For the first time that my family and I visited Walt Disney World, we did it in style. It wasn’t my first visit by a long shot, but it was the first time that my boys got to see the magic for themselves. It was my husband’s second visit, but it was as if he was visiting for the first time as he got sick in Tomorrowland during their visit and ended his stay in Orlando in a hospital.
Is the Grand Floridian worth the money?
For me, prior to our stay the Grand Floridian was the creme of the crop, after all it is Disney’s crown jewel. I have foggy memories of visiting a friend who was staying at the GF with her family, and I lounged at the pool with her, thinking that it was a fantastic hotel.
And it is.
The Grand Floridian is absolutely a beautiful hotel. I believe that I gasped when I stepped into the lobby to check in.
The common areas are breathtaking. There is a band in the balcony overlooking the lobby for Pete’s sake.
So why am I saying all of this with a lead up asking if the Grand Floridan is worth the money?
Take a look at my thoughts below and you can decide for yourself if the Grand Floridian is worth the money.
The common areas are open to anyone wanting a peek into life at the Grand Floridian
That’s the thing for me, the common areas are accessible to anyone who wants to come in for afternoon tea or a character meal at 1900 Park Fare. In other words, anyone can sit for a while in the lobby of the Grand Floridian and take in the sites and sounds. It is a lovely tranquil area to do just that while waiting for your dining reservation.
A few of the Dining options at the Grand Floridian
1900 Park Fare is the restaurant on site of the Grand Floridian that offers character dining. Much like some of the other options when it comes to character dining at Disney, it is a buffet meal. Just a note, 1900 Park Fare does not serve lunch, so the options for dining are breakfast or dinner. Also, if you are going to dine hoping to see Mickey Mouse, you won’t find him at 1900 Park Fare. Instead you can expect to hang out with the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins and more.
The Grand Floridian Cafe we have heard is a great place to grab an ‘affordable’ meal, but it closes at 6 pm so we never got the chance to try it. Again, those spots are open to the public. Another note, the Grand Floridian Cafe, is not a quick service restaurant, it is considered a casual dining restaurant by Disney standards.
The Rooms at Grand Floridian
The rooms, at The Grand Floridian start at $500 per night. The average size of a standard room at the Grand Floridian is 400 square feet.
For my family of 4 the room was tight at best and since I was attending a conference I wasn’t in the room very much. We made do with our kids at ages 5 and 7, families with kids that are older would feel even more cramped. Just a general note,
Why we loved the Grand Floridian
Here is the biggest draw for my family in terms of a reason why I would stay in the future and it has nothing to do with the room.
The Grand Floridian is on the monorail line, meaning you can hop on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot directly from the hotel. It is the first stop going to the Magic Kingdom and the last stop returning. Make a note of that. When you have sleepy kids and they fall asleep on the monorail it is much harder to maneuver off of the monorail. When you are done with theme parks for the day and just want to lay down in your bed or wash theme park grime off of you, the monorail ride at the end of the day seems to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r.
Additionally, Disney is currently in the construction phases of a walkway from the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom. A quick search showed that the estimated walk time on the new walkway is about 7 minutes from the doors of the Grand Floridian to the gates of the Magic Kingdom.
The Pools at the Grand Floridian
If a good pool, is high on your priority list when it comes to choosing which Disney Resort to say in, then the Grand Floridian should top your list.
If I could do my first Disney experience with kids differently, I wouldn’t have spent marathon days at the parks. Rather, I would have taken advantage of the monorail service to our hotel and had some downtime at the pools.
After all the pools at the Grand Floridian are the best over all Disney properties. I mean look at these.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Grand Floridian:
Does The Grand Floridian have a gym/fitness center?
The short answer is yes. In fact, the Grand Floridian is one of the few Disney properties to have an onsite gym (and spa). Look let’s be real here for a minute, you aren’t going to be blown away by the set up but, if you are looking for a quick run on the treadmill or the elliptical then it will get the job done.
When was the Grand Floridian built?
The Grand Floridian was built in June of 1988 and opened with the name of Grand Floridian Beach Resort. In 1997 it was rebranded and opened with the name The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
When does the Grand Floridian decorate for Christmas?
The Christmas display at the Grand Floridian is not something that you want to miss. With a life sized gingerbread house as the star of the show, it is something that everyone should see just once. Typically the Grand Floridian decorates for Christmas the 2nd week of November and the decorations remain up until January 1.
Can you walk from the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian?
You must be after a meal at Kona (the restaurant at the Polynesian! The answer is yes, you can! There is a pedestrian path that connects the two resorts. The walk takes about 10 – 15 minutes.
Do you love the Grand Floridian? Tell me in the comments!