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“Great hotel -” 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 #39 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
Cincinnati, Ohio
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great hotel -”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

The hotel itself is a gorgeous property. It was a very nice surprise to walk in the hotel and greeted by name, yes, by name. This was our first time staying at this hotel so this was a nice surprise. Even nicer was discovering we had been upgraded to the club level. After returning home, I looked at the price difference - it would have roughly been $90 a night over what we had booked the standard room. It was incredibly handy to have the continental breakfast available included each day. We had the meal plan and when you add this to the food provided at the club level, it was truly overkill. It was nice to be able to go back to the room prior to dinner and have a glass of wine and some nibbles! The room was clean and in great condition. We faced the marina area and could walk out of the building (with the nightcaps and dessert goodies from the food area) and watch the fireworks in the evening. The concierge was super helpful & knoweldgeable and greeted us by name each day. The ability to borrow disney movies that are "in the vault" was an added perk when my daughter needed a little downtime from the day. The grounds were pretty and well kept. The main pool was under rennovation and the other pool was nice but calling it a heated pool (mid-Oct visit) would be generous.

The shops in the hotel were smaller than other property hotels. Basin - a soap shop- provided a very scenty experience when coming off the monorail. Fun store to shop in. Everyone was polite and excellent customer service. You are the last stop on the monorail so in the mornings it was a little complicated getting on them. The boat to magic kingdom is a fun a good alternative to get back and forth. No issues with bus transportation back and forth to other parks. Hollywoood Studios always seems to be a challenge to get a bus back to all the hotels at the Magic Kingdom in the afternoons/evenings. You will stand & watch multiple buses to what seems to be every hotel on the planet prior to seeing one back to GF, Polynesian, Contemporary. We go to DW a lot and we consistently see this issue. Trick - take a bus back to the transportation center and then hop the monorail back. Surprisingly, this is faster than waiting for a bus unless you hit the lottery ticket of bus timing.

The quick service restaurant by the pool has wonderful sandwiches & salads - very good quality for quick service. 1900 Park Ave for breakfast was Ok - Crystal Palace has much better breakfast buffet in MK w/ characters. Dinner there was undoubtably the worst buffet dinner I have had at Disney (ranks down there with the Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios). I jealously watched folks leave and rave about Citricos, and the other $$ restaurants on property. I had a 4 year old with so didn't partake at these. Spa was closed for rennovation so cannot speak to this.

Overall - very nice rooms, excellent customer service, clean and convenient. We are trying The Beach Club over by Epcot next year to be closer to Food & Wine Festival but would stay at GF again!

Room Tip: It was nice being on the first floor with a "balcony" - there were shrubs around the area...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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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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Brooklyn, NY
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed here for three nights and came away with mixed feelings. Taking a week to think about the visit I realized that the hotel was fine. The staff was fine. The room was fine. But, "best" at Disney doesn't mean it is worthy of being called "best" in general. The Grand Floridian is the nicest hotel in the Disney chain - but its still a chain...granted the chain is only in Orlando...but its is institutional. I realized that my biggest "problem" were, in fact, the other guests who were expecting, no demanding, service and care that one would get at a five-star elegant hotel in Paris, New York, or another major city. $400-$500 a night does not "buy" the avoidance of lines a concierge, having the staff know you by name, or the right to demand a new napkin and silverware between each course at a meal.
The staff does the very best they can - they have to wear those heavy 19th century uniforms in the heat of Florida and say "have a magical day" 8-10 hours at a time. People need to dial back the expectations. This hotel is comparable to a good national chain and not an exclusive luxury resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Littleton, Colorado
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

The hotel was very nice and my wife and I had an excellent stay, but considering the price, I cannot give the GF a 5 star or even 4 star rating.

I booked the GF to get an extra special stay in WDW (decided to splurge), and for the convenience of the monorail access during the busy holiday season (stay until Dec 20-25, so we did not have the full brunt of the crowd, but certainly busy). I had paid extra for a park view room and specifically asked the agent (booked direct through WDW) if we would have an unobstructed view of the park and could see the fireworks from our balcony, than they assured me yes. The view we had was a very nice view of the cosmopolitan hotel and the lake, and had a nice view of space mountain to the left, but there was a roof to the left of that which extended such that that use could only see the castle (over the roof) when you were standing at the edge of the balcony. The majority of the fireworks were blocked by the roof since they tended to be mostly to the left of the castle (where there roof was higher). We could only see the fireworks that were extra high or occasionally to the right. Therefore, we ended up not watching fireworks in our room after the first night. Instead, we watched from the boat dock at the GF with everyone else (so I could have saved the expense of the park view room).

