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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Ranked #22 of 336 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2005

My husband and I and our four small children,ages 9 mon.,3,5,7., spent 6 great days here in mid September. This is our second stay, the first being in October 2003. WE LOVE THIS PLACE ! We have stayed at other disney resorts, but none come close to comparing with the Grand Floridian. We arrived and our room was ready early at 12 noon. We had requested a view of Cinderella's Castle and we had a beautiful lagoon view room in the Conche Key building. It was convenient to the boat dock which had boats going to the Magic Kingdom. We had requested a refridgerator, microwave, and crib, all of which arrived within minutes to our beautiful, very clean room. The bellman who took our luggage was so great with our children! He gave them mickey stickers, told them jokes etc. Everyone from the front desk clerks, the housekeeping staff, the bellmen, the grounds crew were EXCEPTIONALLY helpful and friendly! The lobby is georgeous with live piano music the kids danced to , and huge fresh floral arrangements. The pool areas and the grounds were well cared for. We had a yummy character meal at the 1900 Park Fare, dinner included Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming and Mice from the movie. Room service was delicious and prompt. WE CAN'T WAIT TO RETURN!!!!

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17 Thank MoMomof5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 18, 2005

THE GOOD: My husband, 20 month old daughter and I stayed at the GF Sept 16-18, 2005. We were in the Boca Chica building, 4th floor Lagoon View, private balcony with a view of Cinderella's castle! Boca Chica is right by a large 24 hour pool and close to the boat dock. The room was spacious and beautiful with dormer ceiling, two sinks in the bathroom (LOVE that) a desk, table and chairs on the balcony. Water pressure in the shower was ok. Cast Members at check-in and check-out were cordial and housekeeping was very polite and always said hello! The Boca Chica building was in excellent condition and did not show any wear and tear as others have noted... Character Breakfast was DELICIOUS, excellent food for the price! made-to-order omelletes, fresh fruit, pastries, baked goods, cereal, breakfast meats, the best OJ I have tasted in along time plus more! Pooh, Eeyore, the Mad Hatter and the Princess from the Hercules movie made their rounds and Mary Poppins too.

THE BAD: We stayed in a room that averages $550.00 a night and we could hear our next door neighbor's baby crying very loudly thru the wall!!!
NO Soundproofing in a luxury resort!? VERY disappointing! Could also hear people USING and flushing their toilets as clear as day! NOT pleasant. The faucets in both sinks were loose. I had requested a crib, a hi-chair and a frig and NONE of these items were in the room upon arrival. The balcony was not clean, chairs and table were dirty. Housekeeping did not replenish used shampoos, etc the next day, left some trash and did not wipe off furniture surfaces. Ate Dinner at one of the "moderately" priced restaurants inside the main building (cant remember name) - French Onion soup was delicious but waay overpriced!

PARK TIP: DO NOT I repeat DO NOT go to the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday. It is THE most crowded day of the week. Sunday was MUCH better!

All in all the GF was beautiful but NOT worth the money UNLESS you can request a room without babies nearby and flushing toilets doesn't bother you!

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
27 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2005

Below is our entire Disney experience.

Regarding the Grand Floridian - The rooms are pretty but warn - not worth more than $250/night. There were 2 elevators broken down (1 for 4 days) which made it difficult to haul the stroller up and down the stairs. Location is convenient to Magic Kingdom. The Grill is open 24hrs and has better food than the parks. Prices aren't any cheaper but there are no crowds.

Review of our Land Sea Vacation:
I traveled with my husband, 2 boys (4yrs and 14mos) and my parents during August 2005. We did the 4 day land 3 day sea vacation package and booked our vacation through Disney Cruise Line. The initial cost was $11K for the 6 of us to stay in a category 2 (950 sq ft 2 bedroom/2.5 bath suite). The category on the ship determines accommodations on land. Keep in mind this pays for the basics (hotel, transfers, park passes, ship, meals on the ship, and travel insurance). Our flights, meals on land, incidentals, shore excursions, etc. are NOT included in this price.
Although I did much research and preparation for our trip; we were hit with many costly surprises.
I had contacted Disney Cruise Line multiple times to gather necessary information prior to our departure; information that was not published in reading materials or on the website (i.e. where do you catch the bus from the airport to the resort?). I knew there was a bus but we were not told where to go when we arrived at the airport nor that we would be going through a check-in process and waiting in long lines at Disney Express. On more than one occasion when contacting DCL (my only resource for detailed information from a human) I was told to refer to my travel agent. I didn’t have a travel agent!!! I made all arrangements through DCL myself – shouldn’t they have that noted in their computer?

