First Stay at Grand Floridian

Ariel_x33

Active Member
Original Poster
Hey all! We are booked to stay at the Villas at Grand Floridian this September and this is our first time staying there. We booked using our DVC points and I am pretty excited as it has been my dream hotel to stay at since I was a little girl. Any tips/tricks or advice on staying here?
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
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If you are there before September 21, know your experience will be different due to the closure of the Courtyard pool, marina and much of the resort grounds that have been fenced off for the NBA “campus”. Boat service will not be available.

The Beach pool has a slide and you can watch the monorail glide by. The pool restrooms have showers, an nice feature after using the pool and you have checked out of your room.

You’ll still be able to enjoy the main lobby. Monorail access is on the second floor. The entrance to Gasparilla quick serve is outside the main building.

The walkway from GF to the Poly is lovely, especially in the early morning or at dusk.
 

Ariel_x33

Active Member
Original Poster
If you are there before September 21, know your experience will be different due to the closure of the Courtyard pool, marina and much of the resort grounds that have been fenced off for the NBA “campus”. Boat service will not be available.

The Beach pool has a slide and you can watch the monorail glide by. The pool restrooms have showers, an nice feature after using the pool and you have checked out of your room.

You’ll still be able to enjoy the main lobby. Monorail access is on the second floor. The entrance to Gasparilla quick serve is outside the main building.

The walkway from GF to the Poly is lovely, especially in the early morning or at dusk.
I completely forgot that the NBA was still going to be there. Hopefully we can still enjoy our experience there. Though now I'm not sure if it is worth it to go now or hold off on having our first stay there.

We were originally booked at our home resort which is Copper Creek and when I saw GF pop up I immediately jumped at the chance since I have never seen that be available.
 

Rescue Ranger

Well-Known Member
I think you would be much happier to avoid GF right now. Reconsider. Especially if you are looking so forward to it. With so much of the resort blocked off, you will not even be able to fully experience the resort and all it has to offer. Especially with half blocked by the now infamous blue tarp walls.

Postpone or choose another resort. We were considering GF as well but nixed that after finding out what it will be like. Not worth it. Stay at GF when you can truly enjoy your stay there.
 

wdwfan22

Well-Known Member
The Grand Floridian isn’t really worth it right now with the NBA on site. Most of the grounds and courtyard pool (my favorite) are closed. However one advantage is the resort isn’t as busy as it normally is.
 

Ariel_x33

Active Member
Original Poster
Were really struggling with what to do because if we can't get the full experience what's the point, however it has always been impossible to get a deluxe studio at the grand for us. Pretty sure the only reason we were able to get it this time is cause of the lack of people going.
 

RETLAW

Member
If you want to get the full experience of staying at the Grand Floridian, then I would suggest waiting. It is amazing resort, but with the NBA there at the moment, you loss so much of the charm and fun of the resort. If you want the Magic Kingdom region, then go for Copper Creek or Polynesian Villas.
 

EdnaMode

Well-Known Member
I'm going to have to agree with the others who have suggested waiting until after the NBA teams have left the resort. I'm so so sad to suggest this because I love GF (and you did find the unicorn of rooms.) Maybe look over the photos in this article and think about whether this is acceptable to you when weighed against the rate you're paying? Having the whole courtyard off limits is such a loss to the atmosphere at the resort, and the choice to construct The Big Blue Fence is mind-boggling.

 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Were really struggling with what to do because if we can't get the full experience what's the point, however it has always been impossible to get a deluxe studio at the grand for us. Pretty sure the only reason we were able to get it this time is cause of the lack of people going.
I would agree with others saying the experience won’t be the same BUT if this is the only way you can do it maybe go for it If it’s always been impossible before. Basically would you rather experience the GF With limited space or not at all? If a difficult one.
 

Ariel_x33

Active Member
Original Poster
I would agree with others saying the experience won’t be the same BUT if this is the only way you can do it maybe go for it If it’s always been impossible before. Basically would you rather experience the GF With limited space or not at all? If a difficult one.
It's a very difficult choice, we've been sitting on it and will probably make a choice in the coming weeks.
 

icc2515

Well-Known Member
We were originally booked at our home resort which is Copper Creek and when I saw GF pop up I immediately jumped at the chance since I have never seen that be available.
Same thing happened to us. We were booked at Poly and GF came up and we snagged it as we had never stayed there. Worst experience ever at a Disney resort. It was dead there. We went out to walk around what was left of the property one evening at about 9-9:30 after the parks had closed. We were walking around the pathway and somebody in a suite came out of nowhere and asked us where we were going and I told him that we were just out for a walk. I said that it was kind of dead here and what was open to do. He told me that my villa was open and pointed his arm in the direction of the DVC. This was 9:30pm and it was still somewhat light out and I was being told to go back to my room at a Disney premier deluxe resort. They made no effort to keep the guests at the resort entertained with the limited hours at the parks. We walked over to the Poly the next day and it was a completely different vibe there. Very upbeat and party like. Of course we could not get into the party at the pool. The bus service was pretty good though. I mean the resort was empty, so the bus just sat there and waited for somebody to come out and ride. Oh and anytime you need anything you have to go to the main house to see anybody from the staff. They have desks down in the lobby of the DVC, but they were never staffed while we were there.
 

britdaw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Oooh, I'm jealous! The GF is one of my "bucket list" resorts... I'm sure it will be a lot different for you, since a lot of the restrictions may still be in place when you go, but it's an incredible resort and I hope you have a blast!
 

Beacon Joe

Well-Known Member
I was just there and would echo others' recommendations to
Someone said the fully equipped gym may be off limits due to NBA being there.
Not correct. Those jerks are kept behind their fence, and get bused to and from ESPN world.

I will echo what others are saying: you may want to reconsider staying there if having most of the resort blocked off presents a problem for you. I was just there and had a perfectly fine time. Granted, it's our home resort so we've been there many times before in normal times, so this one aberration was a-okay with us.

For your consideration-

What's not available right now:
  • Anything east and northeast of the main building
  • Main pool and hot tub (and main pool bar)
  • Resort boat launches
  • Boat rentals
  • The orchestra
  • The pianist
  • The free coffee and water stands in the DVC building
  • The kiddie splash park
  • Victoria and Albert's, Narcoosee's, Citricos, Tea Room
  • The Basin soap store
  • Senses Spa

What's still open right now:
  • DVC pool and waterslide
  • GF Cafe, Gasparilla Island
  • Pool bar by the DVC pool
  • GF/Poly gym
  • 1/2 of the Enchanted Rose bar (though this bar even existing may qualify as a negative depending upon your perspective :D )
  • M. Mouse Mercantile, Clothier, and Sandy Cove stores
  • Monorail and bus transportation

The DVC building's atmosphere was as nice as usual, the pool was great, and enjoying the main building's super-quiet lobby was strange but relaxing. All resorts feel weird and empty right now, so if you're a-okay with 2/3 of the resort property being blocked off by a big blue fence and plain-clothes NBA security eyeing you up and down every time you walk around, go for it.

edited to add: I think it's totally up to you to make the experience as positive or as negative as you want. Some of the atmosphere was missing, but in line with what Tuvalu mentioned, our family was totally content to enjoy the pool with the monorails passing by every few minutes. Something about that just makes me happy.
 
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