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“Great location, disappointing fitness center” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Ranked #24 of 334 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
West Paterson, New Jersey, USA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great location, disappointing fitness center”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

For visiting the parks and getting the full 'magical' Disney experience, the hotel is excellent. Great location.The customer service is impressive (even by Disney standards), with the housekeeping staff going above and beyond to make the stay comfortable. The lobby is impressive; the nightly live band is really amazing. 24 hour cafe is great, especially as we were in town for race weekend and were able to get coffee and breakfast at 3am.
We booked the travel through a travel agency, and did not realize the extent of construction. I had thought it was simply the pool, but a huge new building is under construction with other smaller areas undergoing work as well; we had to walk through construction areas to get to our room. The construction crew did their best to keep the impact to a minimum, but it definitely was a disappointment.
Similar to the Polynesian, there is a central lobby building with separate buildings with guest rooms (in addition to the rooms in the main lobby). We were in a separate building, and I found it to be 'lonely' and a little depressing after walking through the main building/lobby.
The rooms are nice; the 'style' of the hotel is a little overwhelming by intention with a lot of patterns- wallpaper, carpeting, linens, etc.
The main disappointment was the 'refurbished' fitness center. It serves the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian. Having been there several times in the past, it seems like some of the footprint has been decreased during the attached spa renovation. It is too small for the number of guests at both hotels. The equipment is good, but the free weights area accommodates one person comfortably, and two is a squeeze. But more problematic than the size of the gym is the complete lack of restroom facilities. If you need to use the restroom, you must go next door to the spa and ask to be escorted into the spa to use the restroom. The spa attendant waits outside the bathroom for you. I am not sure what one would do when the spa is closed as the spa/fitness center is a separate building between the two resorts. There are also no facilities to store belongings; I had to put my bag on the floor in a corner. There was also no means of cleaning the equipment after use. It is absolutely ridiculous and I was very disappointed. This is not what I would expect for the level of resort and the amount paid.
We have stayed at the Swan and Dolphin resorts in past (at half the cost of the Grand Floridian), each of which had large fitness centers with great facilities.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank JenK77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (823)
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Calumet City, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

This resort was amazing. We stayed there for 4 days and enjoyed every minute of it. The spa was so wonderful, try to get a spa day in while you are there. Take a look around the resort, there is so much to see and do. The shopping is also great. One of my favorite things is being on the monorail route and being able to have the early park entry. Great perks for staying at a Disney resort.

Room Tip: When you book a room indicate that you want a non-smoking room on a high floor with a park view. You...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Patricia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
93 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We are long time Disney fans but this is the first time we stayed at the Grand Floridian. It is a lovely hotel with impeccable service. I highly recommend this as an extended family location, especially if the Magic Kingdom is your primary destination. You can't beat the one stop to the Magic Kingdom via monorail and a return to your hotel by boat. The boat launches at least every 15 minutes so it is an easy return to your room. The spa and restaurants as well as the quiet elegance are wonderful respites from the high energy of the theme parks. The nighttime water parade at 9:15 pm on Bay Lake is lovely and a quiet change from the park fanfare. You can easily watch Magic Kingdom's fireworks over the Castle across the lake as well.

If Hollywood Studios and/or Animal Kingdom are your primary destinations and your vacation time is a few days I would not recommend this hotel as you will spend quite a bit of time in transportation. Although taking the monorail to the Transportation Center and getting a bus or getting a bus at the hotel are options, plan on at least 30-45 minutes to get to these theme parks. Driving or taking a cab (pricey) are more time efficient options.

The rooms are spacious but don't expect especially spacious bathrooms more typical of this price range outside of Disney World. That being said, the rooms are tastefully appointed and well maintained.

My only complaint is that the Grand Floridian's new water park area for young children has a bell that rings every time a large water bucket is automatically filled with water - great for the kids but not so pleasant if you are lounging on the chaises at the pool.

I hope to return to this hotel - this and the Polynesian are my top 2 choices.

Room Tip: I'd stay at one of the outer buildings to save a bit on cost and still have the benefits of this...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NapervilleCookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
120 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

First of all. let me explain the "poor" 2/5 rating that I gave the hotel.
The Grand Floridian is the flagship hotel of the Walt Disney World Resort... it is the top of the line and supposed to the best and ultimate guest experience. This status obviously does not come cheap. Most rooms average $300-$500 a night or more. We stayed at the hotel at a convention/conference rate which was much considerably less since a big block of rooms were reserved. Probably if we had actually been paying $500 a night I would have been very upset about the condition of the room.

Had we been paying regular rate for the room, it would have been $560 a night... for this kind of money and considering it is Disney and their flagship resort you would expect PERFECTION! This was not the case. Our room was no better in condition and cleanliness than staying at Doubletree, Hilton, or Crowne Plaza Hotel. While the theme of the hotel is great with hidden Mickey's everywhere in the decor, is this really worth $560 a night?... NO, unless you have lots of money or don't care about spending your money. The light fixtures were dusty and dirty, the glass of the wall hangings/pictures were dirty and streaked and spotted, the bathroom wallpaper had cuts in it 5 in all about a foot long each where it looked like someone razor bladed the wall paper, there was food on the wall near the desk, the desk top was "chewed up" and knicked up very badly, the smoke alarm was hanging by a wire from the ceiling, the patio door windows were dirty and streaked, the shower liner was a rubber like liner- kind of cheap and disgusting,
the pillows were either cheap or needed to be replaced, the coffee maker didn't work and kept shutting off through the cycle, upon arrival- most of the lamp shades were all crooked or lop sided, there were litlle fly-like bugs in the room most of our stay, and the towels and bathroom amenities are the same as any other Disney resort and not special for this high priced hotel resort.

