Grand Times Ahead!
I love making to-do lists, but what I love even more is crossing things off a to-do list! One of my goals in life is to stay at each and every Disney Vacation Club resort, so you can probably imagine how excited I am to soon cross off another entry on that list!
I recently booked my first stay at the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and while I have visited the resort many times for dining, shopping, and to tour the grounds, I have not yet had the pleasure of actually enjoying a stay under those iconic red roofs. There are many reasons that I’m excited to finally have the chance to stay at Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, and here are some of the things I’m looking forward to the most about my upcoming stay at the Grand Floridian.
The Ambience, Theming, and Décor
The very first word that springs to mind when I think of the Grand Floridian is “elegance.” Each time I step into the main lobby, my heart flutters as I look around at the lavish design and opulent décor. It radiates sophisticated and charming energy that I can’t get enough of! It’s bright and welcoming, with pretty potted plants and flowers, stunning chandeliers, a gigantic gilded birdcage, and plenty of comfortable seating where you can relax and enjoy the lobby Pianist during performance times.
Guests staying in the DVC villas will want to make their way down the covered walkway from the main building over to the separate lobby, where friendly Cast Members will be happy to assist with their needs and check-in. While it is a smaller lobby than that found in the resort’s main building, it is still pretty magical!
For those like me who are fans of Mary Poppins, you’ll recognize the penguins who adorn the beautiful fountain welcoming guests to enjoy their very own “Jolly Holiday” at the resort! Even the floor indicators on the elevators are shaped like the famous nanny’s magical umbrella, adding a touch of whimsy to the classically elegant surroundings.
In addition to the glamour and gorgeousness found in the lobbies, I can’t wait to unpack my things in my very own stunning Studio villa! Decorated in soft, neutral tones and patterns with artwork inspired by classic Disney films and characters (once again including my all-time favorite Mary Poppins), the DVC villas look absolutely beautiful!
Though I will be traveling solo for my planned stay, the Studios here can accommodate up to 5 guests and have one queen bed, a sleeper sofa, and a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, coffee maker, toaster, and microwave. One especially handy design feature in the Studios that I’m looking forward to checking out in person is the split bathroom design! One side has the tub and toilet, and on the other side, you’ll find the vanity and walk-in shower, with each half separated in the middle by a pocket door.
I’m also really looking forward to relaxing on the villa’s private porch or balcony. Sitting out with a yummy snack or delicious drink is my favorite way to enjoy an early morning or unwind after a busy day in the parks!
Transportation Options and Proximity to Magic Kingdom
Another reason I’m looking forward to staying at the Villas at the Grand Floridian is the close proximity to the Magic Kingdom! It’s an area of the Disney World property that I haven’t had the chance to stay in yet, and I’m very excited to be so close to my favorite park, especially as it is now within walking distance! The walkway from the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom opened in late 2020, and I’m told that it only takes about 10-15 minutes or so to reach the park (depending on your pace). I can’t wait to stroll down the path and feel the anticipation build as more of the magical sights and sounds of the park get closer and closer!
Along with the walkway, guests at the Grand Floridian also have other ways to get around! Boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom is another fun option, as well as the monorail that can be used to reach Magic Kingdom, Epcot (switching tracks at the Transportation and Ticket Center), Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and once construction on the new station has been completed, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows (which can also be reached by walking path from the Grand Floridian). Bus transportation is available to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and the waterparks, so no matter where you’re headed across the Walt Disney World Resort, there’s convenient and complimentary transportation to get you there!
The Grand Floridian is home to some absolutely amazing restaurants! With more than ten dining options, there’s something for everyone, and while I’ve had the chance to visit a couple of the locations, there are a few more that are on my personal must-try list for my visit!
1900 Park Fare (temporarily unavailable at the time of writing) has always been one of my favorite Disney restaurants, and I’ve really enjoyed the meals I’ve had at Citricos in the past as well. As Citricos has had a recent reimagining inspired by the film Mary Poppins Returns, I’m very excited to visit again for a meal that’s sure to be practically perfect!
Narcoossee’s is a restaurant I have wanted to try for ages, as its waterside setting on the Seven Seas Lagoon looks so pretty!
I’ve also heard great things about the Grand Floridian Café and am very much looking forward to paying a visit to the Enchanted Rose lounge.
Enchanted Rose is inspired by Beauty and the Beast, and from what my fellow team members have shared, the cocktails, appetizers, and enchanting atmosphere are not to be missed! Along with those locations, you also have the exquisite Victoria & Albert’s for award-winning culinary creations, Garden View Tea Room (temporarily unavailable at the time of writing), and casual quick-service locations such as Gasparilla Island Grill, Beaches Pool Bar & Grill, and more!
Pools, Shopping, and More
One of my favorite ways to enjoy spending downtime during my first stay at a resort is to check out the pools. The Grand Floridian has two pools, and both look pretty amazing to me! The Beach Pool overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon and features waterfalls, a walking bridge, and a 181-foot-long waterslide which I will absolutely be trying out during my upcoming stay!
The Courtyard Pool is a more serene swimming spot where the maximum depth is only about 5-feet, and there’s also a whirlpool spa making this leisure pool sound like a great place to both relax and cool off!
The Grand Floridian is also home to some great little boutiques, including one of my favorite shops – Basin White. I’m definitely excited to stock up on their shampoo bars, bath bombs, and gorgeous soaps! You’ll also find M. Mouse Mercantile, Curiouser Clothiers, and Sandy Cove Gifts and Sundries, and as someone who loves shopping, I can’t wait to browse through all of the magical merchandise!
Once the sun has set, I’m really looking forward to seeing another classic Disney sight as the Electrical Water Pageant glides across the shimmering waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Though I have seen pieces of it from afar when leaving the Magic Kingdom after a day full of fun, I’ve not yet had the chance to experience the charm, music, and twinkling lights of the floating parade in full, especially from the prime viewing location of the nearby resorts. Seeing as it is a beloved favorite for so many Disney fans, I’m thrilled my chance to finally see it in its entirety is coming up soon!
With all of these amazing amenities, features, and beautiful Victorian-inspired ornamentation, I’m counting down the days until check-in! The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been a part of my DVC daydreams for years now, and I’m very excited to soon make this dream a reality!