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“Concierge Level = the way to go!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #33 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Concierge Level = the way to go!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We really enjoyed our brief stay at the Grand Floridian. The hotel decor is Victorian, but to me it just seemed a little dated and cheesey (I think that's just WDW), but everything was very clean. We stayed on the concierge level, and we really enjoyed the amenities that came with that. Tea, coffee out all day, breakfast, snacks and desserts, happy hour and cordials... Wonderful! All the staff members were very friendly and helpful (Denny who showed us to our rooms was great!). Our room had a great view of Cinderella's Castle, so we were able to see the fireworks from our balcony, which was lovely. Super convenient access to the monorail and buses. The walls were a little thin -- could hear the tv/children in the rooms next to us. As others have mentioned, the rooms are a little dated and showing some wear and tear. But all in all, we would probably stay here again if we ever come back to WDW.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Syracuse, New York
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Please see my other detailed review for this lovely hotel dated February 2012. I love the Grand Floridian, but some issues were apparent on my last stay. The main building lobby and service are still wonderful, but guest rooms need updating. The tables and armoires are showing signs of wear and there are many nicks in the baseboards and moldings. During our stay, several tiles in the bathroom floor near the shower caved in, and the floors could stand re-grouting or replacing. On both trips, the room smelled dusty and no amount of the spray they use can disguise this for allergy sufferers. I think the lamps, shades, curtains and carpeting need to be cleaned on a more frequent schedule. Also, there was a huge soil stain on the armrest of the couch and a sofa pillow. Toiletries were disappointing and I wonder, based on another review, if they use different levels of quality based on the room rate, however, the most basic room is not cheap. The bedside clock didn't work properly and the sound on the TV kept cutting out. The bed felt lumpy and the linens were far from luxury. Sandy Cove, the gift shop on the main floor looks like it may be on the way out - many items are no longer available, it's largely empty and the focus seems to be on wedding pins and souvenirs with a snack and cold drink section. For better shopping, you need to go to M. Mercantile on the second level. While we were having lunch in the Floridian Cafe, we noticed a wedding party in the same dining room - a bit odd - and it appeared as though something had gone wrong with other plans...I hope this was not a Disney offering for this party - beautiful gowns and burgers?! Despite, all of these things, I'll probably still return, while considering other Disney alternatives as well, as The Grand Floridian is a grand hotel and I love the basic feel of it.

The 24 hr. restaurant was re-opened during our stay and was nicely renovated, with the arcade games now situated away from the dining area. There are large booths and tables in a tasteful green motif, but they could update the menu choices to a fresher style.

One of the pools is still surrounded by temporary walls while they're refurbishing that area, and construction of the Vacation Club at the Floridian is ongoing. Hopefully, they'll plant some very large trees between it and the Wedding Chapel as they are far too close in proximity. Walt Disney World has a LOT of acreage - I can only imagine the decision to build there was based on proximity to the monorail, for the convenience of the "club members". I know it's very expensive to build monorail, but it would be nice...

Overall, as I mentioned, there's always that hypnotic draw to return to Walt Disney World, although in many ways, I often wonder what Walt would think. I would hope that current management remembers to see things through his eyes on a daily basis - it could only be better.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

If you think the hotel will be luxury because it is disneys high end you will be disappointed. The rooms are small and while they do follow the theme the rooms look like your grandmother furniture you wouldn't keep. We were also disappointed you couldn't rent movies on demand nor did they have DVD players or movies to rent. Upside is great location which is so nice after a long day at the park.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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New York, New York, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

My family and I just returned from Disney and stayed at the GF for 5 nights. Overall, I thought the resort was nice (significantly nicer than the other resorts I saw), the location (access to monorail, close to Magic Kingdom) is excellent and pool (only the little kids pool was open at time) was a big hit with my 5-yr old.

With that said, I'm not sure I would ever stay here again. My main complaint was that we had major issues with our rooms (We stayed in two double connecting rooms in the Grand Pines Lodge). Check in took over 45 minutes. Granted, I didn't check in on-line (big mistake) but 45 minutes is excessive. Then It took 8 hours and 5 attempts for them to issue me room keys that would work in our 2nd room. On top of that, the credit card I put down to charge incidentals was never properly linked and the park tickets on our room key (a seemingly new feature) didn't work initially (another major delay!) and for my wife, never worked. I'm not sure how widespread these issues are, but several cast members told us this has been a frequent problem for guests at the GF, though it could apply to all guests at properties that have upgraded their systems recently. They charge a premium price and this is supposed to be one of their best resorts. I expected better.

