Ever wonder if the resorts at Disney are really worth it? Take an inside look at some of Disney’s best resorts. Today? Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
When I registered to attend a food blogging conference at Walt Disney World that was held this past May, it included a room for two nights at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. This picturesque hotel is a Deluxe Resort in the Magic Kingdom area of Walt Disney World. The grand white buildings, Victorian feel and immaculate grounds are absolutely breathtaking. I was psyched.
Located on the same lake that also borders the Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian is conveniently located near the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. The resort, like all Disney resorts, has free transportation to the parks. Whats cool is that it’s literally one stop away from the Magic Kingdom via the Monorail. There’s also bus and boat service as well.
Before heading to Walt Disney World, I checked into the hotel online and was able to request a top-level room in a specific building. And when we arrived, we were given a choice of waiting for the room I requested or taking a different room in a different building that was ready right away. I opted for the former since we weren’t in a huge hurry to get to the room (there were parks to visit!). The friendly and helpful staff were eager to make sure our stay was just perfect. When we finally got our room, it was a spacious room overlooking one of the two pools. And, of course, the usual Mickey towels awaited us.
The kids immediately checked out the comfortable beds. And the spacious bathroom. The toilet and shower are separated from the sink area by a door, letting people use both areas at once. Kind of nice if you are traveling with your family.
Isn’t this pool beautiful? Our room overlooked this courtyard pool (and jacuzzi!). But the kids really loved the resort’s Beach Pool, which had a water slide. Unfortunately, the beach was closed when we were there due to construction so we couldn’t check that out. But we had a great time swimming anyway.
From our balcony we could also see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, which was really lovely.
One of the things that was really nice was that the hotel had these golf cart passenger carrier things roaming around and would give you a ride whenever you needed it — that was particularly helpful when I was rushing to a cocktail party after getting locked out of my room. The man driving was so nice, which made the experience even better.
While we were there, I also checked to see how many hidden Mickeys I could locate. They were everywhere! On the carpets, wallpaper, upholstry, etc … you really have to keep your eyes peeled for them. In addition to Mickey, we also spied hidden Tinkerbells, Minnie Mouses and other characters. So fun!
There are so many positives to this hotel. The food, even at the quick service restaurant, was better than at the value resorts. There was better shopping. More amenities (including a spa!).
However, this isn’t for the budget conscious. The one big downside of this hotel for me was the cost. Rooms start at about $550 per night (depending on when you travel) and go up considerably — You are definitely paying for all the perks that a hotel like this can offer. Of course, if you book during a sale you could totally get a better rate.
The Grand Floridian … At a Glance
- The Rooms – The rooms are tastefully decorated. I had the opportunity to check out both our top level room (a room with a dormer) and one on a lower floor. The dormer rooms are a little smaller, but the views from the balconies are breathtaking. Either way, it’s a really nice hotel to stay in.
- The Decor – The Grand Floridian lives up to its name, which a feeling of grandeur throughout the hotel and the rooms. It’s like stepping into Palm Beach home from 100 years ago.
- The Amenities – There are two pools and a splash area. If you have kids, check out the Beach Pool which features a waterslide. There are numerous dining options and a spa as well.
- The Food – Everything is better at a deluxe resort — including the food at the food at the quick service restaurant, which even has a latte machine.
Overall, this was a beautiful resort to stay in with many, many positives. However, the room rates are high so you will spend a lot more to stay here. There is valet parking available, which is convenient but adds a charge to your nightly fee. While there is free parking as well, be aware that it is a long walk from the hotel which makes parking and taking your luggage in a challenge. If you can afford this hotel though, it’s really a lovely place to stay.
Disclosure: Our stay at the Grand Floridian was included in the conference fee I paid. All opinions are my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.