Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Grand Floridian hotel - overview
••• Grand Floridian - seen from monorail.

Where is the Grand Floridian Resort located?

The grand hotel Grand Floridian has an ideal location near the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. To reach Magic Kingdom, guests simply jump on the monorail right at the resort, or stroll to the dock and catch a shuttle boat.

Other advantages of the Grand Floridian location: guests can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks on-site, even without a room with a MK view; try the beach or dock.

Also, every evening, guests can view the Electrical Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon.

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What's special about the Grand Floridian?

The Grand Floridian is the flagship property at Walt Disney World. It's also the most expensive: you can pay over $2000 for top lodgings there. Standard rooms cost much less; watch for specials, too.

Best features at the Grand Floridian include:

  • beautiful theming and design.The Grand Floridian is modeled on classic Victorian beach resorts; theming is carried through with vintage cars parked outside and valets in period dress. The five-story grand lobby with dome and chandelier is a sight to behold.
  • grounds: The Grand Floridian has 40 acres along the Seven Seas Lagoon, with beaches, marina, dock (with shuttle boat to Magic Kingdom)
  • white-sand beach, and waterdraft rentals
  • Pools: beach pool has waterfalls and zero-depth entry; courtyard pool has a lovely setting; kiddies' pool too.
  • pampering: top service; excellent spa; health club; fine dining at Victoria and Albert's restaurant.
  • character dining: at 1900 Park Fare (see below)
  • Grand Floridian Afternoon Tea: the whole deal, with crumpets, scones, and fine china
  • convenient access to/from Magic Kingdom: how smart you'll feel after the MK fireworks, when crowds rush to the Disney transport buses but you simply board the monorail or step onto your shuttle boat to the Grand Floridian.

    The Grand Floridian has received AAA 4 Diamond and been voted one of the top 50 resorts in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. This is a classy joint, but one where kids are very welcome too.

    What's special about the Grand Floridian for families?

    Besides the big plus of being so near Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian offers several features on-property for families.

    • character dining at 1900 Park Fare:
      this period-style restaurant serves breakfast and dinner buffets. We breakfasted with Mary Poppins characters, and Tigger and Cinderella made appearances too. Character dining is good value at Disney World. Yes, these meals add up to a lot for a family; but we had a sumptuous all-you-can eat buffet breakfast, including Mickey Mouse waffles and strawberry soup, plus lots of fun when characters visit your table, or when Big Bertha -- a 100-year-old band organ-- pipes up with a song. The dinner meal is Cinderella-themed.
    • Wonderland Tea Party:
      just for kids 4 to 12, a 1-hour tea party with characters from Alice in Wonderland. Reserve in advance.
    • Grand Floridian Afternoon Tea: traditional high tea with fine china, scones, and lots of goodies
    • Grand Adventures in Cooking:
      kids 4-12 can paint their own apron, decorate a chef hat, whip up some treats.
    • Mouseketeer Club:
      for a parents' night out, kids 4-12 can join in an evening of Disney movies, computer games, with dinner and snacks. $11/hr. approx.*
    • Pirate Adventure:
      little pirates sail to exotic ports of call (at resort marinas) on the Seven Seas Lagoon seeking buried treasure.
    • Boat rentals:
      Pontoon boat, Canopy boat, Sea Raycers, or just charter the yacht.

    You may also find poolside activities such as arts and crafts, or Adventure Time games. And there's video games at the Gasparilla Grill & Games (a good place for snacks.)

    Keep in mind about the Grand Floridian:

    • even this prestige property has coin-op washing machines and dryers in all of the buildings.

    Find out more about the Grand Floridian:

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    As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.