What the resort has going for it- the lagoon views (if you are lucky enough to get one) are breathtaking!! The views are of the Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian Resort, the Contemporary Resort, and the Wilderness Lodge Resort can be seen in the distance. Getting a lagoon view room either requires luck or $65-100 extra a night compared to a garden/pool view room. I have to say the view is just awesome. Watching the sun rise over the Seven Seas Lagoon is magical in itself. However, the view is not worth $560 a night. For $150 or more a night cheaper... you can stay on the monorail line and be at the Contemporary Resort or Polynesian Resort for a comparable room.

It seems that Disney has cut down on deepcleaning its rooms or they do not have staff checking up on the rooms after they have been cleaned. It is hard to believe that if you are staying at a Disney property that your room would not be perfect. Disney sets the standard many times in the hospitality industry with many other hotel companies following their lead or examples. Also, you would think that since this is their flagship hotel resort, that they would have upgraded bed linens, towels, and bathroom amenities... and ones there were unique for this high priced hotel.
The night turn down service with candies put on the bed and ice put into the ice bucket are really nice, but they are not worth $560 a night either.

All of this imperfection was very, very disappointing. I would probably not stay here again unless someone else was paying for it or the rate was crazy good. I honestly cannot recommend this hotel because of its high nightly rate with all the imperfections that we confronted with our room. It would be wiser to either stay at another monorail hotel or another cheaper Disney property and save your money for food, souvenirs, or keep it in the bank.

The level of service was about the same as any other Disney hotel. Everyone was very attentive to your needs and very friendly, but it was no better or over the top compared to a value resort up to another deluxe resort. I guess I expected service to be like at the Ritz Carlton or the Waldorf Astoria... something really special and unique... OVER THE TOP!!

Finally, let me tell you that we did not pay for our room. We were down at Walt Disney World for a conference and the room was paid for by the company- basically, we did not pay for the room with our own money which makes this review, I beieve, very unbiased. We come down to Disney 2 or 3 times a year and I have been coming down to Walt Disney World since 1991. I have stayed at 6 of the Disney hotels and this was the first time at the Grand Floridian Hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a lagoon view room for spectacular views! Marina view rooms are also nice and offer a quiet...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank No1HotelAdvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, Texas
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

The hotel rooms show their age but the grounds and common areas are still first class. They were doing what I imagine is non stop work on the exterior of our room while we were there but it showed a commitment to maintaining the property. The location is great and the hotel has a charm of its architectural era. The service was good and we enjoyed being there. Mechanically, the room was fine. I think you will enjoy your stay at this hotel.

Room Tip: PIck a view of the lake.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank utbeta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
160 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We have stayed here several times, in both club level and non-club level rooms. This time, we had a standard (no club level) room in the Sago Cay building.

First the good:
1. As always, the resort is beautiful.
2. The location is great, right on the monorail and one stop from the Magic Kingdom.
3. Most rooms sleep five (which is a plus for those of us with three kids).
4. Castmembers are top notch.
5. Gasparilla's, which is the quick service restaurant, has been recently remodeled. The noisy arcade has been removed, so now the restaurant is quiet and has ample seating. That is a HUGE improvement over the past.
6. Turndown service is provided in all rooms, and that's a nice touch.

Now the areas needing improvement:
1. There is currently a lot of construction going on. The courtyard pool is being redone. The beach at the other pool is blocked by construction walls. The new DVC building is incomplete and an unsightly mess.
2. The rooms need to be redone. They still have very old bedspreads, which even many cheaper hotels have removed these days. Some of the fixtures in the room are quite old and need replacing.
3. Self-parking is across the street and a long hike from any of the rooms.
4. The previously mentioned turndown service is stingy on the chocolates. We had five people in the room, and were given just two chocolates per night. For the rates Disney charges, they really should give a piece of chocolate per person.

Room Tip: Get a room away from the construction.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ProfandMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Where do I start???? It's been 4 months since our holiday began, and I'm still thinking about it. We stayed here for 2 wks as a family of 4. Kids aged 5 & 10 yrs. it was our first time to wdw and what better what better way to do it. From the the moment we landed in mco, the mickey express, and then check in at GF everyone was friendly and genuinely pleased to help you. We stay in Big pine key, and were upgraded to lagoon view room, where we could watch the water pageant at night which was lovely, and the lovely smell as you enter thr hotel is something you'll take home with you. Yes there was construction going on at the hotel as they are refurbing the main pool. But it never bothered us it was boarded up very nicely and the construction men always greeted our children every morning and which I thought was really nice. Another thing too the was never ever any mess, you could hardly tell it was going on. I don't know why ppl complain about refurbing it's good to keep it up to date.

We chose the GF purely because of it being the flagship property and that it is a once in a lifetime holiday, or so we thought! But we have fallen in love with the place and am planning to return 2014 and now staying anywhere else would be impossible. It was great for us with the kids as we spent most of our time at MK and being so close on the monorail was perfect when things got a bit too hot to nip back on monorail and cool cool in the pool.

Rooms were fine, 2 queen beds and a day bed which our 10 yr old nabbed for herself. Air con, coffee machine, twin basins and bath/shower. We had a little laundry room on the ground floor which I used once half way through our holiday and was great.
We had the ddp, wow think we left 2 stone heavier! Far too much food, and I think we had around 30 or so snack credits left when we checked out.

The only negative was leaving, it really was the most perfect holiday, and that's down to staying in the most perfect place, I'm counting down the days till we return!

Feel free to private msg me with any q's I'll be happy to help :)

  • Stayed September 2012, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Lovestotravel298
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
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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#5 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#6 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#23 Family Hotel in Orlando
#27 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#32 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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