I would note that the general manager Kari that I interacted with was extremely kind in helping us. In addition to a decent credit, she managed to get us in to a character breakfast last minute on my son's birthday and comped half of a dinner at the Polynesian's Luau. I was very happy with her, though I was annoyed when my key didn't work again on the 3rd day. But at this point, you get the point. The resort is nice, but the infrastructure issues really made the first 2 days difficult.

Room Tip: i would not do the theme park or lagoon view (i had a lagoon view). Rather, go for one that is clos...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colleyville, TX
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

This was our extended family’s fifth consecutive one-week stay in December at the GF and I’ve always rated them a five until this year. The Sugar Loaf club level food quality and selection was better than ever and it has always been good. Housekeeping has always been perfect, but everything else went downhill. I no longer feel like we were treated as guests, but revenue bodies now. We had problems from the day we checked in and there was never an attempt to compensate for our wasted time, mistakes, etc. One example is our ‘offer’ to have lunch at the new restaurant Be Our Guest. This was being offered to people staying in the club level rooms and intended to a perk while they got experience determining if the process was working efficiently. Sugarloaf was not able to keep a consistent wifi signal in the building so we (all six of us) had to go outside to place our lunch order on the cast members iPad. It took awhile, but all six of us selected what we wanted for lunch and four of the six promptly left to do something fun. The remaining two got to put all the orders in again since the signal was dropped before it could process the orders. It probably took 45+ minutes to make this work. We were supposed to be able to skip the line at the restaurant and go right in and be seated. When we arrived we stopped at the entrance to provide the reservation card we were given and found out that our menu selections had vanished again. By then we had them memorized and provided them again. Once we were seated, the wrong food was delivered so we had to get it corrected again. After all this, we get to pay nearly $100 for Disney to work out their bugs from lack of wifi in the GF to sending food back at the restaurant. This experiment should have been treated like a timeshare visit where the consumer knows ahead of time that they’re going to devote time to considering an offer, but knowing there is some compensation for that time. We complained about all our lost time to the GF, men in suits who said they’d look into it and whenever there was an opportunity to express our frustration to someone, but there was never an offer to make it right. The GF could have at least provided a few fast passes to compensate for the lost time, but there was never an offer of any kind and this was just one example of lost time. We had several other incidents that made us wonder what has happened to the ‘magic’ of Disney. When that’s added to all the construction going on with walls everywhere (when we booked the pool work was supposed to be completed two weeks before we arrived, but wasn’t), the outdated 70’s style rooms which we’ve just overlooked every year, and the fact that we paid >$500/night/room to have all this hassle just took our frustration level over the top. As much as we’ve enjoyed staying at the GF all these years we’re going to seriously consider if it’s time to vacation somewhere else considering our experience and what it costs for a week at Disney. We want to be treated as guests and not just revenue bodies while Disney squeezes every nickel out of each guest that’s humanly possible. We don’t have any problem paying a high price for great service, but we didn’t find that at the GF this year . . . and may not return next year.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bainbridge Island, Washington, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Having stayed in the past at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Boardwalk Villas, Beach Club Villas, and Wilderness Lodge, I was very excited to be staying at the Grand Floridian--it was a resort destination on our family's Disney "Bucket List," and we all eagerly anticipated our stay. We actually stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for 2 nights prior to our arrival at the Grand Floridian, and I must say that our stay there was amazing, amazing, amazing--everything from the ambiance, service and attention to our every whim was absolutely perfect and downright magical.
Then...our experience at the Grand Floridian went downhill from the moment I stepped up to the desk to check-in. We were pretty beat, having checked out of the Animal Kingdom Lodge at 6:00 a.m. for the Sunrise Safari and spending the day at the theme park. It was a little after 3:00 when we arrived, and I was confident that our room would be ready in time for us to shower and freshen up prior to our 6:00 dinner reservations. The first thing that hit me was--no Christmas decorations! Where were the breath-taking decorations that had delighted us in the past and caused us to place the Grand Floridian on our "must stay"list for the holidays? Just hours ago we had left another Disney Resort that was simply drenched in Christmas! All of the theme parks were still decorated to the hilt, and would be for days more. Ah well, get over it and just enjoy the rest of the ambiance, I told myself.

