One of my bucket list items, since I was a child, has been to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I remember watching an episode of Samantha Brown sharing her experience at this well-known hotel and thinking it looked like the most magical place. I was supposed to stay at the resort after graduating high school, but it didn’t happen. So it remained on my list, and I finally got to cross it off! Was it worth the wait? I’m sharing my thoughts below.
The Grand Floridian is expensive! Honestly, it’s overpriced by a lot. Ryan and I booked four nights using our passholder discount. Disney passholders get a substantial discount on rooms, shopping, and dining. If you plan on staying at Disney hotels when you visit the parks, I highly recommend getting passes. Without the discount, we would not have stayed on property. Even with the discount, I still think the resort is overpriced.
The resort is beautiful and very well maintained. According to Disney’s website, the hotel can be described as Victorian elegance meets modern sophistication. The hotel is situated by the water and across the way from Magic Kingdom. Getting to Magic Kingdom from the resort is a breeze. The pools are nice, but I wouldn’t describe them as spectacular. The room was clean and it didn’t feel ‘old’. The property and room were well kept. The laundry facility in our building needed some love. One of the machines didn’t work, and no more than two people could fit in the space. The hotel didn’t feel like a luxury resort although they’re charging a premium price. The hotel is nice, but it isn’t spectacular.
We tried a couple of the restaurants, and they were okay. Service was pretty mediocre overall. We really enjoyed the Disney Characters breakfast buffet at 1900 Park Fare. It was one of the better breakfast buffets we’ve been too.
One of my favorite things about the Disney properties in general is that your magic band is your hotel key. I love that more places are moving to wristbands or electronic devices.
If you’ve ever seen one of Disney’s commercials for their resorts, you know they emphasize the experience and magic. I just didn’t feel the magic, and I think that was the most bumming part of it for me. I’ll admit I may have really built this up in my head over the years. Some of the staff greeted every person and others didn’t. Everybody was nice, but it just wasn’t exceptional. I’ve been very fortunate to have stayed at a few exceptional hotels. At those select hotels, we were treated like royalty. The staff went above and beyond. I had the same expectation for the Grand Floridian. The bellhops were actually the best, especially the gentleman we had when we left. He was super informative and shared all sorts of neat facts.
I wasn’t around for check-in, but Ryan said that process was great. We needed a room earlier than your typical check-in time, and they were very accommodating. Ryan upgraded our room for $20 (most certainly worth it).
This is by far the best place to stay if you intend on spending a majority of your time at Magic Kingdom. We recommend taking the monorail over to the park and returning on the boat. If you stay at the parks til close, the boat is your fastest option.
Would I revisit?
I’m really glad we had the opportunity to stay at the resort, but it was probably a once and done scenario for us. If I was offered a stellar deal, I’d stay again. The location was very convenient to Magic Kingdom, and the property is beautiful. I highly recommend visiting the hotel if you’re staying at one of the hotels nearby. I’ve been told it’s beautiful at the holidays. I recommend doing your research and talking to others that have stayed on property.
Happy 4th of July! Check back next week for more Disney!