By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Review: The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Page 6

By Dave Shute

(For the first page of this review of the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian, click here.)


The Villas at the Grand FloridianThe Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort are in a smaller 5-6 story T-shaped building at the south end of the property.

Map of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort from yourfirstvisit.netSee the map, where they are at the bottom right.

Parking the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netTo get to them by car, turn right after the security gate, and park behind the spa Senses. This is much more convenient than the lousy self-parking at the main Grand Floridian Resort

The lot requires a key card or MagicBand, and has an intercom to request it be opened when you arrive for check-in and don’t yet have either.

Outdoor Grill the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netOn the walkway between the lot and the Villas building is this grill and picnic area.

Covered Walkway the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netThere’s two paths to the main Grand Floridian–this covered path, most convenient for accessing the monorail, bus stop and main lobby…

Beach Pool at Disney's Grand Floridian from…and a path along the shore that goes straight to the Beach Pool and beach…

Main Pool at Disney's Grand Floridian from…main pool…

Food at Disney's Grand Floridian from…and the dining and shops in the Grand Floridian–newly stocked with much more food–convenient for the full kitchens in the Villas.

Check In and Concierge Desk the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netInside the building itself you’ll find this lobby, with check in and concierge services at the desks–though I’ve heard from some that check-in is not always available…so if you are driving, ask at the security gate…

By the way–I’ve also seen complaints that this lobby is “too small.”

Compared to what? The majority of DVC properties have no lobby at all, and this is comparable to those at the much bigger Kidani Village and Bay Lake Tower…

Lobby Sculpture the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netAlso in the first floor public area is a penguin fountain…Lobby Horse the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from (680x1024)…framed by other sculpture.

This meant to be reminiscent of Mary Poppins, but is far too subtle.  Me?  It just makes me think of SeaWorld.

Lobby Lights the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netMuch more fun is the lighting above the fountain…

Lobby Lights from 6th Floor the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from…especially when shot from the sixth floor.

Hallway Details the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netOther interior decoration at the Grand Floridian is fluffy, but not so fussy as at the main resort. Note the carpet and wall detailing.

Public Art the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian from yourfirstvisit.netOne somewhat off-note comes from the wall art in the common areas–most of which celebrates the Grand Floridian itself.

The Grand Floridian is Disney World’s most expensive resort, but it’s never been among the best loved or iconic hotels there…so the self-celebratory tone doesn’t work that well…

But despite these nits, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian is a very impressive accomplishment. The floor plans in every room type are innovative and/or break new ground among DVC options at Walt Disney World, with really only Old Key West challenging them on the livability front.

But Old Key West is much weaker on resort amenities and convenience.  Since the Villas at the Grand Floridian share in the great amenities at the Grand Floridian itself, overall it becomes a top choice for families who don’t care much about its lack of distinctive kid appeal.  

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