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by Disney Magic Diva

They say Walt Disney World is the place where dreams come true. Undoubtedly. One of my Disney Bucket List dreams was to stay at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and I’m so happy to share with you that my wonderful family helped that dream come true as an anniversary gift. It was everything I imagined!

My family typically stays at value or sometimes moderate resorts. Although Travel Agent Diva has great reasons to stay at a deluxe resort, we’ve never booked a vacation at a deluxe, because, well, by the time we pay for airline tickets, park tickets, food, and souvenirs; the budget just won’t allow for more expensive lodging. But being the Disney fanatics we are, we regularly check special packages and deals for a Disney vacation. My husband spotted a fantastic package for a stay at the Grand Floridian with free dining, and so as a special anniversary gift, my adult children and hubby decided to book it for me! (Well..hubby and me. It was OUR anniversary after all!)

Let’s just say the Grand Floridian is aptly named – it is definitely GRAND! The flagship resort of Walt Disney World, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is elegantly themed after Victorian era beach resorts.  While no one can dispute that Disney does a phenomenal job of theming and landscaping all of their resorts, I’ve always thought the Grand Floridian was something extra magical.  The beautiful white buildings with red gabled roofs are so breathtaking.  The grounds and landscaping are meticulously kept, just like all Disney resorts, but have a unique feel of quaint and cozy as you stroll from building to building. But that’s nothing compared to what you see when you enter the lobby!

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Looking up at the chandelier

As you enter the Grand Floridian, remind yourself to close your mouth. Because when you walk in, your jaw will most likely drop! The chandelier is unbelievable. The stained glass on the ceilings, about five stories up, is extraordinary. Depending on the time of day, the orchestra may be playing on the second floor balcony, or perhaps someone will be playing the grand piano on the main floor.  You’re welcome to settle into a comfy, overstuffed chair and just relax.  Or you can catch the birdcage elevator up to the second floor for some shopping.  If you prefer, you can just take your time and wander up the grand staircase.  You can easily believe you’ve been transported to a by-gone era the moment you enter the lobby.

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Our room was spacious and elegant

The rooms are, as you would expect, spacious and comfortable. We booked a standard room in an outer building, and did a lot of research as to what building or type of room to request.  We decided on requesting an upper-floor (with the hope of getting a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom) in Conch Key (because it was close to the boat dock, and we planned on using the boat from Magic Kingdom to get back to the resort each night).

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The view from our balcony

We were so happy to get a room that met both of these requests!  Our view was wonderful! Our standard view rooms at value and moderate resorts are often of a parking lot or shrubbery, but this view was of the monorail run to Magic Kingdom.  And if you leaned a bit over the balcony railing, you could even see the castle!  Happiness!!

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The view from our balcony looking toward Magic Kingdom

Our room also had a sleep sofa, which could be used for children or small adults, and a beautiful bath area, complete with a wide assortment of bath products, hamper, and robes. Another wonderful touch of the deluxe resort was the turn-down service from Mousekeeping. How refreshing to return to a chocolate on my pillow and towel animal each evening!

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The outer area of the bath. Loved having a hamper!

Having a balcony was an incredible treat. Although we are usually all-day-at-the-park kind of guests, we made it a point to return to the resort one afternoon so we could fully appreciate this wonderful location.  After all, when it’s just a short monorail or boat ride from the Magic Kingdom, a trip back to the room doesn’t have to take away too much time from a day at the park.  We loved reading on the balcony, admiring the yacht docked below, or watching the monorail stream by.  So blissful.

There are, naturally, fabulous dining options at the Grand Floridian. Many families enjoy the character dining at 1900 Park Fare (see Fairy Diva’s review here) or perhaps afternoon tea at the Garden View Tea Room  (see Fancy Free Diva’s review here).  And there are more grown-up options as well with three signature dining locations: Nacoossee’s (see Nick the Disney Devo’s review here); Citricos (Darlin’ Diva’s review here); and the grandest of all Victoria & Albert’s (You can read Meg the Clever Diva’s review here).  Those are all still on my Disney Bucket List!

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Mousekeeping uses baskets to carry towels to your room. Adds to the Victorian charm!

And of course since the name of the resort includes the word “spa”, you can rest assured there are ample opportunities to be pampered at Senses, the spa located at the Grand Floridian.   This full service spa offers facials, massages, hydrotherapy, body wraps, manicures, pedicures –  whatever your heart desires!

But don’t think the Grand Floridian is only for adults! There are plenty of kid-friendly activities!  Pirate Adventure Cruises (for kids only!) are offered from the Grand Floridian.  There is a Perfectly Princess Tea, complete with a princess doll. (Princes are welcome too, and there is an alternate gift for them!)  Cinderella and Prince Charming host a Princess Promenade each afternoon for young guests, and invite them to join in a waltz around the grand lobby. There are campfire activities and movies under the stars which are family favorites as well.

Obviously the pool is a big draw at the Grand Floridian. But did you know you can also reserve private cabanas? How luxurious to spend the afternoon  poolside, sipping your favorite drink while lounging in the shade of your private cabana, complete with LCD television, phone, ceiling fan, and stocked mini fridge.  You can even arrange for private dining in your cabana.  What better way to feel like a VIP!

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

A quiet pool

Our stay at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa was truly one of the most magical times we’ve had at Walt Disney World. Each time we return to Magic Kingdom, and I see the resort off in the distance, I fondly remember our visit.  I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to add a touch of elegance and style to their Disney vacation.

If you’re ready to see for yourself how magical the Grand Floridian (or any Disney resort!) is, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel. She can take care of all the details to make your trip completely unforegettable – and her services are FREE!


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