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“Not so Grand?”

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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Ranked #22 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Harrison, New York
Level Contributor
38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Not so Grand?”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

Just returned from a 4 day stay and I have very mixed feelings. Should expectations be really high for a Disney property? I really didnt know, We made these plans two weeks prior to our visit so we had no idea what to expect. I will say that upon arrival the Valet staff to the bell staff, front desk/check in to housekeeping, Management etc... Everyone could not have been nicer and more professional. The grounds are beautiful and the hotel itself is really nicely manicured and clean. In fact, spotless. The location was also ideal for a 2 stop ride on the monorail too. Now the down side. The rooms are cramped with very outdated furniture, carpet and bathroom facility. Yes you dont spend much time in the room but at least you want to feel good about coming back to your room. The shower/bath tub was not only dangerous but the water pressure was next to nil and the shower head was gross. The carpet needs to be changed, it is very out dated. The curtains and bed spread? Awful. In fact we told house keeping to take the spreads away and not bring them back. The beds were pretty comfortable and sheets clean but not that inviting. I understand that the hotel gets an enormous amount of traffic and wear and tear but all of this should be upgraded. The whole package was not cheap but the whole Disney experience for the kids is worth it. The pool area was pretty large and plenty of chairs. The bar area was great too. We did not eat in any of the restaurants. Breakfast room service for the kids was great. We are pretty spoiled vacationers so I have to say this was not the lap of luxury but a great Disney experience

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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1 Thank Jonathan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

This review is a little late so I apoligize for that! My then boyfriend (now husband) and I travelled here this past May. We stayed in the Sugarloaf building which is a concierge building. I couldn't have been happier with our room and location. The food selection and beverages were great to have all day - especially the happy hour which provided wine, champagne, beer, cheese, etc. This was a very special trip for us b/c we got engaged here!! My boyfriend actually proposed on the Grand One (Grand Floridian's yacht) during the fireworks. It was so magical for me as I am a Disney buff and have been to Disneyworld more than 10 times. The concierge staff was so helpful to him (I later learned!) and for that we were very grateful. After the engagment, when we returned to our room, there were rose petals leading up to the doorway. Once inside, there was a note from Mickey and a small bottle of champagne. It was just perfect. Kent, Denny and Janice were so fabulous to both of us. My husband was so happy with the assistance he received, he sent an email to WDW communications to let them know.

I can not comment too much on the restaurants there as we mostly ate in the parks or the food in the concierge building. I have stayed here before tho and mostly everywhere was great.

If there are any questions, I would be happy to help out. I like to think I know alot about Disneyworld! LOL.I have stayed also at the Wilderness Lodge which is one of my favorites, the Swan and the Contemporary.

Room Tip: We had the top floor which had vaulted ceilings which added a nice touch.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank summersue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2012

I feel badly that others have indicated they had a negative experience here. We returned in early March 2012 from a week at WDW after a stay at the Grand Floridian and had a wonderful time. The staff was uniformly helpful and affable. We were met by a very efficient concierge check in lady at the curb of the hotel and very quickly got settled in.

The location is perfect for Magic Kingdom touring. We stayed on one of the high floors with a park view and had a great view of the fireworks every night from our balcony. The club level service was fantastic for breakfast, dinner and cordial hours. I would only be a little critical of the lunch time service, which was conspicuously lacking in lunch meats or much in the way of protein of any kind. (Pretzels and dip is not lunch!) Other than that, the experience was great.

The ambience was really wonderful too. The band takes turns with the piano player so there's always music in the air. The birdcage elevator and grand staircase are special touches that go along with the ornately appointed skylights. Just sitting in the grand lobby with a drink in the evening is an experience! We also absolutely loved the monorail station service on the second floor.

I would like to point out that there is likely to be construction in the beach area until early-mid 2013 and the spa is going to be closed during this time period. From what I gather, this is to complete construction on WDW Vacation Club Villas and expansion of the spa at the hotel. I avoided the beach area because of the construction cranes and noise. On the noise front, I have heard that others have found the rooms noisy which is a problem with many rooms in WDW. We very easily solved this problem by quietly playing beach surf sound from our iPod using the stereo units included with our room. We never heard anything from the outside. Just an idea!

I would like to give some kudos to the concierge staff on the third floor. They all did a terrific job and made our stay even more enjoyable.

