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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).

NEW: If you only have a minute, then check out this preview of the DVC GFV highlights

Why stay at DVC’s Grand Floridian Villas?

DVC GFV exterior from monorail

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.
Disney's Grand Floridian sign

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.

Beloved Grand Floridian greeter Richard Gerth
The beloved Grand Floridian greeter, Richard Gerth, who passed away at age 92 in 2018

RELATED: Are vacations one of the best ways to stay healthy?

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.

DVC GFV 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.

Children's seating area with television
Children can watch television while parents check-in

SEE ALSO: The surprising way that my teenager taught me how to be a better parent

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.

DVC GFV door number
Door plaque

There are many comfortable spaces to relax, and details to notice, in the small yet well-appointed lobby.

  • DVC GFV lobby seating
  • DVC GFV lobby childrens seating
  • DVC GFV lobby seating2
  • DVC GFV lobby chandeliers looking up
  • DVC GFV park hours
  • DVC GFV lobby chandelier
  • DVC GFV lobby chandeliers fountain aerial

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.

lobby fountain penguin
Close up of playful penguin
  • DVC GFV lobby fountain
  • DVC GFV lobby fountain 2penguins
  • DVC GFV elevators
  • DVC GFV lobby fountain aerial
  • DVC GFV lobby chandelier fountain aerial
elevator detail Mary Poppins umbrella
Mary Poppins umbrella

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):

  • DVC GFV one bedroom villa floor plan

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
GFV one bedroom villa floor plan
One bedroom villa floor plan
one bedroom villa kitchen dining living space
We love the open floor plan and finishes

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.

one bedroom villa kitchen
DVC GFV one bedroom villa kitchen

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.

dining area good morning
Meals are such a pleasure in the spacious kitchen & dining area

RELATED: Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

The full equipped kitchen has the following amenities:

  • Dishwasher
  • Dishes, glasses and utensils
  • Pots and pans
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove and oven
  • Coffee maker
  • Microwave
  • Toaster

Here are some additional photos of the kitchen, dining and utility areas, from our one-bedroom villa:

  • DVC GFV dining area
  • DVC GFV kitchen
  • DVC GFV kitchen pantry
  • DVC GFV utility closet
  • DVC GFV washer dryer

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 living room
  • DVC GFV living storage ottomans
  • DVC GFV wall decor

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). 

one bedroom villa master bedroom
King sized bed in master bedroom
closed trundle
Hidden trundle bed in living area
trundle open
Trundle bed, folded open

All villas have the following additional amenities:

  • In-room safe
  • Voicemail
  • Bathrobes
  • Alarm clock

RELATED: What is sleep hygiene, and why is it so important?

Some more photos from the master bedroom, and trundle bed details:

  • DVC GFV mickey towel
  • DVC GFV master bedroom desk and dresser
  • DVC GFV master bedroom and closet
  • DVC GFV master dresser and desk bathroom entrance
  • DVC GFV master walk in closet
  • DVC GFV trundle song2
  • DVC GFV trundle sleep
  • DVC GFV trundle song

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:

master bath vanity
master bathroom mirror television
tub

While the capacious walk-in shower, toilet, and separate bathroom are accessible from the main living areas:

  • DVC GFV single bath vanity
  • DVC GFV bath vanity with toilet
  • DVC GFV shower
  • DVC GFV rainfall showerhead and bench

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.

standar view
DVC GFV Standard View
one bedroom balcony chairs
DVC GFV one-bedroom balcony with Standard View

A few more photos of the DVC GFV standard view:

  • DVC GFV view from balcony nightDVC GFV view from balcony night
  • DVC GFV standard view
  • DVC GFV balcony chairs
  • DVC GFV monorail from balcony

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.

GFV map
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa map

Covered walkways protect against rain, as well as the searing Florida summer sun.

covered exterior walkway
DVC GFV covered walkway
exterior fountain
DVC GFV exterior fountain
monorail
DVC GFV monorail is very easy to access from the main building

The villas are close to the kid-friendly beach pool and splash zone.

beach pool
DVC GFV Beach Pool and slide
splash zone
DVC GFV splash zone
  • DVC GFV beach pool
  • DVC GFV monorail
  • DVC GFV splash zone day2
  • DVC GFV pool night
  • DVC GFV splashzone night

SEE ALSO: Lessons learned from severe sunburn

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.


pinterest disney in luxury why we love staying in a one bedroom villa at dvc gfv

That’s all, dear blog readers. I hope that you enjoyed this blog post!

Enjoy this detailed photo essay of the Grand Floridian One-Bedroom Villas

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:

Top five awesome Disney planning websites

Denise Dixon, PhD

Health psychologist

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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