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“Never Wanna Leave!”

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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Ranked #23 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 May 2012

Took a trip just me and my daughter who is 11 and loved it! we did not want to leave. The hotel was clean, the service was nice, everyone was helpful. We had a blast riding the trams and going to the different parks.She had a princess make over. I suggest making reservations ahead of time for the restaurants they book up fast. You can go online and plan a lot ahead of time. Same with the princess make over they also do pirate make overs for boys which are adorable. This is done at Disney!.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank neice123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,972 - 2,978 of 4,399 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2012

We spent Thanksgiving at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. We are a family of 5, and we had a concierge room. Everything was perfect. This hotel is stunning, and so convenient for all the Disney Parks and within sight of the Magic Kingdom. There is nothing I could fault. It is not cheap, but for a special occasion, you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Carolyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2012

We stayed at the Grand Floridian in early December for 5 days. The lobby and grounds were the best thing about the place. Starting in November, the place is decked out completely for Christmas. A massive decorated tree greets you in the lobby with the infamous Gingerbread house inside the lobby. House is the optimum word; it is a life size house! Everything in the lobby and outside is beautifully decorated. We stayed in a room in the furthest building from the lobby. It was quite a trot to the lobby. The rooms were nice, but not as lavish as you would think for the large price tag. The bathrooms were medium size in hotel standards. Beds were comfortable. We had a tiny balcony overlooking a man made lake. We celebrated my daughter's birthday and the hotel did give her a tray of cookies with a chocolate MIckey statue as a complimentary free surprise gift. We could see the fireworks from Magic Kingdom if we went outside in the common area. We took the boat over and back to Magic Kingdom. Now for the downside: grounds are huge (be prepared to walk). The busses are extremely slow to get to the Grand Floridian and some were full when they got there. I complained about the bus wait. It was ridiculous. We waited for almost an hour on some busses to come (waste of time). We ate in the small restaurant onsite for breakfast, It was not nearly big enough or nice enough for this massive hotel. Pools were nice, as were personnel. Our favorite part of all was the lifesize gingerbread house. The detail was incredible. Of course, the whole purpose of the house is to sell gingerbread goodies. We actually found nicer smaller gingerbread houses to take home at the Beach Club. I thought the hotel was nice, but doubt if we would return. The only time I might consider it again is at Christmas time. People were coming in groves to check out the lobby (definitely worth seeing).

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank midwesternw0man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

We chose this hotel based on its reputation as the best of the best at Disney. Quite honestly, the Beach Club and the Contemporary are in better condition and offer a better experience. The two major issues are service and decor. The furniture and decor are sorely outdated and worn.

The service is very minimal. At the pools there is no service -- 4 star hotels generally offer you towels, umbrellas and food and beverage service. Most hotels at this price range even provide sunblock and amenities for kids (balls, floats, etc.). None of that exists here. There are towels for you to find yourself. There is no shade at all. At one of the pools there are three cabanas you can pay to rent but they were always booked. There are only life jackets for children at one pool.

It is nearly impossible to get a live person on the phone, and the front desk staff is nice enough but not incredibly fast or efficient.

Food options are also pretty poor for those with children. The location is a positive but many other hotels are just as convenient. I would stay elsewhere in the resort or at the new Waldorf for a more "grand" experience.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank bams4446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

We stayed from May 5th-9th 2012...This hotel looks as almost the twin to the Coranado in San Diego with the exception of the run-down rooms and overpriced restaurants. The place is beautiful on the exterior and interior of the main building (lobby) and the staff is second to none. Now - should that alone - fetch a minimum of $425 a night? I think NOT! The location isn't as good as the Contemporary (close enough to walk to MK) and or the Polynesian (best restaurants of the three and best place to watch the fireworks). The decor is waaaaay past dated. The trim on the bathroom walls was coming off and fixtures rusting. The funrniture looks as if someone turned a person with turrets sydrome and a chainsaw loose on it. So, all that said, the cleaning staff is ever present and working their tails off. But, you just can't polish dookie. The hotel doesn't offer much for shopping but it does have the monorail, which was a plus. Upon check-in we were infored that because it was our first visit that we had been up-graded to a room with a view of the lake - at the Boco Chica. HA-HA! I really wish they had given me the garden view of the pool or whatever (that i payed for) because what I recieved was a second floor view of the backside of a huge pine tree and it was next to the room with the ice machine (room 8211). So rather than wasting time complaining about the decor and the noise we went on our way enjoying WDW and just ignored their shortcomings. We found this place, as other reviers on tripadvisor, to be VERY overpriced for what they have to offer. Sure it's a nice Victorian - but - you can find a truely deserving 4-5 star Victorian at the Coranado in SD...Tips: I overheard an employee saying they are planning a renovation in two years because they are aware of the issues with the rooms. Oh, and, the spa that is under renovation isn't just a spa. I was told that it too was to be a facility of high end rooms like the new addition to the Contemporary (Bay Lake)...In short: The staff is super nice but Disney is milking this place for all it has to give!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank RedneckTraveler420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

