Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
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|Disney's Grand Floridian|
Resort & Spa
|Location||Magic Kingdom Resort Area|
|Resort type||Deluxe resort|
|Opened||June 28, 1988|
|Theme||Victorian seaside resort|
|Areas||Main Building (Suites 4001-4030, Rooms 4201-4430), Sago Cay (Rooms 5101-5528), Sugar Loaf (Concierge Rooms 6101-6424), Conch Key (Rooms 7101-7518), Boca Chica (Rooms 8101-8528), Big Pine Key (Rooms 9101-9528)|
|Suites||25 suites, including the Victorian Suite, the Roy O. Disney Suite, the Walt Disney Suite, and the Grand Suite|
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a Victorian themed luxury hotel and spa located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The property opened on June 28, 1988 as the Grand Floridian Beach Resort. The name changed to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa during the fall of 1997. The resort contains 867 rooms among six buildings at an average of 400 square feet (37 m2) per room. The resort is owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products.
The Grand Floridian is categorized as a deluxe resort, one of four types of accommodations at the Florida site. It is also distinguished as Disney's flagship and most opulent resort. The resort has received designation in the Florida Green Lodging Program.
History and influences
The Grand Floridian was inspired by the Victorian era beach resorts built along Florida's east coast during the late 19th century and early 20th century; its exterior is modeled after the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire and Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California, with red gabled roofs and white walls. Additional design inspiration was taken from the former Belleview-Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, Florida. The resort's outer lodge buildings — Sago Cay, Sugarloaf Key, Conch Key, Boca Chica and Big Pine Key—are named for islands in the Florida Keys. The hotel's main building features a five story lobby, a replica cage elevator, stained glass domes, and Italian marble floors with inlays of various Disney characters. During daytime hours, a grand pianist performs in the main lobby while a house orchestra plays on the second floor balcony every evening.
Initially, Walt Disney wanted a Polynesian resort (reflecting Adventureland), the Contemporary Resort to echo Tomorrowland, and other resorts that mirrored the 'lands' of the Magic Kingdom. Main Street and The Grand Floridian act as analogous reflections. The resort was designed by the Disney company and executed by the architectural firm Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo.
Along with Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, the Grand Floridian sits on the shores of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon near the Magic Kingdom. The hotel occupies land that had been earmarked for an Asian themed resort during the initial development of Walt Disney World Resort in the late 1960s. In 1988, The Beach Boys filmed a music video for their song Kokomo. In 1992, a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) convention center opened adjacent to the hotel, which contains a business center.
The hotel has completed some major renovations in recent years. Since 2007, all guestrooms, restaurants, retail shops, and common areas of the resort have been updated. In 2011, the Grand Floridian Spa and Health Club underwent an extensive 18 month remodel. In 2013, the hotel completed a remodel of all pool areas along with the installation of a beachside fire pit and children's water area themed to Disney's Alice in Wonderland.
The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
|The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa|
|Location||Magic Kingdom Resort Area|
|Resort type||Disney Vacation Club resort|
|Opened||October 23, 2013|
|Areas||Villas (Villas 1101-1622)|
Completed in 2013, the Disney Vacation Club building at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa houses 147 villas and studios. The Villas continue the theme of Victorian-era Palm Beach resorts found in the Grand Floridian while catering to the needs of DVC guests. The expansion makes the Grand Floridian the second monorail resort to receive a DVC addition, following Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort which opened in 2009. Like Bay Lake Tower, The Villas at the Grand Floridian features its own lobby and porte cochere, and guests can check in and out and access concierge services without needing to visit the Main Building. The Villas also include a leisure area (including BBQ pit) adjacent to the resort's spa. A covered walkway links the Villas to the main building. Villas and studios include split bathrooms alongside subtle Disney theming to Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Mary Poppins.
Recreation and amenities
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa offers multiple amenities and recreational activities.
- Courtyard Pool - Situated between the guest room buildings, the pool features zero-entry access, a jacuzzi, cabanas, and the Courtyard Pool Bar.
- Beach Pool - Located beachside between the main resort and Villas, the zero-entry Beach Pool offers an Alice in Wonderland water playground for children, as well as a slide, cabanas, and pool bar.
- White Sand Beaches - The resort fronts the Seven Seas Lagoon and features a stretch of man-made white sand beaches, which continue to the nearby Polynesian Village Resort.
- The Captain's Shipyard - A marina containing watercraft rentals, fireworks and fishing excursions, and a yacht.
- Arcadia Games - Connected to Gasparilla Island Grill.
- Senses Spa and Fitness Center - Senses - A Disney Spa is located adjacent to the Villas building and also houses a 24-hour fitness center for the use of Grand Floridian and Polynesian guests.
- Jogging Trail - The Grand Floridian and Polynesian Village have an interconnecting jogging trail which is approximately one mile in length.
- Shopping - Located within the Main Building is a variety of stores.
- Ivy Trellis Salon - a hair and beauty salon.
- Lobby Entertainment - The Main Building lobby features live music in the form of piano and singer during the daytime, and a dedicated orchestra in the evenings.
- Convention Center - Situated to the right of the lobby upon exiting, the Grand Floridian features its own convention center.
- Walt Disney World Transportation System - The resort has its own Walt Disney World Monorail System station, as well as a water launch to the Polynesian Village Resort and the Magic Kingdom. Buses provide access to all other Walt Disney World attractions.
- Disney's Wedding Pavilion - Disney's Wedding Chapel located on the property.
- On October 9, 1989, a 33-year-old woman from Glen Cove, New York, was killed when a tiny speedboat collided with a ferry boat. She and her 8-year-old son were broadsided by the ferry while trying to videotape friends and family members who were water skiing in the Seven Seas Lagoon. A crew member and a visitor on the ferry dove into the water and rescued her son. The boy was not hurt in the accident. The family sued Disney for $240 million, claiming that the ferry's operators should have seen the speedboat before it came so close.
- On June 14, 2016, an alligator attacked a two-year-old child and dragged him from the shore of the resort's beach into the Seven Seas Lagoon. A day later, the child was found dead, identified as Lane Graves.
A view of the Grand Floridian from the monorail, 2007.
The Grand Floridian property as viewed from the entrance to the Magic Kingdom
- "Grand Floridian Construction Project". Laughing Place.[permanent dead link]
- "Green Lodging Program Designated Properties". Retrieved June 4, 2008.
- Kurtti, Jeff (1996). Since the World Began: Walt Disney World, The First 25 Years. New York, New York: Hyperion. p. 125. ISBN 0-7868-6248-3.
- Dunlop, Beth (1996). Building a Dream: The Art of Disney Architecture. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 107. ISBN 0-810931427.
- "Walt Disney World A History in Postcards".
- "The Beach Boys Kokomo Soundtrack Cocktail".
- "John Stamos talks Beach Boys, haircuts, which 'Full House' set pieces he owns, his 'Kokomo' tank-top, Huntsville concert, more". AL.com.
- "25 years ago: Love it? Hate it? "Kokomo" was #1 for the Beach Boys - David Carroll's Chattanooga Radio and TV". David Carroll's Chattanooga Radio and TV. October 13, 2013.
- Lambert, Molly (July 31, 2015). "Chasing Kokomo: The Secretly Dark 'Cocktail'". Grantland.
- "Alligator attacks 2-year-old boy at Disney's Grand Floridian, recovery effort continues - Orlando Sentinel". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- "Alligator drags two-year-old boy into lagoon at Disney World resort in Florida". June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- "Alligator attack at Disney World: two-year-old boy's body recovered from lake". The Guardian. June 16, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
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