All the official resorts at Walt Disney World will stir your imagination with their theming.
Meanwhile, you’ll relish the utility of the amenities available at each one. Still, only one resort can claim the title of the best.
According to Disney officials, the crown jewel of the hotel collection is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Here are 12 reasons why we love it!
The Beach Pool
Some of my fondest memories have occurred at the main pool at the Grand Floridian.
The combination of the beachfront area and the Courtyard Bar make for an ideal setting, especially on nights with Disney Movies Under the Stars.
Perhaps the best part of the pool is that it faces the striking façades of the hotel’s buildings. Usually, when I’m swimming, I’m locked in on exercise.
At the Grand Floridian, the beauty of the place distracts me. It’s one of the best hangout spots at Walt Disney World.
The restaurants at the Grand Floridian are so over-the-top great that I had to cut three that I really like.
Previously, Citricos wouldn’t have made the cut, but the restaurant re-themed in 2021.
Now, a Mary Poppins theme warms the place in a practically perfect way. If you’re not a Mary Poppins fanatic, some of the touches may fly over your head.
However, fans of the original and its remake will swoon over all the loving details. Feel free to ask a cast member to explain some of them!
Also, Disney updated the menu to match the new theming, and the updated cocktails will definitely quench your thirst.
The Enchanted Rose
However, you may prefer a different style of bar experience. If that’s true, head to the hotel lobby at the Grand Floridian.
Then, take the classic elevator to the second floor. You’ll discover Enchanted Rose, a Beauty and the Beast inspired lounge with a remarkable centerpiece.
The chandelier in one of the rooms draws inspiration from Belle’s yellow ball gown. It’ll grow a bit more hypnotizing after each drink!
Grand Florida Cafe
Again, the restaurants here will satisfy anybody’s needs, whether you’re staying for a week or a month.
The place where I dine the most is Grand Floridian Cafe, which also resides just post the hotel lobby.
This place sells comfort food and does brunch all afternoon, which means you can order a Grand Breakfast at 3:30 pm if you like…and I often do.
The Holiday Special Events
Whether you stay at the Grand Floridian or not, you’ll want to make time for a visit here.
Again, the hotel lobby hosts most of the action, as management takes a seasonal approach to many activities.
To wit, the Grand Floridian just featured an Easter theme, complete with oversize, colorful Easter eggs.
During the yuletide season, cast members construct a gingerbread house that doubles as a storefront.
The employees work inside the gingerbread house and sell you delicious holiday treats. It’s one of my favorite things at Disney.
The Maddest Hat
Roughly ten years ago, the Grand Floridian introduced a new play area themed to Alice in Wonderland.
The most attention-grabbing element here is the Mad Hatter’s hat. Water continuously flows into this oversized hat.
Once the water causes a tipping point, the hat falls over, drenching everyone underneath it.
You’ll appreciate the sheer joy of these moments once you hear the raucous laughter of children. This hat is magical.
You’ll find a wide array of shopping options at the Grand Floridian. Many of them are high-end in nature, understandable given the clientele.
However, M. Mouse Mercantile sells plenty of fantastic gear at reasonable Disney prices. This place also gets some of the best children’s toys, too.
I highly recommend that you stop here, even when you’re not staying at the resort.
In case you’re missing the point, the hotel lobby is the place to be at the Grand Floridian.
Not that long ago, an entire orchestra played concerts here on the weekends. Now, management has reduced the music to the basics.
A pianist performs classic Disney tunes on many evenings. When you combine this with some drinks from Enchanted Rose, you’ll have a lovely evening!
I’ll never forget the joy on my brother’s face the first time he stayed at one of the DVC hotel rooms here. He kept commenting on high-end features like the tile and flooring.
Suffice to say that Disney has spared no expense in crafting the most tasteful rooms at Walt Disney World.
All the stuff you decided you couldn’t afford for your house is on full display here, perhaps giving you ideas about your next DIY project.
Some rooms have also received a new look that draws inspiration from Mary Poppins. Yes, these rooms mirror the updates at Citricos!
The Grand Floridian resides on the monorail line, which means it hosts a monorail station.
You’ll find it in – you guessed it! – the hotel lobby on the second floor. Due to the hotel’s location, it’s kind of the mid-point monorail stop for Magic Kingdom trips.
However, when you want to do something a bit different, you should ride a boat to or from the park.
The views are breathtaking all the time, but they’re even better at night.
In fact, on some lucky occasions, you may find yourself riding when the fireworks presentation begins.
Moments like this make you realize just how perfect Disney vacations are.
Victoria & Albert’s
I excluded 1900 Park Fare from this list since it remains closed.
However, I’m including Victoria & Albert’s since park officials recently confirmed it’ll return this year.
This restaurant towers above everything else at Walt Disney World…or at any other theme park on the planet.
Just beyond the Grand Floridian’s lobby, you’ll discover the classiest meal in Florida, and that’s not hyperbole. It’s won awards stating as much.
In fact, some credible sites have listed Victoria & Albert’s as one of the top fine-dining experiences in America.
How is this place operating at a Disney hotel???
Did you know you can get married here? Yes, for many Disney fans, the Grand Floridian comes with a miraculous dream.
You can enter a gazebo only a monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom and then perform a commitment ceremony with the love of your life.
Disney weddings have existed for decades now, but they’ve really leveled up in scope during the past decade.
Disney+ even hosts a reality series, Disney’s Fairytale Weddings. Due to the unique nature of these events, many take place inside the parks.
You and I cannot do that, but we can book a wedding at the Grand Floridian! Well, we can as long as we’re willing to pay a steep price for it.
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Platinum level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!
Feature Photo: (Kent Phillips, photographer)