Think you know everything there is to know about Walt Disney Worlds Grand Floridian Resort and Spa? Possibly you know that it embodies the Palm Beach golden era with its historic Victorian architecture or that it sits within the Walt Disney World property near the Magic Kingdom park. But what else do you know?
The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World is an award winning Victorian themed deluxe hotel located near the Magic Kingdom park. The hotel, opened in 1988, boasts 867 grand guest rooms nestled between six courtyard-facing buildings.
Upon first glance it is easy to tell why this historic resort would be a special one; however, upon taking a closer look during my recent stay with my family, we were excited to have uncovered things about the resort that not everyone might know.
10 Secrets to Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort
The five story lobby of the Grand Floridian can easily tempt you to constantly look upwards in wonder – the bright white levels seem to go on forever. However, let me warn you, if you fail to ever look down towards the Italian marble flooring you could easily miss something wonderful. Among the beautiful marble flooring found throughout the lobby, various Mickeys and Disney characters are hiding, just waiting to be found.
Music Fills the Air
Chances are if you walk in to the lobby of the Grand Floridian, you will hear music playing. While it may seem like you’ve entered into another realm, the music is simply the work of the on-staff daytime pianist or evening orchestra. The pianist can be found during the daytime hours playing popular Disney melodies on the grand piano in the center of the first floor lobby. During the evening hours, the tunes of ragtime, jazz and other Disney favorites flow from the second floor orchestra and billow throughout the common areas.
Turn Down For What?
At the Grand Floridian the answer to that question is chocolate! The Grand Floridian is currently the only Walt Disney World resort to offer turn down service, which includes chocolates on the guest room pillows, every night.
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Double the Pool Time Fun
The Grand Floridian has not only one, but two pool areas to enjoy. The first pool area is in the center courtyard, surrounded by the guest room buildings. The second is just off the the right of the main building, near the beach and kids’ water play area. My kids loved splashing around in the Alice and Wonderland themed kiddie pool and I enjoyed sitting under one of the rentable poolside cabanas with a drink in my hand from the onsite bar.
Easy Access to the Parks
The Grand Floridian has not only one, but three different ways to easily get to and from the parks. Like the other parks, the buses pick up and drop of guests throughout the day to the lobby area. However, unlike the other resorts, the Grand Floridian also has a boat launch and monorail stop directly from the resort to the Magic Kingdom park. The boat dock is located at the far end of the courtyard near building eight and the monorail can be accessed from the second floor of the lobby.
Meet the Characters
Not only does the Grand Floridian have 11 different locations to grab food, a few of those offer character dining options. The 1900 Park Fare gives guests an opportunity to eat and meet with characters such as Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh at the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast. Guests can also sign up for a tea time with the princesses or a dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming. All of these character dining experiences need to be booked in advance as spots are limited and tend to fill up quickly.
At the Walt Disney World parks it is pretty easy to find ways to spoil your children, but what about yourself? The second story of the Grand Floridian lobby is designed to be a small shopping district full Disney merchandise, gourmet indulgences and luxury spa related bath products. The resort also has its own spa.
Read More: 5 Disney Hotels to Visit Even if You Aren’t Staying in Them
The Fun Never Ends
After a fun day at the parks, we were surprised and elated to find that the Grand Floridian resort has several ways to keep the fun going, such as special access views to the Electrical Water Pageant which passes nightly by the resort on the Seven Seas Lagoon, campfires on site to roast s’mores and special locations to watch movies under the stars. Simply check with the staff after arriving to get a print out of the times and locations. S’more supplies can be bought at the campfire location, or guests can bring their own.
Bring the Whole Family Together in the Villas
The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa also includes the villas, which is a family style lodging option. The Villas include the conveniences of home such as separate sleeping quarters, a kitchen, dining and common areas. The Deluxe Villas can be rented by availability or booked as part of the Disney Vacation Club.
If staying at a resort home works best for your family because you love the idea of having space and all the comforts of home but don’t want to give up the amenities and service of a resort – then renting Disney Vacation Club points might be the right choice for you. You can save up to 50% on Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts – like the beautiful Grand Floridian Villas.