Grand Floridian or Contemporary

PeterGriffin

Member
Original Poster
I am going to Disney the first week of March for the Flower and Garden festival.
I am not too concerned about money, so I am planning on either getting a theme park view in the Contemporary main tower or a lagoon view room in one of the Grande Floridian outside buildings.These are the only 2 Disney hotels that I have never stayed at. Any input on which one my family will enjoy more. Only adults on this trip.
 

KaliSplash

Well-Known Member
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We vote for the Grand Floridian. It's more luxurious and the overall theme is executed in more detail. There are also more dining options here. (which is to be understood, the hotel and its design are much more recent.
Please understand, the Contemporary is great, but once the monorail has gone through the lobby, the actual hotel rooms are rather like hotel rooms. Another Contemporary advantage is walking to MK.
You will not make a mistake either way
 

MaryJaneP

Well-Known Member
We think it really depends on the purpose of the trip. You have stated F&G festival as #1. Having been in CR more than we can afford, and never having stayed at GF, our vote is CR. We did have 3 kids with us and parks (including MK) were our #1. Please note that in addition to walking distance to MK, CR is also first stop on local monorail, which sometimes fills up before it gets to GF, leaving cramped standing room only for the relatively short distance to MK from GF. Again, if a leisurely trip solely for a relaxed place to stay while attending F&G festival, we would agree with pp. To our knowledge, dining at GF is better overall, but hard to beat California Grill. You do not need to stay at any one resort to partake of the dining options there, but it is very nice to gorge on a scrumptious meal and only have to meander a few floors to your own room. However, if any more active than aforestated, we would vote for CR.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
Honestly flip a coin. Both are good and both have a few cons as well. Bonus for GF is if the resort monorail is down you can actually walk to/from the TTC and also easily to Polynesian. The monorail line in my experience is a continual thing so it doesn't matter where you get on/off as people are constantly leaving at certain stops (unlike buses picking up to parks). So I wouldn't pick based on that.

Really both are great places to stay though.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
I would always advocate grand over contemporary...I don’t find the grounds and some of the services at contemporary particularly appealing.

But I would probably advocate poly over both.
You have an easy walk to the grand there...and get the direct monorail link to Epcot at the ttc
 
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slappy magoo

Well-Known Member
Yeah if your main reason for going to WDW this trip is for F&G...
But you don't want to stay at an actual Epcot area resort...
I think GF makes the most sense from a travel standpoint. You have monorail access. But it's roughly a mile walk from GF to TTC, if everyone in your party is ambulatory and up for a stroll. So you're not beholden to the resort monorail to get you to TTC. And when you return, you can opt to walk from the TTC back to GF but if you take the resort monorail it's an earlier stop than the Contemporary.

Now if you were thinking about spending more time at MK, or an equal time between the two, the Contemporay might be better.

Either way, both resorts are very nice, and being on the monorail you can easily visit the other if you wanted. Heck, you might want to think about a split stay, cross both of them off of your to-do list.
 

TheGuyThatMakesSwords

Well-Known Member
Grand Floridian. We are DVC owners at the WL... We visit BOTH of your choices on a very regular basis, for Dining.

The Contemporary is WELL preserved - but it was erected when WDW was first opened, and is showing it's age.
GF is far newer - and has WONDERFUL Restaurant options, to boot.

ALSO bowing to what slappy magoo said... the Contemporary offers a path of least resistance to getting into the MK. Walk over, and you get your own Security Line :).
 

larryz

All Quacked Up
Premium Member
I am going to Disney the first week of March for the Flower and Garden festival.
I am not too concerned about money, so I am planning on either getting a theme park view in the Contemporary main tower or a lagoon view room in one of the Grande Floridian outside buildings.These are the only 2 Disney hotels that I have never stayed at. Any input on which one my family will enjoy more. Only adults on this trip.
I get the "new hotel" theme of your trip, but despite that, I think I would have chosen to stay in the Epcot resorts.
That said, for the same reason (you can walk to the park), I'd pick the Contemporary. Tower rooms are nice, and the garden wing is good, too.
 

PeterGriffin

Member
Original Poster
Thanks for all the advice! I actually like the idea of staying at the GF and walking to the TTC. WE have been to the F&G festival before, so we will probably go there once or twice. I assume we will spend a good amount of time at the resort. I guess I am probably more interested in knowing, what hotel has nicer rooms and better views. On a side note: On our last trip we did a split stay between the Beach Club and the Board Walk, so that's why we didn't want to stay in this area again.
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Thanks for all the advice! I actually like the idea of staying at the GF and walking to the TTC.
While the walkway between GF and the Poly is beautiful, and the walk through the Poly grounds to the TTC is lovely as well, the total distance is almost a mile and can take 15-20 minutes. Depending on the temperature you could be a sweaty mess by the time you reach the TTC.