I have been visiting Disneyworld since the 1st day it opened in 1971 and have been there over 80+ times, always staying in a Disney Resort. Having just returned there are some important issues I feel compelled to share with those of you that also wish to go. First and foremost, this was my third visit to the Grand Floridian and perhaps my last. Yes, the grounds, landscaping and staff are all wonderful, but there are things that are being kept deliberately in my opinion from the general public when u call to make reservations.
First, let's discuss the pools. When I called I asked if any pools were open 24 hours and was told that the courtyard pool was indeed open on a 24 hour basis. NOT TRUE! AFTER 11 PM THE POOL IS CLOSED. To make matters worse, the beach pool while open, has no access to the beach as there is construction going on (yes another disney vacation club will be parked next to this property), and there is a barrier wall that obstructs the view of the pool.

FOOD: While there we were told that most of the restaurants had changed chefs. This is quite obvious, as Narcossi's and Citrico's no longer have the quality food that once was. The Grand Floridian cafe is mediocre at best. In fact, we were so upset with the food we found other restaurants in the Polynesian, and other properties which were far more better.

New Management: Norm Noddle is now the current general manager of both the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian, and you can tell he has his plate full......it shows in what I have already described.
Yes the lobby is gorgeous, but rather than stay there, just hop off the monorail and take a look around. Remember you can't sleep in the lobby, which brings me to the following:

PRICE: Disney has always been a cash cow, much like Verizon, and they know how to steer you into spending money. We stayed in the SugarLoaf Building Club Level. When we pulled up, we were greeted and first taken to a dormer room with a balcony smaller than a port-a-john. Of course this was unacceptable so they then "Steered" us into another room that overlooked the marina......(boring.....), but with a larger balcony. Even during the "value season" this cost close to 4k for six nights. Of course their defense is that the rooms are bigger.....hmmm, come on is 480 square feet really big.....of course not.......

A suggestion; Disney uses a cashless system....in short you use your room card for meals, gifts etc. A good alternative to this is take cash with you, rather than racking up huge sums of money on your account. Check your charges every day....anyone at the Concierge desk or front desk can pull your account at any time. While there cashless system is great, we did notice a fee which was not applicable to our room, meals etc.

Something else that was so to us and perhaps to all of you who have ever been or may be going is that the view of the Castle is obstructed by a very large crane (they are building a new attraction behind the Castle in Fantasyland). This makes taking videos of "Wishes" and regular pictures a GRAND DISSAPOINTMENT!!!........Of course they fail to tell you that when making the reservation. I asked when I called if the wishes music was piped into the Grand Floridian grounds and was told that the answer was yes, and you could watch and hear the show from two vantage points; the marina and Narcossi's....hmmm, NOT TRUE. Yes, the music can be heard at Narcossi's but not at the marina except on those nites when the sound man apparently feels like it. I brought all of these issues to the attention of our concierge service in our building and they agreed!!!!

In summary if you are planning on going to the GRAND, skip it until all construction is done on the property and there are unobstructed views of the castle. It is also worth noting that all of the hotels with view of the Castle will see the same Crane looming next to the castle, so my suggestion is to put your plans on hold until the attraction in Fantasy Land is complete. Based on the sign we read it stated sometime in 2012, but I don't think that is realistic.

Don't believe me? Do your own homework.......It would be a huge waste of your time and money to go now, unless of course you are a stockholder. AND YES I AM, AND I AM SO ASHAMED OF WHAT THEY ARE DOING! I'LL SELL MY STOCK AND PUT IT INTO SOMETHING ELSE.