In regards to the room, it was relatively small and old for property claiming in to be a 5 star. We had requested a king bed, but did not get (not a big deal, but when we checked in they did not tell us one was not available – we just showed up as the room and it was not what we requested). The bathroom was nowhere close to 5 star. It just has a regular tub (looked old) and the extremely small. To close the bathroom room, you needed to step into the bathroom and squeeze out of the way of the door. The bathroom door has a little notch worn into to the edge to clear the toilet. I had never that that in any hotel, let alone a five star.

The GF grounds were 5 star, but the room was certainly not. In October, we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, and even though that is not as nice as GF, I would definitely stay at Port Olreans again, whereas I would not stay at GF again unless there was a bargain price (which I’ve never seen in the past). I’ve seen postings that said after you stay at GF, you’ll never stay anywhere else – We’ll not me.

Room Tip: Don't waste money upgrading to a theme park view if you are looking to see fireworks from your b...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

We have stayed at this hotel since its grand opening. We use to love staying here....this will be our last stay.
Over the past 5 years down a notch each visit. Every time we check in the is always a problem (new staff, computer system, what ever). Use to be great when you drive up its like open season everyone running around doing nothing. We finally got out pulled bags hunted down attendant then headed inside almost to doors when finally greated

This all needs to be addressed its rudiculous they make you feel like you don't belong at their hotel. Rooms are outdated. Impossible to get a reasonable RSVP at their restaurants.

We won't be back!!!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

I just returned from a three day stay with my son at Disney's Grand Floridan. Last year we stayed on the concierge level and this time we stayed in a standard room. Although it has a great location in the heart of Disney and easy access to all the parks the "luxury" part of the hotel is not so " luxury." The staff is very kind, but personal attention to detail that you expect from a luxury hotel is not really there. Upon arrival, the staff took my luggage assuring me that it would be in my room once I returned from the park. However, when we returned 5 hours later, the bags were not in my room. I had to go to the concierge and find my luggage. Overall, our stay was OK.

Room Tip: The concierge level is probably worth it. Bigger rooms and all day snacks are available.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

Just returned from 5 nights at the Grand Floridian. Standard rooms are wonderful - large, very comfortable beds, nice little balcony. The landscaping here is beautiful, so don't be shy about booking one of the less expensive garden view rooms. I cannot say enough about the service - excellent in every way. Very convenient free transportation, either by monorail or boat. Our five year old grandson loved the children's pool with its slides and various other water toys. We stayed in one of the out buildings - all of which are close and convenient to the main building. The lobby is most impressive and we loved the evening pianist and orchestra. A great place to relax. We have stayed at 13 different disney world hotels - many of them very, very nice, but the Grand Floridian is the best. Our only regret is that I did not bring a sport coat so we could dine at Victoria and Albert's.

Room Tip: We had originally booked a superior room, but these cannot be adjoining so we switched to standard r...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

I stayed here with my husband the beginning of February, we had a standard room with the Garden view. The hotel definitely has its pros and cons.

Pros: Extra Magic hours were great, we'd hit the rides with the biggest waits then and be in and out! Proximity to Epcot and Magic Kingdom via the monorail was a plus, however the monorail was down twice during our stay, and we finished dinner at Epcot after the monorail closed so we still ended up on the bus. General service, the staff was always more than happy to answer questions, they even printed our boarding pass which saved us major time at the airport! The grounds of the hotel were gorgeous, very relaxing and it was always a treat to walk through the lobby when the live band was playing some familiar Disney tunes. Walking around the grounds with Cinderella's castle across the water only added to the experience

Cons: The rooms were nothing special. The walls were paper thin so if you're a light sleeper beware. The rooms were in desperate need of a refresh - everything looked worn and old. Gasperillas was convenient for breakfast but the food was...eh. It was fine for quick fare I suppose but I've stayed at hotels with included breakfast buffets with equal or better quality. The offering was too limited and still pricey. I expected better from the GF. If you have the time definitely go to the polynesian one morning - their breakfast was only slightly more but LOADS better. Also there was quite a bit of construction going on so the main pool was closed. Not that big of a deal but worth noting. Bus transportation was just ok...always crowded and it would stop at the other hotels. I would have expected dedicated busses from the individual hotels.

With all of that in mind, I'm not sure I would stay at the GF in the future, I'm just not sure the conveniences are worth the price. Being a Disney resort I was expecting top notch and I just don't think it was there for the price you're paying, and you still seem to pay for everything.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#12 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#14 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#17 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#33 Family Hotel in Orlando
#43 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa 4.5*
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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