Review, Photos & Video: New Rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has newly reimagined roomswhich replace the bland & boring accommodations previously found at Walt Disney World’s flagship hotel. This shares photos & video of the redone rooms, plus our thoughts on how these compare to their predecessors and other DVC studios at Walt Disney World. (Updated July 2, 2023.)

As background, this project started as a transformation of one building at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa into approximately 200 Disney Vacation Club studios. Following that conversion, a larger-scale reimagining started encompassing all of the remaining hotel rooms, restaurants at the resort, and more. You can read all about all other components of the project in our Grand Floridian Resort Reimagining News & Construction Updates for 2023.

Suffice to say, all of the outer buildings now have the new rooms, and crews have moved inside the main lobby to begin reimagining the with “Enchanted Gardens” as the unifying visual style. The scope and scale of the renovations in the main lobby are unknown, but walls are up and work is expected to progress in phases. With that out of the way, let’s turn to the new guest rooms in both the new DVC building and all of the outer buildings of the hotel side of the Grand Floridian…

Although it’s the most expensive hotel at Walt Disney World, our opinions of Grand Floridian have been a bit…mixed…over the years. In our Deluxe Villas/Disney Vacation Club Resort Rankings, the Villas at Grand Floridian have occupied one of the top 3 slots ever since they opened.

For what it’s worth, the new Resort Studios are substantially different from the existing DVC building at the Grand Floridian. This is true both of the rooms themselves and their location. We really like both, but we’re also a party of two. Families or those who want to prepare light meals in the room will likely favor the older villas (which were also recently redone, but in a different style).

By contrast, our Rankings of Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World put the Grand Floridian dead last up until 2023. This has been a controversial take, and we’ve had to reconcile this discrepancy numerous times by perplexed readers. It all came down to the guest rooms.

For what it’s worth, the Grand Floridian performs much better in our new Rankings of ALL Walt Disney World Hotels from Worst to Best. It’s still not #1, but the supposed flagship hotel has moved up the list a lot!

Since first publishing this review and room tour of the Resort Studios last summer, we’ve now also stayed in the new rooms on the hotel side of the Grand Floridian and done a return visit to the DVC Villas side, too.

The hotel side rooms are almost exactly the same, minus a microwave. No surprise there.

The only other difference we noticed is that the soundproofing in our room on the hotel side was really poor. This is not something that would’ve conceivably changed during the renovations, so it presumably has always been an issue. It’s never a problem we’ve had in any past stay at the Grand Floridian–and we’ve done a dozen-plus over the years–so hopefully we just got unlucky with a bad barrier.

Nevertheless, we felt it was worth mentioning because it was really that bad. Aside from that, we don’t have any major ‘new notes’ from subsequent stays. The new Grand Floridian rooms themselves are still fantastic. These are what Walt Disney World’s flagship hotel rooms should be.

Above is a video tour of the new guest rooms at the Grand Floridian.

This should give you an idea as to the layout and details of the room, and just how much the look has changed with these renovations. From there, we’ll break down the details with a photo tour…

There is a ton of texture and detail to the new rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The interior design exudes a stately quality and is imbued with luxuriousness.

Details like crown moulding, wall paneling, intricate bed frames, a gorgeous rug atop the floor, and nice light fixtures give the room a sense of sophistication.

These rooms stand in stark contrast to the more straightforward rooms on the hotel side of the Grand Floridian. Here, details and textures abound. There is no confusing these with a mid-range Marriott or Hilton.

While the new Grand Floridian rooms don’t jump out to me as being overtly Victorian, they do feature ornamentation and opulent decor, plus Mary Poppins design motifs and art. I’d call this Victorian meets modern–a fresh and posh intersection of two otherwise disparate design styles.

The interior design is generally pretty, with subtle sophistication, clever and engaging uses of texture, an abundance of accent paneling, and upgraded finishings throughout. From the plank flooring to the chandelier, the features have been plussed in a variety of ways.

There’s also a nice heft to the bench, end tables, lamps, and other furniture. The cabinet doors and drawers move smoothly, and simply feels higher end. These little upgrades are not apparent from photos, but imbue the room with a greater sense of luxury than its predecessor.

Functionally, the new rooms at the Grand Floridian are likewise fantastic. There’s an abundance of storage space–under the elevated beds, in the closets, bathroom shelves, and there’s even a dresser under the television.

There are tables and cubbies for phones and whatever else you might need around your bed. Consistent with other new rooms around Walt Disney World, an array of outlets and USB charging ports have been added.

The lighting is also brilliant. In addition to the chandelier, there are sconces flanking the beds and a variety of other light sources that offer a high degree of control over the lighting.

Newer rooms with their more customizable lighting is a welcome change; it’s nice to get acclimated for bed with lower and moodier lighting.

About the only thing that strikes me as a bit awkward with the redesign is the moving the desk to the entryway. In the comparable hotel rooms, it’s between the bed and balcony.

