Destinations

Is Disney World’s Grand Floridian the ‘grandest’ possibility for you? Listed here are 8 issues to know

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If you consider essentially the most opulent and iconic of Walt Disney World resorts, there’s a superb likelihood that pictures of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa dance by means of your head. This resort exudes a Disneyized model of turn-of-the-century Victorian appeal that leans into the usage of mild colours, excessive ceilings, stained glass, chandeliers and marble. There’s even a cage elevator and occasional dwell piano music to assist additional set the scene.

But regardless of the flowery setting, the vibe is neither stuffy nor intimidating. You’ll see bathing suit-clad youngsters squealing by means of the sweeping foyer extra often than you’ll see fits and jackets stroll by — although you’ll probably catch a glimpse of these, too, particularly within the evenings as some fortunate diners head to the award-winning Victoria & Albert’s restaurant that calls this resort dwelling.

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There might be some wholesome debate about whether or not the Grand Floridian is really the grandest of Disney resort accommodations, however one factor is indeniable: It unquestionably performed a serious function in transitioning Disney into an period of fast resort growth when it opened in 1988. Previous to its opening, a brand new resort hadn’t been added to Walt Disney World since 1971.

Now that it is getting its flip at some renovations, it is protected to say that the property — which appears to symbolize the straightlaced and upbeat theme of the Magic Kingdom’s Most important Avenue U.S.A., just like how Disney’s Modern Resort attracts inspiration from Tomorrowland and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort enjoys influences from Adventureland — is changing into an excellent stronger contender for that prime resort slot.

Virtually 35 years after the resort first opened, the bones of the Grand Floridian have held up exceptionally effectively. The white paint and pink roof exterior look simply as timeless because the Lodge del Coronado in San Diego and different beachside resorts that probably helped encourage the property.

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There’s additionally no denying that its spot on the Seven Seas Lagoon, only a stroll or quick monorail journey away from the Magic Kingdom, is a few of the finest actual property in all of Walt Disney World.

However earlier than you drop $700 or extra per night time to e-book a room at this deluxe Disney resort, there are some things you should know. Listed here are eight key particulars to concentrate on so you possibly can resolve if the Grand Floridian is the suitable Disney resort for you.

Associated: Every little thing you should learn about visiting Walt Disney World Resort

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It is one of many closest resorts to the Magic Kingdom

Whereas the Grand Floridian isn’t technically the closest resort to the gates of the Magic Kingdom, it’s fairly shut. Solely the Modern Resort and Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Modern Resort, that are a couple of half-mile away from the park, are nearer, because the Grand Floridian is roughly 0.7 miles away by way of the newly accomplished walkway.

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Relying in your strolling velocity, anticipate this stroll to take 10 to fifteen minutes. You will not get pleasure from a ton of shade and coverings when it is scorching, humid and/or wet, however you’ll get an up-close view of the monorail zooming by overhead as you make your method between the resort and the park.

Should you’d moderately keep cool and dry, you are in luck, as you may also decide to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Merely clear safety and board it from the foyer of the Grand Floridian to succeed in the Magic Kingdom. For the reason that park is the subsequent cease on the monorail loop after the Grand Floridian departure level, you will be within the park very quickly.

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The resort is massive and unfold out

Though the Grand Floridian isn’t the largest resort at Disney World, as some properties occupy greater than 200 acres and have 2,000-plus rooms, it’s nonetheless fairly massive by most requirements.

On the Grand Floridian’s 40 acres, you will discover greater than 800 rooms unfold all through the five-story foyer, plus the Sago Cay, Sugarloaf, Conch Key, Boca Chica and Large Pine Key buildings. Moreover, there are a number of Disney Trip Membership villas housed inside a separate constructing on the other facet of the primary Seashore Pool.

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Evidently, if you’re staying right here with a gaggle, you would find yourself being fairly unfold aside in case you aren’t cautious with room requests, varieties and picks. I like to recommend choosing rooms within the Sago Cay and Sugarloaf buildings since they’re comparatively near the primary foyer, eating places and dock. These lodging are additionally on the tip closest to the Magic Kingdom, so you will have a shorter stroll to the park.

Associated: save some huge cash by renting Disney Trip Membership factors

There are 2 swimming pools and a water play space

The Grand Floridian has two spectacular swimming pools.

On the fundamental Seashore Pool, which holds greater than 100,000 gallons of water, there are a 181-foot waterslide, waterfalls and a zero-entry space. Plus, you possibly can seize meals and drinks from the poolside Seashores Pool Bar & Grill to take pleasure in from a chaise lounge or a rented cabana. Poolside actions like video games and humanities and crafts can be found, too, ought to your loved ones favor some selection when having a pool day.

Moreover, there’s the Courtyard Pool, a big possibility behind the primary constructing. It would not have a waterslide or actions happening, making a quieter ambiance than what you will discover on the Seashore Pool.

Little youngsters also can try the Mad Hatter-themed play space, which has a small waterslide, water sprays and an enormous water dump bucket that appears like a hat, by the primary pool.

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Rooms are massive … and costly

Measuring round 440 sq. toes, normal rooms on the Grand Floridian are the biggest normal lodge rooms accessible at Walt Disney World. Nonetheless, this further house comes at a value, because the rooms are persistently among the many most costly choices discovered at Disney.