Additionally, you will need to go through the lengthy security lines (with the all guests arriving from the parking lot) at the TTC before you can board the Epcot monorail. Then once you arrive at Epcot, you will need to go through security AGAIN at the entrance to the park.

If you ride the resort monorail to the TTC from either GF or Contemporary, you will still go through two security screenings, but the resort screening will be MUCH shorter and quicker since the line will only include guests at whichever resort you are boarding at.

I guess I am probably more interested in knowing, what hotel has nicer rooms and better views.
It’s been a few years since I have stayed in the Contemporary, but I have stayed at the GF 5 times in the last 4 years, most recently in May. Here are some room pics:

1C9FEA2F-CA8E-4231-837E-CE07CC9E1F1B.jpeg

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ED56144F-8460-47F5-928E-AC4420FF9BFA.jpeg

The sink area is separate from the toilet/shower, whereas at the Contemporary everything is in one room.
CDB4ED45-C4FB-4956-98E3-973844F29F2D.jpeg

All guests (not just club level) receive complimentary turn-down service upon request.
FE34788C-BF5D-4F91-B0F9-22F298E2A31F.jpeg

A lagoon view does not guarantee a view of the MK (there is a separate theme park view booking category) but those views are still stunning. Every room has a private balcony (which are not as high up as those at the CR ~ if someone in your party has a fear of heights, it’s unlikely there will be much sitting outside!)

Lagoon view room in Boca Chica:
4CC1EE05-18EB-4C91-8D7F-2FD8EA579363.jpeg

DE9FFA84-3CF7-479A-87D9-9B8624E40CFF.jpeg

Lagoon view room in Big Pine Key:
DB8D4451-CFA0-4AB6-93C6-B193EC3DCB50.jpeg

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Most of it is personal preference - I prefer the Contemporary over the Floridian simply because I remember riding the monorail through the Contemporary as a kid and telling myself that I would stay there someday!

Since you plan to go to F&W, I would recommend the Contemporary. The TTC is the first stop after you get on the monorail at the CR, and it is an easy crossover to the Epcot monorail. Of course, that means that it will be the last stop on the way back. If you are not up to the monorail ride after a day at F&W, you can also catch a bus from the front of Epcot to the CR, or if you don't want to walk to the front of the park go out the back and catch a bus from Beach Club to the Magic Kingdom. CR is a 10 minute walk from that bus stop.
 

wdwdude1

Active Member
When I can, I split my days between the GF and the Contemporary. The nostalgia of the Contemporary is so strong for me and I love that I can walk back to my room after a long day at MK. As for the GF, the decor and ambience is wonderful; I could literally spend hours sitting in the lobby.
 

Skibum1970

Well-Known Member
I would choose the Contemporary. One monorail stop from hotel to TTC and then you can board the monorail to Epcot. Or take the bus from the hotel to Epcot. Plus, you can walk to the Magic Kingdom. I will agree that the walk to/from Polynesian would be much more scenic. The Contemporary grounds are nice but not especially scenic (although I like the views of Bay Lake).
 

oliviosis

Member
GF all the way! I was so disappointed by Contemporary! I love the lobby and the monorail and the walk ability to MK but the hotel itself? Not impressed. The rooms and hallways felt so dark and dated just because the ceiling height is lower. I didn't care for the decor/style overall. I also didn't care for the food options at their quick service restaurant. I'd say it's my least favorite Disney hotel (of the mods and deluxe) and GF is my favorite of all the resorts. I love the theming, the smell, the location...everything!
 

PeterGriffin

Member
Original Poster
I love how the votes seem to be split between the 2.
Thanks for the beautiful pics @Tuvalu!
Since we are doing the Flower and Garden Festival, my party is thinking about splitting our stay between one of these resorts and the Beach Club. I love hearing what people like about the resorts. It's seems to be the little things that make a resort special.
 

aladdin2007

Well-Known Member
staying at the Contemporary for the first time next month, main tower lake view. After all these years have never stayed there and even though the style/decor is not really my favorite, still looks nice enough and will be fun to be right in the middle of it. Def want to try the breakfast buffet at the wave.
 
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