Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is a high-end resort in a location very close to the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. To reach the Magic Kingdom, guests simply jump on the monorail right at the resort, or stroll to the dock and catch a shuttle boat.
The property, with its 867 rooms in six buildings, opened as Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa the fall of 1997 and is the flagship property at Walt Disney World. It's amenities and proximity to the theme park make it a popular choice for vacationing families. Guests can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks on-site from their rooms, the beach, or the dock and every evening, guests can view the Electrical Water Pageant on Seven Seas Lagoon right from the resort. The Grand Floridian has received AAA 4 Diamond status and has been voted one of the top 50 resorts in the world by Conde Nast Traveler.
Grand Floridian Features
The Grand Floridian may be the most convenient place to stay near the Magic Kingdom, but it's also the most expensive—you can pay over $2000 for a Disney Deluxe Villa with just-like-home amenities like a kitchen, washer, dryer, and private bedrooms. Standard rooms cost much less and often there are specials that bring the room rate down even more.
Attractive features at the Grand Floridian include:
- 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 elegant and impressive.
- Grounds: The Grand Floridian has 40 acres along the Seven Seas Lagoon, with beaches, marina, and dock where you can catch the shuttle boat to the Magic Kingdom and at the white sand beach you can rent watercraft to explore the lagoon.
- Pools: The 111,261-gallon beach pool has waterfalls and zero-depth entry, a 181-foot long waterslide, and a restaurant. Next to this large pool is a smaller toddler splash and play area. The courtyard pool is a calm and peaceful retreat with an adjacent whirlpool spa.
- Spa and Fitness: The Senses Spa and Salon offers massages, body treatments, hair styling, and grooming services. Both men and women will enjoy the spa services including the hydrating facial, a vitamin C mask finished with a cool salt stone massage. There is also a 24-hour fitness center on-site.
- Elegant Dining and Tea: While the family will enjoy special character dining experiences at family-oriented 1900 Park Fare, fine dining can be enjoyed at Citricos with Mediterranean-inspired dining and Narcoossee's for coastal cuisine. In the afternoon you can enjoy High Tea with crumpets and scones served on fine china or take your kids to Disney's Perfectly Princess Tea where they will be visited by a Disney princess.
- Convenience: You'll love how you feel after the Magic Kingdom fireworks as you casually board the monorail or step onto your shuttle boat to be quickly transported back to the Grand Floridian.
Grand Floridian Rooms
The Grand Floridian room types include Standard, Deluxe, and Club-Level rooms and suites.
Standard and Deluxe: Standard and Deluxe rooms have amenities such as hair dryer, free Internet, a soaking tub, coffeemaker, iron and ironing board, safe, and mini-refrigerator. An example is a garden-view room with two queen beds and one Day Bed with a rate of $597 per night (2019).
Club-Level: Club level amenities include the usual room amenities, plus turn-down service, club lounge with refreshments, and complimentary health club access. An example of the club-level room is a view room with two queen beds and a day bed at the rate of $1,059 per night (2019).
You'll find coin-operated washers and dryers in all of the buildings.
Family Fun at the Grand Floridian
Yes, this is an elegant resort but the Grand Floridian is very kid-friendly. Besides the big plus of being so near the Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian offers several special features for families.
- Character Dining Events: 1900 Park Fare serves breakfast and dinner buffets. As families enjoy their breakfast they may be joined by characters like Mary Poppins, Tigger, and Cinderella. Families will enjoy the sumptuous all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast, including Mickey Mouse waffles and strawberry soup, plus lots of excitement when characters visit your table, or when Big Bertha—a 100-year-old band organ—pipes up with a song. A Cinderella-themed dinner meal will make memories for your little one.
- Wonderland Tea Party: Just for kids 4 to 12, a 1-hour tea party where they will have craft time and cupcakes with characters from Alice in Wonderland is available by reservation.
- Campfires: Gather around the fire as the sun goes down, roast marshmallows and on some nights, stay for a Disney movie.
- Mouseketeer Club: Great for a parents' night out, kids 4—12 can join in an evening of Disney movies, computer games, with dinner and snacks at the Mouseketeer Club located near the Gasparilla Grill. The cost is $11.50 per child/per hour and a 2-hour minimum is required.
- Pirate Adventure: Little pirates sail to exotic ports of call (at resort marinas) on the Seven Seas Lagoon while seeking buried treasure.
- Boat rentals: Head to the marina to rent a pontoon boat, canopy boat, Sea Raycers, or even charter the yacht.
Throughout the day look for poolside activities such as arts and crafts, or adventure games. There's always video games at the Gasparilla Grill & Games (a good place for snacks, too).