In our last post, we took advantage of the beginning of the summer months, by returning to our gardens. In today’s post, we turn our attention to another enjoyable summer activity – vacations! We travel to Florida’s Walt Disney World, and take a look at the luxury accommodations of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Here, we discuss the many reasons why we love staying in a one-bedroom villa at Disney’s Vacation Club – Grand Floridian Villas (DVC GFV).
Why stay at DVC’s Grand Floridian Villas?
One of the primary reasons to stay at the DVC GFV is due to the location on the monorail. The “monorail resorts” — including the Contemporary and the Polynesian — have very easy access to the Magic Kingdom.
In addition, the room types at DVC GFV are some of the largest, most livable and flexible of all of the DVC resorts.
From the Disney Vacation Club website:
Revel in the Victorian style splendor of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa while enjoying the comforts of home. And enjoy all the impeccable service, amenities and fun-in-the-sun recreation Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers.
From the YourFirstVisit website:
Among the Disney Vacation Club resorts, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa ranks fifth overall for first-time visitors, and is particularly strong for quality of dining, compactness, convenience to the Magic Kingdom, and very livable rooms.
When we enjoyed a week-long stay in the summer of 2014, we were fortunate to meet the kind and beloved greeter, Richard Gerth, who passed away in 2018.
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The check-in experience at DVC GFV
We tend to rent a car whenever we travel to Walt Disney World, preferring the ease of transportation to the parks, and the ability of grocery shopping at the local Target or Publix.
Parking is very easy at the Grand Floridian Villas (GFV), and in fairly close proximity to the separate entrance to the GFV.
Upon entering, guests are immediately surprised and delighted by the upscale finishes in the small and yet fairly luxurious lobby.
Children can plop themselves into child-sized comfy chairs, while parents have the option of finalizing any details related to their check-in. Of course, all resort guests can avail themselves to the online check-in process, and skip any lines at the check-in desk, upon arrival.
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Guests receive a text with the room number when the room is ready. There are no room keys, as the magic bands that were shipped prior to the trip provide access to rooms (and the parks, with purchased theme park admission). It’s a such pleasure, to simply locate and enter the villa, upon arrival to the resort.
There are many comfortable spaces to relax, and details to notice, in the small yet well-appointed lobby.
Touches of whimsey are sure to bring a smile to the face — check out the playful penguins in the DVC GFV lobby, and the umbrella carried by Mary Poppins.
DVC GFV floor plans
Each of the villa room types (with the exception of the Grand Villas) are the second largest of all villa room types (studio, one- and two-bedroom) on property. Only the villas at Old Key West Resort villas are larger. However, the Grand Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are the largest on property.
Here are the floor plans for the different types of villas (taken from the DVC website):
The one-Bedroom Villa at DVC GFV
We loved our stay in the one-bedroom villa with a standard view. Upon entering the villa, we were struck by the open floorplan and upgraded finishes, with the following amenities:
- Washer and dryer
- Iron and ironing board
- Portable crib
- Private porch or balcony
- Wireless Internet access
- Flat screen television(s)
- Blu-ray™ player
One bedroom villa kitchen, dining and living areas
The kitchen, dining and living areas are well designed and function quite nicely. Some (many) people state that they don’t like to cook while on vacation. To the contrary, I enjoy the ease and convenience of a full-sized kitchen for preparing breakfast, lunch (to go), and re-heating any left-overs from dinners that were eaten out.
We have a routine, in that we go to either Target or Publix on our first day, and pick up enough groceries for the upcoming week. I’ve never enjoyed the prospect of hunting for our first meal of the day (breakfast), and love the relaxed ability to prepare my morning coffee, and then breakfast, before showering, dressing, and heading out to the parks.
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The full equipped kitchen has the following amenities:
- Dishes, glasses and utensils
- Pots and pans
- Stove and oven
- Coffee maker
Here are some additional photos of the kitchen, dining and utility areas, from our one-bedroom villa:
There is ample seating within the living area. Drawers are built into the wall that separates the living from dining areas. Storage ottomans in the living area are a welcome addition.
DVC GFV one bedroom villa sleeping areas
The one-bedroom villa has a king-size bed in the master bedroom, as well as a queen-size sleeper sofa, and a single pull-down bed (29″ x 67″), sleeping a total of five (four adults and one child).
All villas have the following additional amenities:
- In-room safe
- Alarm clock
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Some more photos from the master bedroom, and trundle bed details:
The split bathroom
Unlike our home resort of AKV Kidani village, the DVC GFV one bedroom villa has the equivalent of one full bathroom. However, DVC seems to have borrowed from the split bathroom design from Disney Cruise Line (DCL), which functions quite well.
The tub and vanity area (with a television embedded in the mirror) are immediately off of the master bedroom:
While the capacious walk-in shower, toilet, and separate bathroom are accessible from the main living areas:
The standard view at DVC GFV
DVC-GFV has two view classifications: Standard and Lake.
Standard views are better than most Standard Views for other DVC properties. As a result, even the noted “poorest” view overlooks a grassy lawn.
Here is the view from our “Standard view” villa — we enjoyed seeing the monorail passing by, and a some beautiful night time views.
A few more photos of the DVC GFV standard view:
The grounds, including the splash zone & pools
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are located in the lower section of map. The DVC GFV are convenient to all of the shops, dining, services and monorail stop in the the main building of the Grand Floridian Resort.
Covered walkways protect against rain, as well as the searing Florida summer sun.
The villas are close to the kid-friendly beach pool and splash zone.
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We love the luxury accommodations, monorail access, beach pool and splash zone, compact layout with easy parking, and numerous amenities found in the main building of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. While we would most likely not pay cash room rates, we are happy to use our DVC points to stay in a one bedroom standard view villa.
That’s all, dear blog readers. I hope that you enjoyed this blog post!
Have you stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa — either in the main resort, or the villas?
Please feel free to send me an email with your experience! In the meantime, I leave you, with this handy info-graphic for my favorite Disney planning websites:
Denise Dixon, PhD
Dr Dixon is a licensed psychologist practicing in New York State. Her contagious enthusiasm for sharing the science of health & behavior has earned her the nickname of “Dr. Smiles.” Dr Dixon also finds joy in motherhood; travel; outdoor sports; singing; piano; and cooking delicious (vegan) meals.
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