What better welcome to the Walt Disney World Resort than to have a live band welcome you to your 'home' for two weeks! This was the welcome show we got this past August when we stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort for 14 nights. It was perfect.
We were checking in late due to our later flight time; this was the first time we had arrived in Florida in the evening from the UK. By the time the Magical Express pulled up to the gates of Walt Disney World we were exhausted. However, all of the tiredness and exhaustion fell away once we arrived at our destination.
This wasn't our first visit to the Grand. We had visited for dinner on past trips and basked in the glory of it all and laughed at the mere thought of one day staying here, "when we're millionaires maybe" we always said to each other. Well, when Disney ran their 'nights free' offer back last February the dream became a reality and actually saved us a whole lot of money!
As we checked into the hotel for the first time what better ambiance to have than a live band playing your favorite Disney songs? This, coupled with the sweet, fresh Grand Floridan smell and the laid back atmosphere of the lobby made all our traveling feel a world away. Our check in was easy, fortunately I had been on the DIS Forums beforehand and done my research about the buildings we could request and which floors were best to stay on and they didn't disappoint. We wanted the Boca Chica building because it was close to the pool and the boat dock.
Our room was lovely and big, the walk from the main lobby takes less than 5 minutes (a little more when you're carrying a lot of luggage!) and we had a high ceiling room which made the room feel much larger than it was. We had heard the 'Dormer Rooms' can feel a little closed in so we were delighted when we checked in that this wasn't the case.
Before arriving in Florida for this trip we were a little apprehensive that we wouldn't 'fit in' at the Grand. I can safely say in the whole two weeks we stayed here we did not feel like that once.
Our days at the Grand were mostly spent relaxing in the lobby and taking in the sights and sounds or you would often find us sunbathing in the zero entry area of the pool by the Boca Chica building. Before staying here we never gave a thought to Zero Entry pools but after one cocktail from the courtyard pool bar and laying in the pool taking in the sun whilst sipping on a Red Stag Lemonade I will find it hard to stay somewhere else on property that doesn't have a Zero Entry pool!
One of the perks of staying here was the Spa. I had booked my wife in for a massage on day 2 of our trip, I was hoping that a relaxing massage would wipe away those weary shoulders from all the traveling and I was told that it was one of the best massages my wife has ever had, some statement. This was a great way to kick off our vacation and set us on our way for a great stay.
There are many things to do at the hotel itself including visiting the Spa. We booked a Sea Racer experience on the Seven Seas Lagoon, something we had always wanted to do on our previous 3 trips but never had the opportunity. If you want to have a new take on the Magic Kingdom I would definitely recommend this. We sat down for Afternoon Tea which, being British, we were very excited about and pleasantly surprised at what a great experience we had. The many things to do around the hotel means that you CAN spend more relaxing days at the hotel, after all, it's a costly expense so why not make the most of it?
If you're looking for a hotel to spend an evening with your partner, relaxing with a cocktail or just listening to some live music then this is the place. We spent an evening or two at the Mizner's Lounge, with views out on the pool and a stones throw away from our room it was an easy yet relaxing getaway after a day of thrill rides and fireworks.
When our two weeks were up we genuinely felt very emotional to be leaving. The Grand Floridian Resort was everything we hoped for and more.
One day, when we're millionaires, we will be back!