectivity via Panasonic Image App, to easily transfer photos from camera to phone. Ah-maz-ing!
Here’s a photo that says it all…
Disclosure: Consideration provided by brands mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own and you’ll always get my honest feedback. Scout’s honor!