Monday, March 21, 2016

Why the Grand Floridian is My Absolute Favorite

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is one of the most famous hotels at Walt Disney World. It has been featured on many television shows, and I remember, when I was young, falling in love with the whole look and feel of the hotel when it made an appearance on Full House. Let's not forget the scene when DJ is walking down the main lobby stairs and sees Steve, who has surprised her by making the trip to Disney World after spending a few agonizing days apart during which she thought she saw him everywhere she looked, including as Indiana Jones and Aladdin (the character he actually voiced in the animated film). I have had the opportunity to stay at the Grand Floridian twice, and while the other Disney World hotels that I have experienced have been top notch, here are 8 reasons (in no particular order) that the Grand Floridian is my absolute favorite:

1. Atmosphere
As a Deluxe resort, the Grand Floridian is especially immersive. From the moment you drive onto the property, you are surrounded by the luxurious, Victorian atmosphere. From timely cast member costumes to exquisite hotel room furnishings, the resort makes you feel as though you have stepped back in time to a more simple yet elegant era. The atmosphere of the hotel invites you to relax, take a stroll around the grounds, and enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine. Even after a long, busy day of running around the parks, the Grand Floridian truly allows you to unwind and rest up for your next adventure.

2. Architecture
I absolutely love taking the ferry back from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian and admiring the gorgeous white buildings and red roofs that populate the resort. The view from the Seven Seas Lagoon is breathtaking, and the architecture is just as beautiful up close, adding to the overall grandeur of the resort.

3. Music
Nothing says "Deluxe resort" like live music in the hotel lobby every evening, and the Grand Floridian is the most deluxe of them all. Whether it's the pianist on the main floor playing familiar Disney songs or the big-band style ensemble playing a variation of tunes, the live music sets the Grand Floridian apart from all other resorts I have visited.

4. Landscaping
Walking the grounds of the Grand Floridian after breakfast on a sunny morning or at sunset in the evening is one of my favorite things to do outside the Disney World parks. The grounds of the resort are so meticulously well-maintained, and the attention to detail in the beautiful landscaping really amplifies the luxury of the hotel.

5. Restaurants
The Grand Floridian boasts 6 table-service restaurants (one of which is character dining), 3 quick-service dining locations, and 2 lounges. It is also the proud home to the Four Star/Five Diamond awarded Victoria & Albert's. While the fine dining locations can be pricey, I have found that nothing beats a Mickey waffle breakfast in the bright and elegant (and, thankfully, affordable) Grand Floridian Café before heading off to the Magic Kingdom. It's easy to use up all of your Disney Dining Plan meal credits at this resort alone!

6. Service Quality
All of Disney World's Cast Members are trained to treat guests like royalty, but the service they provide at the Grand Floridian goes above and beyond. From the moment you step out of your vehicle, you are greeted by friendly Cast Members willing to help direct you, park your car for you, handle your luggage for you, etc. The front desk and concierge are always willing to help with whatever you may need, and we have been fortunate enough to receive a free room upgrade in the past (complete with a gorgeous view of the castle). My family and I have even received a golf cart ride back to our building after a long day at the Magic Kingdom. The staff at the Grand Floridian truly upholds the Deluxe resort designation.

7. Cleanliness
As you might expect, the Grand Floridian, in my experience, is spotless. From the rooms to the lobby to the pool deck, the absolute cleanliness of the resort proves its status as a luxurious Deluxe hotel, making you feel comfortable and right at home.

8. Location
You can't beat standing on the balcony of your hotel room and watching the fireworks explode over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom! As one of the three hotels located on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Grand Floridian is in a truly magical location. Guests can ride the monorail, take a ferry, or even walk to the Magic Kingdom! The resort is also very close to the Polynesian and Contemporary, so visiting these classic hotels during your vacation is a must. The Grand Floridian is even home to a wedding pavilion overlooking the lagoon with Cinderella Castle in the background, making it the perfect location for that special day!

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