I assume this was necessitated by the addition of closets, paneling, and nightstands. As someone who actually uses hotel room desks, I don’t love the trend of removing or minimizing them, but it’s not a huge thing. I can use my laptop on the sofa or in bed. Plus, I think the wallpaper behind the mirror and the whole look of this area really pops. It makes a great first impression, and punctuates the design as a whole.

Another highlight of the redesigned room is the bathroom. The gold frame and back lighting all around the patterned border is stunning–a nice continuation of the room’s signature style. There’s more brushed gold around the vanity, and more Mary Poppins-inspired watercolor artwork on the wall.

There are two sinks, quartz countertops, towels under the counter, and individually-packaged H2O products.

The bathrooms also feature marble tile floors, and combination shower and bathtubs.

Compared to the Riviera and other recently-redone resorts, the shower/tub area is a bit of a disappointment. Comparatively, those are nicer and more luxurious, whereas this feels decidedly average. (On the plus side, they did replace the toilets. That shouldn’t merit commentary, but does since we’ve had thrones so ancient they might technically qualify as antiquities.)

Across from the two queen beds is a sofa sleeper, which is how the new Grand Floridian rooms can accommodate 5 guests.

Grand Floridian has some of the largest hotel rooms at Walt Disney World, so there’s plenty of space for the dedicated beds and the sofa sleeper. Personally, we prefer the fold-down unit in the regular Deluxe Studios–but that’s probably because there are only two of us. This seems like a great option for larger parties (although I can’t imagine that sofa is an ideal sleeping situation).

Above the sofa is Mary Poppins art, which reminds me a lot of the concept art for Cherry Tree Lane in the United Kingdom pavilion at EPCOT. This is probably just regular Cherry Tree Lane art, but still. What could have been!

In general, these rooms remind me a bit of the recent reimagining of Citricos. That doesn’t contain many overt references to Mary Poppins, but it evokes the feel of the film. I would say the same is true of these rooms. I really like the end result–it’s classy, sufficiently themed, luxurious, and functional. For me, the new Grand Floridian rooms check all of the boxes.

As a reminder, this is what the hotel rooms at Grand Floridian looked like previously (pictured above is a vaulted dormer roof room–the standard ceilings make this look much more vanilla). It’s important to have this as a frame of reference, as I suspect many people haven’t stayed at the Grand Floridian recently or have rose-colored memories of the hotel rooms.

It’s possible to quibble over stylistic choices or functional design decisions with the reimagined rooms at the Grand Floridian. The theme may skew too modern, or not click for everyone. I totally understand that. However, I think it’s worth having the before/after visual comparison. To me, it’s a night and day difference. (Frankly, I don’t know how anyone could call the before better, but I recognize that tastes vary.)

From a DVC perspective, the Resort Studios are also a big winner for us thanks to their centralized location–this building arguably has the best location at Grand Floridian, being near both pools, the main lobby, and restaurants. (Personal preference, but we prefer this building to the main one–it’s too loud.)

We honestly don’t mind the location of the Villas at Grand Floridian, but we also walk over to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort a lot. With that path likely closing for a couple of years in the near future, that won’t be a selling point. Big Pine Key will be the unequivocally superior spot.

Photos of the new-look common areas also look excellent. I really like the furniture, flooring, artwork, and wallpaper.

From my perspective, this is the first time Imagineering has hit a home run with the Grand Floridian remodel. (If only Enchanted Rose Lounge were done in this style!) An overhaul of the lobby seems like an inevitability at this point. Although I don’t think that’s necessary (do the Grand Canyon Concourse in the Contemporary first!), I do think this style could be used as the basis for a refresh.

That’s probably going to get me excoriated among Walt Disney World purists. As a realist, I think this style is pretty much the best-case scenario when accounting for tastes of modern guests and the price point of the Grand Floridian.

While WDW diehards might love the lobby and overall aesthetic, I’d hazard a guess that the hotel does not comport with the expectations of the first-timers or casual guests who actually book it.

Ultimately, the reimagined rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are easily the biggest before/after improvement of any hotel room at Walt Disney World in the last decade.

This reimagining brought with it greater usability, attention to details, luxurious finishings, thematic flourishes, and a range of other details. Whether you’re assessing from a function or form perspective, these are a marked improvement.

I’d go a step further than that, and say these are the best guest rooms at Walt Disney World from an objective perspective–or at least in contention for that. Personally, I prefer a handful of other rooms (the actual new style is more my speed and suits our needs better) but it’s hard to criticize much about what Walt Disney World has done here.

They took the most boring and bland rooms at the flagship resort and turned that into something distinctly Disney and that manages to meld modern sensibilities with Victorian style. That couldn’t have been an easy task, and there will no doubt be criticisms of the aesthetic and design choices, but given the competing priorities, I’d say the new rooms at the Grand Floridian are practically perfect in every way.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


What do you think of these new-look rooms at the Grand Floridian? Do you prefer these rooms or other alternatives? Do you like this room redesign, or are you not a fan of the hotel room style? If you’re a Grand Floridian (hotel) fan, are you upset by this or indifferent to it? Hoping that more of a comprehensive overhaul will be announced? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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