Disney is famous for its beloved fairy tales, and at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, it feels like you’re stepping right into one. The deluxe hotel welcomes guests with its elegant Victorian-era architecture and magnificent chandeliers hanging from the main building’s atrium. Who doesn’t feel like Cinderella walking down the hotel’s grand staircase? From the intricate details in the lobby to its beautiful views of Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian’s theming truly captures the magic of Walt Disney World.
The resort offers luxurious accommodations, various transportation options, top-notch amenities and award-winning restaurants. Our guide will cover all of the details you need to know about staying at the Grand Floridian. Also, as a popular destination for resort hoppers, we think it’s toadally worth a daytime visit for a stroll around the beautiful property if you have any extra time to explore. (However, during this upcoming holiday period, daytime guests may be denied entry without a dining reservation in order to maintain limited capacity due to COVID-19. But there's good news — the Grand Floridian boasts some toadally delicious dining options available at the resort to enjoy!)
Overview of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
As Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, the Grand Floridian combines Victorian elegance with modern flair. It is the most opulent and expensive out of the Disney deluxe resorts. From across the Seven Seas Lagoon, you can easily spot its signature white walls and red gabled rooftops, inspired by the late 19th century beach resorts. The gorgeous gardens, flowing fountains and white sandy beach only add to the property’s picturesque environment. Sitting on the edge of the water near the resort, Disney’s Wedding Pavilion fulfills its role as a perfect fairy tale wedding venue. (If you're caught up on Disney Fairytale Weddings on Disney+, you'll definitely recognize some areas from the show!)
Step inside the lobby of the main building and immediately gape at the giant flower arrangements, massive chandeliers and marble flooring designs that incorporate Disney characters. The majority of restaurants and gift shops can be found on the first and second floors, which are accessible by the grand staircase or the bird-cage elevator. In the past, music from piano players or an orchestra band would be playing all day, but performances have been suspended due to COVID-19. (We’re hopful that live music will return eventually because it truly adds to the atmosphere of the resort!)
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Rooms
The majority of the Grand Floridian’s standard rooms measure 440 square feet, thus making them the largest standard rooms on Walt Disney World property! The Grand Floridian is divided into its main building and five outer buildings — Sago Cay, Sugarloaf, Conch Key, Boca Chica and Big Pine Key. Conch Key is the closest to water taxi access, while the Courtyard Pool is surrounded by Sugarloaf, Boca Chica and Big Pine Key. Out of the different room types, the outer buildings provide the following options: Standard Lagoon View, Standard Garden View, Standard Theme Park View and Standard Club Level. Meanwhile, all of the main building rooms have Club Level Access, and you can choose from Standard, Deluxe King and Theme Park View. Psst ... we offer hoppin’ rates for all of the above!
Each standard room can sleep up to five adults with two queen beds and a daybed, or a king bed and a double-size sleeper sofa. The room comes additionally furnished with an accent chair, a small corner desk with a chair, a large wooden dresser (which houses a mini-refrigerator) and a flatscreen TV. The regal theming stays consistent inside the rooms with beautiful paintings and stylish light fixtures. Most rooms have a small patio or balcony that look out to the lagoon or gardens. Extra amenities include a hair dryer, free Wi-Fi, soaker tub, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, in-room safe and minifridge.
Once you walk into the room, there is a spacious closet on one side of the entry hallway and the bathroom on the other. The bathroom features a double-sink, marble top vanity and a separate area for the bathtub and toilet. While there is plenty of space in the dressing area, our only gripe is that there is no door, which may make things more difficult when getting ready or when someone needs to brush their teeth while others are sleeping. However, the bathroom leads out into the hallway, so at least the dressing area is not visible from the rest of the room. Also, because the bathtub and toilet share the same space, someone would need to wait to use the toilet while another is showering (or vice versa).
Transportation at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
As one of the hotels closest to Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Grand Floridian has a variety of ways to get to the park. You can hop on the resort monorail line, which will take you directly to the main entrance (it’s the first stop!). When it’s time to head back to the hotel, keep in mind that there will be brief stops at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Transportation and Ticket Center and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (though this is currently under refurbishment). You can also take a water taxi, which stops at Magic Kingdom and the next-door Poly. The resort’s boat launch is located right next to Conch Key and Narcoossee’s. Guests are also now able to walk back and forth (to get those extra hops in!) between Magic Kingdom and the resort via a brand-new walkway!
If you’re headed to EPCOT, take the resort monorail line and hop off at the Transportation and Ticket Center to transfer to the EPCOT monorail line. Currently, the EPCOT monorail line is not running, so you will need to catch a bus (which normally doesn’t run between the resort and EPCOT). Bus transportation is available for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs and the water parks (one of which is expected to open in March 2021).
