Should You Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa?

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Walt Disney World Resorts, WDW Blog

Is a stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa worth splurging on for your next visit to Walt Disney World? We’re breaking down the pros and cons so you can decide if you want to book a room.

As one of the most sought-after resorts in all of Walt Disney World, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is always in demand with guests. However, as a Deluxe resort – and one of the most elegant accommodation options on Disney property – deciding whether or not it’s worth the price is tough. Do the pros of the Grand Floridian outweigh the cons? And will it truly enhance your Disney World vacation?

Well, as Disney World experts who’ve spent decades (and thousands of hours) exploring and staying at the resort’s hotels, we’ll help you decide. We’re highlighting our favorite pros and not-so-ideal cons so you can determine if the Grand Floridian is the right fit for your next trip.

Pros of Staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian

You’ll Enjoy Spectacular Views

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, pool view from balcony

Photo by Danny Shuster

Located right on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the views from the rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are hard to beat. Guests staying here get fabulous views of the lagoon – and everything that’s on the water.

Just across the lagoon is Magic Kingdom Park, which means you’ll be able to take in some pretty magical views from your room and the resort grounds. You’ll also have a prime viewing location for the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks, meaning you don’t have to fight for a great spot on Main Street, U.S.A. but head back to the hotel for a wholly different experience. And when the Electrical Water Pageant is up and running, you’ll also have a great waterfront seat for the show.

The indoor views are also pretty spectacular. With a stunning lobby that offers sweeping vantage points whether you’re on the ground floor or a higher floor, the Grand Floridian features intricate details throughout its architecture and theming. We also particularly love exploring the interior of the hotel when it’s decorated and decked out for different seasons of the year, like Easter and Christmas.

You’ll Be Close to Magic Kingdom Park

Like we mentioned above, the Grand Floridian sits just across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom. But you’re not just physically close to the theme park – you’re also just a few minutes away thanks to the quick and convenient Disney transportation options at this resort.

The Grand Floridian is on the Disney World Monorail loop, which means it’s just one stop away from the Magic Kingdom. That makes it super convenient for guests to leave the park, take an afternoon break at the hotel, then return to Magic Kingdom for more fun.

Don’t want to wait for transportation, even if it is pretty quick? There’s a walking trail that connects the Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom, making it even easier to get between the two.

As an added perk, staying at a resort located on the monorail loop also makes it easy to access Disney’s Polynesian Village and Contemporary Resorts. This allows you to enjoy more dining options (including a wider selection of character dining and table service restaurants) as well as more amenities, activities, and shops beyond the theme parks. 

The Grand Floridian is Home to Stellar Restaurants

Enchanted Rose Lounge at Disney's Grand Floridian

Photo by Danny Shuster

Whether you’re a foodie or simply someone who likes a lot of different dining options, it’s hard to beat the incredible selection of restaurants at the Grand Floridian. Not only is there a lot of variety, with one quick-service restaurant and lots of table service restaurants, but you can try everything from character dining to fine dining (or, as it’s known at Disney World, Signature Dining Experiences).

If you’re interested in an elevated or particularly special dining experience, you’ll find fine dining available at Narcoossee’s, Citricos, or Victoria & Alberts.

Want to enjoy a magical meal with your favorite Disney characters? The Grand Floridian’s popular 1900 Park Fare is a character dining destination that offers buffet meals.

For even more variety, you can visit:

  • The Grand Floridian Cafe, which features breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a Victorian garden house setting
  • The Garden View Tea Room, which offers a traditional tea room experience
  • Enchanted Rose, a Beauty and the Beast-themed lounge
  • Gasparilla Island Grill, which serves quick-service American fare

Plus, throughout the year, you can often find treats available right in the hotel’s lobby. During the holidays, for example, the gingerbread house that appears at the Grand Floridian also serves up some seasonal sweets to enjoy.

Cons of Staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian

It’s Expensive

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, pros and cons

Photo by Brett Svenson

The biggest con of staying at the Grand Floridian is likely one you’re already aware of: It’s very expensive. As one of the most popular resorts at Disney World, with elegant touches and elevated amenities – plus those larger Deluxe resort rooms – the Grand Floridian is also one of the most costly.

While per-night rates at this resort can technically start at about $193, the cost increases along with demand. So, if you’re looking to stay during a popular time of the year (such as over Christmas and New Year’s) or over popular days of the week (like Friday to Sunday), you’re likely to see significantly higher rates. For example, the rate for a standard, resort view room in January can reach $735 per night… or higher.

Remember, the Grand Floridian is the premiere Disney World resort. In fact, it’s where many celebrities choose to stay, including hosts of the annual Candlelight Processional at EPCOT to stay here. So, you definitely are paying for a bit of exclusivity and luxury if you opt to pay the higher rates here.

The Grand Floridian is the Last Bus Stop

While we highlighted transportation and the Grand Floridian’s super-convenient location above, it’s worth noting that one of the biggest cons of staying at this resort is its location on the bus route. It’s a short walk from Magic Kingdom Park and right on the monorail loop, but if you’re using Disney’s bus transportation, you’re going to have a bit of a commute.

The Grand Floridian is the last stop on the bus route, so when buses arrive at the resort to ferry guests to the theme parks, there’s often only standing room left (especially during busy seasons). As a result, many guests choose to rely on their own car (or a rental car) for transportation to the other three parks. 

Should You Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort?

We love the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, but it does come with some distinct pros and cons. While this is a gorgeous hotel with perks like a prime location near the Magic Kingdom and incredible views, plus plenty of amazing dining options, all of these pros do come at a cost. You will be treated like royalty at the Grand Floridian – but you’ll also pay royalty-level prices.

At this Deluxe resort, even the standard room rates are eye-popping. However, we do think the quality of service and amenities you receive can be well worth the money, if it’s within your budget. We recommend staying at the Grand Floridian when you’re visiting for a special occasion. You can also try a split stay to save money; spend a couple of weeknights here and the rest of your visit at a more affordable Moderate or Deluxe resort.

 

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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