REVIEW: The Villas at the Grand Floridian Open as Latest Disney Vacation Club Resort

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The Villas at the Grand Floridian opened on Wednesday, October 23rd and we were lucky enough to spend the first night staying in a one bedroom villa at the new resort.

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First off, I need to say there is probably not a bigger fan of the Grand Floridian than I. I’ve stayed at the GF most trips during my childhood and have always loved the laid back atmosphere and the bright white design of the buildings. I probably fell in love with the hotel because I lived in New York and all of this was just so different from what I was used to at home.

When they announced the Villas at the Grand Floridian, I was worried about what the hotel would lose in charm by adding another large building in a particularly empty spot along the beach. Losing most of the beach and the seemingly abandoned yet serene pathway between the Wedding Pavilion and the Grand Floridian took a while to get used to, however, once the new pathway along the shore next to Villas opened a few weeks ago, I was very happy with the end result.

There are two paths leading from the Villas to the main building, and both are a fairly quick 3-4 minute walk. The pathway looks really long in photos, but the Villas are deciveingly close to the rest of the resort. If you have small children, you’ll love the proximity to the Alice in Wonderland water play area and the smaller of the two resort pools.

The lobby is not very big, but being a DVC resort, there was really no need for it to be. The adorable fountain featuring the  penguins from Mary Poppins serves as a wonderful centerpiece and the tall chandeliers are gorgeous.

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We have video of the lobby, fountain, and the exterior of the hotel to share with you:

As you may recall, we toured the model rooms of the hotel a few months back. Even though we had seen what the rooms would look like, walking into them and seeing the Seven Seas Lagoon outside the window was astonishing. That being said, lake views are not rare and the Grand Floridian, but the proximity to the Polynesian and the Wedding Pavilion provided some interesting new vantages.

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The room itself was wonderful. The amenities are probably more than you really need on vacation, but are welcome none-the-less. The beds were comfortable, although the small bed inside the TV stand is really only suitable for children or shorter guests.

There was plenty of kitchen space offered and the fridge was absolutely massive. If you are staying here for more than a week and going to stock up on food and drinks, the fridge will easily hold whatever you could possibly want to store in it. I would still only fill half of this thing with the full contents of our fridge at home! Also, the kitchen has my favorite Disney decoration in the rooms hanging right above the table…

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The bathroom was spacious and very nice as well. We did use the television hidden in the bathroom mirror while taking a bath and it was really enjoyable (as were the massage jets in the bath tub). The shower was ridiculous… I felt crazy using a shower quite that large. I know the room sleeps a lot of people, but I don’t foresee putting everyone in the shower at once…

Here is a video tour of the one bedroom villa we stayed in:

In review, I think this hotel serves a great purpose. If you are looking for luxury, using Disney Vacation Club points, and have a family big enough to need this much room, this hotel is for you. The building isn’t huge, so I don’t think it is unfair to think this will typically be booked up despite the price point. As always with the Grand Floridian, you can’t beat the location. The Magic Kingdom is just one monorail stop away and there is convenient boat transportation available in the marina. The Villas at the Grand Floridian takes the flagship Walt Disney World Resort hotel and adds larger rooms with kitchens. That’s all. The rooms are gorgeous, the views on the lake side are fantastic, and if you are a DVC member, this is always going to be a better value than staying in a normal Grand Floridian room. It serves a purpose, not one that I or any non-Vacation Club member has, but serves one regardless. If you get the chance and it fits your needs, stay here. You’ll have a grand-old time…

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

4 Comments

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  • Unfortunately Disney fell very short on the exterior of the building. Yes, it generally resembles the original Grand Floridian, but they massively cheeped-out on detailing. The building's massing is "off". Architectural details, of what little there are, are too small and insignificant especially when compared side-by-side to the original buildings (take a look at the railings and columns). And what's up with those silly pretend dormers on the roof? Entire blank walls facing the lagoon…enough said. Dim LED lights outlining only the gutter line and a couple gables…just plain silly next to the original hotel in all its nighttime glory brightly lit along virtually every single roof line possible. Sigh…a big-time "miss".

    • fair enough, then enter the rooms and right then and there they top its sister in a big way. Anyone who thinks that they are staying in the best resort ( the regular grand Floridian) is sadly mistaken now, The villas, with their interior, are far more superior and "grand" than the main resort.

  • Disappointed that there is only one shower and toilet for five people. With all that space the design is bad. The tub is a waste as is.

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