Sometimes titled as the “flagship” resort at Walt Disney World Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort and Day Spa is an unmatched experience. Our family had the privilege of staying at “The Grand”, as a result of faulty AC equipment in our room at Wilderness Lodge. Yea, the conversation went something like this:
My husband: “Yes, hello. Our AC unit in our room doesn’t seem to be cooling. We’ve been out walking around, and back to the room now, and I think it needs looked at. Could you send someone? “
Minutes later, a gentleman arrived in our room to check the AC unit. We stepped out to enjoy a walk around the Wilderness Lodge trails, check out the gift shop and just enjoy the resort for a bit. After we returned to our room, the phone rings.
Guest Services: “Sir, we inspected your AC unit, and it appears the entire unit needs replaced. You have a few options. First, we have a room available for your party on the second floor. It has two queen beds, but we see you’ve requested a bunk bed room. Will that work for you?
My husband: “Not really, but possibly. What are our other options?”
Guest Services: “We’ve secured a room for you and your family at the Grand Floridian. This room is equipped with a day bed, so you would have an option to split your children up-not bunk beds, but they’d be separate. Thoughts?”
My husband: “The Grand Floridian room option sounds more accomodating to us. We will move over there.”
Done. Squeal! Yes, I squealed, and quickly packed our bags back up, and left them for guest services. We were outta there! Now, don’t get me wrong. We REALLY wanted to stay at Wilderness Lodge. It was great, and we were perfectly content there-in fact, we weren’t even expecting a move…just a quick fix of our AC unit. But, staying at the Grand Floridian is something we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford in general, so we took the opportunity. And honestly, my boys can’t sleep together very happily! LOL! Anyway, back to our stay at the Grand Floridian.
What We Loved about the Grand Floridian Resort:
- It’s beautiful. If you’ve caught a glimpse of the Grand Floridian from the Magic Kingdom, you’ll see it’s Victorian ambiance across Bay Lake. Many people get married here, and I can see why. In fact, when we were checking in, there was a bride having pictures taken in the main lobby.
- Transportation rocks. It’s on the monorail, which is super awesome. You are the first Magic Kingdom stop when riding from the Grand Floridian on the monorail. When taking the boat, the Grand Floridian is the first stop on the way back from Magic Kingdom. Super awesome! We only had to take a bus to Downtown Disney, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The buses ran fairly regularly, but the monorail was for sure the highlight.
- Views of Wishes in various spots. You can see Wishes from just outside Gasparilla Games-the quick service dining location-the boat dock, or possibly your room. If you want to hear the sound track to Wishes, then you will want to stand on the boat dock. I have to say, this was one of the highlights of staying here.
- The pools, main building, and transportation are fairly short walks from each other. This made it nice to get around easily. We were in the SugarLoaf building-which I would recommend you request-and I felt the location was near perfect.
- Spending time at the pool is a must for us. We enjoyed both the quieter pool-which had a separate kiddie pool-and the main pool. The boys loved the water slide. It wasn’t as large as some others on property that we’ve experienced. But, it kept my kids entertained nonetheless.
- Our room was really great! We had two queens and a day bed in our room. This worked well for us because we also had an adjoining room with my inlaws-we had 8 in our party total. There was plenty of space for the kids to sleep. The day bed was actually pretty spacious-I could see how even a teenager could possibly sleep comfortably on it.
What We Didn’t Love:
- Okay, I take that back. We LOVED everything! But some things others might not love could be the theming. It’s Victorian themed, luxurious, and could come across as “stuffy” or not family friendly. We didn’t feel that at all-and I was nervous about that because I have three loud children, who like to enjoy their Disney vacations, and I didn’t want them to feel out of place. They LOVED it! We all loved it, and it’s full of Disney magic. The boys enjoyed the live piano player in the lobby, riding the monorail was totally cool for them, and we didn’t feel out of place at all.
- Gasparilla Games. This is the quick service dining location here. The Grand is also home to 1900 Park Fare, the Princess Tea Party, and Narcoossees. While we only ate at the QSD location, I know the others are very popular. Gasparilla Grill & Games met our needs as far as a quick meal, but after a few days it got kind of boring. Although, we did discover they will let you assemble your own salad-sort of in a Subway type of manner-which was great for my husband and I. It gave us a bit more variety.
Overall, I’d totally stay there again. I’m sure it’ll be a few more trips before we stay there again, simply because we like to experience a different moderate or deluxe resort on each trip. I highly recommend that you stay there too!