Amenities, Recreation and Shopping at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Spending full days at the theme parks can be exhausting, and a spa day may be just the thing you need to balance out a fast-paced vacation. #TreatYourself, right? Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is home to one of the two Senses Spas on Walt Disney World property (the other can be found at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort). Senses is a full-service spa and salon providing facials, massages, body treatments and hair styling services. Guests who want to keep up their workout routines can do so at Sense’s 24-hour health and fitness center. Currently, Senses is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
If you want a simpler way to unwind, relax under the sun at either the Courtyard Pool or the Beach Pool. The zero-entry Courtyard Pool, which sits directly behind the main building, offers a calm and peaceful swimming experience. Not too far away, the Beach Pool overlooks Seven Seas Lagoon, complete with its 181-foot-long waterslide and cascading waterfalls. A water playground perfect for younger tadpoles sits right next to the Beach Pool.
Other recreational activities around the resort include motorized boat rentals, specialty cruises, Movies Under the Stars, Arcadia Games (arcade room), basketball, jogging and campfire activities. Keep in mind that some of these may be unavailable during this limited reopening period. However, during our recent stay, we caught “The Princess and the Frog” during the outdoor movie night (it's like they knew their audience! Ribbit!).
At this time, the biggest perks of staying on-site include the ability to book advance dining reservations for your length of stay 60 days in advance of check-in and easy access to Disney World's complimentary transportation options. Additionally, on-site guests get first access to the Disney Park Pass reservation system to book their theme park reservations. Previously, added benefits to staying on-site included early FastPass+ access and Extra Magic Hours (these benefits are currently unavailable, but may return in the future). The Electrical Water Pageant sails by the shoreline of the resort, giving guests spectacular views of the nighttime water parade.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa also provides the following amenities:
- ATM and banking service
- Bell services
- Business center
- Childcare services
- Laundry and dry cleaning services
- Mail services
- Resort airline check-in (temporarily unavailable)
- Self-parking ($25 per night)
If you’re looking for a last-minute souvenir, you have plenty of options at the Grand Floridian. Enter the house of the mouse at M. Mouse Mercantile for the best Mickey merchandise. Sandy Cove Gifts and Sundries is your one-stop shop for any gourmet gifts, snacks, fine chocolates, hotel merchandise and sundry items. Curiouser Clothiers offers men’s and women’s designer clothing, along with specialty Disney items. Visit Basin White for any luxury bath and beauty products. Though not open at this time, the newest Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location, which transforms young tadpoles into princesses and knights, is located on the second floor of the main building.
Dining at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
The resort has a grand lineup of dining options, ranging from pool bars and lounges to prestigious fine dining.
Victoria & Albert’s (Temporarily Unavailable)
Victoria & Albert’s is a unique fine dining experience unlike any other. For starters, the restaurant has received the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award every year since 2000, as well as the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award. Guests are treated to a 10-course Chef’s Degustation Menu that changes seasonally and may even vary daily. Whether you eat in The Dining Room, The Chef’s Table or the private Queen Victoria’s Room, prepare for world-class service and an exquisite culinary adventure. Keep in mind that there is a formal dress code and a minimum age requirement of 10 years old.
Citricos (Temporarily Unavailable)
Next door to Victoria & Albert’s is Citricos, another Signature Dining experience featuring Mediterranean-style dishes and an award-winning, international wine list. Fresh, seasonal ingredients contribute to frequent changes to the menu, which includes Octopus à la Plancha and Quinoa and Provençale Ratatouille. Citricos also has a lounge where you can order international wines, cocktails, artisanal beers and seasonal tapas. The restaurant is also a participating location for the special “Dine With an Imagineer” opportunity. Though currently closed, Citricos had started to undergo renovations prior to the COVID-19 shutdown.
1900 Park Fare (Temporarily Unavailable)
Join your favorite Disney characters for a breakfast or dinner buffet at 1900 Park Fare. This character dining location offers a few different opportunities to dine with characters. First up is the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast, during which you may meet Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh. We can’t get enough of the unique Floridian Strawberry Soup! The Wonderland Tea Party is an hour-long “unbirthday” celebration geared for children 4 to 12. Decorate cupcakes and spend craft time with characters from Alice in Wonderland. Lastly, Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner features a buffet with seafood and international kid-friendly fare from “kingdoms” all over the world, joined by Cinderella and Prince Charming.
