Ultimate Guide to the Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
by Amy Ennis
October 1, 2018
I recently had to take an unexpected trip to Florida and while I was in the area I took a tour of the Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World. A stay at this turn-of-the-century Victorian resort has always been on my bucket list and let me tell you why it should be on yours. Here is my Ultimate Guide to the Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa .
The Grand Floridian opened in August of 1988, as Disney’s 5th resort on property. It is located on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon and has amazing views of the Magic Kingdom. In fact, you can take the monorail for a quick ride to the park. This resort is known as the Flagship of all the other resorts on property and is the most recognizable. It is a deluxe resort and is on the high end, but once I tell you about all they have to offer, you will see why a stay here is worth every penny.
When you arrive to the resort you are “Welcomed Home” and are immediately in the early 1900’s. The detail that Disney’s puts into everything they do stands out the second you are through the doors. The lobby is exquisite…the five story Grand Lobby is topped with a stain glassed ceiling and chandeliers. The atmosphere is elegant, but in a Disney way, as not to be overbearing. You will want to take time to walk around and look at all the details. Not only will you want to look up, but don’t forget to look down. There is a beautiful marble floor with hidden characters throughout, perfect to keep the kids busy while mom and dad check in!
The Grand Floridian has over 900 rooms, and 20 different room categories. They offer 1 and 2 bedrooms and suites. Garden View rooms feature balconies overlooking the pristine gardens, the Pool/Marina View has balconies with views of either the courtyard pool or the marina off the Seven Seas Lagoon. Lagoon views will feature views of the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon, but they may or may not include the view of the Magic Kingdom. The Main Building has some Magic Kingdom view/castle view rooms. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to wake up looking at Cinderella’s Castle every morning! Other room choices include Lodge Tower rooms, Concierge rooms, Deluxe and Honeymoon Concierge. No matter what room you choose, you won’t be disappointed, plus every night Mousekeeping will come and turn down your bed and leave you a little chocolate with a good-night note!!! What a perfect way to end a busy day at the parks!
There are two pools at the Grand Floridian. The Courtyard Pool is the original and larger of the two. It is open 24/7. There are no lifeguards at this pool and it is directly behind the Main Building. There is also a hot tub. The other “themed” pool, The Beach Pool, has a rock waterfall and a waterslide. There is a zero-depth entry, which means you can wade right into the water. This pool does have lifeguards and is open 7am till midnight during the summer and after Labor Day the hours change to 10am to 8pm. There is a great pool bar nearby, opened from 10am to 8pm. I always recommend spending one of your days as a down day to enjoy your resort. Want a perfect way to relax? You can rent a cabana for the day. What a way to feel like royalty!
There is a path to tennis courts, the Spa and Health Club, The Wedding Pavilion and the Polynesian Resort! You will definitely feel refreshed after spending a day relaxing and letting the kids play and not have to wait in a line.
Want to get a few souvenirs? The Grand Floridian will not disappoint! They have six stores between the main floor and the second floor. On the main floor you will find Summer Lace: they feature women’s fashions, Grand Floridian Robes and logo items, accessories, jewelry and fragrances. Sandy Cove Gift and Sundry Shop: features gourmet gifts of chocolates and candies. This shop also sells CDs of some of the musicians that perform in the Lobby through out the day. They also have cold beverages and snacks. On the second floor there is Commander Porter’s: This one is for the fellas! Men’s designer clothing fragrances, golf apparel and some great gift items. M. Mouse Mercantile: This is near the monorail station and features Disney souvenirs. Kids apparel, toys, books, pins and we can’t forget Ears!
Next to the M. Mouse Mercantile there is a Disney’s PhotoPass Kiosk: Here you can view your photos taken in the park and place orders. You can also arrange professional portrait sessions here. Last but not least is Basin White: They sell bath and beauty products.
There are also some hidden gems here at the Grand Floridian as well. The Ivy Trellis Barber and Beauty Shop, located on the second floor can turn your little girl into a beautiful princess. If you can’t get an appointment to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, this is a great choice. It is less expensive and they have some great hair options.
A portrait artist is available near the Sandy Cove daily between 5 to 10pm and no appointment is necessary. You can also watch the Electrical Water Pageant each night as it floats along the Seven Seas Lagoon or enjoy the Pianist in the Lobby. Last but not least, probably one of the best kept secrets is on the porch of Gasparilla Island Grill. Grab a snack and a flavored coffee right before the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks…you will have a perfect view without the crowds! Don’t, forget to stop down to the Marina on your down day, you can rent Sea Raycers, Sailboats, and water-skiing on the Seven Seas Lagoon. If you have some time pick a spot in the lobby after 3pm and enjoy the pianist or the orchestra. They alternate until 9:45 pm. I really could go on and on, there is so much charm around every corner.
Located on the grounds is also Disney’s Senses Spa, what a great way to rejuvenate. It is a full-service spa that offers everything from facials to couple’s massages. You could even let your little princess get pampered. What a great add on to a Honeymoon or a girl’s trip. You do not have to be a guest at the Grand Floridian to book a treatment, but you do want to book as far in advance as possible.
You could book a long weekend here and relax and enjoy yourself and never step foot in a park!
I can’t believe all this resort has to offer and to think I have not even touched on all the culinary delights the Grand Floridian has to offer! I think I will save that for another day…look for Part 2 in my next blog.