Welcome to Week 1 of our 7 resorts in 7 weeks DVC series. Before we get started, I thought I’d let you know a little about what to expect. Each Monday for the next 7 weeks we will highlight one of 7 DVC resorts. They are (in order of release):
- Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian – 8/12/19
- Copper Creek Villas and Cabins – 8/19/19
- Beach Club Villas – 8/26/19
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas – 9/2/19
- Old Key West – 9/9/19
- Polynesian Villas – 9/16/19
- Saratoga Springs – 9/23/19
For each resort, there will be a show describing our thoughts and experiences, an overview video, a dining review featuring a restaurant at each resort, a detailed walk-thru of the resort, a photo gallery for the resort and an overview blog giving a breakdown of our ratings. So – let’s get started…
Stats and Facts:
- Grand Floridian Resort Info on WDWinfo.com
- Grand Floridian Resort Info on DISboards.com
- First opened: October 2013
- Opening sale price: $145 p/pt
- Current sale price (direct): $245 per point
- Average sale price (resale): $145 – $160 per point
- Dining Options:
The check-in experience here was a far cry from my experience checking in on the hotel side of the Grand a month prior. The attitude and incompetence I experienced on a recent hotel stay at the Grand was replaced with warmth, professionalism and first-rate service by the check-in staff at the Villas. As it turns out, the check-in staff at the Grand Floridian Villas are also part of the concierge team, and that was plainly evident. The Nespresso coffee machine and fruit-infused ice water available all day in the lobby only further added to the ‘concierge ambiance’. When I mentioned that I’d never seen any of these villas before, the cast member checking us in, Mari, took it upon herself to find an open 1br villa and let us in to take pictures!
Click on an image to view a larger version and to scroll through the gallery.
For our review, we had a deluxe studio. Make no mistake – these are stunning villas. However, we were a little disappointed in the fact that there was damage to the table in the room that went largely ignored by housekeeping. Someone apparently put a hot iron – face down – on the table. We’ll ignore, for the moment, the abject stupidity of the guest who thought that was a good idea and highlight the fact that housekeeping didn’t think anything should be done with it. In a deluxe villa at Disney’s flagship resort, this shouldn’t happen.
- Number of rooms – 147
- Room size (each type)
- Deluxe Studio – 374 sq. ft.
- One Bedroom – 844 sq. ft.
- Two Bedroom – 1232 sq. ft.
- Grand Villa – 2800 sq. ft.
Dining options at the Grand Floridian include Gasparilla Grille, which is the resorts quick service location. the Grand Floridian Cafe (table service) as well as Citricos (Signature dining) and the five star Victoria and Alberts restaurant. For our review, the team visited Citricos for dinner (See the full review above). I’ve also had several experiences at Gasparilla Grill and it’s a nice option if you want something quick. The Grand Floridian Cafe has long been a restaurant I’ve despised, but it appears to be on an upswing. I’ve had breakfast, lunch, and dinner there in the last few months and each experience was impressively good. CLICK HERE for our review of the Grand Floridian Cafe.
Rating for this resort
Overall Rating: 8.1 out of 10
- Check-in experience – 10 out of 10
This is about as good as a check-in process will go. The well trained, friendly and knowledgable cast members made the experience all the better.
- Overall condition of the room – 7 out of 10
The water damage above the mini refrigerator and the heat stain on the table definitely took away from an otherwise beautiful room. I understand that DVC works on a schedule of replacing/updating furniture, but I have to imagine that exceptions are made when things obviously need to be replaced. Not sure if the blame here falls on DVC or on housekeeping, but in any event it was disappointing.
- Friendliness of cast – 9 out of 10
If I was just basing this on the cast members working in the Villas area, it would have been a 10 out of 10. However, interacting with other CM’s at the Grand is, at best, professional but not at all on the level you’d expect from this resort. There are exceptions of course, which is why the rating is 9 and not lower.
- Amenities/Common areas – 8 out of 10
Whatever the hotels’ shortcomings may be, the Grand Floridian is a stunning property. The lobby is breathtaking, the views across Seven Seas Lagoon are unparalleled. One major downside for me is the amount of ‘golf cart’ traffic that is constantly present on all the walkways. Housekeeping, bell services, maintenance all have carts to navigate the resort. I understand it’s necessary, but the lack of any backstage infrastructure for these vehicles means they are constantly in the guest areas. At no point could we walk from one place to another, without having to move out of the way of one of these vehicles.