Staying at the Grand Floridian has been on my list of to-do's for quite some time, but due to it's extra-deluxe price tag, I've never been able to convince my husband to stay there. My mom, however, is much easier to convince, and so she agreed to split the cost with me on our trip in May 2018. To say that it was worth it is probably an understatement. We loved everything about the Grand, all the way down to the gorgeous smell that follows you throughout the resort (my mom swears it's gardenias. I don't know what it is, but it's heavenly). If you're considering staying at the Grand, here are some things to consider about Disney's flagship resort.
If you're not staying club-level, then your room will be in an outer building. This is similar to the Polynesian Resort, but most other deluxes have rooms that can be accessed from the main lobby, so this is a small downside. However, the grounds are gorgeous, so it really wasn't a problem for us. Our room was in the Boca Chica building.
We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge with my family in October for two nights (we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for two nights as well). This resort is a deluxe resort but has one of the lower rates of that category, especially for a standard view room. There are many who consider AKL one of the best resorts at WDW, but we were not on board with that assessment. Although we enjoyed our stay, we have found other resorts, like Port Orleans Riverside, to better suit us. For some, however, AKL could be a great choice. Check out our review of each aspect of the hotel to help guide your decision:
The lobby at AKL is definitely as grand as pictures make it seem--The tall ceilings and large windows are striking as soon as you walk through the doors. Like any Disney property, there are plenty of details that bring the theme together; my favorite is the chandeliers, which I think look like wings...or flowers?
On my first solo trip to WDW in June of 2017, I stayed at the All Star Music Resort to save a little dough. Since I was by myself, I wasn't going to be spending much time in the room, so an All Star Resort seemed like the best choice. If you're considering staying at ASM, I've given a comprehensive review here so you can see if this resort would be right for you!
Since my last stay at WDW had been at the Beach Club on our honeymoon (you can read my review of that resort here), it was a little bit difficult to form my judgment of All Star Music without too much bias. My immediate reaction up on walking in the room was of...well, disappointment. I had low expectations upon booking, but when you board the Magical Express all logical thinking just goes right out the window...
Anyways, once I reminded myself that I was paying 1/3 of what we paid for our honeymoon accommodations, I was able to properly assess the room. Although the decor at ASM isn't particularly striking, it isn't as gaudy as I anticipated, either. The wallpaper isn't my cup of tea, but otherwise it's pretty simple.
I was excited to see that I had been given a king bed, which is a handicap accessible room --I booked a preferred room but not one that was specifically designated as a king bed or accessible room. There are only three options when booking a room at ASM: Standard Room, Preferred Room, or Family Suite.
All three rooms could have views of a courtyard, parking lot, or pool. The preferred rooms are all in the Calypso building, which is closest to the lobby, and the family suite can sleep up to 6 and has two bathrooms and a sitting room.
We stayed at the Beach Club for the first time during a portion of our Honeymoon in September of 2016, and it was everything we hoped it would be. There are a lot of things this resort has going for it, which we outline below, but like any resort, the theming and amenities will appeal to certain people more than others. If you're considering a stay at Beach Club, this review should help you make your decision.