The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Tell me if you've heard this one before... A new Disney Vacation Club wing has recently opened at one of the deluxe hotels at Walt Disney World. Sound familiar?

It should. 

From the Contemporary to Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge to Animal Kingdom, Disney has slowly but surely brought DVC to each of its upper-tier hotels. The most recent byproduct of this DVC-ification... The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.

When the addition to Grand Floridian was announced, I was a bit skeptical. Call me weird, but I'm very, shall I say, protective of my favorite hotels. My fear was that this addition would turn out like the Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge... A cheap, tacky knock-off of the original. Those fears eased a bit as I observed the construction for months from the passing monorail. As soon as I stepped inside the new lobby, they vanished entirely.

Although not nearly as grand as the original - pun intended - the lobby for the Villas certainly makes a nice impression. Where the original is more of the "grand dame" flavor, the polished marble and understated furnishings bring a more up to date feel to the neighborhood. Check-in is a seated affair, something I've never been a fan of, but after a quick programming of our MagicBands we were off to the room.

MJ and I always book a studio room when staying with our DVC points, which offers the two of us plenty of space, though usually not much more than a glorified hotel room. Not so at the Grand Floridian...

From a rainmaker shower and TV in the bathroom mirror, to the expansive balcony overlooking the monorail, I was absolutely astonished at the quality of this room. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they are the best on Disney property.

But all gushing aside, easily the coolest thing about our studio was the trundle bed built into the armoire. While I wouldn't dream of sleeping on it myself, I'm pretty sure my nephew, Old Sport, would be a fan.

So how does Grand Floridian stack up against the other DVC resorts? In terms of the quality of room and easy access to great restaurants at all of the monorail resorts, it is head and shoulders above the rest. However, my ranking of Grand Floridian comes down to that old rule of real estate...

Location, Location, Location.

We crashed at the Grand Floridian Villas the night of our recent anniversary dinner at Victoria & Albert's. Obviously, the location couldn't be beat in this case, however my one fault with the resort is the same as Bay Lake Tower... You're reliant on the monorail to get to Epcot, and only one park can be accessed easily. Because of this, and the fact we spend most of our time at Epcot and Hollywood Studios, I still give an edge to Boardwalk or Beach Club, but certainly not by much.


In the end, it's clear those old fears of Disney doing the Villas at Grand Floridian on the cheap were totally unfounded. They spared no expense in getting this one right, which isn't something that can be said very often these days. Although the Grand Floridian may not be our first pick simply because of location, it's a great choice for anyone whose primary park will be the Magic Kingdom. And if nothing else, it also gave me a good reason to be excited for the final chapter in the DVC-ification of Disney's deluxe resorts... The soon to open Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

Enjoy Your Stay

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