I approached the registration desk and wasn't noticed by any staff member, even thought there was no line and at least 2 cast members that appeared to not be occupied. After a few moments without being acknowledged, I politely got one of the cast member's attention. She looked at me as if I were inconveniencing her, and asked if I needed anything. Yes, I replied, I would like to check in. She looked surprised! We went through the process, but our room was not ready--she assured us they were cleaning it as we spoke and it would be ready "any minute." They would text when it was ready.

We went out to the pool area to get refreshment while waiting for our room since nothing was available in the hotel until 4:30. The pool area was the next disappointment--the entire pool area with the beautiful view of the beach and the lagoon was boarded up and blocked off. A tiny bit of patio was left huddled up against the kiddie pool and small "beach" pool. Our only view was of the jackhammers and construction about 30 feet away, and the small pool surrounded by boards-- a small pool pocket amidst the construction. Okay, I understood that construction must happen and tried not to be too horribly let down, especially after the Christmas decoration debacle. Besides ,we could always use the other pool for some quieter relaxation and hot-tubbing later in our stay (HA!!! THAT pool was completely shut down!!!! and 100percent walled off! I heard a huge number of guests complaining bitterly about that).

Alas, things only got worse. We waited in the "pool pocket" of the contraction zone for nearly 2 hours without any to freshen up (badly needed!) due to the fact our luggage was with the bell hop and we had no idea when the room would be ready--we believed the "any minute" line far too readily and now were trapped with no way to access our things. My husband was furious and went to get our luggage (I guess he was going to haul it to the "pool pocket") just as we were notified by text of our room number and that the room was ready. By now, we had about 1/2 hour before we would need to catch the monorail for our Chef Mickey's dinner reservation. I gave bell services our luggage tag, and was informed that our luggage would not be delivered for approximately 30 minutes. I explained that this was not acceptable, as we had to access our luggage prior to leaving for a dinner reservation. The bellman told me he would put us at the front of the list. Well, you probably see where this is going--we waited a full 30 minutes with no luggage, and could wait no longer. My daughters couldn't even brush their hair (okay, I normally carry a brush in my purse, but we were in the theme park all day, and were carrying light!), This seems comic now, but was a rather dire situation for preparing for pictures with Mickey Mouse!

We returned from dinner, absolutely desperate for showers, and it took an additional two hours to obtain our luggage. It was a complete disaster. My husband demanded to speak with two managers, and when the 2nd one promised on his soul to have our luggage to us in "20 minutes" my husband said NO--I will follow you to it and I will bring every piece to the room myself. And he did. Although there WAS a helpful bellman who drove him in a cart to the room with the luggage. But my husband did indeed follow the manager to the storage area and collected the luggage himself.

I am sure I would rate the Grand Floridian a 5 star IF all amenities are available (spa, pools, beach lagoon and beach view, and service was impeccable (even with some construction nearby!) I am afraid I can't go more than 2 for our stay because we experienced none of that during this stay. A terrible disappointment for us, and definitely NOT worth the money. Wish we had stayed at the phenomenal Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sigh...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

Just stayed for 8 nights at the Grand Floridian. Have come here for 25 years and this was our tenth stay at the Grand. Beautiful property with a lot of class but has some issues to be aware of. The hotel is a replica of the Hotel Del in San Diego. We have stayed at both and one feature both have is poor sound insulation. Try to get a top floor room or you will hear the power flush toilets going off all night above you.. Noisy children next door is also a problem if you are a light sleeper. With a large mix of European guests at the hotel everyone seems to be on different time zones so there is activity going on all hours of the day. The rooms are kept up but are starting to show some wear and tear.. The newly remodeled Gasparilla Grill is a great quick restaurant open 24/7 and was recently improved with great new seating. The new kids pool is great for little ones and the adult pool is being redone currently. The transportation is great from the hotel as the monorail runs through the lobby. First stop is MK and Epcot is also easy to get to via monorail. The bus service has always been hit and miss, as GF is the last stop on the route and the buses can be overcrowded especially during peak pick up times. Great views of MK fireworks every night and a great Marina with boat rentals. GF is premium priced but we think its the best WDW has to offer.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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 and Spa

Address: 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#10 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#12 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#21 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#33 Family Hotel in Orlando
#40 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 867
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Victorian-style Disney Deluxe Resort distinguished as the flagship hotel of Walt Disney World Resort and offering world-class dining, entertainment and luxurious accommodations in its 6 striking red-gabled buildings. This magnificent hotel sits along the white-sand shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. ... 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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