*DIS Contributors review meals, resort stays, and entertainment that they have paid for during their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts, Tables in Wonderland, or DVC membership discounts. They receive no additional compensation for dining experiences or events, so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
Disney World is home to many themed resorts made to satisfy the needs of every guest. The Disney hotels are quite unique, and each offers its own benefits, but one resort in particular stands out to my family: Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
The beauty of the Grand Floridian is apparent from the moment its brightly-tiled rooftops, highlighted by palms framing the resort’s exterior, come into view.
The resort’s outward refinement is surpassed only by the lobby’s grandeur. From the detailed brilliance of the chandeliers to the intricately designed carpets blanketing the dazzling tiled floor, the lobby is stunningly breathtaking. It is the perfect gateway to Disney World’s flagship resort.
The grounds are also resplendent. The landscaping is beautiful with flowery touches, fountains, and topiaries that immerse guests in a bygone Victorian age. This stately charm continues in the rooms. Although the rooms are not exceedingly lavish, as the resort’s overall elegance would suggest, they are still lovely with dashes of Disney that supplement handsomely-crafted furniture and whimsical décor.
The Grand Floridian’s location is perfect. The resort is mere steps from Magic Kingdom’s worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. The Grand Floridian is so near to Magic Kingdom that the fairy tale pinks and blues of Cinderella Castle can be seen from the hotel. Better than this view of Magic Kingdom’s icon is Grand Floridian’s walkway to the park. The Grand Floridian walkway is longer than that of the Contemporary, but the walkway’s convenience is worth the extra steps. Also, Grand Floridian’s place on the Seven Seas Lagoon allows guests to watch classic nighttime spectaculars, including Happily Ever After. Most fireworks are visible from Magic Kingdom’s neighboring resort, and the show’s music is piped in from the park to give guests the full experience.
Grand Floridian’s restaurants are outstanding, and they cater to any taste, be it fans of casual dining or foodies looking for culinary experiences. Take Gasparilla Island Grill for example. Its menu is nothing adventurous, but despite its simplicity the food is exceptionally flavorful for quick service dining. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Narcoosee’s offers exquisite meats from land and sea, along with elevated plant-based options. This restaurant sits on the water, making it a spectacular viewing location for nighttime shows happening in and around Magic Kingdom. That’s just the beginning of this resort’s impressive array of dining choices sure to satisfy any palate.
Finally, the amazing staff makes Grand Floridian stand out further. Despite complaints that the Grand Floridian staff can be snippy and unhelpful, my family and I have only had wonderful experiences with the resort’s personnel. This resort’s cast members are not only friendly but extraordinarily helpful. On our most recent stay, we had requested a room in the Boca Chica building in order to easily see the Electrical Water Pageant. Upon our arrival, we found our room did not have a great view of Seven Seas Lagoon. Although we knew it would be unlikely to receive a room change since room requests are not guaranteed, we inquired about a different room at the front desk. The staff member who helped us was happy to accommodate our request. She was quickly able to give us a lagoon view room in the building we had originally requested, making our vacation all the more magical!
Though the Grand Floridian may not be every guest’s idea of the perfect resort, its proximity to Magic Kingdom, excellent restaurants, elegant magnificence, and exemplary staff make it the best choice for my family, our ideal home away from home.
What’s your favorite Disney resort?
Katrina is a bookish writer and unapologetic Disney enthusiast. She can't imagine anything more wonderful than a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth with her family. When she's not occupied with her studies, she writes, reads, daydreams about wandering World Showcase, and wishes she were riding Cosmic Rewind.