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Posts Tagged ‘The Grand Floridian’

Continuing with my list of things that I love about Walt Disney World, I thought pictures would speak better to what is on my list today.  Enjoy.

(Pictures from allears.net and Brian Bennett from MousePlanet.com)

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As I’ve searched out for more information to bide my time until my trip from the Disney online fan community, I’ve discovered that I am very different in my thoughts and opinions on Walt Disney World and all that it encompasses. All the websites, podcasts, discussion boards, and blogs that I’ve come across have very set viewpoints that everyone seems to agree on. Except me, of course.

One of those viewpoints is that it seems to be a Disney fan faux pas to enjoy staying at the Grand Floridian. It is never recommended, never appreciated, and never worth the money if you took the Disney fan community’s advice.

So I’m writing this in defense of the Grand Floridian. I’ll get my disclaimers out of the way first. This will be my second time staying at the resort. The last time I was there I got engaged on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, at sunset, with a view of Cinderella’s castle in the distance. My (now husband) and I picked that resort to stay at because I had a 50% cast member discount and it’s where he stayed for most of his trips to Walt Disney World. His mom is a travel agent, so when they travel, they get the best deals at some of the nicest hotels. So we’ll just say, he’s used to staying at nice hotels, and I much prefer them to the types of hotels I grew up staying in. (Not that they weren’t nice, it’s just that there’s a different experience between a Howard Johnson and the Grand Californian Hotel.)

Now that’s out of the way, I’ll tell you about why I’m staying at the Grand Floridian Hotel (GFlo) and why I would recommend it to others.

First, this is a trip with my husband’s family. They have stayed at the GFlo many times before, and it’s their favorite resort on property. It was my mother-in-law’s choice where we were staying, and I’m very happy with it. We’ll be on the monorail line, so we’ll have fast service to the Magic Kingdom, monorail access to Epcot, and we’ll probably be the first stop for Disney’s Magical Express (our free transportation to and from the airport) since this is WDW’s flagship resort.

Second, it’s beautiful. I hear many complaints that the theme of the hotel is weak and that it’s lost on most of the guests. I am not one of those people. The beautiful exterior was modeled, in part, after the Hotel Del Coronado, which I have been to during my stay in San Diego. (Comparison photos below.)  The interior of the lobby has the quiet elegance of the Victorian era, with modern comforts. I haven’t seen the newly renovated rooms, but the previous rooms had adequate space and comfortable beds, a beautiful bathroom, and decorations with subtle Disney touches. The rooms I stayed in were quiet, and though they were farthest from the main building, were still a reasonably short walk to the monorail or other Disney transportation.

The Hotel Del Coronado

The Grand Floridian Resort

Third, the experience I’ve had while staying there was wonderful. I hear other’s stories about less than helpful concierges, rude or bored service desk employees, or other families’ discourteous actions that destroy any semblance of a good time. I have to say that I’ve had none of those experiences at this hotel, and if I have, I’ve quickly forgotten about them in the grand scheme of “I’m just happy to be here”. Even the best hotel employees can have a bad day (yes, even at Disney), and you can’t control how other people decide to raise their children (even the 45 year-old children).

Those are the big three reasons I am looking forward to staying at this hotel. There are others, such as being able to see the Electrical Water Pageant or even Wishes if I’m at the hotel at that time of night for some reason. I also love the live musicians in the lobby, all the various Disney and non-Disney gift shops, all the lights on the buildings at night, being able to walk to the Polynesian Resort for our various dinner reservations (Ohana and Spirit of Aloha luao), the turn down service at our rooms, the list goes on and on.

So say what you will about what you get for the money, or however you like to spend your down time between the parks, but I’m very excited to have the opportunity to stay that the GFlo, and I would suggest everyone stay there at least once in their lives.

TTFN (ta ta for now)!

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