Deluxe - Disney’s Grand Floridian & Spa

Discussion in 'Disney World Resort Hotels' started by Sean&Karen, Apr 24, 2006.

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  1. Sean&Karen

    Sean&Karen Guest

    Disney’s Grand Floridian & Spa

    Address: 4401 Grand Floridian Way
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
    Phone: (407) 824-3000
    Fax: (407) 824-3186

    Vacation in a world mixed with gentility and a turn of the century experience. ; Outside, hire a yacht, relax at the pool or lagoon. ; Inside there are shady verandas, stained glass domes and the chandeliers of this Victoria Resort by the sea.

    Resort Layout:
    Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is a 900-room facility located on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and is located directly southwest, and one monorail stop, from the Magic Kingdom. It occupies 40 acres and is styled in a turn-of-the-century Victorian theme. The red and white structure features gabled roofs and a five-story Grand Lobby, topped with a stained glass ceiling and chandeliers. The atmosphere is elegant, but in a Disney way, so as not to be overbearing. The GF opened in August 1988 as Disney World’s 5th resort hotel. It is considered the flagship of all the resorts.

    Even though it is the most expensive resort at WDW, it is not filled with "ultra-rich" folk. It is filled with people, who have always wanted to stay there, and have finally saved enough money. If you are into ultra-luxury, there is plenty here. On the other hand, if you are used to the simpler things, there is plenty of that, too. Shorts and t-shirts in the lobby are more the rule than the exception. After all, in what other luxury resort could you find a mouse, and it be considered appropriate?

    Services & Amenities:
     Room Service
     Concierge desk
     Health Club/spa
     Babysitting and child services
     Pak-n-play crib available
     Room and facilities for guest with disabilities
     Self parking
     Valet parking available for a nominal fee
     Laundry facilities/services
     Meeting and banquet facilities
     Business Center
     Barber and beauty shop
     Wireless (Wi-FI) Internet Access

    Guest Rooms:
    Garden View rooms feature balconies overlooking the resort's landscaped gardens. The Pool/Marina view has balconies with views of either the courtyard pool or the marina off Seven Seas Lagoon. Lagoon View features a view of the waters of Seven Seas Lagoon, but may or may not include a view of the Magic Kingdom. The Main Building also has some Magic Kingdom view/castle view rooms - the Jacuzzi honeymoon rooms for one, and some others too, that are above them. Other room choices include Lodge Tower rooms, Concierge rooms with Garden/Pool/Marina views, Deluxe and Honeymoon Concierge rooms, and a variety of Suites.
    The dormer rooms are actually a bit smaller (3 feet smaller) than the standard rooms, but seem larger, since dormer rooms feature vaulted ceilings. Standard rooms sleep 5 people, while dormer rooms sleep only 4. Dormer rooms are also the only rooms to feature a private balcony. Standard rooms have balconies, but they are not private. From the outside of the resort, you can easily tell the two types apart. Rooms on the lower floors with wide balconies are the standard rooms. Rooms on the upper floors with balconies under peaked portions of the roof are the dormer rooms.

    The lodge tower rooms are located in the semicircular protrusions you can see on the outside of some buildings. They include all of the features of a standard room. They also have a separate sitting area, with additional furniture, TV and phone. There are views out of five windows, as well as a separate balcony.

    That's the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Convention Center. It has 27,037 square feet and includes a Grand Ballroom, as well as eight smaller rooms. The Business Center, located here, can assist with any typing or copying needs.

    Rooms closest to…
    Beach - Guest rooms in the Main Building and in Big Pine Key are located just along the beach of Seven Seas Lagoon.
    Monorail - Guest rooms in the Main Building are an elevator's ride away from the monorail station. Rooms in Sago Cay , Sugar Loaf Key , and Big Pine Key are all about equally the next closest.
    Buses - The bus stop is located just outside and below the monorail station. Room proximity to the buses is about the same as for the monorail.
    Restaurants - Guest rooms in the Main Building are located only a few floors above all restaurants, with the exception of Narcoossee's. Rooms in Conch Key are actually closest to Narcoossee's. Besides those in the Main Building, rooms in Big Pine Key and Sugar Loaf Key are quite near the main restaurants. Sugar Loaf Key is particularly convenient to both Gasparilla Grill & Games and the Grand Floridian Cafe.
    Marina - Guest rooms in Sugar Loaf Key and Conch Key are located just outside of the marina. These rooms, as well as those in Sago Cay, all have rooms that overlook the marina.
    Pool - Guest rooms in Boca Chica, Big Pine Key, and Sugar Loaf Key all are closest to the courtyard pool, as well as the kiddie pool.

    Honeymoon Suites
    Octagon rooms do not have a balcony or a Jacuzzi tub. However, this room is bigger than the Jacuzzi room, has a wet bar, and has windows almost all of the way around, providing a greater view. Jacuzzi rooms do have a balcony and Jacuzzi tub, but no wet bar or walk-in closet. Jacuzzi rooms are also located on a part of the second floor with no through traffic, providing a quieter atmosphere. Both rooms include all concierge benefits.

    Concierge-level Guests
    All Concierge rooms and about half of the suites are located here. Concierge desks on the third floor offer very personalized services to only those guests occupying rooms on these floors. A lounge on the fourth floor is the spot for continental breakfasts and evening refreshments, once again only for those guests on these floors. Unless you are staying in one of these special rooms, you cannot get to the third, fourth, or fifth floors of the main building. Access is by private elevator only. "Sugar Loaf" building is also now concierge service, to a slightly lesser degree than the Main Building, in that the food offered throughout the day isn't quite as extensive.
    That's the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Nightly Turndown Service. Each evening between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm, housekeeping will turn down your beds and leave chocolates and a Disney-themed "goodnight" note. If this service is not convenient, you may request turndown at a specific time.

    Two very nice robes are left in each room for your use. Some people wear them down to the pool, or just use them inside their room. If you have children in your party, you can request children's sizes. A very polite note reminds you not to take the robes home, but they do invite you to visit the Sandy Cove Gift Shop, where you can purchase them.

    Check-In & Check-Out

    Victoria & Albert's is the dining centerpiece of Grand Floridian, if not all of Disney World. It is ultra-elegant, with a menu selected daily by the chef.

    Citricos is an upscale expensive restaurant. As of October 2001, Citricos is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

    1900 Park Fare features American cuisine in a buffet, and is the site of a character breakfast with Mary Poppins and a character dinner featuring Cinderella. ; Big Bertha, sits 15 feet above the floor in the restaurant. It is a band organ, built in Paris, and almost 100 years old. Periodically through the meal, it will play a short concert, featuring pipes, drums, bells, cymbals, and a xylophone, all playing at the same time.

    Narcoossee's features seafood, with steak and chicken entrees, in waterside setting.
    The Grand Floridian Cafe is the resort’s casual restaurant, featuring Southern cooking, salads, and sandwiches (try the fried pickles!).

    Gasparilla Grill and Games is a 24-hour take-out, self-serve establishment, making available the usual assortment of burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and ice cream.

    Jackets for men are required in Victoria & Albert's, and fancy attire is suggested. Citricos and Narcoosee's require a "business casual" dress code, i.e., no swimwear or tank tops. At the other restaurants, casual is in. Although the surroundings may make you feel like dressing up, families in theme-park wear are often the norm.

    The Grand Floridian Afternoon Tea is the same as the very traditional tea time you've always heard about. This Tea features a variety of rare teas, crumpets, scones, and berries with Champagne. Ultra-nice Royal Doulton china, too! It is served in the Garden View Lounge from 2 pm until 6 pm. Priority Seating is recommended.

    The best beverage deal is the refillable mugs, available for approximate $12 at any of the food court vendors and through pizza delivery. ; The mugs are 16-oz, sturdy, dishwashable safe containers with lids. ; Mugs are refillable for the length of your stay at a self-service beverage island in the center of the food court. ;

    Beverages include soft drinks, coffee, tea, iced coffee and tea, and hot chocolate (but not milk or fruit juice).

    Getting Married:
    The Grand Floridian has the Fairy Tale Wedding Pavilion on a private island off the resort. It has a near-perfect view of Cinderella Castle, and can hold up to 250 guests. Characters are available to attend your wedding, and you can book packages that include just about anything you would like for your wedding, as well as your honeymoon. Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons can provide more information at (407) 363-6333.

    Splash, sun and slide under waterfalls in the zero-depth entry feature Beach Pool. Take a quiet swim in the courtyard pool, relax in the spa, and watch the little ones play in the kiddie pool.

    Soak up the sun on a white-sand beach.

    Grand Floridian Spa & Health Club
    Experience the perfect balance of relaxation and wellness when you enjoy the first-class services and luxurious amenities at Walt Disney World® Resort's Flagship Resort and Spa.

    Mouseketeer Club
    Enjoy a parents' night out and treat children ages 4-12 to an evening of supervised activities, computer games, Disney movies, dinner and snacks in an environment created just for them.

    Play a variety of video and pinball favorites at Gasparilla's Grill & Games.

    Watercraft Rentals
    Spend some time on the lake with a Pontoon Boat, Canopy Boat or Sea Raycer by Sea Ray, or charter the Grand 1, the Grand Floridian's Sea Ray Yacht. (Extra fee)

    Hit the clay courts for a set or two. (Don't forget to bring your own equipment.)

    Grand Adventures in Cooking
    Have a delicious time painting an apron, decorating your very own chef's hat and whipping up tasty treats. (For children ages 4-10) Space is limited.

    Wonderland Tea Party
    Join Alice and her curious friends for lunch, cupcakes and, of course, a spot of tea. (For children ages 3-10) Space is limited.

    Disney's Pirate Adventure
    Don yer garb and set sail to exotic ports-of-call in search of buried treasure. (For children ages 4-10) Space is limited.

    Jogging Trail
    Take a scenic one-mile run along the path to Disney's Polynesian Resort.

    All shopping is located in the main building.
    Summer Lace, on the first floor, sells Victorian fine gifts such as tapestries and lace, Limoges boxes, and Thymes bath and body collection. Summer Lace also offers a selection of wedding gifts.
    Sandy Cove, first floor, gourmet gifts, fine chocolates and candies, Grand Floridian logo merchandise and sundry items. This shop also sells CDs by musicians who perform at the Grand Floridian, as well as cold beverages and snacks. It also sells and processing media for Disney Digital cameras.
    Commander Porter's, on the 2nd floor has men's and women's apparel.
    M. Mouse Mercantile, the character shop for adults and kids is on the second floor. You can also view your Disney's PhotoPass photos here and place orders for them. Bally - 2nd floor as you're approaching the doors to go out to the monorail, sells men's and ladies' gift items and accessories.

    Times are approximate and seasonal, as of July 2005:
    Summer Lace - Open 9 am - 10 pm daily

    Commander Porter's - Open 9 am - 10 pm daily

    Sandy Cove - Open 8 am - 10 pm daily. Resort Package Pickup is located here.

    M. Mouse Mercantile - Open 8 am - 10 pm

    Bally - Open 10 am - 10 pm

    The Portrait Artist is located near Sandy Cove, and is there daily from 3 - 10 pm. No appointment necessary. The prices range from $45-up.

    Ivy Trellis (beauty salon) is open from 9 am - 6 pm.

    Poolside Cabana (at the new pool) is open from noon - 4 pm, selling pool toys, character beach towels, children's swimwear, accessories, magazines, water cameras and suntan supplies.

    Hair Wrap available 9 am - 5 pm, weather permitting.

    The Health Club hours are from 6 am - 9 pm daily, and the Spa hours are 8 am - 8 pm daily.
    The Electrical Water Pageant goes by each night at 9:15 pm.

    The Pianist in the lobby, whose CD you can purchase in Sandy Cove, starts playing at 3 pm and alternates with the orchestra until 9:45 pm.

    Story Time, in M. Mouse Mercantile, is on Monday evenings at 8 pm, for 4-7 year olds.

    Citricos is open 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm, Wednesday - Sunday.

    Narcoossee's - 5: 30 pm - 10 pm, 7 days a week

    Grand Floridian Cafe - Breakfast from 7 - 11 am, Lunch from 11:45 am - 2:00 pm, Dinner 5 - 9 pm

    Garden View Tea Room - 2 - 6 pm

    1900 Park Fare - breakfast with Mary Poppins & friends from 7:30 am - 11 am; dinner with Cinderella & Friends from 5:15 pm - 9 pm

    Gasparilla's Grill is open 24 hours/7 days, near the marina.

    Mizner's Lounge - 5 pm - midnight

    The monorail, located on the 2nd floor of the main building, provides direct transportation to the MK, Contemporary Resort, the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC) and the Polynesian.
    You can reach Epcot by transferring monorails at the TTC.
    Boat service from the GF dock can take guests to the MK and the Polynesian.
    Bus service, just outside the main building, provides transportation to Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney-MGM Studios, Downtown Disney (Pleasure Island, Marketplace and West Side), the Polynesian, Contemporary, and the TTC.

    In addition to the Local Monorail (described above), there is also an Express Monorail , following the same route. However, the Express Monorail provides service only between the Magic Kingdom and the TTC , and actually travels in the opposite direction. It does not stop at any of the resorts. If a monorail passes the Grand Floridian without stopping, it was the express. The local should be along within a few minutes, from the opposite direction, and will stop at all Monorail Resorts.

    Most areas of the Walt Disney World Resort are accessible by bus from other areas within the Resort, including Theme Parks*, Water Parks, the Disney Resorts and the Downtown Disney® area. Buses travel on routes throughout the Resort and do not provide direct service between all destinations.
    *Magic Kingdom® Park is not accessible by bus from Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney's Polynesian Resort. These Resorts provide monorail transportation to the park.

    By Boat:
    The Magic Kingdom® Park is accessible by water launch from Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney's Wilderness Lodge. The Disney ferryboats connect the Magic Kingdom Park to the Transportation and Ticket Center (adjacent to Magic Kingdom parking).

    Epcot® and Disney-MGM Studios are accessible by boat from Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Villas Resort, Disney's Yacht Club and Disney's Beach Club Resorts and the Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotels.

    Downtown Disney® is accessible by ferryboat from Disney's Port Orleans Resort and Disney's Old Key West Resort.

    By Monorail:
    Disney's monorail runs between the Magic Kingdom Park, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center (adjacent to the Magic Kingdom parking lot). A connecting monorail takes Guests from the Transportation and Ticket Center to Epcot.

    For reservations, call (407) WDISNEY or contact a travel agent.

    The Electrical Water pageant is held each evening on Seven Seas Lagoon, and can be viewed from both the resort beaches and the boat dock. The pageant usually passes the GF between 9:00-9:20pm. Check with Lobby Concierge for times.

    If you don't have a room with a Magic Kingdom view, there are still some great spots to watch. The resort beach and the boat dock are great places to watch the "Wishes" fireworks.

    Look for Hidden Mickeys in the following places: on the back of the grand piano in the main lobby, on the weathervanes on top of the roof, in the woodwork around the storage area on the trolleys used to transport luggage, and on the lute in Victoria & Albert's.

    The Ivy Trellis Barber and Beauty Shop is open daily.

    A portrait artist is available daily during the afternoon and evening between Garden View and Sandy Cove in the main building.

    On Mondays and Thursdays, the Grand Floridian Ladies twirl their way to work through the courtyard with their parasols.

    A special Mickey Cake is available through Private Dining. Order at least 24 hours in advance, price is approximately $40.
    There's a walking/jogging trail that starts at the Beach Pool entrance and loops past the Polynesian Resort's beach and back for about a mile.

    Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is a Monorail Resort, in the Magic Kingdom resort area of WDW. It has received AAA 4 Diamond, Mobil 4 Star, and was voted one of the top 50 resorts in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.
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