During the entire experience we witnessed the most unfriendly, unaccommodating, unhappy people. This began at the airport, then the resort, and then the parks.

Checking in at the airport we did not receive smiles or welcomes, only herded along like cattle. Then we arrived at the Grand Floridian to learn the 6 of us were assigned to a STANDARD room. We paid $11 thousand dollars for the second largest room on the ship only to be squeezed into 1 standard room at the hotel. (This might not be so bad for some, but my 14 month old still naps. I couldn’t expect for my entire family to sit in a dark room or out on the patio for 2hrs during the heat of the day. Nor could I leave the baby alone in the room to nap). After 45 min of talking to the resort manager and on the phone with a manager from DCL, we paid an additional $1,200 + tax to get an adjoining standard room for 4 nights. Obviously, when you’re there, they got you.

I was unaware that Disney Cruise Line is a completely separate company from the Disney parent company. The computer systems of the two companies are not integrated and people at DCL give you information about the resort and parks from a book, not necessarily from experience, and some of the information they give you isn’t particularly accurate.

Below are some other examples of not-so-happy experiences.
Not having transportation is nice to not have to deal with parking but you are at the mercy of big brother Walt. You want water, you pay $2/ for a 24 oz bottle or drink from the tap. Every meal, snack, drink, you have to pay a premium. No mini-mart to run to, to pick up extra diapers, candy bar, or those little things you take for granted staying in or near a city or having your own transportation.
I had to remove some sodas and juice from our mini fridge to make room for some of my baby’s items (bottle, sippy cup, opened baby food, etc). Mini-bar contents were put on top of the fridge to be replaced later, but instead the fridge was restocked with new items. I of course followed up to learn we were charged for all those items still sitting on top of the mini-fridge. It was corrected but I still had to hassle with policing our bill while on vacation.
Our visit to Animal Kingdom was the worst of the 3 parks we visited. It began entering the park when my 4yr old was excited to put his pass card into the machine at the turnstile. When he did it incorrectly, the park worker rolled her eyes and huffed at him. Later we had lunch at Rainforest Café. Our server was great when we were seated but as the meal progressed we saw less of him and had to constantly ask for refills, condiments, etc. No smiles, no friendly chit-chat, no desire to please. After our mediocre meal is when I remembered tips are automatically charged, not at your own discretion. When leaving Animal Kingdom, we had to catch the bus back to our resort. We were told the busses ran approx every 20min. We timed it and our wait was more than 35min and it took a total of 55 minutes to get to the Grand Floridian after making all the stops.
I could go on about the $100 horrible meal at Chef Mickey, the grumpy monorail pilot, the long lines, extraordinary prices, and poor service at the restaurants but feel I’ve made my point.

Maybe because it was hot or the end of the summer, the employees are unhelpful and unfriendly but it’s a poor excuse when it’s suppose to be the happiest place on earth.

Fortunately, our DCL experience ended our vacation on a good note and helped us get over our experience at the parks. The staff was very welcoming, friendly, and full of energy. The accommodations were clean, the food was good, entertainment and ports of call were fun. We were able to enjoy family events then drop our little guys off at the nursery and Oceaneer’s club to enjoy adult time both on and off the ship. We recommend DCL for families with kids of all ages but especially those with little ones under 6yrs.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
32 Thank teamH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2005

We stayed at the Grand Flo during Christmas 2004 (my partner, 8 month old son and myself).

Only one major flaw for this magnificent hotel, and that is, that it is not exclusive enough for the guests that have paid a small fortune to stay there and encounter a bit of luxury.

