Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney's Grand Floridian

When it Comes to Walt Disney World Resort Hotels, It’s Tough to Beat the Grand Floridian

When it comes to hotel options at Walt Disney World, it’s no secret that Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is the undisputed crown jewel among Disney World hotels. Poised majestically on the doorstep of the Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is the most admired and desired hotel property in all of Walt Disney World.

All things being equal, just about everyone would want to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort–and with good reason. However, all things are not equal and you do pay more to stay at the Grand Floridian. So, if you’re on the fence about whether the Grand Floridian is worth the extra spend, here are five great reasons to stay Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Disney Grand Floridian Wedding Chapel

View of the wedding chapel at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort from the Grand Floridian Villas.

1. Location

When it comes to an ideal location, the Grand Floridian is pretty close to perfect. Stay here and you can ride the monorail right from your hotel — just one stop to the gates of the Magic Kingdom (or continue two more stops to transfer to the Epcot monorail line). When your day is done at the Magic Kingdom, head to the Resort boat launch and your resort will be the first stop on the return trip–so you get one-stop service on Disney’s complementary transportation in both directions.

But location is not just about proximity to the park. If you like to golf you’ll also be pleased to know that there are two PGA quality golf courses–Disney’s Palm and Magnolia courses–within steps of the resort. If you’re more the relax-in-the-spa type of person, Disney’s Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian is a great way to kick back and unwind. All in all, this resort has excellent proximity to just about anything you could ask for in your Walt Disney World vacation.

Basin White at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

The Basin White shop, upstairs at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

2. Shopping at the Grand Floridian

If you like to shop in unique boutiques, the Grand Floridian is the runaway winner among all Disney Resorts. There are a total of five shops in the main lobby building, spanning everything from Disney souvenirs to high-end resort wear and accessories.

Basin White is a luxury bath and body shop that is very popular. Close by is M. Mouse Mercantile, which features a very good selection of Disney toys, casual wear, pins and so on. Curioser Clothiers offers upscale men’s and women’s resort where, while the Bibbidi  Bobbidi Boutique also has some clothing and accessories. On the ground floor you will find Sandy Cove Gifts & Sundries, which is more or less the Grand Floridian’s general store. It offers gifts, medicine, food items, candy and so on. There are many visitors to Walt Disney World who visit the Grand Floridian simply to browse the shops.

Disney's Grand Floridian Cafe

The Grand Floridian Cafe is an excellent restaurant with great value compared to other restaurants on site.

3. Dining at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

It’s not just shops where the Grand Floridian excels, dining is also a first-class experience at the Grand Floridian Resort. When you include the lounges and pool bars, there are an incredible 10 locations on property for your dining and drinking pleasure. Topping the list is the AAA Five Diamond Victoria & Alberts, which offers the finest of dining in all of Central Florida. Other upscale restaurants include Citrico’s in the main building and Narcoossee’s, which is located on the edge of Seven Seas Lagoon and is a personal favorite of mine. The Grand Floridian Cafe is more casual, but by no means a quick service type of place. Steaks here are fairly good and it is closer to fine dining than it is to casual dining, in my opinion. 1900 Park Fare offers two highly recommended character dining experiences and Gasparilla Island Grill is a quick service restaurant that is a cut above most others and has nice outdoor seating area next to the water. There are also pool bars, lounges and other great dining experiences at the Grand Floridian making it possible to never eat anywhere else.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort grounds

The sprawling grounds at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort are in keeping with its upscale ambiance.

4. The Grand Floridian’s Ambiance

When it comes to ambiance, the Grand Floridian is pretty hard to beat. I am always puzzled when I read reviews or comments that say that the Grand Floridian is not kid-friendly or that it’s too upscale. In my opinion that is not at all the case. In fact, the Grand Floridian has been a favorite of my young daughter (now almost six) since she was born. So don’t believe it when you read comments like that. The pool areas are excellent for kids and adults alike and there is plenty of space, grass and sandy beaches on which to run around and have fun. There are many kid-friendly experiences onsite as well. From an adult perspective, the upscale Victorian decor really reflects the first-class nature of this resort. Unless you really dislike this style, it is hard not to be impressed by every aspect of the property and the overall ambiance here.

Christmas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Christmas at the Grand Floridian Resort is when this property truly shines.

5. Christmas Holidays at Disney’s Grand Floridian

If you love the holiday season, there is no other resort that comes close to the warmth and wonder you will find at the Grand Floridian at this time of year. During the Christmas holidays the resort puts on its best show, from the full size gingerbread house in the lobby, to that amazing Christmas trees and the soothing accompaniment to live music in the lobby. The scents and sounds of the holidays are all around you and the Grand Floridian defines holiday wonder and warm family celebrations in an unbeatable resort setting. Once you visit here during the holiday season, it may very well become your go-to Christmas holiday destination for many years to come.

There is a lot more to love about the Grand Floridian than these five reasons and it’s no secret that the resort carries a hefty price tag compared to other Disney properties. However, the old adage that you get what you pay for really applies here and there is a definite difference in your vacation experience when you stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. So if you are on the fence or looking to pamper yourself with one big splurge, this top pick is highly worth considering.

Planning a Walt Disney World Deluxe Vacation?

Be sure to read my Guide to Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation and my post on the Five Golden Rules of Walt Disney World Vacation Planning.

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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel