Ok, so i’m being a bit naughty with this one. I’m actually calling this resort by the name it used to be known as, not what it is called now. Mainly because I think the original name sounded a lot better. This one is about my stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Beach Resort, now called Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort And Spa. I just think the original name sounded better. I stayed at this resort back in 2012. Disney dropped the beach resort name in 1997 and renamed it to what it is called today.
The resort has a victorian seaside theme and is based on the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, California. It’s Disney’s flagship resort and is one of their deluxe hotels, located in the Magic Kingdom resort area on Seven Seas Lagoon.
The resort features 867 rooms and 25 suites. The most expensive rooms and suites are located in the main building, with the majority of other rooms and suites in 5 outer buildings. Some rooms are facing the water with a view of Magic Kingdom, others face the grounds of the resort.
The resort now is part of Disney’s Vacation Club and now features the Villas At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort And Spa. I stayed here before the villas were finished.
The resort also offers a marina where you can hire out a range of different boats to take out on Seven Seas Lagoon.
As this is a deluxe resort the facilities and theming is at it’s highest. There was a great choice of restaurants with something to suit all tastes and budgets. For quick service food, there is the Gasparilla Island Grill which serves food 24 hours. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at the Grand Floridian Cafe every day and for people who want something more fancy, there are two signature restaurants. These were more expensive than the Grand Floridian Cafe and if you are on the Disney Dining Plan they took 2 meal credits off your plan. These restaurants were – Citricos and Narcoossee’s.
The Grand also offers two different character dining experiences at 1900 Park Fare. For breakfast you can meet characters like Alice In Wonderland and Mary Poppins. I personally think the dinner buffet is better as the character experience is much more fun. I had dinner here and had a fantastic time. It’s basically Cinderella and her family that come to your table. Characters I met here were Cinderella, Prince Charming, Cinderella’s Stepmom, Anastasia and Drizella.
The Garden View Lounge offers afternoon tea everyday and is highly recommended. I love my afternoon tea and I really enjoyed having tea here. Mizner’s Lounge is a bar located in the main building and is a great place to have a drink at the end of the day. For people who love fine dining, Victoria and Alberts is a AAA Five Diamond award winning restaurant. The menu is created nightly and dressing up is compulsory.
As this is a deluxe resort, there are a good choice of shops along with the Senses Spa which offers a range of different treatments. Shops in the resort include – M Mouse Mercantile, Basin White, Commander Porter’s, Summer Lace and Sandy Cove Gifts. If you fancy getting your hair done you can find the Ivy Trellis Salon on the second floor of the main building.
Since the villas have been built, the rooms in this resort have also been refurbished. My pictures are of how the rooms used to look. I haven’t stayed here since, but I have seen photos of how they look now and it’s just not the same. The rooms now look boring and seem to have lost the character they once had.
I stayed in an outer lodge building with a pool facing room. The room I was in was on the top floor in the roof, in one of those dormer rooms. The rooms are a good size and feature two double beds. I much prefer the dormer rooms as they have a really nice cozy feel to them. The only difference is the balcony seems a lot smaller to a standard one. Another bonus to this resort, the nightly turndown service. It was really nice coming back to the room to find the bed turned down with chocolate on the pillow.
The resort has two good sized pools to cool off in. This is a must as the days in Florida can get very hot. There was a pool just outside the building I was in and a bigger one around the corner by the beach. I liked this one best as it came with a water slide and a pool bar.
The beach was my favorite and in my opinion the best part of the hotel. Sadly a lot of the beach was taken away to make way for the villas. There still is a bit of beach left, but nothing like there was before. I loved to chill on the beach on the hammocks that were there. I think the hammocks and beach chairs are still there, but sadly most of the beach has gone. I personally think Disney have ruined the resort by doing this.
If want a resort with a beach at Disney, I highly recommend the Polynesian Village or the Beach Club. Both still have their beach left and are cheaper to stay at too. If Disney hadn’t taken most of the beach away here I would still recommend this one.
This is how the beach used to look.
Also at night be sure to catch the Electrical Water Pageant as it goes past the resort. This is a nightly light and electronic music show on the water. It’s basically the Main Street Electrical Parade on water. It’s been running every night since 1971. It is definitely worth watching and I really liked the retro electric sound it had. Times can be easily found from the front desk.
Transport to the parks and Disney Springs is also available from the resort. Disney offers free boat transport to Magic Kingdom. This is also a Monorail resort and is only one stop from the Magic Kingdom. To all other Disney destinations, free buses are available.
When I stayed here, the resort was fantastic. After seeing the renovations to the rooms and what they have done to the beach I don’t think I would want to stay here now. Disney have just seemed to have taken the character away from a resort that was fantastic. The service was great when I stayed there and if you like this sort of theming I would recommend it. However this isn’t a place to stay if you are on a budget and if you want to splurge then go for it. Although, if you want a Disney deluxe resort to stay at and if you like the beach theme, I would say stay at the Beach Club Resort instead as it has an early 20th century theme to it, but is also a lot cheaper. You can check out the Grand Floridian here.
Grand Floridian Beach Club (Now Resort and Spa)
4401 Floridian Way
Lake Buena Vista, Florida