Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, FL

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a luxurious five-star resort located right in the heart of Disney World, and is the creme de la creme of Disney resorts. While there are MANY hotels to choose from around Disney World, the Grand Floridian is the GRANDEST. With the hotel’s Victorian charm and stately atmosphere, you forget that you are on the property of one of the world’s largest and busiest theme parks. I guess it’s all part of the magic!

The Grand Floridian is about 30 minutes from Orlando International Airport. At your time of booking, ask your travel agent to make a reservation ahead of time on Disney’s Magical Express, and the motor-coach will take you and your luggage directly to the hotel. The buses are comfortable, air conditioned, and have Disney movies to keep the wee ones entertained. We highly recommend using this service for airport transportation.

The Property

As stately and opulent the hotel is, it is certainly kid-friendly. When you enter the magnificent lobby, you will notice herds of kids, some with ice cream streaked faces crying in the corner, others dressed to the nines in princess costumes and tiny plastic heels. At this magical hotel…anything goes! In fact when one of our kids was acting out for sorts, I flashed a staffer an apologetic look and her reassuring refrain was, “Relax it’s Disney!” Also in the lobby you can enjoy the music from a live jazz band, have a cocktail at Mizner’s Lounge or do some shopping at one of the boutiques. There is also plenty of hotel staffers milling about who are eager to please.

The hotel is conveniently located right on the monorail and is just one stop away from the Magic Kingdom. The hotel also overlooks a sandy lagoon, and just across the bay you can see the Magic Kingdom. The property is comprised on one main building and several out buildings. The grounds are lush, beautiful and immaculate.

The Rooms

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There are a few different room options at the Grand Floridian at different price points, with different views and located in different buildings, starting at standard rooms going up to two-bedroom suites. Our family of four had two, club level, adjoining rooms in the main building with theme park views. So for us, we had plenty of sleeping space, we were able to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks at night from our balcony, and had access to breakfast and complimentary refreshments all day on the club level. This setup worked tremendously well for our family, and we will book the same arrangement again in the future.

Room Amenities

  • Lots of Disney programming on TV
  • Crib rentals available upon request
  • Most rooms have balconies
  • Twice daily turn down service
  • Free Wifi
  • Minifridges
  • In-Room Celebrations – have your room decorated for a special occasion

The Pool

After a long day in the park, the pool is the perfect place for the family to decompress. There are two large swimming areas on property, the Courtyard Pool and the Beach Pool.
The Beach Pool is a zero-entry pool surrounded by waterfalls and also features a walking bridge. A 181 foot water slide feeds into the deep end of the beach pool, which the kids will LOVE.
The Courtyard Pool is the more tranquil of the two pools, it is also zero-entry, heated and goes up to 5 feet in depth.

POOL FEATURES:
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  • Lounge chairs with towel service
  • Lifeguards
  • Cabana Rentals
  • Poolside Restaurants
  • Aquatic play area for little ones

The Spa

Senses is a Disney Spa in the same Victorian setting as the hotel, an oasis after a long day at the park with the kids. Take some time to recharge and rejuvenate spirit by making an appointment for at least one of there amazing spa treatments. A few of the menu items at Sesnes; Rose Renewal Facial, Tropical Coconut Cream Facial, Warm Bamboo Massage, and the Sesnes Signature Pedicure to sooth those aching feet. Spa treatments are available for gentlemen, teens and kids 4-14 who are accompanied with an adult.

Dining

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The Grand Floridian conveniently offers quite a variety of dining options from quick serve to character to fine cuisine… there is something for everyone. The hotel also offers 24 hour in-room dining which is great for tired kids…and adults too!

IMPORTANT NOTE ON DINING AT DISNEY-

Reservations for breakfast, lunch and dinner are STRONGLY recommended and can be made up to 180 days in advance of your stay!! Easiest way to make reservations whether for restaurants at this hotel, other hotels or in the park, visit set up an account disneyworld.disney.go.com and set up an account and start booking.

FINE DINING:

Citricos – Mediterranean inspired cuisine, open for dinner only
Narcoossee’s– Seafood, Steak and more with a waterfront atmosphere
Victoria & Albert’s– AAA Five Diamond Award Winner- American cuisine with Victorian charm, jackets required for men, perfect for a formal night out sans children!

*Children are welcome to dine at Citricos and Narcossee’s, smart casual dress is strongly encouraged for adults.

CHARACTER DINING

1900 Park Fare – Open for Breakfast, Dinner Buffet and Afternoon Tea each hosted by different Disney characters. Choose from Supercalifragilistic Breakfast with the practically perfect Mary Poppins, Wonderland Tea Party (ages 4-12) or Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner with the princess and Prince Charming.

Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea with a visit from a Princess Aurora, storytelling, and child-friendly tea snacks

A NOTE ON CHARACTER MEALS- If you are a newbie Disney, you will certainly want to have a few character meals added to your itinerary. These meals afford the opportunity for your little ones to get up close with the characters and make for some great photo taking and autographs!! Throughout the park and other hotels, there are diffident experiences to choose from with different characters and themes… ALL highly worth doing!

CASUAL DINING

Garden View Tea Room– enjoy a Traditional British Afternoon Tea, with teas from around the world and sweet ans savory bites
Grand Floridian Cafe– Open for breakfast, lunch and light dinner fare

LOUNGES

Cítricos Lounge – Lounge and table service with tapas bites
Mizner’s Lounge (located on the lobby’s second floor… perfect hideaway for that post-park Martini), light snacks avaialble

QUICK-SERVICE

Just grab and go from any one of the super casual spots…
Gasparilla Island Grill– Counter Service
Beach Pool Bar – Counter Service
Courtyard Pool Bar- Counter Service

ADDITIONAL AMENITIES

  • Valet Parking (with fee) or Free self-parking
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Complimentary transportation and luggage delivery to and from Orlando International Airport
  • Full Business Center
  • Childcare Services
  • Boat Rentals at the Marina
  • Tennis Courts (lessons available)
  • Video Game Arcade
  • Full Spa and Fitness Center
  • Kids’ Club for kids ages 4-12

EXCITEMENT LEVEL

High Energy

AMBIANCE

Kid-friendly Victorian Charm

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Super convenient location and proximity to Disney World and other hotels
  • Being on the Monorail
  • Extremely friendly and helpful service
  • Variety of dining options
  • Plenty for kids of all ages
  • Gorgeous and well-kept grounds
  • Seamless airport transportation and luggage transfers
  • Views of the Magic Kingdom and nightly fireworks

LOWLIGHTS

  • Long dining waits if reservations aren’t made in advance
  • Some are turned off by the formal vibe

Takeaway

Taking the family to Disney, and don’t want to compromise your your taste for high-end luxury, than we urge you to consider staying the at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. the hotel boasts fine dining, splendid decor, and top notch amenities for children and parents. You can’t beat the convenient “in the park” location either!

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