Even though we were staying there, we struggled to get into any of the hotel restaurants and found ourselves queing for what seemed like forever, whilst other residents from other properties in WDW walked straight through.

My personal opinion is that, as this is a 5 * hotel the guests that have paid to stay in a 5 * hotel should get some sort of preferential treatment (especially when trying to book a table in their own hotel!)

We have previously stayed in the Wilderness Lodge, which was fab and to be honest we might as well pay less and stay there, then use the facilities etc at the Grand Flo like everybody else!

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16 Thank saffron900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2005

Third visit to "The Grand Flo" in five years and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Main plus points - VERY helpful and friendly staff; good pool area; excellent grounds; brilliantly easy transport to all Disney parks and resorts (monorail, boat or bus). Dined for the first time at Victoria & Alberts - $800 for four of us, but it WAS very high standard. Citricos, Narcoosees and Floridian Cafe are also good quality restaurants. Plus there's a 24hr grill for snacks, drinks etc. Hotel lobby area, complete with live pianist or swing band, is amongst the most impressive I've ever seen.

On check-in my wife mentioned that this was our third visit and cheekily asked if we might have a room up-grade. Hey presto - the manager offered us a ground floor lagoon view room (worth an extra $80 a night) at no cost!

Later we had a problem with theme park tickets not working (entirely the fault of our tour company). When we mentioned it to the hotel people they gave us complimentary passes valid for all the Disney parks which we could use for a day or two while it was all being sorted out.

Main "could be better" points - Main restaurant for character dining (1900 Park Fair) is crowded and, with so many kids, is a bit of a zoo. Buffet food here is average only. Also the bedrooms are not fully sound-proofed. Noise has never been a problem on previous visits, but this time we were next door to a family that seemed to be training for the All-American Shouting Championships.

Overall this is a very good quality place and a great refuge from the theme parks. As you'd expect it has prices to match.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14 Thank BigBobbyRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 27, 2005

We really enjoyed the floridian! The service was good, the food was good at Narcoose's and Victoria and Albert's. The room was not a luxury resort room. However, the decor is unique and charming. I think you have to expect novelty at this hotel as opposed to adult luxury. The frequent traveler will find the room average and the theming extraordinary. Enjoy the hotel for what it is and don't compare it to many others as its purpose is different. This hotel is aimed at families who will spend the majority of their time at the theme parks and want to find the same type of theming when they return to their room.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burbank, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2005

The Floridian means a lot to me. When I was a college student working over the summer at WDW in 1988, I was desperate for spending money and took an overtime shift at the Floridian, which at the time was being readied for its grand opening. One of my many jobs that night was to remove the 2x4s out of the gazebo in the back and sweep the place clean. Nearly ten years later, I hosted the cocktail hour for my wedding reception in that very same gazebo. Talk about coming full circle! The rest of our reception was in one of the GF's ballrooms and it went on until 12:30. I was pretty jazzed about spending the night in the honeymoon suite (value of $645 at the time, free for the exhausted but happy couple!) on the conciege floor.

While my overall experience with the GF was marvelous - great party, wonderful food - I landed with a bit of a thud back on earth the next day. We asked to have our checkout time extended until 2 pm (I thought a reasonable request, since we'd gotten to the room so late after the wedding). We were told no. I was amazed and asked a manager to explain this to me (remember, we were on the conciege floor!) The story was that WDW was hosting a golf tournament and they needed to turn the room over someone involved with that. Now, you can guess that we spent a TON of money on the wedding (which I mentioned to the manager), and all we were asking for was another *three* hours in our (rather small, I might add) hotel room. Isn't check-in time 3:00? Still, the final answer was no.

So the GF still has a special place in my heart, and I return there to visit every couple of years. Still love the lobby, the fireworks view from the hotel, and Narcoosee's (miss the yard beers, but they make the best Key Lime Martini you've ever had). But I have to admit I'll never forget them nickel-and-diming me on my honeymoon night!

  • Stayed October 1999
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank trinaunz
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
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:
#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 (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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