A couple of weeks ago I wrote about our family’s first experience as Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owners in our first stay at Bay Lake Tower (to read that article please click here). When we checked out of Bay Lake Tower (BLT), we headed across the Seven Seas Lagoon for a birthday celebration at the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian. We have never done a split stay and I was a little nervous to see how it would go, as I had read that after checking out of one resort your new room may not be available until after 4 pm. While I knew this wouldn’t be the end of the world because we would still be able to use all the facilities at the resort, I was more concerned for our perishable groceries and floral arrangement that were delivered to BLT. The concierge from BLT called to the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian and our room would be ready right at 11 am so we packed up and headed straight over to our next stop.
I was blown away just walking into the lobby of the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian. Everything was so crisp, fresh and clean. The Villas are modeled after the main resort with a turn of the century Victorian feel. There was a beautiful Guest check-in area with comfortable seating, and as usual the Cast Members that helped us were fantastic and couldn’t seem to do enough for us. The check-in process was quick and easy and soon we were on our way to our room. Since we were celebrating our daughters’ birthday on this trip, and this was their actual birthday, we decided to splurge on a 2 bedroom villa.
DIStracted Tip: The Villas are a separate building from the main hotel, but a short walk to the hotel lobby and monorail.
I was in awe from the moment we opened the door and entered the room. As usual Disney spared no expense with the details of the room and the Villas offer every luxury of a 5 star hotel with all of the added comforts of home. The color palette is soft and inviting.
When we walked into the Villa there was a small vestibule area that lead to the gorgeous large kitchen. This features what I would consider a small butler’s pantry to the side (cabinet above, counter top, drawers and cabinet with trash enclosed) banquette and table with seating for 6-8 comfortably. The kitchen also has a dishwasher, full range and beautiful fridge with paneled doors. The upper cabinets all had beautiful glass inserts. As with all 1, 2 and 3 bedroom Villas you can also find a coffee maker, electric kettle and toaster as well as pots and pans, plates, glasses, wine glasses and utensils, and a generous supply of dish soap, dishwasher soap and glass cook top cleaner. The supply of coffee provided would last for a couple of days. My only negative comment about the kitchen would be that the kitchen sink was a single sink and was quite shallow.
The main living room area is a very generous size with a pull-out sofa and chair. There were also 2 ottomans that could be used for additional seating. The murphy bed is hidden under the television and looks like a TV console. Disney thinks of everything! When you pull the bed out there is a beautiful picture that looks like tapestry with a quote from Mary Poppins. There is a walk-out to the balcony from the living room area; the balcony is narrow but long. We had a lake view which was beautiful. We looked out onto the new Bungalows at the Polynesian Resort and also had a great view of Disney’s Wedding Pavilion.
The master bedroom was extremely generous in size and also features a walk-out to the balcony, king-sized bed, writing desk and walk-in closet. The master bathroom was an enormous size and featured separate areas that were divided by pocket doors for privacy. The bathroom featured 2 sinks and vanity areas, a beautiful soaker tub and huge walk-in shower. Everything was so nice, white and clean. Of course the coolest feature was the TV in the mirror!
The second bedroom also has its own bathroom, and again has pocket doors to separate the areas. It is not as big as the master, but equally as beautiful. It has a walk in shower and vanity (with another TV in the mirror!) and separate toilet and bathtub/shower combo. There was a very large closet area, 2 queen sized beds small round table and 2 chairs and a walk out to the balcony.
The Villa is equipped with a high chair, pack-and-play, vacuum and washer and dryer (with starter soap supplies). As DVC owners, Mousekeeping visits on Day 4 (if staying 7 days or fewer) to empty trash, replace towels and toiletries and kitchen/laundry supplies. Personally, I enjoy this feature as I enjoy not having someone in the room every day. However if daily Mousekeeping is important to you, you can pay for additional services. Of course the larger the room the more expensive the service. For a studio room Mousekeeping is $30/day, 1 bedroom villa is $45/day, 2 bedroom villa is $60/day and 3 bedroom villa is $75/day. Additional “trash and towel” days start at $15/day for studio villa, $20/day for 1 bedroom villa, $25/day for 2 bedroom villa and $35/day for 3 bedroom villa.
The Grand Floridian’s main building is a short walk from the Villas which of course houses many shopping and dining options as well as transportation with a monorail stop right there. It is a short monorail ride to visit the Polynesian Resort to grab a quick Dole Whip or enjoy some of the dining options there. It is also an easy Monorail ride to the Contemporary Resort and Magic Kingdom or to the Transportation Center to catch another Monorail to take you to Epcot.
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian offers 2 pool areas; the Courtyard Pool with kiddie pool and whirlpool area and separate Alice in Wonderland themed play area. The Beach Pool is on the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon and features a 181 foot waterslide! It offers a gentle sloped entry for little ones and Cabana Rentals if you’d like to spoil yourself for a day.
The marina at the Grand Floridian offers a variety of motorboat rentals for exploring the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.
Another really nice feature at most DVC properties is that they offer grill areas that you can use. In our grocery order, we had steaks and salad ordered, so we decided we would try out the grills. My husband found the area was kept very clean and had no reservations about using the grills.
DIStracted Tip: If you are going to use the grills, you can go to Guest Services where they will lend you a basket of BBQ tools. If you fail to return the tools, a fee will be charged to your room. There was a basketball court in the same area so the girls played ball while hubby grilled up dinner.
Later in the evening we had a great view of the Electrical Water Pageant right from our balcony!
We are so happy that we decided to splurge and stay at the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian for the girls’ birthday. It really made a special and memorable birthday for our daughters and I don’t think they will forget it. We loved this resort so much that we checked to see if we could stay for another night, but the only room that was available was a studio. I sure appreciated the efforts that were made to accommodate us, but ultimately we decided if we had to pack up anyway we might as well continue on our adventures.
We are so very pleased with our purchase into the Disney Vacation Club. Without being members of DVC, we would never be able to afford to stay at these properties and enjoy everything that they have to offer. As with many things in life, timing is a funny thing. I now wish we would have looked into purchasing DVC when our sons were smaller so that we could have experienced the magic with them as well. We are a Disney Family to our core and I know that we will still have many more opportunities to experience all the magic that Disney has to offer.