I am fortunate and have money to take nice vacations, but many are struggling and every penny counts during these depressed times.
In short, pick a property not on the seven seas lagoon. It will save you money and you won't come back "GRANDLY DISAPPOINTED".

Finally, there are plenty of websites out there that truly dedicate themselves to promoting this and other properties. Based on conversations by employees the owners of these sites are "supported" by Disney. HMMMM, this is certainly not very objective, and in my opinion only assists Disney into "STEERING" you in their direction!

I HOPE THIS HAS BEEN HELPFUL TO YOU. PLEASE CHECK THE BOX BELOW IF YOU AGREE THAT IT HAS!

Room Tip: Remember that disney does NOT ever gurantee a particular room, so if you get there complain until yo...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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49  Thank seadooer69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2012

Spent a few days at the Grand Floridian with my husband and 7 year old daughter. Decided to get a private car from the airport to the hotel instead of waiting on the free "Magic Express" shuttle. We had been told that the Floridian was the last stop on the Express and with lines, etc it could take 1.5 hours to get to the hotel. We were ready to start our vacation. The private car was $70 one way and took about 30 minutes. We did take the shuttle when we returned to the airport and had no problems at all, we went straight there and it was free.

I agree with other reviews that the hotel does seem a bit dated but not terribly so, our room was clean and met our needs. We weren't expecting five starts so we weren't disappointed. The property is actually very pretty and the grounds seem well kept. There are two pools. We spent alot of time at the beach pool. Unfortunately they are doing some construction but that did not stop us from enjoying this area. There is a slide and waterfall that my daughter loved. They provided life jackets for those children that need one. They also have a zero entry at this pool which was nice for another couple we were travelling with that had a toddler. There are also four cabanas which I think are a very good value, $185 for the day or $115 for half a day. I wish we would have reserved one of the cabanas for the full day but they were booked. We did get to use one for half a day, and really enjoyed it. Big screen TV, fan, fridge, and shade. We didn't go in the main pool but it looked nice as well with plenty of chairs. Both pools had bars serving the usual tropical drinks. I think beer was $6 a bottle and my Rum Runners were $9. Both pools have towels available poolside.

The customer service was excellent with all resort employess being friendly and outgoing and very nice to our daughter. The waiters at breakfast were very nice and outgoing.

I wish there would have been more dining options. We tried all three places, I can't remember the names. one place was more like a deli/grille and you had to stand in line to get your food, kind of cafe style. The food was okay. The kind of place you really don't want to eat again if you can help it. The next place was nice for breakfast, spent about $10-13 a plate but for lunch they served $20 hamburgers with lobster on them...not really our taste. We did have dinner at the place that was on the second floor in the main building. It was "fine dining" and was very good but pricey. We did not try room service. I did see one family have pizza delivered so that may have been the way to go!

If you go to the Magic Kingdom, take the boat back. its the fastest way to get back and very pretty. Also, I noticed alot of people brought their own drinks, bottled water, etc into the part. It is allowed. Not sure if it works out cheaper, but guessing it does.

In the end, our daughter had the best time enjoying the pools at the hotel instead of at the Disney parks. I wish we would have had time to go to one of the Water Parks at Disney but we didn't have time. If we return back to the area, we would most likely try another hotel and book it based on the pool area. Really the nice pools, good location, and wonderful customer service earned this hotel four stars.

Room Tip: There are several different buildings so if you are travelling with other family members or friends...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank darwin_vic_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Address: 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8451
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#3 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#4 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#23 Family Hotel in Orlando
#27 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#32 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: £416 - £830 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 867
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Victorian elegance meets modern sophistication at this lavish bayside Resort hotel. Relax in the sumptuous lobby as the live orchestra plays ragtime, jazz and popular Disney tunes. Bask on the white-sand beach, indulge in a luxurious massage and watch the fireworks light up the sky over Cinderella Castle. Just one stop to Magic Kingdom park on the complimentary Resort Monorail, this timeless Victorian-style marvel evokes Palm Beach's golden era. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney Grand Floridian Resort
Grand Floridian Resort
Grand Floridian Disney
Disneys Grand Floridian Hotel
Grand Floridian Orlando
Disney Grand Floridian Hotel
Grand Floridian Hotel Orlando
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Orlando, Florida

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