Room Tip: Rooms 4401-4409 offer the best view of the fireworks in the main building. You'll need to ask f...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank DJohn12402
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, MD
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Arriving at the hotel, we noted there was a lot of staff to assist us with check-in, far more than the numbers of guests actually checking in which was pretty impressive. The clerk could have asked us if this was our first stay and given us more info about the property. The room is not fancy but very comfortable. The staff at the counter service restaurant was very friendly and helpful, but I wish there were more counter service locations on the property that just the one.

The property is very clean and well-maintained. It feels like there is more staff than guests which gives it a more luxurious feel. If you are visiting Magic Kingdom, it is the best location possible due to the monorail stop at the property that is literally 2 minutes to the park. I wish I had known we could walk to the transportation center and back to save a little time when traveling to and from Epcot.

The night before check-out we asked if we could check out a little late but were told "no" as they were booked the next night. That did not quite make sense to me.

Half way through our visit we discovered a 2nd pool with slide were not informed of and found it odd that this pool has lifeguards but the main pool does not.

The biggest issue I have with this property is that it is very expensive for even the lowest priced room. Due to our schedule our stay was during high season for 5 nights beginning March 28 so that made the room even more expensive.

If i had an unlimited budget I would definitely stay here again, but next time we will probably stay at the one of the lower priced properties since we spend most of our time in the parks and not at the hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ReedDw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada, eh
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

Any review of a Disney property always needs to be looked at in the context of "is this the best way to spend $5,000+ to go to DisneyWorld" and not in the context of "is this the best vacation I can get for $5,000+". I can name dozens of places where your money gets you better value, but I can't think of too many places that get you the Disney experience a Disney property provides. However, even with that lens, it remains hard for me to understand why so many people like this place. I get it, location, location, location. But it comes at a huge price.

Let's start with the good, which must begin with location. The property is across the lake from Magic Kingdom and every major Disney attraction is a short monorail or bus ride away. You also get early or late access to certain parks on certain days - that might be worth the price alone. The resort grounds are impeccable. Nothing remains cleaner than a Disney property. You want magical? Go to a Disney washroom and try and figure out how they are kept so clean! The people are great - friendly doesn't begin to describe it (5 star friendliness actually). And admit it, spending your day looking for Disney characters in the tiles, carpets, draperies and linens is kind of fun. The resort also makes it fairly easy to access other activities and services. For example, we were able to book decent tee times at the Palm golf course with only 24 hours notice. Club rentals were free for resort guests, as was the cab ride there and back (although you can walk to the course - it's not more than a mile walk from door to door). Renting a car was easy too - we called up the concierge, they made the arrangements and a van came to pick us up to take us to the car centre (and dropped us back at the resort when we were done). If you happen to have one of the few rooms that overlooks the park you will get a great view of the nightly fireworks.

The downside? Room decor is tacky. We're not big fans of Victorian to begin with but this resort looked like some bad, trippy 1980's version of Victorian. The rooms show the wear and tear with furnishings and carpets looking faded and tired. Whoever thinks the linens and pillows are luxurious hasn't stayed in a luxury resort - the sheets weren't quite scratchy but they were close and you could make a better pillow by throwing some old rags in a potato sack. Regular rooms are cramped and you can hear your neighbours! We stayed one evening in a regular room at Sugar Loaf and were kept up fairly late by people coming into the lobby area (the lobby is open to all four floors - if your room is adjacent to that area, even four floors up, you will hear everything that happens in the lobby). We stayed the rest of the week in an one bedroom suite in Sago Cay. Generous sized room but for over $1,000 a night it's very pricey based on furnishings alone (think motelish like furnishings!). Other disappointments? Food for one. Average at best and very pricey. The two pools were okay, although the large pool has little shade.

Hence the mixed feelings. If you want to excite the kids, make them feel special and have quick and easy access to Disney's parks - it's hard to beat the Floridian. But if you want luxurious furnishings and world-class service, well, I can think of many places where your money is better spent.

It all comes down to 5 star people and location and 2 star food and furnishings. Sum it up and it's really a 3.5 star place for us but I'd have to admit that it would likely be hard to create a better overall Disney experience if that's what you are looking for.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms adjacent to the lobby in Sugar Loaf. Lots of people like staying in the main building to...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CanadianBeans
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

Property: 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
#4 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#5 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#23 Family Hotel in Orlando
#27 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#32 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price range (per night): ₹ 30,771 - ₹ 58,181
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

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