Outdoors of a sale (or reserving by way of rented DVC factors), it’s fairly widespread to seek out normal outer constructing rooms on the Grand Floridian hovering between $600 and $700 per night time. For an upgraded theme park view, anticipate to pay wherever from $800 to $1,000 per night time. Should you’d moderately have membership entry, put together for sticker shock, as club-level rooms in the primary constructing are sometimes greater than $1,000 per night time.

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You may discover a number of high-end eating places and facilities

Those that pay the massive pockets charges to remain on the Grand Floridian have easy accessibility to a few of the most upscale eating places and facilities at Disney World.

Right here, you possibly can dine at one among Disney’s most unique eating venues: Victoria & Albert’s. The AAA 5 Diamond Award-winning restaurant serves connoisseur fare by way of a number of programs dished out for hours in a sublime house that completely matches the Victorian-era design of the property.

Consuming at Victoria & Albert’s is an expertise effectively price having — in case your finances permits it and also you’re capable of snag a coveted reservation. Simply remember to gown appropriately (dinner jackets are required) and go away the little ones behind, as youngsters 9 and youthful should not permitted.

Different must-dos for these visiting with some further money embody having fun with a remedy at The Grand Floridian Spa and sipping a cocktail or two at Enchanted Rose, a “Magnificence and the Beast”-inspired night lounge situated in the primary constructing.

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Renovations are underway

The old-world look of the Grand Floridian was an intentional design selection for the Victorian-era-inspired property, however after years of welcoming friends, it was beginning to present some put on and tear. In consequence, the resort is now present process a little bit of a renovation.

Whereas the rooms have been final refreshed in 2015, which doesn’t sound all that way back, they lack the extra modern look of different on-property resorts. So, the resort is engaged on updating its inside to make the lodging extra eye-catching and equip them with modern-day conveniences.

Disney’s Grand Floridian in 2021. (SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY)

Of the property’s constructions, the Large Pine Key constructing was the primary to be fully renovated. It reopened in the summertime of 2022 as a Disney Trip Membership outpost with studio rooms which can be completely lovely.

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Every of those rooms sleeps as much as 5 friends and is as trendy and purposeful as it’s beautiful. Decor particulars embody the usage of jewel tones and garden-inspired patterns, with faint “Mary Poppins” influences sprinkled all through.

The bigger DVC rooms on the Grand Floridian additionally benefited from a refresh just lately, although these upgrades should not as dramatic because the 200 new DVC studios.

It’s doable to economize … in case you e-book the suitable method

Since there are Disney Trip Membership rooms on the Grand Floridian, you possibly can probably pay lower than the retail worth. This may be performed by renting factors from an proprietor — both on a 1:1 foundation by way of a person or by means of a bigger firm like David’s Trip Membership Leases.

Studio rooms on the Grand Floridian begin at 16 factors per night time, and it’s normal for DVC factors to lease for round $21 per level lately. At these charges, the brand new studios would begin at $336 all-in, which is a discount in comparison with the money charges. Know, although, that you will probably have to e-book many months prematurely for good availability.

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Should you do not personal or need to lease DVC factors, do not fret: You may also keep within the new Grand Floridian resort studios by reserving instantly. The trick right here is to be sure to are reserving this precise resort studio room sort and to order as far prematurely as doable to safe decrease charges. Costs typically begin round $700 per night time, which is often about the identical as the usual lodge rooms at this resort.

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Since there are various particulars concerned with reserving a Disney trip, contemplate making your reservation by way of a free Disney trip planner, similar to TPG’s accomplice Mouse Counselors, in case you plan on paying with money. They won’t solely be sure to e-book the proper lodging however also can provide help to get monetary savings by passing alongside reductions and modifying reservations ought to costs drop.

Associated: 6 methods utilizing a licensed Disney trip planner will enhance your journey

The property is further magical (and standard) across the holidays

For me, one of the best time to remain on the Grand Floridian is, with out query, in late November and December. This time of yr is when the resort shines the brightest because of its huge tree, life-size gingerbread home, poinsettias, garland and different festive decorations.

(Photograph by Summer time Hull/The Factors Man)

Not solely are you able to admire the vacation view, however you may also buy a gingerbread shingle from the life-size home to take pleasure in as a snack.

As an added bonus, the property’s proximity to the Magic Kingdom means it is one of many best to remain at when going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Occasion.

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Backside line

The Grand Floridian is the place Disney World nonetheless feels fairly magical, particularly within the renovated sections.

Whereas some areas are a bit extra dated than others, the facilities, service and choices are nonetheless price experiencing in particular person. In any case, the resort presents many moments the place you possibly can really feel like a Disney prince or princess, whether or not you are strolling up its fundamental staircase, getting pampered within the spa or simply sitting on the couch and listening as dwell piano music fills the foyer.

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Being only a quick stroll or monorail journey from the Magic Kingdom provides to the resort’s enchantment. No different property at Disney World presents fairly as stress-free of a setting so near the parks because the Grand Floridian, cementing its recognition as a top-notch Disney resort.

Nonetheless, all of this comes at a steep price, so be sure to do your homework earlier than you e-book to make sure you’re getting essentially the most bang in your buck by opting to remain right here. If you cannot fairly swing a keep, you possibly can all the time pop by for a couple of hours to stroll round or seize a chunk to eat on the property.

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