Enjoy coastal cuisine at this waterfront Signature Dining restaurant that provides panoramic views of Seven Seas Lagoon. Narcoossee’s serves a spectacular selection of fresh seafood, steak and other scrumptious entrees. Top off dinner with desserts such as Almond-crusted Cheesecake and Chocolate Torte. Keep in mind there is a suggested dress code and certain clothing items (tank tops, swimsuits, cut-offs, etc.) are not permitted in the dining room.
Grand Floridian Cafe
The Grand Floridian Cafe is a more casual table-service restaurant that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Begin the day with a mix of breakfast and lunch offerings, which include the Lobster 'Thermidor' Burger, Miso-glazed Salmon, Traditional Eggs Benedict and Old Fashioned Pancakes. Some menu items reappear on the dinner menu, along with Buttermilk-fried Chicken and New York Strip Steak. It’s typically easy to snag an Advanced Dining Reservation here with only a few days in advance.
Gasparilla Island Grill
Pick up a casual meal at the resort’s main quick-service restaurant anytime of the day since Gasparilla Island Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start your day off with a breakfast platter or Mickey waffles, plus sides of eggs, grits and bacon. Lunch and dinner share similar options, which include a variety of pizzas, burgers and sandwiches. Currently, the restaurant is using mobile ordering exclusively. We recommend placing the order while you’re still in your room and hitting the “Prepare My Order” button once you’re headed over to the restaurant if ordering at a peak dining time.
As one of the newer lounges at Disney World, Enchanted Rose serves up sophisticated appetizers and cocktails. Themed after “Beauty and the Beast,” the golden chandelier hanging above the bar takes inspiration from Belle’s iconic ball gown. Enjoy your drink while sitting at a table or on a couch in the Library room. If you look closely, you may spot Mrs. Potts, Lumiere and Cogsworth! As soon as you walk into the Garden Room, you’ll see the rich emerald colors and the Enchanted Forest artwork on the wall. You can also catch some fresh air out on the outdoor patio.
Garden View Tea Room (Temporarily Unavailable)
Experience a traditional afternoon tea while overlooking the beautiful gardens of the Grand Floridian at the Garden View Tea Room. Sip from a collection of international teas and munch on sandwiches, scones and pastries. Have a young prince or princess in your frog squad? Consider reserving a spot at the Disney Princess Tea Party, which is filled with storytelling, sing-alongs and surprises!
Beaches Pool Bar & Grill
Need a bite to eat or a cocktail to sip by the pool? Beaches Pool Bar & Grill has a wide selection of food and drinks. If you’re hungry, dive deep into lobster sliders, chicken breast nuggets, an artisanal burger, a chicken caesar salad or a grilled portobello sandwich. Kids’ meals, sides and desserts are available too! Tadpoles can enjoy nonalcoholic drinks such as hot cocoa, lemonade and smoothies, while the adult frogs may choose from a variety of specialty cocktails, beer, wine and sangria. Note that food is available until 6 p.m.
Courtyard Pool Bar
The Courtyard Pool Bar has a similar drink menu to the Beaches Pool Bar, only differing in a few food items. At this poolside bar, you can get a buffalo chicken wrap, turkey wrap or a hot dog (in addition to the chicken caesar salad and portobello mushroom wrap), along with pasta salad and pretzels with hummus as sides.
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is a standalone Disney Vacation Club Resort that shares the same theming as the Grand Floridian. It’s located right next to the Senses spa and Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, and has its own separate lobby and parking area. (Be sure to check out the Mary Poppins-themed penguin fountain!) Because of its close proximity, guests can still take full advantage of everything that the Grand Floridian has to offer.
This DVC Resort offers multi-bedroom villas that feature fully equipped kitchens, living and dining areas, private bedrooms and more, which are great options for larger families or extended stays. For smaller parties and shorter vacations, the Deluxe Studio comes with a kitchenette and sleeps up to five people with a queen-size bed, a queen-size sleeper sofa and a single pull-down bed.
What to Consider Before Staying at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
We think the main takeaway here is weighing the resort's prime location, luxurious amenities and overall atmosphere against its price tag. Is it worth staying at the most expensive resort on property? You're right next door to Magic Kingdom, which is only a hop, skip and jump away. The monorail also allows you to get to the other nearby resorts and EPCOT just as easily. The Grand Floridian offers a plethora of dining options that you won't even have to leave the resort for (and some are the most elegant and prestigious on Walt Disney World property). While it's one of the nicest and most upscale Disney hotels, it still remains family-friendly with several character opportunities, a kiddie pool and an arcade room. Ultimately, we frogs cannot make that decision for you, but we hope our guide will help you come to a conclusion!
Have you stayed at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa? Did we miss any highlights? Be sure to drop us a note in the comments below!