In October of 2013, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa became the twelfth Disney Vacation Club property. Combining the charm and allure of Victorian elegance and premium service that only Disney can provide, the Villas immerse guests in a true “Jolly Holiday” vacation.
As a part of Disney’s Vacation Club (DVC), guests purchase an annual allotment of points to use at vacation properties at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or select locations around the world. It is Disney’s answer to a timeshare; once known as a “best kept secret,” DVC has gained major popularity since its conception in 1991.
Upon arrival at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, guests are escorted by a cast member to the front desk of the main building. Check-in for the resort itself as well as the Villas takes place here if one is utilizing Disney’s Magical Express. Guests who opted for “Resort-to-Room Check-In” may go directly to their villa instead after their room number has been communicated via text or email. For those staying at the Grand Floridian for the first time, it is worth visiting the front desk for the full experience. You’ll be given important information about the resort grounds and amenities including for those at the Villas.
TIP: Be sure to look at the walls behind the front desk counter. There you'll see stacks of metal keys which were the originals used at the resort before switching over to personalized key cards. Some guests who have inquired about them received one as a unique souvenir.
The Villas are located on the left side as you exit the main building. A charming covered walkway lined with manicured vegetation leads guests to the area. It is a very peaceful 2-3 minute walk from the lobby doors. Along the way, you’ll catch glimpses of the Beach Pool, a 111,261-gallon pool in a natural springs setting that overlooks Seven Seas Lagoon, and the Alice in Wonderland themed aquatic play area. There is also a separate porte-cochère, check in desk, and bell service station for those arriving by car.
Once inside, guests are immediately greeted by a welcome desk and cast member. Here you can find information about the theme parks, directions to areas on the Grand Floridian grounds, and a smiling face to assist with other needs. It is not uncommon to see the same cast member at this station day after day which is a nice touch as they get to know you and your family.
The lobby itself is a perfect extension of the resort. It is most definitely “grand” in all of its glory and reflects the elegant features and ambiance of the main building. Here the story of the original resort continues in which well-heeled vacationers of the 1890s established Florida as their winter getaway. This “golden age of travel” in which families frequented exquisite hotels around the world and populated nearby beaches is not lost at the Villas. It is instead enhanced by sprinkles of Disney magic - preferably in the form of Mary Poppins touches scattered in the lobby and rooms.
Sitting center stage in the lobby is a bronze fountain featuring the ever classic maître d penguins best known from the film. Over half a dozen of these friends make up the fountain as they greet guests in the early hours of the morning or after a long day of travel. Spare change is often tossed into the surrounding water which, like other “penny wishes” cast elsewhere at Walt Disney World, are collected regularly for local charities.
Throughout the atrium lobby, guests will feel welcomed and at peace. Overstuffed chairs and couches offer a great spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks. It’s also a fantastic area to enjoy a few pages of your favorite book under the light of 45-foot brass and green crystal chandeliers. Be sure to take in the decor surrounding you while doing so especially the carousel horses. One is a replica of Jingles, the most ornately decorated horse on King Arthur’s Carrousel in Disneyland, which was used as the attraction’s lead horse before the ride was automated; cast members would count the number of times Jingles made it full circle and stop the carousel appropriately. Seeing its sister horse at the Villas lobby is a nice touch.
TIP: Jingles was re-dedicated in a 2008 ceremony honoring actress Julie Andrews for her contributions to both Disneyland and Disney films. Keep your eyes open when waiting for an elevator at the Villas; Andrews' Mary Poppins umbrella makes an appearance.
Elegance and sophistication are the overriding themes within the rooms. Muted pastels compliment the neutral tones that compose the very clean and comfortable accommodations. More small touches (such as beautiful murals of Dumbo hidden in a stow-away bed) lend a bit of whimsy to the otherwise classic Victorian feel found throughout the villas.
There are 147 units at the resort separated into categories from studios to three bedroom villas that sleep 5 to 13 respectively. All rooms feature spacious accommodations including granite countertops, crown molding, and mirror televisions in the bathroom areas as well as flat panel televisions, Blu-Ray players, separate tubs and showers, hair dryers, coffee makers and set ups, irons, and ironing boards. Depending upon the category, other amenities are offered:
TIP: Take a close look at the wall art in your villa. Many feature old prints from Mary Poppins or The Happiest Millionaire. Some showcase silhouettes of Mickey and Minnie in their Sunday best.
All recreation options for those staying at the Grand Floridian’s main building are available to guests of the Villas. This includes two pools, watercraft rentals, dining options, shopping, and more.
Type of Room: Villa
Categories: Deluxe Studio, 1 Bedroom Villa, 2 Bedroom Villa
Approximate # of Rooms
Maximum # people: Deluxe Studio: 5, 1 Bedroom Villa: 5, 2 Bedroom Villa: 9, Grand Villa: 12
# Handicap Accessible Rooms: Deluxe Studio: 7, 1 Bedroom Villa: 7, 2 Bedroom Villa: 4, Grand Villa: 2
Note: Handicap-specific room locations differ according to the disability being accommodated
Square Footage: Deluxe Studio: 374 sq. ft., 1 Bedroom Villa: 844 sq. ft., 2 Bedroom Villa: 1232 sq. ft., Grand Villa: 2800 sq. ft.
Basic Room Contents: All rooms come with an alarm clock with mp3 player, ceiling fan, Blu-Ray player, coffee maker with coffee and tea setup, hair dryer, ice bucket, safe, iron and ironing board, microwave, robes, table and chair, pool towels, robes, telephone, television. Deluxe studios come with a kitchenette (mini fridge, microwave, sink, toaster, and wet bar). The bedroom villas come with a kitchen (full-size refrigerator, microwave, stove, oven toaster, blender, dishwasher, glasses, flatware, plates, cookware, sink and tea kettle) as well as a washer and dryer, high chair, vacuum cleaner and whirlpool tub.
Note: Bed boards/rails, full size crib, and international electrical available upon request.